Darth Vader Brainstorms Naming the Death Star

The Death Star...

The. Death. Star. ®.

I'm pretty sure Darth Vader didn't brainstorm with anybody on naming ideas first. No consulting with marketing, or Emperor Palpatine, or even running it by Darkside Legal;

Because it never would have gotten final approval.

See, anyone who's worked in business knows how these things go-- particularly when there's a committee involved.

This is how I see it:

Darth Vader is in his Dark Side Conference Room, in a swivel chair, and his right-hand men are taking notes on their Darkberries and Jed-iPhones.

In his icy, resonant voice, Darth Vader announces, "I HAVE CALLED YOU HERE TODAY BECAUSE I HAVE DECIDED; I WILL BUILD MYSELF A STAR. FROM SCRATCH-- NOT THAT FLAT-PACK, ASSEMBLE-IT-YOURSELF STUFF OR ANYTHING...

"AND IT WILL HAVE TRACTOR BEAMS, TO PULL IN AND CONTAIN ANY REBEL SCUM...

"AND INSIDE, IT WILL HAVE TRASH COMPACTORS, WITH SQUIDS IN THEM, TO SQUISH THE REBEL SCUM ONCE WE PULL THEM IN...

"AND IT WILL HAVE A POWERFUL RAY, TO BLOW UP THE REBEL SCUM'S HOME TOWNS, JUST BECAUSE WE ARE EVIL AND THAT IS OUR SCHTICK..."

"AND I WILL CALL THIS COSMIC COLOSSUS OF CHAOS... 'THE DEATH STAR.'"

There is silence in the room. A heavy pause. Then his Marketing Director raises a finger and says: "Are you completely sold on the name?"

"WHAT?" Darth Vader's visor steams up. "WHO ARE YOU TO QUESTION DARTH VADER? WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THIS? YOU DO NOT LIKE 'THE DEATH STAR'? YOU DO NOT FEEL IT IS A NAME THAT WILL STRIKE FEAR INTO THE HEARTS OF OUR ENEMIES?"

ItalicThe Marketing Director looks doubtful. "Going to be hard to trademark. I'll run it by Legal, but I can tell you right now they'll say it's too generically descriptive. Never fly."

Darth Vader pounds a fist on the table. "BUT 'THE DEATH STAR...' IT SAYS IT ALL. IT IS LIKE A STAR. AND PLUS-- YOU KNOW, THE DEATH."

The Marketing Director shrugs, "Look, I don't make the rules. I'm just telling you how Legal goes..."

As the Marketing Director feels invisible fingers close around his throat, he squeaks out, "Er-- but hey, hey, what was that you said earlier: 'Cosmic Colossus of Chaos'?... That had a ring."

"No, no, too wordy," a few others chime in.

"Darthy's Black Planet o' Doom?"

"Nah..."

"Wait, I've got it!" exclaims the Marketing Director, a relieved smile stretching over his face. "Titanic!"

At this, Darth Vader rises from his chair. "IT IS THE DEATH STAR, AND THAT IS ALL I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT!... I CAN STILL CRUSH YOUR TRACHEA WITH MY MIND, YOU KNOW."

"Question," interrupts the HR Manager, motioning for Lord Vader's attention. "So you're going to be on this Death Star of yours all by yourself then?"

"NO," says Lord Vader, derision dripping from his voice. "I WILL HAVE MINIONS TO DO MY BIDDING. AND MARCH IN PERFECT SQUARES. AND BRING IN MY DRY CLEANING, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THIS ARMOR GETS A BIT RIPE AS IT DOES NOT BREATHE." He pauses. "WHY?"

"Well, it's just with a name like 'The Death Star', you won't be able to draw in any decent employees."

"WHAT?! FOOLISH CREATURE!" he booms. "OF COURSE I WILL! I AM LORD VADER! THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH ME!... AND ALSO, I HAVE AN ACCOUNT AT MONSTER.COM."

The HR Manager shakes his head and snickers. "Who's going to apply for a job at a place called 'The Death Star'?"

"WHAT? WELL," Darth sputters, "OTHERS WHO WISH TO JOIN ME IN MY DARK MISSION TO TAKE OVER THE--"

"It sounds like it doesn't offer benefits. Does it offer benefits?"

"THE BENEFIT IS THAT I LET THEM LIVE."

