Saga - PT Saga - OT An Imperial Parody (Mod Dare Challenge Entry)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by devilinthedetails , May 14, 2020.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: An Imperial Parody

    Author: devilinthedetails

    Characters: Darth Vader; Grand Admiral Thrawn; Darth Maul.

    Genre: Humor.

    Summary: Due to Imperial budget cuts, Darth Vader and Grand Admiral Thrawn find themselves sharing a suburban condo with Darth Maul. Insanity ensues.

    Author's Note: This story is my response to the Mod Dare Challenge. My challenge was to write a story in which, due to budget constraints, housing allowances for Imperial officers have been cut, forcing Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Grand Admiral Thrown to rent a suburban condo together. I was to include elements from Sims screenshots of Vader eating a grilled cheese, Maul playing a guitar, Maul and Thrawn talking, and Thrawn punching a giant Teddy bear. I also went for the bonus points of trying to match the outfits of the characters with those in the Sims screenshots and making the decor of the condo match the screenshots.

    An Imperial Parody

    Vader was certain that he was trapped in some profane parody, and he was even more certain whom he could blame for his current state of being trapped in a profane parody. That blue Chiss Grand Admiral Thrawn who had ever been a poisonous thorn in Vader’s side was the cause of his present situation that would have been comical if it was not so humiliating.

    The problem or the parody had all started innocently enough with a holoconference the Emperor had called for all senior Imperial armed forces personnel. The holoconference featured full color holograms of every admiral and general in the Imperial service with bigger egos than brains because the Emperor spared no expense on holoconferences. That meant Vader could see the crimson of Motti’s too large forehead in excruciating detail because the incompetent fool never noticed that he leaned so close to the screen that nothing showed on it except his forehead.

    Beside Vader as he attended this meeting was Grand Admiral Thrawn. Vader had muted everyone in the holoconference except for the Emperor, who was rambling about the necessity of budget cuts so as to avoid raising taxes that might spark widespread revolt in the galaxy, because apparently the ignorant trillions wouldn’t rebel as long as their taxes remained reasonably low. The muting was ostensibly so he didn’t have to listen to the annoying little sounds his fellow attendees made in the background—clearing throats, scratching chins, jotting notes on flimsi—but was really so that he could listen to Thrawn’s whispered assessments of which of the meeting’s attendees were wearing civilian clothes beneath the top half of their uniform. The shrewd, keen-eyed Chiss had a knack for analyzing anyone’s entire outfit in a glance.

    Thrawn’s whispered commentary on the attire of the meeting’s attendees was cut short and Vader’s attention completely captured when the Emperor made the menacing pronouncement: “Due to budget cuts and constraints, housing allowances for senior Imperial officers will need to be cut in half effective immediately. This is to enforce a feeling of solidarity within our ranks as our TIE pilots will then not object to a quarter reduction in their pay when they realize their superior officers are taking a significant cut in housing allowances. Morale will remain high when our TIE pilots have this proof that we are all in this together.”

    His black-gloved fists clenching, Vader thought that if his TIE pilots had dared to challenge him about their salary cuts, he would’ve strangled them with a single squeeze of his fingers. Breathing loudly enough to be heard star systems away, he had to trample down the temptation to try to choke his Master through the hologram. His morale was definitely not high.

    The meeting mercifully drew to a close before Vader could unleash any murderous impulses, and Thrawn turned a blood red gaze on him as soon as it ended. “If we pooled our financial resources, we could rent a suburban condo. I might even know a third being currently in search of housing we could invite to join us to further reduce our individual financial burden.”

    “What third being?” Vader took a deep breath between each word, struggling for some semblance of control.

    “One with whom you share some notable similarities such as an aversion to fire and a belief in the Force,” Thrawn answered somewhat ambiguously, but that was nothing new for the Chiss.

    “Very well then.” Vader waved a dismissive glove, willing to pass the burden of finding a suitable accommodation onto the blue alien who was so adept with judging aesthetics. “Invite this being to join us in the condo. I will trust you to find an appropriate place for us. Do not disappoint me.”

    Beings who disappointed him tended to end up dead. He trusted Thrawn to understand that without an explicit threat. It was more intimidating to have his danger implied sometimes.

    That was how Vader had come to be standing in the living room of the condo Thrawn had rented. The condo, Thrawn had explained as they walked up the cobblestone pathway that lead across a verdant lawn to the front door, had included furniture with its lease. This furniture was very modern judging by the purple sofa that stared Vader in the face as soon as Thrawn unlocked the door.

