Darth Maul Becomes a Professional Wrestler
by Monty Ashley
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Darth Sidious seethed in the doorway of Darth Maul's apartment.
"Apprentice, it is time for you to account for yourself."
"Wha?" Maul mumbled, his mouth filled with some confection Sidious didn't care to know about.
Sidious moved his hand in an arcane pattern, and Maul's television went silent. "It is time for you to take a more active role in the ways of the Sith. You must end your ceaseless lying on the couch in your nearly rotted shirt. You must stop watching Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion all day and night. You must begin to make something of your life."
With a flip of his hand, Darth Maul turned the television on again, but was denied his glimpse of Mira Sorvino as his master irritably waved his hand and sent the box flying out of the apartment.
"Hey!" yelled Maul, sitting bolt upright, but he was shocked into silence by the next words of Darth Sidious.
"Yes, my young apprentice. It is time for you to start a new chapter in your training in the ways of the Sith. You must learn the ways of ... responsibility. You must get a job."
"Noooooooo!" shrieked Maul, his terror only slightly lightened by the sound of his neighbor Obi-Wan tripping over the television set in the hallway.
"You see, Darth Maul, you will never truly be one with evil until you have experienced it in the workplace."
"But ... but I have a job! I'm an Apprentice Sith Lord! I can do the Mind Whammy and everything!"
"I will accept no complaint, apprentice. Even your cat has the ability to feed itself. It seems all you can do is wallow in your own filth. And your cat's filth. And whose filth is that over there, may I ask?"
"It came with the apartment. But, look, master, I don't want a job."
"And that is why you must have one. I have sensed less and less hate from you of recent times, and your mindless viciousness is far below quota. Speaking of which, where is your PlayStation?"
"I, er, sold it, master. For a beer fridge."
"You HAVE a refrigerator, apprentice. It's that smelly yellow thing in the other room. That you cannot even muster up the energy to levitate drinks over to your couch confirms my worst fears. You will get a job."
Darth Maul sighed, recognizing that he was doomed to follow his master's dictates and whims. Until the day when he would rise up, and slay Darth Sidious, and take his rightful place as a Master Sith Lord, and inherit the big nice apartment with the large couch and well-stocked wet bar. Yes, Sidious would eventually die, but for now, it amused Maul to put up with the old man's ramblings. For one day, he-
"Apprentice, are you listening to me?"
"Oh, um, yes, master. Sure I am. You said you'd picked out my new job."
"And so I have. You shall be ... a professional wrestler."
Darth Maul was stunned into silence. His Apprentice looked up in shock, nearly allowing a terrified mouse to escape its doom. Sidious smiled, and allowed himself a moment of triumph. Things had gotten so bad that anything that made Maul stop talking was to be counted a victory.
After several minutes of stunned silence, the cat was the first to recover. Rolling its eyes, it set out to forage in the wilds of the refrigerator. Sidious looked down at Maul with the cold smile that had earned him high marks back in the old days when he majored in Posing and Cackling at the Sith Academy.
"You see, apprentice, it's quite simple. You indulge in some rampant violence, and in return you get a large sum of money. Picture it, Darth Maul. You, standing over your defeated enemy, hundreds of fans cheering your every move, you clad in nothing but tight trunks, your well-muscled red-and-black body glistening in the lights ..."
"Yes, my well-toned apprentice?"
"Are you, you know...funny?"
"Silence! I have compiled a list of the most popular elements of wrestlers of the past and present. You will read and learn, apprentice. You will embody the aspects of the greatest wrestlers of all time. Yessss."
Maul sighed. "Well, I don't have a television anymore, thank you very much. So I might as well."
"Apprentice, has it escaped your attention that if you take on this challenge, you will have enough money to buy your own television? One with a large screen, and picture-in-picture? Ah, I see you study with great alacrity now. I leave you to your research; I must go purchase an amusing Fact-of-the-Day calendar for the upcoming epoch."
Darth Maul spent the next week in rapt study of his Master's book of wrestling knowledge, and was confident in his knowledge when he arrived at the Intergalactic Wrestling Federation's Human Resources office the next Monday.
