Jedi in OZ  
jedi in oz

Chapter 20

"Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger."            


      That quote, first uttered by the English writer H.G. Wells, was echoed by the half-fairy Jenny Jump the morning before the grand concert. How Jenny knew the quote was of no concern to Maddie, but the future Jedi mulled over those words, especially after Jenny wisely counselled on the dangers of letting anger and hate fester until it's totally out of control.

     That morning, when Madeline dropped by the Style Shop, Jenny had something to show her, that and a tale of wonder, sorrow, and madness. Jenny, knowing Maddie was to be taken to the Force Masters and begin Jedi training immediately following the concert, took it upon herself to present a special gift, and a hefty piece of advice.

      "I know you've been here before, and that you've never once asked about my special turnstyle. Years ago, I, along with Number Nine, found it in Munchkin Country, all broken and rusted. When I first touched it, a new blue cape flew from it. I touched it again and out came a new hat trimmed with bells, in the Munchkin style."
      Jenny explained how, only days after her initial arrival in Oz, she and Number Nine brought that turnstyle to Emerald City. There she chose a suitable house for her shop, then set up the turnstyle. Miraculously, it gleamed all shiny and new. On each arm were buttons for size, style, color, and fabric. One just pushes those buttons then walks through the turnstyle. Voila! An instant fashion makeover. Of course, Jenny soon learned that the wondrous device could churn out clothes and accessories at a dizzying pace, even without the patron actually walking through it.
     "Soon," she explained, "people from all over Oz came to the shop. Even Ozma consented to my mild form of magic. You know only she, Glinda, and the Wizard are allowed to practice magic on others. But when I sent a new gown to the Royal Palace, Ozma was so pleased, even said it was okay for me to use my powers."

      Madeline didn't know just why Jenny was telling her this, but she assumed the lady wanted to share a bit of her history. However, she sensed Jenny wanted to reveal more of her early days in Oz, most of it not too pleasant. So she asked, as Jenny began to press buttons on the turnstyle, "There is something else you're not telling me. Come on, Jenny, what is the real reason you asked me here so early in the morning, long before the shop opens?"

       Jenny Jump took a deep breath then continued, "I know you're to become a Jedi, so I wanted to give you something. The Jedi costume is very simple, Just a tunic, pants, boots, and cloak. I studied that uniform then observed your own sense of style. Now, when Anakin Skywalker completed his training, he took many liberties with his dress."
      She continued to press buttons on the turnstyle, all the while taking in Maddie's height and figure. Nodding with approval, and before instructing Maddie to walk through, she said, "Anakin's mode of dress was all dark colors, blacks and burgundy, even the material was far from the norm. Hardly the simple beige tunics of his fellow Jedi, but his clothes reflected his personality. You already know about Anakin, how his inner conflict – the anger, hate, and fear – ultimately became his undoing. His clothes mirrored his bravado, the need to be different from the norm. Now, you, on the other hand, are a musician at heart, and your sense of style is all about beauty, truth, and love."
      She smiled, adding, "But you also have a quirky, creative streak when it comes to fashion as well as your music. Those 80's spandex pants you wear onstage are example enough, and I've seen your Appassionata designs. Sexy and funky yet elegant and refined. So, your Jedi dress should be a composite of all those qualities but still comfortable, simple, and functional. Can't wield a lightsaber or make quick movements in fussy, constricting clothes. Okay...Here goes. Go on, walk through."

      Madeline tentatively approached the turnstyle, walked through, and soon was amazed at how instantly her usual casual urban attire of jeans, T-shirt, and smart blazer transformed into a simple yet stylish Jedi uniform.
      Jenny, quite pleased with her handiwork, clapped and giggled then said, "I studied old Holocron recordings of Padmé during the pre-Clone War period, particularly during the Battle of Geonosis. What she wore inspired this outfit. I just tweaked colors and design to suit your personality."

       Staring at her reflection in the full-length mirror, Maddie observed how well the costume fit. As Jenny promised, it was simple yet fashionable. Body- conscious brown pants and matching long-sleeved top of what Maddie assumed was a sort of spandex but not at all binding or constricting. Tall black boots with sturdy soles for traction and moving about quickly, and a wide utility belt that looked good yet totally functional.
      "And your belt is already equipped with the various tools you'll need, even a loop for the lightsaber."
       She then presented Maddie with the deep burgundy, sweeping Jedi cloak. Then she became quite serious, saying, "I suppose you'll want to repay me for this gift, but since money is never used in Oz, just your friendship is payment enough."

