Sith Academy: Maul Immerses in "Pop" Culture
by Endora Platt
Darth Maul sighed blissfully and settled comfortably into the couch, stretching out his legs over the glass coffee table. He sighed again, relishing the moment. All was right with the world. He had just consumed an entire large Pepperoni & Ewok special from Pizza the Hutt, a reward for cracking the final level of Jedi Roadkill IV. He had successfully taken Lord Sidious's speeder for a smog check. But more important than all that, after three endless months, the new release CD of Sithlord Mayhem, his favorite death metal band, had finally arrived from CD-Now-Or-Later.com.
Cackling softly, the Sith apprentice caressed the shiny jewel case of the CD, savoring the cover art that depicted the smoking ruins of the Jedi Temple. He had already memorized the liner notes, but had not yet listened to the precious CD. Oh, how he was savoring the anticipation of blasting out Sithlord Mayhem's mega-hit, "Paddle the Padawan," loudly enough to shatter the eardrums of that twit next door.
The front door hissed open, revealing the cloaked and hooded form of Lord Sidious. Even obscured underneath the cowl of the cloak, Sidious's frown was readily apparent. "What is the meaning of this, my apprentice?!!" he snarled, then reached out, grabbing the CD from Maul's hands.
"NO!" Maul leapt to his feet, throwing the pizza crusts and chips to one side. "My master, Sithlord Mayhem is an evil band! The Senate has issued a statement that their incendiary lyrics and booming bass line are a corrupting influence on the minds of the galaxy's youths--they've been banned from Alderaan!"
Sidious cackled, "Yes, yes, I signed that press release myself! It will help the band sell many more copies of this CD! But I do not think it has a bad effect on you, my young apprentice. I sense through the Dark Side that you love this band. A Sith must channel all of his emotions into hate. Remember, hate leads to fear, fear leads to anger, anger leads to suffering...then you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the dancing boys..."
Maul dared to look up, "I thought anger led to hate, and hate led to suffering..." he murmured, edging towards Lord Sidious.
"Silence, apprentice!" Sidious roared. "Fear is the path to the Dark Side! You must listen to the kind of music that a death metal fan such as yourself fears and despises...." He snickered sadistically.
"You don't mean...?" Maul felt his blood running cold.
"YES! The most popular all-boy pop group in the entire galaxy! The Backdoor Bantha Boyz!" Sidious cackled. "You'll be listening to nothing else until I feel you grow within the Dark Side. Even now, I can sense the hate growing within you... strike me down if you can, young apprentice!"
Maul's howl of rage was loud enough to make the sani-unit next door flush spontaneously. Gibbering with mindless anger, he leapt forward, activating his lightsaber. Unfortunately, his furry apprentice chose that same moment to dash across his path, tripping him, and sending him careening face down onto the floor. His nose filled with shag carpeting, Maul heard Sidious all but purr at the cat. "You have the makings of a true Sith, young feline."
"And now, my young apprentice," Maul then heard his master intone as he moved about the room, "I will remove all other music from your filthy CD player and put in this lovely self titled debut release CD by the Backdoor Bantha Boyz on perpetual play. Mmmm, yes... soon you will know the Dark Side as never before! But first..."
Maul felt a sharp stiletto heel crash into the back of his head, then blessed nothingness.
Many hours later, Maul moaned into one of the couch cushions, trying to use his horns to dig in deeper. But no matter where he hid, he could not get a moment's respite from the bouncy, bubbly music of the Backdoor Bantha Boyz. Worse, he now found himself crooning along with their top hit ballad, "Droids Will Be Droids." It was stuck in his head.
He had destroyed his CD player in a fit of rage, only to discover that while he had lain unconscious, his master had rigged his alarm clock radio to only play 696.9 KBBB -- the "all Backdoor Bantha Boyz, all the time!" station. Truly, there was no end to Lord Sidious's evilness. This life lesson was hurting Maul even more than the week he had spent at Jedi Academy Summer Camp. The vid-screen was no consolation, because the only channel that would come in was VH1000, which was doing a week-long special on the Boyz. The Sith apprentice now knew intimate details about all five members of the infernal group and how they came to Coruscant to become the Galaxy's newest pop scene darlings. They were all so wholesome, so peppy, so insipid. How he wanted to destroy them all. He felt the malevolence towards the five oozing out of his every pore.
