Lying In The Gutters

Wed, December 25th, 2002 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Rich Johnston, Columnist

Normally this column is a gossip and rumour column for the comic book industry. But just for today, Christmas day, it's showcasing a short story, A Very George Lucas Christmas. Please don't repost this to message boards, but instead use a link to http://litg.comicbookresources.com - oh and feel free to email the story around if you like. It won't be here tomorrow, nor will it be in the column's archives, so enjoy it while you can.

A VERY GEORGE LUCAS CHRISTMAS

Twas the night before Christmas

And all through the ranch

No creature was stirring

Not even a branch…

"Right, so that's the deal finalised? Finally? Finally finally?" George Lucas looked at his legal team, eyebrows arched and wiggling.

"Finally, Mr Lucas. You are now the sole owner of the full rights to the Father Christmas franchise, including brand subsidiaries Santa Claus, Pere Noel and Saint Nicholas. You own a considerable real estate around the North Pole, Lapland and have a two hundred year lease on Christmas Island. This includes the Santa Grotto complex, the warehouses and the twenty-two billion, three hundred and forty million, nine hundred and seventy-six thousand four hundred and fifteen elves at your disposable. Oh and a herd of anti-gravity reindeer."

"I thought I had more elves."

"There was a warehouse collapse of Aqua Action Binks in tunnel twenty-nine thousand three hundred and forty. Tragic."

"Sure, sure."

George Lucas sat back, his dream fulfilled.

To be honest he'd only entered the film business as a way to get into merchandising. Once he had the Star Wars franchise of toys, he knew that Santa Claus would have to come to him if he wanted to give all the little boys and girls what they wanted for Christmas. But the first year passed. Then the second. And despite putting a freeze on any and all exports to Northern Europe, he hadn't heard a dicky bird.

Then one day, a tall gangly man with pointy ears visited representing the grand old man. George demanded a meeting with the big guy - and got it! Finally George's childhood dream was on the way to becoming reality. And when he met the man, he knew things were going his way. Far from the fattened rosy cheeked bearded fellow on the cards, Santa was an old wizened elf who'd got lucky. Santa wasn't so pleased to meet George though. All the younger elves had been giving him grief about Star Wars for years and he couldn't deny it, the children's letters seemed to demand Star Wars and nothing else. What could he do?

Desperate for Star Wars toys, they had signed a deal, getting a discount but not as big a discount as Santa might have got from other toy manufacturers. And they did very well the two of them, George moving enough product to keep him in millionaire friends and cool beer for ever.

But then, the relationship soured. George stopped making Star Wars films, and Santa felt he'd been ripped off and wanted a lower discount. All the elves that had clamoured for Santa to get Star Wars toys were eaten by polar bears.

But after not producing Star Wars films for so long, George announced he would hit the market with Phantom Menace toys and gave word to Santa. Father Christmas did the negotiating himself this time and got an even lower discount from George, but Santa had to agree to pick up any unsold Star Wars toys from the toy shops at the end of the year.

Oh dear.

With Phantom Menace toys flooding the market, and Father Christmas guaranteeing to underwrite all unsold stock, it soon became clear that Santa Claus couldn't afford it. Plus all the children had moved on to Pokemon. And so the lawyers met. And met. And met. Christmases went past, but eventually it was agreed that Father Christmas would transfer all his assets to George Lucas in return for not having to pay for all that sodding Phantom menace backstock that, according to experts, accounted for one half of a percent of the Earth's land mass.

And now, on Christmas Eve, George Lucas was Father Christmas. He'd got the hat and everything. And that night he was going to visit every house on the planet (or at least CGE versions of him were) and give presents out to all the boys and girls. Jar Jar Binks action figures, every one.

And while he was at it, replace all of their classic versions of Star Wars with the new improved Star Wars Special Editions. That'd show them.

Ho ho ho.

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