     Motioning to a still-mesmerized Madeline, Jenny Jump took her friend by the hand, leading her upstairs to her private living quarters. Over a mid-morning repast of coffee and fresh chocolate croissants procured from the Emerald Cafe, Jenny finally revealed her sad, sordid past.

      "I was an angry young woman, never satisfied with what I had. I always wanted more and more. When I came to Oz, I had already made up my mind to be Princess Jenny."
      Maddie stared at her friend, asking, "You wanted to oust Ozma? Why?"
      "Because, as I said, I wanted more. I was selfish, overly ambitious, reckless. And I had an awful temper, given to fits of rage over the least thing."
       Nodding in agreement and understanding, Madeline replied, "Almost like Anakin Skywalker. He wanted more, too. Never content to continue training and hone his skills, or to learn more from Master Kenobi. Heck, he even had it in his head he was more powerful than Obi-Wan or even Mace or Yoda."
      Jenny half-smiled, poured a second cup, and said, "Oh yeah, Anakin and I could have a contest on who was more bent on self-destruction. Of course, he fell to the dark side via Palpatine's persuasion. I, on the other hand, went dark all on my own. And I'd always blamed others for my shortcomings, even if it meant hurting other people."

     Jenny Jump's fall to the dark side culminated on the heels of a series of triumphs, all of which never quite satisfied the young woman from New Jersey. There was the style shop which proved one of the most popular places in all Oz. Jenny, Number Nine, and Jack Pumpkinhead helped save Emerald City from a chocolate soldier invasion. A timely defense – planting the turnstyle at the city gates, thus transforming the charging army into harmless toy tin soldiers – gained Ozma's gratitude. It was hoped Jenny would drop her campaign for an "Ozlection", but that was not what Jenny wanted. She desperately wanted to be ruler of Oz and never thought of the consequences in the event she actually lost.

      On the day of the Ozlection, in an unusual balloting method, each Ozite jumped on a giant scale of his or her choice. One for Ozma, the other for Jenny. The combined poundage tied the vote, and in the waning seconds of the Ozlection, the leprechaun Siko Pompous was the last to cast his ballot. All the while professing to be Jenny's friend, he leapt upon Ozma's scale, breaking the tie.
      "He was – still is – my friend. Siko said he voted for Ozma as a favor to me, that he was saving me from lots of overwhelming responsibilities, that I was in no way ready to be ruler. But I didn't see it that way. That's when I went dark. Really lost it and nearly levelled entire neighborhoods in the process."
      An angry Jenny Jump, giving in to her frustration and rage, stomped and screamed so that actual flames shot from her mouth. Dozens of houses burned to the ground. People lost everything in the conflagration. In the end, a series of bulls, representing Jenny's dark side personality, challenged her. The last, an enormous, ferocious beast called "Trou-Bull", knocked Jenny unconscious, ending her reign of terror.
     "Afterwards, Ozma and the Wizard got me to see how much damage I inflicted on others. How my anger and rage caused so much suffering. I had to change, get rid of the bad temper and mindless recklessness. You know, Number Nine is my best friend, and I didn't treat him very well. Made him wear the "whistling breeches" so I'd know when he's near. Gee, I didn't treat a lot of Ozites well. Got into fights with Scraps, insulted Jellia, bossed everyone around as if I really was a princess. But that's not how it works."

      She looked at Maddie squarely in the eyes, and those blue eyes were damp with tears. Smiling, Jenny said gently, "Don't cry over my story. Learn from it. Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger. Major Spikeblade taught me that quote. You have so much love within, far more than you realize. I know you loved your mother very much, loved your best friend. You still love them even though they're gone. You love Charlie, your music. And, if I'm right, still love a special man..."
     Madeline was thunderstruck. She asked, "How did you know about Jeff? I've seldom mentioned him at all, not since he and his brother left town, and that was right after Judy died."
     Jenny replied, "Oh, we in Oz know almost everything about you. Through the Magic Picture and Glinda's Book of Records."

      Then, "But I wanted you to know my story, as a warning of falling to the dark side, before you begin your training. I know those Force Masters will counsel the same, but I felt you needed to hear it from someone who's been there and back."
      "Like," said Maddie with some finality, "Anakin Skywalker."
      "Only," warned Jenny, "Anakin remained in the dark nearly two decades. He was redeemed, through his son, thus fulfilling the prophecy. On the other hand, Maddie, if you should fall to the dark side, who will come to redeem you? Don't be alarmed, and I'm only repeating what Ozma told me yesterday. Watch your back, because someone out there wants you to go dark forever."

[Go to Chapter 21]

Copyright©2007 by PRP