"Tune in just five minutes from now!" the vid-screen blared, "As we profile the Backdoor Bantha Boyz yet again! This hour's special show will reveal the early lives of our favorite entertainers... You can't miss it! Thrill as you watch early home movies of Rick and A.J. as children! Quiver as we show you rare footage of Kitsune stripping at the Gungans-A-Go-Go Club on Naboo! Take perverted delight in seeing naked pictures of Trid's mum! And get a glimpse of Ben-Wa's life at the Jedi Academy before he washed out in disgrace!"
"Nooooooo!" Maul howled in desperation, throwing himself yet again towards the front door. Unfortunately, Lord Sidious had rigged up an intricate system of laser beams that prevented the Sith apprentice from leaving the apartment. Though he had studied the shifting pattern of the lasers for many hours, Maul still couldn't figure it out. The cat clearly had no such problems, weaving in and out of the lasers with a smug smirk hidden under her whiskers.
On the vid-screen, Trid was warbling the hit dance single, "Quit Pod Racin' with my Droid!" as the others members of the band mimped and posed around him. "Quit pod racin' with my droid/Before you tear the pod apart/I should've known from the start/You'd take money and break my heart/Oh, you're tearin' us apart/ Quit pod racin' with my droid!" With an inchoate roar, Maul kicked in his television set.
Ah, blessed silence. The Sith apprentice was shaking with suppressed rage. The abomination that was the Backdoor Bantha Boyz had to be eliminated. He took a few deep breaths and then heard the annoying chirping of the Boyz' second platinum single, "Naboo Boo Boo" emanating from the clock radio. Kitsune was singing this one. "Baby I know your planet's hurting/Right now you feel like you could never trade again/Now all I ask is for a chance/To prove that I love you, I'll lift your embargo..."
This was more than Maul could bear. As he raced towards the little clock radio, the twittering of the Boyz was replaced by the gratingly enthusiastic tones of KBBB's DJ. "Hey, boys and girls, Spec Glamma here with the chance you've all been waiting for. That's right, here's your one opportunity to win a pair of tickets and backstage passes to the Boyz' exclusive live show tonight at Coruscant's own Club Getladium!!! Just be our 696.9th caller!!! All of our phone lines are open!"
A triumphant growl ripped its way out of the tattooed Sith's throat. At last he could have his revenge. He grabbed the phone and started speed-dialing the radio station's number, over and over again. Those infernal busy signals! They were driving him mad! No matter how hard he punched the redial button, still the busy signal came. Maul felt the rage grow and build within him, but he still couldn't get through. In desperation, he started dialing in on his dedicated modem line as well. Nothing... nothing!!! Gnashing his teeth, Maul reached out with the Force, sensing out all of the pimply-faced teenagers on Coruscant currently dialing into the station... there! Riding the waves of hatred and anger, he used his powers to disconnect caller 696, dialing in at the same exact moment. It rang and rang, but finally, Spec Glamma's nauseating voice chirruped into his ear. "You're on the air at KBBB... sorry, you're 696, not 696.9! Tough luck, eh buddy?"
"Yeah, you were so close, just one fraction off. *click* Caller 696.9, congratulations!!! Tell us your name and occupation and the lucky person you'll be taking with you tonight to see the fabulous Backdoor Bantha Boyz!"
A familiar voice floated out to scrape down Maul's already-shattered nervous system like nails on a chalkboard. "Hi, my name is Obi-Wan and I'm a Padawan apprentice over at the Jedi Academy!"
Hatred and anger welled up inside Maul, and before he knew it, he had used his double-edged lightsaber to cut through the wall separating his apartment from Obi-Wan's. Eyes flashing, he vaulted through into the Jedi's living room, hands curled into claws. He had fantasized for so long about grabbing that idiotic braid and winding it around the twit's spindly neck until he choked. That's what he would do. Then he would take the tickets and slowly torture each Backdoor Bantha Boy.
"...And I'll be taking my next door neighbor to the concert!" Obi-Wan twittered into the phone, "Because he plays his BBB CD almost as much as I do!!!" The Padawan smiled happily up at Maul, "Oh, good, you're here already!" He had changed out of his apprentice robes into a skin-tight combo of chaps and mesh top.