"I am here for my appointment with the person in charge of evaluating new talent. My name is Darth Maul, and it is my Master's wish that I become a professional wrestler," he intoned, invoking the Sith Mind Whammy to move quickly through the awkwardly-written transitional scene.
"Certainly, Mr. Maul, go right in," responded the receptionist, not bothering to put too much effort into what was evidently a bit part. Maul strode into the office.
"Yes, Mister Maul, what can you tell me about your background and qualifications?"
"I am an apprentice of the Sith. I am one with the Dark Side of the Force. I have channeled my hatred to make myself a nigh-unstoppable warrior. To show my dedication to the Dark Side, I have covered my entire body with ominous red and black tattoos. I wield a double-bladed light saber unique in its double-bladed lethality. I am undefeated in Quake Deathmatches. I have taught my cat the Sith Mind Whammy. I have vowed to rid the earth of the accursed Jedi. I am Darth Maul and I am invincible."
The interviewer, somewhat taken aback, moved on to the second question on the list. "And have you given any thought to what your wrestling gimmick will be?"
"Yes. I, Darth Maul, who am fated to slay Jedi Knight after Jedi Knight, will be a wrestling plumber."
"A plumber. I will approach the ring to the sound of unholy choirs, clad in wrestling trunks and a utility belt. I will carry a plunger, and I will be known as 'Jack the Plumber.'"
"Um, are you sure about that?"
"Of course. You would do well not to question the Sith, for when we decide on a course of action, it is fated."
"But, um, you see, Mr. Maul, you've got this interesting black-and-red skin thing going for you, along with the spooky eyes and the vestigial horns, of course, and I was just thinking that, you know, you could be some kind of supernatural warrior of evil or something..."
"Fool! I am a supernatural warrior of evil! There would be no surprise in appearing as such in the ring. I will be a wrestling plumber. And I will wrestle for the Intergalactic Championship this Monday night on your popular televised show."
"Um, yes of course, Mr. Maul, but just one thing -"
"You will refer to me as 'Jack the Plumber' while I am to be a wrestler. It will help me to get into character."
"Yes, Jack the Plumber. But this Monday's show is taped already, and -"
Maul sighed and flashed the Sith Mind Whammy on the hapless interviewer. In no time, the match was signed. The following Monday, Maul stood outside the arena with his master, Darth Sidious.
"Apprentice, you have done well. You have everything you need?"
"Utility belt, check. Plunger, check. Low-slung jeans, check."
"Are you sure you don't want to wear extremely tight trunks?"
"Those trunks you bought me were far too tight, master. They cut off the circulation to my legs, and made my funky tattoos turn purple and black. Besides, the character consultants said that most plumbers wear jeans slung very low."
"Yes, they are low, aren't they. But are they...low enough?"
"Yes, master they are." Maul felt his eyes roll automatically. "And frankly, you're beginning to creep me out. Look, just go on home and watch me on that new television I bought.
"Why don't I just stay and watch you in person, apprentice?"
"I, er, don't think that would serve the cause of evil, master. I must learn to work my evil ways on my own. Besides, I, er, forgot to get you a ticket."
"Good work, apprentice. You become more evil by the day." Sidious turned and rode his speeder back to the apartment complex. Maul strode through the wrestler's entrance. He would never admit it in front of his master, but he was a little uneasy about his wrestling debut. He'd read the summary of wrestling catchphrases and trademarks, but wasn't entirely sure everything in it was accurate. Darth Sidious seemed to have skimped on the research. It was almost as if...
"Good work, my apprentice's apprentice. Your investigation into successful wrestlers will be invaluable for my regular apprentice. Have an extra kitty treat." Sidious scratched the Sith cat behind its ears. "Now, how does this new television's remote control work?"
Moving back to the wrestling arena (because this story is called "Darth Maul Becomes a Professional Wrestler" and not "Darth Sidious Has Wacky Misadventures Trying To Figure Out a New Television"), Darth Maul had changed into his wrestling outfit and was surveying himself in the locker room mirror.
The jeans were undeniably low-slung. The utility belt held any number of plumbing-related doodads (including, Maul was disturbed to notice, at least four kinds of urinal cake). And the plunger was large and imposing. Everything was going according to plan. Except for the voice that was intruding into his thoughts. "Jack? Hey, Jack. Jack! Jack the Plumber!" Belatedly, Maul remembered his wrestling name. He turned to face an enormous, muscled glistening man.
