This is the fourth in a series of blogs I’m calling “Mashup Storypitches,” where I take two or more stories from popular culture–movies, books or TV shows–that share a trivial commonality, and envision what it would be like if they were mashed together. Nothing is sacred and stars, writers or concepts from different eras, genres or universes can coexist. Consider it “metaphorphic fanfic,” if you will!
Today’s Source Material: Annie Hall, Woody Allen’s romantic comedy film; Star Wars, George Lucas’s science fiction epic (also called Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope.
Trivial Commonality: Both films were released in 1977, and both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (Annie Hall won).
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Princess Annie Hall Organa (Diane Keaton), who has stolen the plans for the evil Galactic Empire’s secret weapon, the Death Star, races back to Planet Manhattaan aboard her space cruiser. She is being chased by the evil Sith lord Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice of James Earl Jones), who also happens to be Princess Annie’s ex-boyfriend. After dating for a while, Annie and Darth had a falling out. Darth said she was too sexually liberated–the Empire is a very repressive society–and Princess Annie says Darth was too focused on his job, which consists of destroying planets and Force-choking innocent victims. Darth, however, has changed his mind and now wants to get back together with her. Annie has been rebuffing his advances.
Just before Annie is captured by Darth, she sends two droids, Duane-3PO (Christopher Walken) and Rob-2D2 (Tony Roberts) down to the surface of Manhataan in an escape pod with the Death Star plans. They crash land in Greenwich Village, and despite being droids–Duane 3PO is a creepy stalker type, while Rob-2D2 is programmed to mimic Jewish neuroses–they are the most normal looking people on the street. In line at a cinema showing the French art film The Sorrow and the Pity they run into Alvy Skywalker (Woody Allen), a neurotic stand-up comedian. Alvy is unlucky in love and unsure why his relationships never work out. Over drinks at Elaine’s after the movie, the droids mention Princess Annie’s dilemma, and Alvy, realizing she is the woman for him, decides to rescue her.
Alvy heads to the White Horse Tavern to search for a partner in crime who can help him rescue Alvy from Darth Vader. There he meets Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his Wookie co-pilot Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) who also sings for a punk band down at CBGB’s on the weekends. Alvy is puzzled by Han and Chewie’s relationship, suspecting they are gay, but he doesn’t have the courage to ask. In the Millennium Falcon, Alvy, Solo and Chewbacca, with the droids tagging along, raid the Death Star and break Princess Annie out of prison. While in a running battle with stormtroopers, Annie and Alvy flirt (subtitles on the screen indicate their mental processes) and finally he asks her out. She accepts.
After escaping from the Death Star, Annie and Alvy return to Manhataan and try to live together. The high point of their relationship is a scene where they try to cook a lobster for dinner, only to have it run under the refrigerator. However, Alvy is suspicious that Annie is now attracted to Han Solo. Desperate to keep her, Alvy proposes, but Annie turns him down. Soon he hears she has indeed moved in with Han Solo.
To get his mind off Annie, Alvy accepts a dangerous mission to fly X-wing fighters in a raid on the Death Star to destroy it. The real reason he goes is because he believes destroying the Death Star will also kill Darth, Annie’s still-clinging ex. In a climactic battle scene Alvy fires the torpedoes and blows up the Death Star, but unfortunately Darth Vader is not on board. Alvy returns to Manhataan and has one last meeting with Annie, where they agree their relationship was doomed. Alvy’s final thoughts are that love is essential, but difficult to understand.