"That's why I really don't play cards or gamble. Because I'd crack."
—Joe Manegna (as quoted on brainyquote·com)
This summer, I discovered a new sub-channel on over-the-air television that broadcasts various old game shows—some of which aired either before I was born or too young to know or care what they were. Others were familiar to me when I was growing up.
In watching them, I found myself wondering what might happen if various fictitious characters participated in various game shows ranging from the obscure to the more-known ones. This story was my original brainstorm. Since then, I've decided that I might make this a series depending on how well this story is received. However, I would use a different fandom for each game show.
This takes place in between the end of season five from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the movie Revenge of the Sith.
For simplicity, the announcer's dialogue appears in [italics enclosed in brackets].
This story was posted for my fourth anniversary on the site. Enjoy!
(Edited to add) Originally, I conceived this as a one-shot. However, I've enjoyed writing it so much, I've decided to write additional episodes.
Very special thanks to The Walt Disney Company for Star Wars characters and concepts.
Also, very special thanks to FremantleMedia, the entity that appears to own Press Your Luck.
Special thanks to author WearTheMask (#344258) who indirectly influenced this idea with the Jedi Trivia Bowl chapters in the story, The Jedi Council: Behind the Scenes (story #2425237).
Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
[These three players are after colossal credits... but they have to avoid the whammy! Watch as they play the most exciting game this side of Tatooine. From Holovision City on Coruscant, it's time to press your galactic luck. And now, here's your host—the star of Press Your Galactic Luck—David Oilfin!]
"Thanks, Todd. Welcome to Press Your Galactic Luck. Let's meet our players today," David told everyone as he briefly doffed his cowboy hat. "First, we're fortunate to have our chancellor, Sheev Palpatine, as a contestant."
"If you'd please, I'd rather you call me 'Palpy.' I hate the name 'Sheev,'" Palpatine replied.
"As you wish, Palpy. I hope you're ready to win a lot of credits today."
"Of course, who can't use some extra credits?"
"Indeed. Our next contestant comes from the senate as well. Let's welcome Padmé Amidala."
"Thanks, David. It's a pleasure to be here. I can't believe I got invited," Padmé answered.
"I have no control over that, but welcome to the show. Good luck, Padmé"
"Our final contestant gave up her career as a Jedi hopeful, but she's returned to the limelight. Let's welcome Ahsoka Tano. Ahsoka, what have you been up to these days?"
"Not much, David," Ahsoka replied. "I've been trying to figure out my purpose in life while I've been stuck on Coruscant. In fact, I think the sleemo that sold me my speeder sabotaged it because it rarely works."
As Palpatine sneered, David told Ahsoka, "Obviously, you could use any credits you might win today. Let's hope you avoid the whammies and earn some cash. Is everyone ready?"
After everyone nodded, David said, "To start the game, I have four questions to ask you. If you buzz in with the correct answer, you earn three spins. A correct multiple choice answer earns you one spin. Here's the first question: What large beast is feared on the planet—"
Palpatine buzzed in and proudly answered, "A wampa!"
"Let me finish the question and give choices to Padmé and Ahsoka. What large beast is feared on the planet Shili?"
Palpatine face palmed, realizing he gave an obviously-wrong answer.
"Is it a wampa, a thimiar, or an akul? Padmé, what do you think?"
Padmé, unsure of the correct answer, finally said, "Thimiar?"
"Ahsoka? I bet you know this."
"It's an akul, of course," Ahsoka stated, proudly pointing at her headdress.
"And the Togruta gets it right. Ahsoka picks up a spin while Padmé and Palpy have zero. Next question: Who is the Vice Chancellor of the Galactic Republic?"
Padmé narrowly beat out Palpatine in buzzing in and answered, "Mas Amedda."
"Is it Mas Amedda, Finis Valorum, or Ida Noh?"
"Mas Amedda," Palpatine replied.
"I have no idea, but I'll go with Mas Amedda, too," Ahsoka stated.
"Well, you all know your senate trivia because Mas Amedda is the correct answer. Padmé now has three spins, Palpy has one, and Ahsoka moves up to two. Question number three: Which Jedi Master is known as the Chief Librarian of the Jedi Archives?"
Ahsoka buzzed in and answered, "Madame Jocasta … Nu."
"Is it Jocasta Nu, Luminara Unduli, or Ima-Gun Di?"
Didn't Master Di die? Ahsoka thought.
"Madame Jocasta," Palpatine replied calmly.
"I think it's her, Jocasta Nu, too," Padmé added.