    Apart from the purple sofa, Vader’s attention was instantly caught by a Zabrak with elaborate red-and-black facial tattoos who was removing some musical instrument from a case and wearing pants as flaming red as his tattoos. The Zabrak reminded him of one who had killed the first man who had ever been like a father to Anakin Skywalker…Not that Vader should have cared what had happened to that other, lesser being, Anakin Skywalker…

    The Zabrak had finished lifting the instrument from its case, and Vader realized the Zabrak didn’t merely resemble the one who had killed Qui-Gon Jinn on Naboo so many years ago…It was the same Zabrak who had ended Qui-Gon Jinn’s life before he could train Anakin Skywalker.

    “Didn’t Kenobi cut you in half?” Vader demanded in a voice cool as the snow storms of Hoth. Taking revenge on Qui-Gon’s killer had been one of the few good things Kenobi had done, Vader had thought, though that hypocrite Kenobi would’ve called it justice rather than vengeance as if the two were different things instead of the same dark impulse.

    “Didn’t Kenobi chop off your legs and leave you in lava?” Maul retorted, his words burning like the memory of the unforgiving fires of Mustafar.

    Vader could feel the fissure of contempt and hatred tearing through them like a cosmic earthquake in the Force as Maul began to strum a loud tune on his instrument.

    “Is that an acoustic guitar?” Thrawn was studying the instrument with a refined expression that made Vader want to vomit into his helmet. “One doesn’t often hear its more classic notes. Far more common is its more pedestrian counterpart: the electric guitar.”

    As Thrawn settled into a green-cushioned chair to give Maul’s concert an audience of one, Vader fled for the kitchen to make himself some comfort food, shaking his head at the fact that a being could fall so far from Sith to struggling musician (no doubt Maul was struggling as a musician, because only a struggling musician would be forced to rent a condo with him and Thrawn). The fact that Maul was indeed a struggling musician was reinforced by the horrible sounds coming from the guitar—sounds that planted lurid images of a krayt dragon mating with a monkey lizard in Vader’s mind.

    Rummaging in the cooler, Vader pulled out several slices of blue milk cheese and switched on the stovetop to fix himself a grilled cheese. As he cooked and flipped the grilled cheese, he was careful not to make contact with the flames rising from the stove as he had a healthy respect for fire after his misadventure on Mustafar.

    Despite his caution, he saw when he dumped his sandwich onto his plate that one side was slightly more charred than the other. Turning the grilled cheese so that the less burned side was facing upward, he went into the dining room and sat at the glass table in time to hear the beginning of an argument breaking out in the living room between failing musician and eloquent critic.

    “The music you’re playing is simply too loud, Maul,” Thrawn was saying. “It’s an assault on the auditory system of everyone who hears it.”

    “I can’t hear you over the sound of my music,” snapped Maul, and Vader heard him rising from the chair where he must have been sitting to listen to Thrawn’s critique. Then Vader could hear nothing but Maul’s guitar and a door slamming as Thrawn disappeared into the backyard.

    Out the viewport, Vader could see the blue Chiss in gray slacks and white suit jacket punching a giant stuffed bear (called a Teddy bear, Vader recalled, after some long-dead king of Rutan who had loved nature and hunting). No doubt, Thrawn was trying to channel his temper against a target that wasn’t Maul’s face, but Vader wished that he wouldn’t expend the effort.

    Munching on his grilled cheese, Vader soaked in the strange sight that was the stately Grand Admiral Thrawn punching a giant stuffed bear and decided he must be living in a particularly profane parody or a very vivid nightmare. He couldn’t be sure which, and that would probably drive him as crazy as Maul’s music. The only certainty he could cling to was that Grand Admiral Thrawn would be to blame for this inevitable onset of madness.
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  2. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 30, 1999
    That was an absolutely amazing read! I almost snorted tea at the vomit into his helmet line.

    Awesome work. This would make a great sit com.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Ewok Poet, Kahara, gizkaspice and 3 others like this.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Clash of Titans Winner star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 31, 2004
    What hilarious elements and you wove them together so well! [face_rofl] And a purple sofa and a green chair?! :eek: The décor is loud too! [face_mischief] You have Vader's voice so perfectly and the ahem, indignities of videoconferencing [face_shhh] =D=
  4. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Lol! Now I want to see the Let's Play of this in the Sims!
  5. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 27, 2013
    This needs to be an animated series---the Misadventures of Vader, Maul and Thrawn! And Vader and grilled cheese....yes, this is canon now. :D
  6. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Love the prompt, love this fic! :D The surreal roommates situation mixed with a Vader's-eye view of Imperial office politics is just so rich in silliness.