"'Let 'em live'? Let 'em live?! Use that recruiting technique and all we're going to get is a bunch of loonies and degenerates-- backstabbers destined to be more trouble than they're worth," explains the HR Manager.

He continues, "...You can't run a competitive Dark Side operation if you don't retain quality employees. The kind of people you'll get without a comprehensive benefits package are desperate paranoids who'll either spend all of their time lasering each other, or terrified they'll turn up ten minutes late in the morning and have their tracheas crushed. They'll be completely unmotivated. We'll have to have a corporate psychologist just to handle it all."

"THEY WILL SUBMIT TO MY IRON HAND," Vader says.

"Then you won't have any employees left to do your Evil Bidding. Look, you've got to make the place have some appeal, some draw. 'The Death Star' isn't really going to cut it."

"How about 'House of Sith'?" suggests one exec around the table. "Sounds sexy and exclusive."

"Or 'Rebel Scum Elimination Services Inc.? RSES for short?" suggests another. "Efficient and techy."

"I know-- " cries the Marketing Director, "'Dark Side of the Moon'!"

"NO, NO, NO!" shouts Vader. "IT IS 'THE DEATH STAR.' IT IS SIMPLE. IT IS CLEAR. IT IS TO THE POINT. WHY DO YOU PEOPLE INTERFERE SO?"

There is a moment of silence around the table.

Then the Marketing Director says, "You realize, you're going to have to get sign-off from Palpatine and the Sith Board of Directors for this first, don't you?"

"ER..." mumbles Vader. "YES... YES... I FORGOT ABOUT THAT."

"And you just know how Palpatine loves to micromanage," the Marketing Director reminds him. "If you'll recall, Tie-Fighters were saucer-shaped before he got a hold of them."

Vader sighs. "THOSE SAUCERS WERE SO SLEEK, SO STREAMLINED... AND LOOKED NOTHING LIKE MEN'S FASHION ACCESSORIES FOR A DARK SIDE 'BLOW UP THE PLANET' PARTY." He sinks into his chair.

The Marketing Director nods. "Right. We'll pull together a few alternate storyboards and tagline options for you, and get back to you. How's a week from Friday look for you?"

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29 comments:

hindleyite said...

Then Vader crushed them all, shouting "it's gonna be the damn Death Star, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!"

And then cops storm the place and arrest Vader.

Coming soon: Star Wars, the Real Life years.

Susan @ Reading Upside Down said...

Love this. The PR guys are currently discussing "branding" for my hometown (Newcastle, Australia). I have pictured their meetings running something like this.

Shame we can't bring Darth Vader in on our "branding Newcastle" brainstorming sessions to really shake things up. :-)

Jenn Thorson said...

Hindleyite- He'll end up in Anger Management therapy.

Susan- You're probably right, though whether Darth is welcome to join the brainstorming session there in Newcastle really has to do with whether Newcastle is willing to watch its population drop by a few. :)

Claire said...

Darth Vader pounds a fist on the table. "But 'The Death Star': it says it all! It is like a star. And plus-- you know, the Death."

love that line!

I am picturing frantic whiteboard doodling, with a giant circle and 'DEATH' written upon it :)

Sidenote:
The canteen with hot food all becomes obvious now! It was a perk for the minions, after they get press-ganged into becoming a minion. I think they must have done it ye olde pirate fashion, got them drunk, boinked them on the head and then they awoke upon the star of.... Death!

Jenn Thorson said...

Claire- I like the whiteboard doodling very much-- I can absolutely see that!

And yes, either these people were all shanghaied, there were a whole lot of people in space with a skewed moral compass, or Darth's mind control was extremely powerful. :)

DeadRooster said...

If they were smart, they would've went with something like, "Cuddly Fluffy Kitten Planet" to throw off the opposition.

Jenn Thorson said...

Rooster- See, they really could have used your input for the proposal presentation!

Thoryke said...

Now Emperor, we were originally thinking something like "Palpitations", you know, for the Imperial tie-in and also that hint of 'terror' you're so known for... But we had a few other ideas to run past you first, just, you know, for contrast....

There were some suggestions from the team about "Palpations", but that sounded like you'd be building a giant cosmic breast exam, and we figured you wanted something that resonated with more than 50% of the population."

Jenn Thorson said...

Thoryke- (Snicker) Niiiice... :)

Anonymous said...