"And everyone earns spins. It is Jocasta Nu. Ahsoka has five spins. Padmé has four, and Palpy has two. Here's the last question: Which person, renown as both a Jedi and Sith, was born almost 4000 years ago?"
As Ahsoka and Padmé looked on in confusion, Palpatine quickly rang in.
"Who do you think, Palpy?"
"Darth Revan," he answered.
"Is it Darth Revan, Darth Punctum, or Darth Tyranus?"
Padmé had no idea who to choose. After a moment, she finally said, "Darth Punctum."
Ahsoka stated, "Palpy here looks old enough to know his history. I'll go with Revan."
Palpatine scowled at Ahsoka's barb about his age.
"And our chancellor is right, though I don't know how. Darth Revan is correct. Palpy has five spins. Padmé stays at four, and Ahsoka finishes with six spins," David told everyone.
After a round of applause, David added, "When we come back, our contestants will have their first chance at the Big Board. Now, a word from our sponsors."
As the commercial break ended, the contestants' podium now faced the big board. Eighteen squares placed in a rectangular pattern flashed various credit amounts or miscellaneous items. In addition, a gold indicator randomly danced from square to square.
David told the contestants, "In round one we have over 15 000 credits just waiting to be won. We also have a number of mystery prizes. They're so secret, even I don't know what they are until you land on them. If you end up with the most credits at the end of round one, you have the advantage of playing last in round two.
"Also on the board are various whammies. If you land on them, they make your life miserable and take away all your winnings to that point. Four whammies means you're out of the game. If at any time you fear the whammy, you may pass your spins to another player.
"Also on the board for this round is a special prize space marked 'Add-A-Two.' This will remain up until one lucky person lands on it. If that happens, we add a two in front of the score. So, 100 credits becomes 2100. And, a thousand credits becomes 21000.
"Play starts in order of the least number of spins. Padmé, that means you go first. Good luck."
"Thanks, David," she replied. "OK, I want lots of credits ... Stop!"
"Stop on a whammy."
A synthesized fog-horn sounded in the background.
On viewers' holovision sets, a red, demon-like character appeared brandishing a lightsaber, saying, "Look at me!" After accidentally slicing off his left arm, he deadpanned, "Mom said I was a real cutup." As he disappeared off the screen, a boinging sound played as a whammy indicator popped up in front of Padmé.
"Better you get it now and out of the way with no credits. You still have three spins. Will you press or pass?" David asked.
"I need more credits. No more whammies, and … Stop!"
"Stop on 700 credits. That gives you the lead with two more spins."
"I'll keep going. More credits ... Stop!"
"Stop on 321 credits. You now have 1021 with one more spin."
"If I pass it, who get it?"
"Palpy and Ahsoka have yet to play, so you can pass to either one of them."
"I think I'll pass to Ahsoka."
After a chime rang, Ahsoka's display now showed six earned spins and one passed spin.
"Ahsoka, you'll have one spin you must take. But think about it for now because Palpy with his five spins plays next," Dave said.
"All right! Let's get some credits now … Stop!"
"Stop on 375 credits. You're now in second place."
"That's not first place. So I'm going on. More credits and none of those weirdos … Stop!"
"Stop on 317 credits. That gives you 692 credits. You're 329 credits out of first place with three spins left."
"I can't stop now. Big credits, big credits, keep the weirdos away, and … Stop!"
"Stop on 333 credits. You now have 1025 credits. You're in first place by four credits."
"Woo hoo!" Palpatine exclaimed. "I'm gonna go once more."
"Alright, the chancellor is pressing on. Can he extend his lead."
"You bet I can! More credits … Stop!"
"Stop on 550 credits. That gives you 1575 credits and one more spin. What will you do?"
"I need more credits!" As the board begun to update once more, Palpatine called out, "One last spin of credits … Stop!"
"Stop at 400 credits. You finish with 1975 credits and first place for now. Ahsoka, it's now your turn. Before you can take your six spins, you've got one passed spin you must take. Are you ready?" David asked.
"Here goes nothing," Ahsoka replied. As the board started back up again, she waited patiently. "OK, let's get something good here ... Stop!"
"Stop on a prize space. It's a year's membership in the Thimiar of the Month Club worth 288 credits. You're still in third place, but you now have six spins that you can use however you wish."
Ahsoka wrinkled her nose at her prize. Still, anything had to be better than a whammy. "OK, let's keep going. No whammies … Stop!"