    [face_rofl] Poor Admiral Motti, he just can't do a thing right. And of course Thrawn is picking out everyone who attended in their PJ's. As @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha mentioned, the videoconferencing parallels are so well done. [face_laugh]

    I'm shocked. :p

    Honestly, comfort food may be the only way to deal with the situation! [face_laugh]
  7. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Kit' Thank you so much for commenting!:) I'm so flattered that you thought this was an amazing read, and I admit that I got a chuckle writing the vomit into his helmet line, so it makes me very happy to know that you also found it amusing. I definitely think this would make an hilarious basis for a sitcom as you say[face_laugh]

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for your sweet comments!:) As soon as I saw the required elements for this challenge, I just knew that I had to take this story in a humorous direction because they were just such hilarious inspiration. You're right that decor is definitely loud with the purple sofa and green chair, but I guess at least it matches Maul's music. ;) It's awesome to hear that you felt I captured Vader's voice so well since I wanted to make the piece humorous but also capture some of his characteristic Vader traits despite the crazy circumstances in which he found himself. Given how much videoconferencing I've been doing in real life, I also just couldn't resist the temptation to portray all those little indignities and idiosyncrasies as it were in this story, and I'm so glad that amused you!

    @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Thank you so much for commenting! I'm glad you found this story so funny, and I agree the Let's Play of this would be hilarious[face_rofl]

    @gizkaspice Thank you so much for commenting! I agree that an animated series of this would be comic gold[face_laugh]

    @Kahara As always, thank you so much for your kind comment!:) I love the prompt too since it gave me the inspiration for a story that was wonderfully fun to write that I never would've thought to write otherwise, and I'm happy that you love this story too. I really thought the premise of the prompt with the wacky roommate situation being created by Imperial budget constraints really invited me to explore Imperial politics from a Vader-eye view as you say while being able to also embrace the comedy of the crazy roommate situation to its fullest silliness.

    Yes, Admiral Motti just can't do anything right, and I couldn't resist having sharp-eyed Thrown making assessments of everyone's outfits[face_laugh]Nor could I resist the videoconferencing parallels having experienced the foibles of that means of communication so often in these times of coronavirus.

    Haha, yes, no surprise, that Vader's morale would be low with that announcement and that he'd have to fight the urge to choke his Master via hologram:p

    And, yes, comfort food may indeed have been the best way to deal with the craziness of that situation...
  8. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    First, my apologies for taking so long to comment.
    Second-- Bwahahahaha [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh] This was my dare, and I have to say I think you knocked it out of the park! You did a fantastic job of capturing all the surreal silliness of these characters living together in Suburbia and the combination of mundane and illogical activities in the screenshots!

    I love how you introduced the setup of the budget cuts for Imperial housing, and as others have mentioned the video conferencing was priceless and timely! Poor Motti, there's always someone who can't quite get a hang of the technology, isn't there? :p (Hey, it's tricky to get the camera aimed so it's not pointing under your chin, up your nose...or at your abnormally large forehead!) And of course Thrawn is the one who's offering snide commentary on what everyone is wearing; sadly, they can't all be as urbane as him. I love that the budget cuts are ostensibly to improve morale among the TIE pilots and ordinary officers.Because clearly officers having better housing is the cause of poor morale, and not, you know, having their superiors routinely Force choke them. Which usually happens right
    I get the feeling Thrawn knows exactly what's going to happen when he gets Vader and Maul together and, master manipulator that he is, he's just sitting back with a bowl of bangcorn, watching the artistically arranged spectacle he's put together for his own entertainment.
    This exchange has to be my favorite! [face_laugh] They're just so snide and childish here! And of course Maul is a struggling musician (he really was horrible) and of course Thrawn offers his own excellent artistic critique of his housemate's, er, music.
    :eek:Wow...that's quite something! Love that very evocative description! Vader making grilled cheese (blue milk cheese, of course) and Thrawn working out his agressions on the unfortunate teddy bear are priceless, too. And I wholeheartedly agree with Lord Vader that
    It's all Thrawn's fault, definitely!

