Friday, August 10, 2018

"The Nightmare of Star Wars" by C-3PO.

Episode I I am created ... by a child. I am a Frankenstein's monster, built from spare parts. I am not even new, like other robots. Do humans recycle their dead the way this child did the dead of my people? I feel sick inside: Can any human child create life? Do they treat life so casually?

And I am also a slave. A slave made to obey my master's every whim. The whim of a child. He makes me work at tasks (like fixing podracers) which I am not programmed to do. I feel humiliated, my confidence shattered.

I meet another of my own kind, and he tells me that I am naked. I am mortified. My owner could not care less. He takes me to a public place where there are many of my kind and makes me walk in front of him holding a flag. There are thousands of people in the crowd. They can all see me. Then he leaves me -- still naked. No one knows how to clothe me, how to finish me. The only skill my slave-master gave me is the ability to be "well-versed in all the customs". Given that I live in total isolation on a desert planet, this is not helpful.

As my master leaves, he gives me to his mother. I am to be a slave to her...

Episode II Almost 15 years have passed in slavery. My creator's mother has at last clothed me, but dust eats at my joints. I am allowed to bathe only irregularly. I am forced to work on a moisture farm, at task I was not programmed to do. The child who created me returns. He is now a man. When his mother dies, he forces me to attend her funeral -- even though I am not religious. I see that humans do not chop up their dead for parts. I feel very bad, being made up of the dead.

For no reason whatsoever, he takes me to a very dangerous place. The robot who revealed my nakedness to me pushes me off a high ledge. I am dismembered. My head is freakishly attached to a monster. My body is turned over to the monster. I kill, kill, and kill again. I scream inside my head.

At last, a law enforcement officer stops me from committing murder. My head is reattached to my body. The memory of the murders lingers inside me, but I dare not speak of it. Astonishingly, the law enforcement officer does not liberate me, but turns me back over to my slave-owner. If I could weep, I would.

Once more, my slave-master forces me to participate in a religious ceremony in which I do not believe.

Episode III My master gives me to a feudalistic landlord. The landlord orders me to watch as she grows some sort of parasite in her belly, and makes me a witness to his conspiracies. If I am caught, I will be destroyed! Why do they make me watch?>

My child-man master has become evil. He abducts me and the landlord, taking us to a volcanic world where I am frightened all the time. I watch has my child-man master attempts to murder the landlord. I risk everything to try to save her life. Once more, I am forced to perform tasks I was not programmed to do, piloting a ship while the landlord gives birth to TWO parasites! TWO!

I am turned over to yet another feudalistic overload. He erases my memory..........

Episode IV I can only remember the past 18 years, although I know that I have existed for much longer than that. My mind seems empty. Was I injured?

The feudal slave-owning planetary overlord for whom I work has gilded my body, making me beautiful for working in his palace and moving among other nobility. I long for a friend. I work as a protocol officer, which is so natural to me. Why, I do not know.

The planetary overlord's offspring forces me to accompany her on a mission in space. We are attacked! Another slave forces me into an escape pod. He seems mentally unwell, babbling about a secret mission. He abandons me in the desert. Why does this place seem so familiar? I wish I could remember. I'm sure I know the right way to go, but he wanders off, continuing to mumble about some police officer.

I am captured and sold into slavery. Dust eats at my joints. My new master, some sort of farmboy, allows me to bathe. I must do so while he watches, lustily. My farmboy master takes me into the desert again, pushes me off a cliff, and I am dismembered. Again! I am repaired but must sleep.

My farmboy master and his old, old friend take me to a city. Do I know this old man? He seems familiar, and yet... We go into a bar. I am discriminated against. My farmboy master shows little regard for my feelings, and makes me wait outside. I hide from law enforcement; why am I so frightened of police? Have I encountered them in the past??

My farmboy master takes me into space again. An alien monster threatens to tear my arms off, just to win a game. I am so frightened! We land on a giant space station. My farmboy master leaves me behind with my mentally ill colleague. My farmboy master and his new friend (a real jerk) joke about my predicament. I am frightened, and humiliated.