"Stop on 1000 credits. That's the biggest value on the board right now." After a round of applause, David added, "You now have 1288 credits, good for second place. You still have five spins left."
"Awesome. I'll go again. C'mon credits. I need more of you … Stop!"
"Stop on 501 credits. You've moved into first place with 1789 credits with four more spins. What will you do?"
"It's too close to pass now. I'll keep going." Ahsoka studied the board carefully. "No whammies … Stop!"
"Stop on 750 credits. You now have 2539 credits, 564 more than Palpy, with three spins remaining."
"I need to extend my lead. I better go one more time."
"Alright. We've gone 11 spins without a whammy. Let's hope it becomes 12."
"Keep on getting more credits," Ahsoka said. "And … Stop!"
"Stop on 1250 credits—the biggest value on the board! You now have 3789 credits and two spins."
After another round of loud applause, Ahsoka said, "I'm going to pass, David."
"Alright. Those two spins go to Palpy because he's in second place. You have two spins you must take one at a time."
"I'm glad. More chances for more credits. Let's get more … Stop!"
"Stop at 400 credits. You have 2375 credits, about 1400 less than Ahsoka. You still have one spin you must take."
"Let's take it then. I crave those credits. More credits, and … Stop!"
"Stop on 500 credits. That gives you 2875, good for second place. Padmé has 1021, and Ahsoka is first with 3789. Don't go away, we have more of Press Your Galactic Luck right after this."
"Welcome back to Press Your Galactic Luck. I have four more questions for you to earn spins for round two. Each spin can potentially earn up to 5000 credits," David told the contestants. "Here's the first question: Which outer rim planet has various terrains and is known as the home of the Twi'leks?"
Ahsoka quickly buzzed in and answered, "Ryloth."
"Is it Ryloth, Tatooine, or Raxus Prime?"
"Ryloth," Palpatine replied.
"Ryloth," Padmé added.
"Ryloth is correct," David replied. "Ahsoka has three spins. Padmé and Palpy have one each. Here's the next question: What planet is home to the Techno Union?"
None of the three contestants buzzed in before time ran out.
"OK, how about I give you the answer in multiple choice? The correct answer will give you a spin. Is the correct answer Geonosis, Metalorn, or Skako?"
"Metalorn," Palpatine replied.
"Metalorn," Padmé said.
"I think it might be Skako," Ahsoka told David.
"Well, Ahsoka, you're right. It is Skako. You go up to four spins. Padmé and Palpy still have one spin. Here's the third question: What restaurant promotes itself as having the best eats in Coco Town?"
Padmé narrowly buzzed in ahead of Ahsoka and answered, "Dex's Diner."
"Is it Dex's Diner, Rogue's Restaurant, or Shaak Ti's Tea Shack?"
The audience chuckled upon hearing the list of possibilities.
"Dex's Diner," Palpatine stated.
"Dex's Diner," Ahsoka replied.
David told everyone, "Dex's Diner is the right answer. Padmé goes to four spins, Palpy has two, and Ahsoka has five. Here's the last question: What is the fastest form of space travel called?"
Ahsoka buzzed in and confidently stated, "Light speed."
"Is it light speed, hyper speed, or super speed?"
"Light speed," Palpy stated.
"Light speed." Padmé replied.
"Light speed is the correct answer. Ahsoka has eight spins, Palpy has three. And, Padmé has five." After the crowd applauded, David added, "When we return, our contestants will try once again to win with the big board."
"Welcome once again to Press Your Galactic Luck. In round two, we have over 25000 in credits and various prizes begging to be won. We also have some whammies thrown in for good measure. You'll want to avoid them like the Blue Shadow Virus," David announced. "This round, we start with the player with the least amount of credits. Padmé, that's you. You have five spins and 1021 credits. Are you ready?"
"As ever, I guess," Padmé replied. "No whammies … Stop!"
"Stop on 'Move Two Spaces' over to a prize square. That's a trip to Glee Anselm worth 1451 credits. That gives you 2472 credits—403 behind Palpy for second place."
"I'm pressing on. More credits, no whammies, and … Stop!"
"Stop on another prize square. That's an autographed poster of Anakin Skywalker valued at 175 credits. You now have 2647 credits; that's 228 behind Palpy. With three spins left, what will you do?"
Padmé resisted the urge to giggle. Anakin would love knowing she won a poster of him on a game show, especially given their status as secret spouses. Finally, she answered, "I'm pressing on."
"Alright, let's see if your good luck continues."
"OK, I need more credits … Stop!"
"Stop on a whammy."
