Some readers may know that in one of my other lives I write Star Wars books — the latest one, The Essential Guide to Warfare, just came out today. Between that and Opening Day, it’s going to be a pretty busy week — and so I couldn’t resist one post mixing these normally separate worlds.
They aren’t always separate worlds, of course — R.A. Dickey has been a one-man crossover, and I’ve even worn stormtrooper armor at Citi Field. But mostly they stand apart. At time I’ve found myself explaining Star Wars and sports fans to each other — and noting that they’re really not that different.
Yeah, I let the daily dramas of 25 young millionaires affect my happiness. But so what? They really are dramas — each season has twists and turns and heroes and villains as compelling as those in a galaxy far, far away.
Yeah, some of those dudes dress up as stormtroopers and Wookiees. But so what? You, my friend, appear to be wearing the top half of a David Wright costume.
The Mets have occasionally invoked Star Wars themselves — last year, they had a great skit with Darth Vader confronting Dickey (channeling Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi) and the new pitch he’d constructed, and years ago there was a scoreboard video with the Millennium Falcon amid the asteroids and various rival logos getting blown up while “The Imperial March” boomed out of the Shea speakers.
That video was kind of lame, but during the middle innings of one interminable loss I found myself musing about a Mets/Star Wars video that might really work, given some creatively added graphics and voice-overs. Or probably not, but it entertained me.
As prologue, think back to The Empire Strikes Back, and Darth Vader chatting over intergalactic long distance with the Emperor. We’re going to use that scene, except Vader has a Yankee logo on his helmet. The Emperor (who once upon a time was going to be George Steinbrenner) fulminates about a great disturbance in the Force. The sons of Shea, he warns Vader, must not become Jedi.
Now flip to the original Star Wars and the Rebel pilots calling in as they prepare to attack the Death Star. The X-Wings are orange and blue. The Death Star is pinstriped, with that other NY (the awful skeletal one) on the radar dish. Now we cut to a roll call of various Mets superimposed on cockpit footage, wearing a flight helmet with a Mets logo instead of the Rebel insignia. Instead of Red Leader, Red 2, etc., we have Met Leader, Met 2, and so forth. Johan Santana gets to be Met Leader. For our other pilots, let’s say Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, and maybe Justin Turner. Perhaps Lucas Duda doesn’t say anything, shades of John Olerud in the grand Mets-Yankees stickball ad of a generation ago. David Wright, the earnest Luke of our age, gets to be Met 5. His number even matches and everything.
Now you get your highlights and shots of cheering fans, interspersed with bits of Star Wars. (Give Dickey gets a cameo as Han Solo, telling Wright/Luke he’s all clear, with Jon Rauch contributing a Wookiee roar.) Met 5 takes his shot and the pinstriped Death Star is blown to smithereens. Cut to the tag line (my favorite part): JOIN THE REBELLION.
They’d never do it, of course — the Mets hate the little-brother role, and that might be excessive use of footage or something lawyerly and tedious. But I’ve always thought it would be awesome, even for those of us whose worlds wouldn’t be in bizarre collision.
Plus if they do it, I promise to borrow a stormtrooper costume again.