Maul skidded to a halt, black rage still bubbling forth. All he could think of to say was, "Aren't you going to take that simpering queen, Qui-Gon?"
Obi-Wan shook his head, pouting cutely. "Master Qui-Gon doesn't think I am ready to see the Boyz at a live show." He turned to admire his rear in the full length mirror. "But I sense through the Force that he's using that as an excuse to see Ben-Wa alone." His pout turned into a jealous frown. "Just because my twin brother was his first Padawan..."
"Come on, we'll be late to the concert."
Club Getladium, the usual gathering place for Coruscant's young and horny Jedi Academy population, pulsed with strobe and neon lights. Tonight, it was even more jam-packed than usual as eager Backdoor Bantha Boyz fans pressed forward, hunger for a glimpse of their idols. The opening act, Bath Nader and the Hothlings, was largely being ignored, though its members were also cutesy and boyish.
"It's too crowded!" Obi-Wan whined. "I can't see the stage!" He jockeyed for position, trying to get in front of Darth Maul, whose horns kept most would-be stage-divers at bay. "I want to get closer!" He gasped suddenly, "Someone just pinched my ass with the Force... a presence I haven't felt since...my brother!" He bounded off in the direction of the green room and Maul took a deep breath, surveying the sweaty, Spandex-clad mass of fans.
He wanted to kill all of them. Never had he been surrounded by so much sentimental, mawkish lust and adoration. It practically poured off the audience in waves, rolling up towards the stage. He trembled with anticipation at the thought of the mayhem -- literal Sithlord mayhem -- that would ensue after he had his way with the band.
"And now put your hands together," the MC crowed, "And welcome the five lads from around the Galaxy, coming to you live and unfettered right here in Coruscant's red light district... Backdoor Bantha Boyz!!!!!" The crowd went wild as the band strutted onto the stage and launched right into their triple-platinum hit, "Close to Your Hearts (Both of Them)."
"Like a Wookiee to a tree, that's how close I wanna be/ To your hearts, baby, to your hearts..."
Deep inside his mind, Maul heard his master whisper, "Now, my young apprentice!" All of the rage, hatred, and suffering he had experienced since this torturous lesson of "not so easy" listening had begun, poured forth in a mighty battle yell... unfortunately drowned out by the shrieking of the fans. Throwing off his cloak, Maul vaulted onto the stage, igniting the lightsaber he had illicitly snuck into the club. He could only see four of the Boyz (Ben-Wa was nowhere to be found), but that would have to do. A few swipes and thrusts, and the terrified Bantha Boyz were Bantha fodder. Shaking with dark satisfaction, Maul levitated off the stage, landing near the exit. He paused to survey his handiwork with pride.
Within moments, the club was a riot scene as angry, disappointed fans started to rush the stage and turn on one another, breaking glasses and bottles over one another's heads. The vibes of anger and hatred floating up from the throng were delightful to behold, Maul thought to himself. Suddenly, he felt a shift within the Force, as the five members of the opening act, Bath Nader and the Hothlings, nimbly jumped over the smoldering corpses of the Backdoor Bantha Boyz and launched into another set. A hush fell over the club, then voices rose up in a muted roar of approval as the new flavor of the month was "discovered." Force vibes of blind lust and adoration floated towards Maul.
"Nader! Hothlings RULE!" a pimply faced boy screamed right into Maul's ear.
Shocked into silence, the Sith snarled at him and stormed towards the exit, tripping over the crumpled form of Obi-Wan (or was it Ben-Wa?).
"Someone stepped in my eye!" the twit whined from the floor. Maul walked past him, and stepped in his other eye.
"Have you learned your lesson well, my young apprentice?" Sidious inquired in oily tones, poking at an empty pizza box in disgust.
Maul nodded, "Yes, my liege. I have discovered that there is no greater evil in this Galaxy than all-boy pop bands. If you destroy one, another will take its place. It is a force we must somehow harness for our plans, my master."
Sidious smiled, a sadistic gleam in his eyes. "You have learned well, my student... but not well enough. You see, there is a force of evil even greater than all-boy pop bands...and one with which you will soon become closely acquainted." He paused, then indulged in a baleful smirk as he brandished a shiny CD at Maul. "Have you heard of the Kessel Spice Girls?"
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