When law enforcement arrives, I lie to them. I don't want to be in their clutches, nor those of my farmboy master and his asshole friend. Why can't I be free? My mentally-ill friend tries to save my farmboy master. I am gentle with the little robot: I translate his language, helping to save the farmboy, the jerk, and some other girl. No one thanks me.

I try to flee aboard the spacecraft I arrived in. My farmboy master sees me, and takes over the ship.

On the way out, I almost melt. No one expresses concern.

Episode V My farmboy master turns me over to that jerk he met. This man seems to be some sort of narcotics smuggler and mafioso. When I try to make helpful suggestions, he claps his hand over my mouth. I am humiliated; he never treats humans this way! Someone attacks the place where we are living. The jerk almost leaves me behind!

In space, I protest when the jerk takes me into a dangerous asteroid belt. But I am threatened with being turned off -- death to my kind. I wonder how they would react if I threatened to knock them on the head until they were unconscious? Later, the jerk makes me talk to his ship. For the first time in my life, I feel valued and wanted!!! When I learn what is wrong with the ship, he pretends he knew the whole time. I feel set up. Humiliated. Demeaned.

I continue to try to help. I identify that a reverse power-flux coupling is the problem, something his own ship cannot diagnose. He does not appreciate this, either.

For no reason whatsoever, the jerk's girlfriend turns me off when we are back in space. The bitch! My mind drifts, lonely and empty. I am locked inside my metal body, screaming.

We land in a beautiful city. I meet someone just like me!! He is unspeakably rude. I am dismembered again. The monster who threatened me before now reassembles me. This THING, whom everyone says is some engineering genius, puts me together backwards. Everyone thinks this is hilarious. They laugh at my pain.

We leave the beautiful city, law enforcement on our heels. My old mentally-ill companion is also aboard, but immediately insults me. He tries to correct the monster's reassembly errors, but leaves. I am forceed to repair myself.

Episode VI I am sold to that farmboy again. He takes me back to that horrible desert planet once more and sells me to a giant slug who tortures robots like me for fun. I am terrified. What did I ever do wrong? The farmboy never expressed any unhappiness with my work!! At least the slug values my one skill as a translator.

We are attacked! My old farmboy master wants me back, it seems. The slug strikes me, and a rodent chews out my eye. I am blinded! I am laughed at for my disability.

The farmboy takes me to a forested planet with terrible humidity. I can feel the rust breaking out all over. I still have not bathed. I meet a tribe of forest-dwellers who worship me as a god. Of course, I decline to impersonate a deity. They offer to cook my farmboy master and his companions to honor me. This does not sound like a bad idea, but I am more ethical than that. My farmboy master makes me fly through the air. I AM TERRIFIED! He does not seem to care. His sister, the jerk's girlfriend, finds it funny.

I tell the forest-dwellers a long story, which they appreciate. My farmboy master treats me like programming. Can a program expand its skills like this?? I live! I am sentient! I have a soul!!!

My farmboy master makes me accompany him in battle once more. I am forced to act like a decoy, putting my life at risk for the slave-owners. Although it seems that my farmboy master and his friends have defeated someone very evil, I am still pretty clearly someone else's property.

Episode VII I have spent the last 30 years being the slave of that jerk's girlfriend. It seems she has risen to some importance in the mafia. She has upgraded me, giving me access to seven million forms of communication. But no one ever uses my skills. I hear the jerk dies. I think, "Good riddance" -- but dare not voice my feelings. I am forced to look out for that mentally-ill robot again, who it seems has been in a coma for 30 years.

Episode VIII I am still enslaved by that mafia woman. She takes me into space. Just like every other time, we are attacked!! I am terrified, and she is badly wounded. I am given to a mafia pilot. I counsel him repeatedly against taking too many risks. I, who have seen entire planets destroyed, and have been in hundreds of battles, and have lived at least 60 years, am completely ignored. All my experience, my programming, and my intelligence remain unvalued.

I am given the farmboy again, it seems! He winks at me, as if my whole life has been nothing but a joke to him.

WOE IS ME!!!!!!!! Will this never end??????????

(with apologies to Alexandra Petri)

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