As a whammy walked across the screen, it said, "You know what I like about your winnings? Nothing!" It then fell down a hole in the ground as Padmé's score reset to zero.
"Alright, Padmé, you have no credits, two whammies, and two spins left. Will you press or pass?" David asked her.
"I've got to play. I can't win with no credits."
"She's pressing on."
"OK, no more whammies, and … Stop!"
"Stop on 2000 credits. You're right back in the game—875 credits behind Palpy and 1789 behind Ahsoka for the lead. You've got one spin left; what will it be?"
"I'm so close now, I can't give up. More credits … more credits, and … Stop!"
"Stop on 1750 credits. You have 3750—just 39 less than Ahsoka now. That's good for second place. Palpy, you have 2875 credits and three spins. I take it you're going to play."
"You bet I am. I want credits, no weirdos, and … Stop!"
"Stop at 750 and a spin. You have 3625 credits. You're still in third place, but only 164 out of first place. I don't even have to ask, do I?"
"No way. More credits," Palpatine cackled gleefully. "And … Stop!"
"Stop on 800 credits. You now have the lead with 4425 credits and two spins left."
"I have to play on! Let's keep getting credits. Stop!"
"Stop on 1000 and a spin! You have 5425 credits now—nearly 1700 more than Ahsoka—and you still have two spins."
"I've got to widen the gap, David. More credits! And … Stop!"
"Stop on a prize space. That's a free session with a dental specialist valued at 735 credits. You now have 6160 credits with a spin left. If you pass, the spin goes to Ahsoka."
"Why would I want do that?" Palpatine asked. "It's my spin and I want to play it."
"He's pressing on. Can he earn more credits?" Dave asked the cheering audience.
"More credits, more credits, and … Stop!"
"Stop on a grand tour of the Coruscant Underworld. That prize is worth 1313 credits. You currently have 7473, not quite double the amount of Ahsoka's score."
Everyone clapped as Palpatine's turn ended.
"Alright, Ahsoka, you've been waiting patiently. You're in second place now with eight spins. I imagine you'll play," David said.
"Definitely," Ahsoka replied. "Big credits, no whammies, and … Stop!"
"Stop on 1250 credits. You're up to 5039 credits, a little more than 2400 shy of Palpy. You still have seven spins remaining."
"I've got to go on. OK, more credits, no whammies … Stop!"
"Stop on a prize space. That's a romantic weekend getaway for two to Carlac."
"Oh, brother," Ahsoka mumbled under her breath.
"That trip is worth 1265 credits. You now have 6304 credits, still in second place, with six spins left."
"I guess I better keep going. I need credits, but not whammies … Stop!"
"Stop on a prize space. It's a new speeder bike—one of our most valuable prizes!"
Ahsoka fist-pumped. Finally, I can leave that heap of junk in the parking lot, she thought.
"It's a prize worth 4995 credits, pushing you up to 11299 credits. You now have roughly 3800 credits more than Palpy with five spins remaining."
"I'd love to pass, but five spins is too many. I think I want to go one more time."
"OK, Ahsoka. We've gone a while without a whammy. Let's hope you don't get one now."
"Please, no whammies, anything but a whammy … and stop!"
"Stop on another prize space. This one is a garnet necklace worth 527 credits. You're now up to 11826 credits with four spins left."
"I want to go one more time and get a bigger lead." Ahsoka then studied the board carefully. "No whammies, No whammies … Stop!"
"Stop on 4000 and a spin!"
The crowd cheered loudly; 4000 credits was the second-highest credit value available.
"You have 15826 credits. That's over double Palpy's score. What will you do with those four spins."
Ahsoka smirked. "I'm going to pass them before something bad happens," she told David.
After a chime sounded, Palpatine's display reflected his four passed spins.
"Alright, Palpy. You have four spins you must take. Let's go one at a time," David said.
"Let's avoid those weird thingies again," Palpatine said. "And … Stop!"
"Stop on 1250 credits. You now have 8723 and three more spins you must take."
"Bring it! I need more credits, let's get some, and … Stop!"
"Stop on 1138 credits. That boosts you up to 9861, about 6000 less than Ahsoka, with two more spins you must take."
"I'm ready, David!" Palpatine exclaimed. "I need quite a few credits here, and … Stop!"
"Stop on 765 credits. You now have 10626 credits. Here's the situation, Palpy, you trail Ahsoka by 5200 credits. Our biggest space is 5000 and a spin. So you need to get any value plus a spin if you want a chance to win. One last spin to take, are you ready?"