The Cuddly Kitten concept probably explains why Wookies and Ewoks were so dead set against the Empire: they worried that their people would be used to create the huge furry cover for the project.

"But that's what we need to find out: do people _want_ a Death Star that can be fitted nasally?"

Jenn Thorson said...

Anonymous- Heh-- And now I hear these sirens going off on the Death Star as Vader has pushed the button to-- "Retract the Plushy Ewok Camoflage Casing-- whooop, whooop, whooop-- Plushy Ewok Camoflage Casing retracting in 10.... 9..."

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

See? This is why Saturday Night Live sucks. Because YOU'RE not writing for them.

Jenn Thorson said...

Nanny Goats- Oh, gosh-- I think they suck more because they get an idea and then bang it into the ground. But I appreciate the compliment!

JD at I Do Things said...

Ok, so now, WHO is Darth Vader?

Jenn Thorson said...

:) Pull up a chair, JD, and I will tell you a story... "Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away..."

madtexter said...

HAHAAA. As an HR person, when I saw that the HR folks were summoned to the meeting, my first thought was "why?" then after reading on, I couldn't help but chuckle at the big reveal.

YES! How the heck are you gonna attract the appropriate talent if you've got 'Death' in your company name?

I guess Vader could offer a hefty retirement plan to employees. (It's not like he'll ever have to pay it!)

Jenn Thorson said...

MadTexter- Heh, yes, I know the HR was sort of gratuitous for that type of meeting typically, but I was chuckling too much over the idea of the Dark Side having an HR department. :)

And I LOVE that as an HR person yourself, you see their points. :)

C.B. Jones said...

I would have called it "Giant Steampunk Blueball of Discontent."

The lighting in that picture kinda makes it look a bluish tint. GSBD is a much better acronym than DS. Nobody would confuse my ship with a Japanese gaming system by Nintendo.

ReformingGeek said...

Poor Darth. He's been visited by the poop managers. They fly in and poop all over everything and then fly away.

I hope things work out for him.

Knucklehead said...

Well done. For a funny bit in a similar vein, check out "Lamb" by Christopher Moore. There's a scene with Jesus working on the Sermon on the Mount that is absolutely hilarious.

Jenn Thorson said...

CB- It is rather steampunkish, isn't it? Ah, those wacky spacepeople-- drawing on the unique Earthen tradition of combining industrial revolution Victoriana with space age technology. :)

ReformingGeek- Ah, well, it happens to the best of us-- and the, er, Dark Side-iest.

Knucklehead- Hey, thanks for the recommendation!

moooooog35 said...

Last I checked, they didn't have the little Trademark symbol after the name.

So I'm totally naming my house 'Death Star' and legally there's nothing they can do about it.

You know, except the whole 'choking me using the Force' thing.

Jenn Thorson said...

Mooog- Heh, I can see the sign on the mat in front of your door, "Welcome to The Death Star-- Wipe Your Feet." :)

Actually, that would be pretty cool. You should do that.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I think of the scene in "Clerks" where the guys are arguing over whether the death star was built with scab or union labor.

Jenn Thorson said...

Grumpy- Oh, I haven't seen "Clerks" in ages! (And it would be scab labor... I don't see the Emperor embracing unionization.... Then again, that also partially nullifies my idea for the HR department, too) :) Thanks for visiting!

Deray said...

"The kind of people you'll get without a comprehensive benefits package are desperate paranoids who'll either spend all of their time lasering each other, or terrified they'll turn up ten minutes late in the morning and have their tracheas crushed. They'll be completely unmotivated. We'll have to have a corporate psychologist just to handle it all."

Or, they can have a lot of Grad-students, you now, we take any work conditions really.

wordtapestry said...

Didn't we discuss a poster campaign and direct mail initiative in order to improve the Death Star PR? I see rosy colors, with happy employees singing in the YouTube ad campaign.

If you need me to shoot this by Legal in the morning to see if the copyright clearance is OK, lemme know.

Barry said...

Don't you know that it was a typical government/military project therefore Death Star was just an acronym for their "newest" system.

Dramatically
Enhanced
Altering
Terra
Hyperdrive

Strategically &
Tactically
Active
Redistributor

See - THAT is the explanation :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Deray- Grad students... interns... it's PERFECT!!

WordTapestry- I like the Youtube recruitment video idea. You're hired!

Barry- An Acronym! Of course! It's so RIGHT.