Friday, 31 July 2015
Under a yellow sky, in another world, in a galaxy far, far away, the Rebel Alliance retirees are having their annual reunion meal in a mixed-species restaurant and debating the trans-time interdimensional news stories of the universe. Splashed across the walls and turning the three-horned waitresses into moving silhouettes, occasionally reflecting from the polished silicon heads of a troupe of visiting Glarcks, headlines and soundbites flicker and fade and bring the outside world inside. News from every pan-galactic cul-de-sac has its glorious three seconds of exposure, waiting for enough people to begin reading; the retinal scanners search for the top stories by detecting focus and the most popular are expanded on the screens.
Luke and Obi-Wan watch and listen as the story from another world unfolds. “Tragic it is!” exclaims Yoda, “Let them in, I would.” As the scenes show the teeming human swarm flowing toward the Channel Tunnel Luke is transfixed and doesn’t notice his chopstick-load of slimy Betelgeuseian noodles plop back onto his plate and the others laugh as he nevertheless tries to take a bite and his false teeth meet in mid-air. His bewilderment is quickly forgotten as a shiny puce-faced image is captioned - the Prime Minister of some unknown federation. They all listen to his words simultranslated into a hundred tongues.
“Well I say it was inflammatory and dehumanising!” said Princess Leia, as Luke stirred his chopsticks in the steaming pile of slippery fare. He manages to scavenge up a mouthful and he carefully navigates the chopsticks towards his waiting mouth. “What’s a dehuman?” Asks Obi-wan, but his serious question is lost to the winds as an argument breaks out at the bar. As he turns, rather too quickly, Luke once again snaps his jaws on a big fat nothing as noodles hit the hitherto pristine tablecloth. He looks over enviously as Yoda deftly swirl his sticks in his dish and hoists aloft a massive mouthful of tasty, tangy provender. He grins as Luke’s disappointment writes itself across his face.
All thoughts of David Cameron’s choice of words to describe alien migrants light years away on planet London disappear in an instant as attention turns to Luke. The news screens search for another top story but by now half the restaurant is intrigued. Luke’s disappointment is replaced by grim determination as he sets to his dinner with a fierce concentration; taking a fresh grip on his chopsticks he launches himself once more at the slithery delicacy. Once, twice he tries... and fails. He gets angry and the whole place falls silent as they watch him stabbing, twisting and swirling the sticks in an effort to feed.
Nobody breaths as Luke musters up the steel to have one more go. Seconds pass as he carefully stirs up a knot of noodles, twiddles his sticks and manages to carefully hoist it off the plate. Mouth to sticks, or sticks to mouth? A sheen of sweat breaks out on his forehead as he juggles with this tricky decision and, almost in slow motion, as his open mouth nears the sticks the mass of deliciousness slowly retreats away down the sticks, slithers over his fingers and inevitably plops back into the bowl. He scowls into the silence and looks Obi-Wan in the eye. “Don’t you dare!” he snarls. But, too late, Obi-Wan can’t help it. Stifling a giggle, he advises “Use the forks, Luke.”