"This is what I live for, David. Let's do it. I need credits, I need a spin. And … Stop!"
"Stop at 750 and a spin. That spin goes to the earned column. You now have 11376 credits. You're 4450 behind Ahsoka, so you need anything with a spin to continue. Otherwise, Ahsoka will win. On the other hand, you could pass the spin to Ahsoka and hope she hits a whammy. If she does, you're the big winner for the day."
"I don't put my fate in others' hands," Palpatine replied calmly. "I'm going to take this spin."
"He's pressing his luck. Ahsoka, we'll see what happens here," David said.
"Let's do this again and … Stop!"
"Stop at 750 and a spin once again. You now have 12126 credits. Now that you trail by 3700 credits, 4000 and a spin could put you in first place. I think I know what you'll do, but I have to ask. Will you play or pass?"
"I'll keep going. More credits! More spins! And … stop!"
"Stop … on a whammy! Ahsoka is the big winner."
As the big board lit up and blinked, Palpatine gave an awful, bloodcurdling shriek of horror that was so loud it drowned out the audience applauding for Ahsoka.
David shook his head in disbelief. I've seen better behavior from angry Hutts, he thought. Once Palpatine finished his tantrum, he said, "Palpy, I guess luck wasn't with you in that spin. But don't worry, we still have some parting gifts for Padmé and you. But first, tell Ahsoka about what she won today."
[Sure, David. First, you will receive a specially-prepared dish from the Thimiar of the Month Club every month for a year. That's a prize worth 288 credits.
In addition, you won an exquisite garnet necklace. You'll be the talk of every event to which you wear it—a prize worth 527 credits.
Also, you won the romantic weekend getaway for two. You and a guest will spend a lovely weekend—three days and two nights—on the serene planet of Carlac. It's a package worth 1265 credits.
Last, but not least, is a new speeder bike. With Coruscant Emission Standards and top fuel efficiency, you will travel in style. It's a prize worth 4995 credits. Add those to your cash total of 8751 credits, and you finished the day with 15826 credits worth of cash and prizes. Congratulations, Ahsoka].
"Thanks, Todd. Tell Palpy and Padmé what they will be taking home today."
[Padmé, for finishing in second place on Press Your Galactic Luck, you will receive new living room furniture. Whether you're a senator or a civilian, this furniture package will make any living room look truly lovely. Package courtesy of the Active Girl Furniture Shop.
Palpy, you won't be going home empty-handed. For you, we have the Press Your Galactic Luck home game—something guaranteed to entertain you and your colleagues. We also have a free supply of Lite-Eyez eye drops... it works on the driest of eyes, whether red or yellow, to provide soothing relief for hours.]
Palpatine sighed. Knowing he came away largely empty-handed angered him, but he couldn't tip his hand after his whammy-induced meltdown. He gave his best fake sincere smile and applauded with Padmé as everyone congratulated Ahsoka.
"Well, Ahsoka, congratulations on being our grand winner. And remember: you may be serious, or you may be hammy. But if you don't watch out, you might land on a whammy. I'm David Oilfin, and I'll see you again tomorrow when more contestants try to press their galactic luck."
Palpatine, Padmé, and Ahsoka briefly talked with David before walking offstage as the closing credits rolled.
[This is Todd Toddie speaking for Press Your Galactic Luck, A Mallet Media production. Next up on Galactic Entertainment Media is a new episode of "Name That Clone."]
As everyone walked off stage, Ahsoka thought, Wow, I can't believe I won a new speeder. Now I can avoid the awful underbelly of Coruscant now. I just wish I could give the thimiars to someone else. Maybe Master Ti will welcome some comfort food from home. I still don't know what to do with that trip, though. Maybe I can invite Lux and leave him stranded on Carlac like he tried to do to me.
As Padmé walked behind Ahsoka, she thought, It's too bad I didn't get to win the poster of Anakin. I know he'd love seeing that every time he comes over. At least I get some new furniture. I just hope Ani doesn't break the couch again. Feeling like people were looking at her more than usual, she looked at herself. I guess I should have worn something that wasn't so tight, she thought.
Palpatine avoided eye contact with everyone else. As he fumed, he thought, Tano made a big mistake coming here and making a fool out of me. But I sense she'll make a bigger mistake in 15 years. I'll get my comeuppance then. Satisfied that his day wasn't a total loss, he cracked his trademark evil smile. This won't delay my plans to wipe out the Jedi by much. I'll get the last credits I need somehow, he assured himself.