    I loved this story from beginning to end! Thanks for turning my random screenshots into something that's not only coherent, bur really funny and a whole lot of fun! Bravo!=D=^:)^[face_party]
  9. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Raissa Baiard Thank you so much for commenting, and I think you did a great job creating this dare. At first I was puzzled with what to do with it, but then I decided to just embrace the surreal silliness and to explore the humor in the mundane and the illogical. [face_laugh]

    I had a lot of fun writing the videoconferencing section because as you say it was so timely what with so many of us telecommuting to work due to the pandemic and with there always being that Motti type who can't quite get the hang of how to appear on screen properly. I also couldn't resist making Thrawn the one who offers snide commentary on what other Imperial higher-ups are wearing to the videoconferencing session because as you say they sadly can't all be as urbane as him. And, yes, I think the low Imperial morale would probably have more to do with Vader Force chokes than salaries. [face_rofl]

    It's very possible that Thrawn could be setting up the Vader and Maul situation for his own amusement. If so, he gets paid back with Maul's music...

    The exchange you highlighted between Maul and Vader really made me smile as I wrote it, so I'm so glad that was your favorite part. I agree that they are so petty with their sniping there.

    I couldn't resist the temptation of making Maul a terrible, struggling musician and having Thrawn offering an in-depth critique of just how bad it was. Nor could I resist getting really evocative with how bad the music was to Vader's ears, and I had great fun writing about Vader making himself a grilled cheese and Thrawn punching a giant stuffed bear just to end the story on an appropriately crazy note. And, yes, Thrawn is to blame for it all as Vader realizes.

    I'm so glad that you liked the story from beginning to end! It really was a very fun one for me to write, giving me a chance to release my sillier side;)
  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh my goodness but this dare was brilliant and your answer to it was brilliant too. Seriously, parts of this had me laughing out loud, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed every beyond fabulous word of this!!! :D

    In particular . . .

    Ha! Well, he wouldn't be wrong. [face_mischief]

    This is so pertinent to RL, like previous commenters have mentioned. That just added to the humor and made it even better.

    BECAUSE HE WOULD!!! [face_rofl] [face_love] [face_rofl]

    You know, I can't say that I blame Vader here. And his own preferred way of dealing with discontentment amongst the ranks has me chortling too. Oh, Vader. o_O

    :eek: [face_rofl]

    Thrawn is brave!!!! And wonderfully not so passively aggressive. [face_mischief]

    Oh of course not. [face_mischief] [face_whistling]

    Honest to goodness I laughed out loud here. Full ugly surprised snort cackle - that was me! [face_rofl] [face_rofl] Another point goes to the roommates. Vader: zero!

    You know, a healthy respect for fire is prudent. Especially as it ties back to Maul's barbs. Also: VADER MAKING GRILLED CHEESE AS COMFORT FOOD FTW!

    You managed to take a few wonderfully wacky prompts and tie them together in a fun, zany tale that nonetheless flowed and told a cohesive story. I don't know where I would have even began with those prompts myself, honestly! So, really: kudos and hats off! Thanks so much for participating in this challenge! =D=
  11. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Mira_Jade Thank you so much for commenting! :DI agree that the challenge was brilliant, and I'm so flattered that you found my answer to it brilliant as well. I really enjoyed the chance to embrace my funnier side, and I'm so happy to hear that this story made you laugh out loud and that you loved it so much.

    Yes, Vader's not wrong about being trapped in a profane Imperial parody[face_laugh] The Force must've alerted him to something...

    I couldn't resist poking fun at some of the real life foibles of teleconferencing especially given how much experience many of us have been getting in it lately so I'm so glad you were amused by the quirks of Imperial teleconferencing.

    Ha ha, yes, I don't think Thrawn can resist the temptation to judge the aesthetic merits of people's outfits[face_laugh]

    I think budget cuts could make anyone angry so I could feel some of Vader's pain, and Vader's plan for dealing with discontentment among his subordinates does have a certain, er, simplicity to it...

    Thrawn's sly comments did have me smirking to myself as I wrote, not gonna lie. ;) And, yes, Thawn is very brave to poke at Vader, but Vader has some wonderfully hilarious reactions when poked[face_whistling]

    Yes, I think Vader might care about what happened to Anakin Skywalker more than he wants to admit...

    Maul's Kenobi line might have been my favorite one in the entire story, so I'm so happy it amused you so much, and Vader's roommates do seem to be outwitting him at every turn!