"Hey, Jack, I'm Kolossus. The champion. We need to talk about tonight's match."
"There will be no discussion. I will destroy you and take your championship. Then I, Darth Maul, will be the ruler of the, er, wrestling federation."
"Um, yeah, that's what Bob told me. But I think we maybe need to -"
"No. You will leave now while I prepare for my triumph." Maul dismissed Kolossus and resumed his meditation, while slightly worrying that he was starting to sound like Sidious.
At last, it was time for his grand entrance. Maul stood in the wrestler's entranceway and fingered his plunger.
"AND NOW, FOR THE INTERGALACTIC WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE UNIVERSE! ENTERING FIRST, JACK! THE PLUMBER!"
Maul took a final look at his crib book and strode out. He was almost blinded by the fireworks, but made it to the ring without mishap. Shoving the ring announcer down, he grabbed the microphone and looked out over the crowd.
Mostly made up of aliens from the backwater less-educated sections of the galaxy, the audience howled for his blood. To his surprise, Maul saw his neighbors Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in the front row, holding up a sign that said "KOLOSSUS IS REALLY BIG."
Darth Maul took a deep breath and launched into what he had decided would be the ultimate catchphrase.
"LLLLLllllladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages! To be the man, you've got to beat the man and eat your vitamins and bite me! Jack the plumber is your hookup! Holler if you smell what Jack the Plumber is cooking!, because I am 4-Life and 2-Sweet! If you're not down with Jack the Plumber, I got three words for ya: Arriba la Raza! It's time to pay the plumber! It's clubberin' time! And that's the bottom line, if you smell what Darth Maul, I mean Jack the Plumber is cooking!"
Maul paused, partly for people to leap to their feet with wild applause, and partly to take another deep breath, his catchphrase having been a touch longer than he'd thought. Unfortunately, the auditorium was nearly silent. Obi Wan had dropped his sign and leapt to his feet, applauding wildly. And even he sat back down at a glance from Qui-Gon.
Then the lights dimmed, and Kolossus entered the arena. Maul hadn't thought he'd looked quite that large in the locker room. It seemed like everyone in the audience was screaming at the top of their lungs. Obi-Wan's girlish shriek was particularly audible to Darth Maul's sensitive ears as Kolossus rumbled up to the ring.
Kolossus grabbed the microphone. "I! WILL! DESTROY! YOU!" shouted the crowd, although Maul couldn't help noticing that Kolossus hadn't even bothered to say anything for the crowd to chant along with.
The opening bell rang, and the referee waved the combatants together, saying something about "okay, boys, let's start with a -"
Maul leapt into action, revealing his plunger to be his trademark double-bladed light saber, and rapidly cut Kolossus in two before the stunned eyes of the ref and crowd. In seconds, the only sound in the auditorium was Obi-Wan's gentle sobbing.
"I'm sorry, Master. I have failed you again."
"Did the wrestling not go well, then?"
"Didn't you see the program, master?
"To be honest, my apprentice, I did not. I was trying to figure out the confounded remote control, and after a number of wacky misadventures, all I could make it play was Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. Lisa Kudrow is quite perky."
"Well, master, I did become the Intergalactic Champion. I slayed the previous champion in front of many thousands of witnesses. But something went wrong."
"Wrong, apprentice? What could have gone wrong in such an impeccably carried-out plan?"
"Apparently, master, there was something your research into the world of professional wrestling did not turn up. One little fact that eluded your normally perceptive eyes."
"Really, apprentice?" asked Darth Sidious, glaring at the cat. "What could that be?"
"Professional wrestling, master, would seem to be faked."
"That's right, oldster. As soon as I got backstage, they stripped me of the title, and threatened to sic the police on me if I ever killed one of their wrestlers again. The whole thing was a bust from start to finish."
"That is, indeed, highly disappointing, apprentice. Return to your accustomed seat on your disgusting couch, and resume your lackadaisical existence. I will provide you with a new PlayStation so that you might focus your insanely destructive tendencies. I must return to my duties as a Sith Lord. And one more thing, apprentice."
"Don't call me oldster ever again."
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