After months of speculation, it was confirmed yesterday that the Death
Star, the Empire's vaunted, planet-destroying space station, has added a
new, state-of-the-art day care center to its already vast array of
capabilities. The massive four-room day care center, which, according to
Grand Moff Tarkin, will "provide a safe and fun learning environment for
tots between the ages of one and four," has already begun spring enrollment
and is expected to be fully operational by June 1.
"Nothing can stop the Sunshine Death Star Play and Learning Center," the
Imperial Emperor said via holograph. "With its four classrooms, outdoor
playground and experienced staff of licensed day care professionals, no
other facility can match its awesome instructive power."
Though still several weeks away from full strength, the Sunshine Death Star
Center is already up and running. Among the most popular activities there
are finger-painting, story time and Duck Duck Goose, which the Emperor
often helps lead.
"Feel your hatred flow through you," he told 3-year-old Jenny Bates, as she
energetically chased fellow toddler and "goose" Michael Phillips around the
outside of the circle. "Give in to your hatred!"
Disaster was narrowly averted last Friday, when the center took a field
trip to the nearby planet Bespin. At the end of the day, minutes into the
shuttle ride back to the Death Star, adult chaperone Darth Vader locked
eyes with 4-year-old Matthew Schumpert. "Wait," said Vader, probing deep
into the child's mind. "There is another Schumpert."
Vader sensed the presence of Katie Schumpert, Matthew's sister, who was
still back at the Bespin gift shop purchasing souvenirs. He ordered the
shuttle to turn around and averted an embarrassing situation for the new
day care facility.
Vader later added: "Join me, parents looking for a safe, dependable child
care alternative, and together we will rule the galaxy."
In addition to enjoying many fun games and learning activities, children at
the Sunshine Death Star Day Care Center have already gotten to witness the
destruction of several planets out the center's giant bay window.
Last Friday, in the middle of a coloring activity, the planet Alderan was
blown up, delighting 23 of the 24 children who witnessed the devastating
power of the battle station. The sole exception was Libby Phelps, 3, whose
family was vacationing in Alderan at the time of its destruction. She was
frightened by the loud explosion and began to cry upon realizing that her
mother, father and younger sister were now dead. The emperor's elite
squadron of imperial guards leapt to action, removing the girl from the
room and giving her some ice cream treats to calm her.
According to Death Star officials, the idea for the center sprang up after
a number of parents complained about the lack of quality, affordable child
care options on the Death Star.
"As a stormtrooper and father of three, I'm very excited about the new day
care center," Death Star citizen Ralph Sedgwick said. "It's a safe,
nurturing environment, one in which my child will learn."
Added Gail Lindon: "For years I took my daughter to work because I couldn't
afford a nanny. Do you have any idea how hard it is to operate a tractor
beam with a two-year-old pulling at your leg?"
As excited as most are about the new day care center, a few extremists have
expressed concern about its proximity to the Death Star's reactor core.
"There is an opening in the Death Star's main shaft that leads to the
core," parent and dissenting voice Annette Voss said. "If a small rebel
ship were to somehow break through the deflector shield and enter the
shaft, it's possible it could hit the reactor core with a single,
well-placed proton torpedo shot and destroy the entire space station."
Experts, however, scoff at Voss's theory, dismissing such a shot as "a
million to one."