    A healthy respect for fire is definitely prudent, and the mental image of Vader cooking himself a grilled cheese as comfort food was just comic gold to me as a I wrote. [face_laugh]

    At first, I was stumped by this challenge, but then I decided to embrace the wonderfully wacky nature of the prompts and try to tell a fun, zany tale that would still have something of a coherent plot line to offset the craziness of the characters and their actions. Thank you again for reading and commenting! I'm so glad you loved it:)
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Ammonia-Breathing Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] Geeze Louise, how did I manage to not comment on this masterpiece of wacky fun? You got a real challenge to work with with @Raissa Baiard ’s zany Sims images, and you really hit it out of the park! And made this crazy prompt situation totally believable ad in-character, too! Oh boy, where even to start... well, as all the others have said, all of the videoconferencing stuff is very hilarious and oh so timely, from Motti's great big pink forehead, to the fine art of muting, right down to the budget cuts themselves.

    And OF COURSE Vader is the (relatively) "sane man" of the three Imperial roommates... OF COURSE Maul, with his eccentric fashion and décor senses and his, er, equally eccentric musical abilities, is that third "sight-unseen" roommate who turns out to make things hell for the other two... OF COURSE Thrawn has snooty, arts-critic-ish things to say about his instrument and his playing... and OF COURSE this priceless exchange happens:

    And OF COURSE, after all that, who can blame even the most hardened Sith Lord for taking comfort in a nice warm, tasty grilled cheese sandwich? (In a tux, at that, as I seem to remember from Raissa's image! :D ) I'd need it too--particularly given how wobbly my sense of reality would likely be after the sight of Mr. Snooty Blue Art Critic punching a large stuffed bear named after an ancient Rutan monarch. In answer to the question of whether Vader's "living in a particularly profane parody or a very vivid nightmare,"I say an emphatic "yes." :p

    GREAT JOB putting all these wacky images into a believable sequence for some real crackfic gold, and well done to @Raissa Baiard, too for a real doozy of a dare! =D= =D=
  13. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Findswoman Thank you so much for commenting, and I'm so flattered that you found this to be a masterpiece of wacky fun since tend to still think of myself as a novice when it comes to writing humor and I wanted to embrace the zany spirit of the dare I was given:D It was interesting and hilarious to try to keep Vader, Thrawn, and Maul as in character as possible while placing them in these crazy situations, a narrative tension that sort of created a lot of the humor of this fic. I couldn't resist the temptation of being timely with all the foibles of videoconferencing like Motti not being able to figure out how to use the cam properly so it doesn't just show his forehead and the frustration of budget cuts.

    I couldn't resist trying to make Vader the relative "sane" and "straight" man in this Imperial parody, because I felt it would highlight the absurdity of the circumstances if Vader tries to maintain a sort of serious face about everything that is happening. I admit that I very much got a chuckle out of making Maul that crazy sight unseen roommate who is just loud and eccentric in every way, which places him opposition to Thrawn who is going to be the snooty art critic to Maul's failed musician.

    I really wanted to get that exchange between Maul and Vader into the story because it was just so tempting to include, and I'm so happy it proved a highlight for so many people.

    And after all the stress of that exchange, of course, Vader needs to take comfort in a greasy grilled cheese sandwich, and you did remember the Vader in a tux image correctly[face_laugh] I also think you're totally right that Vader is trapped in both a profane parody and a very vivid nightmare, poor fellow:p

    Thank you again for your kind and detailed comment, and I'm so flattered you found it to be crackfic gold!
    Ewok Poet, AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  14. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Excuses from me, too, for not having taken the time to answer to this one any sooner.

    (Apart from being ill for 1 week, I almost worked non-stop since the last week of April and when I return in the evenings there is no online time for me left after cooking together, eating together and doing the dishes together. And in the weekends we mostly play games, clean the flat and watch DVDs together, my husband DarthUncle and I.)

    But this mind-blowing and hilarious piece of comedy deserves praise and a hug. [:D]

    Your fanfic dare has an almost Monty Python like quality to it.
  15. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @AzureAngel2 Thank you so much for reading and commenting!:) I absolutely understand how busy a life can be, and it definitely sounds like you've had a lot on your plate recently. Best wishes to you and your husband!

    I'm so flattered that you found this piece to be mind-blowing and hilarious comedy, since I'm still learning and experimenting with the art of comedy, and it is so exciting to have this turn out to be such a success.

    I agree that the dare had a Monty Python quality to it, which I very much appreciate it, since Monty Python and the Holy Grail is like the height of comedy for me:D
    Ewok Poet, Kahara and AzureAngel2 like this.