Suburban Darth Vader Dream

Several months ago I had a vivid dream which has stayed with me. These are the details.

I am a part of the Rebel Alliance in the “Star Wars” universe. I am dressed like an X-Wing Fighter Pilot from “A New Hope,” except that I am not wearing the helmet. We pilots and other Rebel Alliance personnel have gathered at a Summer Camp located on the side of a forested mountain. The terrain resembles Yavin 4 with fog draped pine trees clothing a multitude of mountains as far as the eye can see. Above, the sky is blue and sunny. This could be a great Summer day for a skinny-dip. That is not going to happen, and yet there is a relaxing feel about the people and the place. It is like the calm before the storm.

As I walk along a picturesque trail from one lodge to another, I come across my father’s cousin. He seems a bit bewildered to be out here. He is not dressed in an X-Wing Fighter Pilot’s uniform. Instead, he is wearing a white shirt with slacks. He is tucking his loosed shirt into his slacks while looking around confusedly. I walk beside him, but we do not say anything to one another.

The next lodge is a little further down the side of the mountain. There is a wood board on an easel in front of the short trail that leads to the front door of the lodge. Like a student in college looking to see who has passed the exams and who is flunking out, I study the names on that board with rapt attention. Beside each of the names is a long line of gold and silver star stickers. I am clutching a hot cup of coffee while looking over the board. I do not know who handed me the coffee, but I am grateful to have it.

Our Rebel Alliance Commander steps out from the nearby lodge. He is a portly, balding man who looks like Dick Van Patten from “Eight is Enough.” He is wearing a white shirt, Bermuda shorts, and flip flops. He has a cheerful grin on his face like he is about to lead a Boy Scout troop on a hike. He stops beside the board where several pilots like myself have gathered. While gesturing towards the names on the board, the Commander gives us our battle plan. We pilots clap enthusiastically in response to some of what he says.

It is night, and I am standing in a residential neighborhood in the mid 1970s. I look up at the starry sky. There are fast streaks of light moving up there. Those are X-Wing Fighters in dogfights with Tie Fighters. What looks like a supernova explosion that briefly lights up the street around me is one of those fighters being blown to smithereens. I wish I could be up there now, but “Dick Van Patten” put me on a different mission. I am wearing now a leather jacket, shirt, and pants – civilian clothes which allow me to blend in to the area. I tuck my chin down, pull the jacket collar over the back of my neck, and continue with my walk down the middle of the quiet, suburban street. Occasionally, I can hear muffled dialogue from what sounds like “The Tonight Show” when I pass a tract home. Once, one of the neighborhood dogs hears me, and starts to bark. I hide in a shadow until the dog has been silenced by his irritated owner. For the most part, though, nothing happens as I walk deeper into a sedate suburbia of tree lined homes from “The Brady Bunch” period.

I find the house where I am going. It is as inconspicuous as all the others. I look side to side. Seeing no one around, I walk fast up the driveway to the front door. Surprisingly, I do not encounter much in the way of security. I use a credit card to click open the lock, and then step into the dark foyer. I can smell that the carpet has been cleaned recently. I step into the living room. The sliding glass door across the room opens to a patio with an oversized, yellow umbrella. Beyond the patio is a swimming pool. I can smell the heavy chlorine from inside. Two small spotlights on the backyard lawn illuminate the pool and the patio. The light from outside illuminates the living room just enough for me to make out the 1970s decor: Zenith TV, leather couch, green shag carpet, and a framed picture of Richard Nixon doing his V for Victory salute one more time before turning to step into Marine One on his way to oblivion. There is also a phonograph which turns on by itself. I hear the scratchy vinyl on the phonograph playing the Imperial March from “The Empire Strikes Back.” The music breaks the silence like shattered glass, and I am awakened into action. I look down the hallway to my left. Lights turn on in two bedrooms. Clearly, all the commotion from this music has awakened the security team. I retreat into the kitchen. I look back and see two Imperial Stormtroopers stepping out of one of the bedrooms. The white face shields always make them look pissed, and yet I can sense that they truly are annoyed. No one likes to be slapped awake by a phonograph that turns itself on. I watch as the two Imperial Stormtroopers step into the living room and wait with blasters drawn for their Dark Lord to emerge from his master bedroom. This is all too close for comfort, so I quietly walk through the kitchen and into the adjoining garage. From the doorway to the garage I look back and see Darth Vader walk down the hall to the living room where the two Imperial Stormtroopers salute him. He ignores their salute and continues to the kitchen with his security detail taking up the rear. I sneak further into the garage. Since none of this is going as planned, I shall be lucky if I manage simply to get out of here in one piece. There is nothing that I can do to stop Darth Vader at this moment.

Darth Vader stops in the kitchen. His infamous black helmet is not attached properly to the rest of his bodysuit. The two Imperial Stormtroopers help him to snap the helmet in place like well trained valets. Darth Vader and his men continue into the garage. I make out that there are three Tie Fighters inside this garage: The center one is for Darth Vader and the two side ones are for the Imperial Stormtroopers. The garage door opens, and I run like a bat out of hell toward the driveway. I fall to the ground and cover my head, as the three Tie-Fighters blast out of the garage and thrust up to the battle in the starry sky.

Published by Michael Sean Erickson

I write, act, and produce films in Los Angeles. Everything else is conjecture.

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