Ani: A Parody is the eighth original online musical from Team StarKid. It is a comedy-musical based off of the Star Wars franchise. The story follows Darth Vader- Ani Skywalker (portrayed by Chris Allen) as he reflects on his life and tries to return to his one true love: podracing. The tale begins on the Death Star and eventually migrates to the dessert planet of Tatooine just in time for the Boonta Eve- a famous podrace which Anakin Skywalker canonically was the first human to win in the Star Wars franchise. Ani and his friends begin to train and prepare for the upcoming race. Vader is determined to take back his title as a pod-racing champion.
A voiceover plays over of an announcer (Brian Holden) narrating the win of Ani at a pod race. An Imperial officer (Eric Kahn Gale) comes in and prompts him, calling him "Lord Vader". Vader turns around and tells the officer to call him "Ani" (Chris Allen) ("Ani"). The officer asks Ani how he's doing and Ani replies that he was looking out into space, thinking about the good old days. He wistfully adds that the thing about the good old days is that you don't know that you're in them until they're gone. Ani asks why he came around and the officer tells him that he's late for a meeting with other Imperial officers. The Imperial officers, lead by Moff Jeffrey Tarkin (Joe Walker) discuss their plans for the Death Star.
Ani joins the meeting after Tarkin leaves. He brings up the idea that the Death Star looks like a breast and the officers are shocked. He eventually gets upset and force-chokes them. He leaves the meeting and runs into Tarkin, who he asks to join him in getting coffee. Tarkin gets upset when Ani embarrasses him in front of Emily, the stormtrooper he has a crush on. Ani returns to his room feeling sad and nostalgic about the good old days.
While hanging out in the Sith lounge he meets Mara Jade, the Emperor's new apprentice. He gets upset that even the Emperor is replacing him. He has a conversation with Mara Jade where he eventually reveals that he is the Ani Skywalker who was the first human to win the Boonta Eve podrace. She encourages him to go and race again and he encourages her to pursue her own dream of becoming a slave girl at Jabba's palace. The two leave for Tatooine together.
Tarkin tries to apologise to Emily and finds out that Emperor has arrived. The Emperor is critising the interior design of the Death Star. He expresses his happiness with Tarkin and promises him a promotion, not for his work on the Death Star but as Ani's friend. The Emperor reveals that he was responsible for the Death Star boob idea and gets upset when he finds out the officers rejected it. He force chokes Admiral Motti when the others blame it on him. He reveals that he bought Ani a Star Wars lego set. Tarkin finds ou that Ani has left and has to go to Tatooine to get him back.
Ani and Mara get to Tatooine and meet Boba Fett. He promises to get Mara an audition with Jabba. They then run into Sebulba and his goons. Sebulba taunts Ani, telling that there is no way he will win. Ani then goes to find an old friend.
Jar Jar Binks is in his house, attempting to commit suicide. Ani finds him and stops him. JJ says that he would be better off dead because everyone hates him and thinks he ruined their whole universe. JJ refuse to help Ani and he leaves. Tarkin finds ANi and attempts to convince him to go back to the Death Star. JJ comes back and decides to help Ani. Tarkin changes his mind when he sees how miserable Ani is and agrees to help him.
Ani, Tarkin, and Jar Jar begin training for the Boonta Eve ("The Force (You Got It)"). Mara goes to Jabba's palace to audition for the dancing slave girl position but is ridiculed and denied an audition for having no previous experience.
Tarkin takes Emily to the Mos Eisley cantina for drinks. There they meet Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is shocked to hear that Ani is still alive after he defeated and left him for dead years prior. Tarkin is contacted by Palpatine and he and Emily leave the cantina to take the call. Palpatine has been informed by another general of Ani's goal to race, and demands Tarkin to bring him back to the Death Star. Tarkin dramatically refuses and hangs up. Tarkin and Emily later share a romantic moment after Tarkin charms Emily with romantic lines Ani gave to him ("Haunted By The Kiss"). Meanwhile, Obi-Wan forms an alliance with Sebulba to kill Ani and Jar Jar.
Obi-Wan appears at Jar Jar's residence; he draws a pistol on Jar Jar, robbing him and then shooting him before fleeing. Jar Jar later dies in a hospital with Ani being there for his final moments. Ani decides to give up on racing on the fear he may be targeted next but is convinced otherwise by Tarkin and Mara, who remind Ani of his dream.
On the day of the race, Sebulba sabotages Ani's pod by removing the power coupling. The race commences ("One In A Million"). Ani and Sebulba appear to be evenly matched until Ani's pod runs out of power and Sebulba knocks into him, causing him and his pod to crash into the side. Palpatine confronts Ani at the crash site and apologizes for not understanding Ani's passion in pod-racing. He reactivates Ani's pod with his force lightning, sending Ani back into the race. Ani catches up to Sebulba and punches him in the nose, winning the race shortly after.
Boba Fett, who is Ani's friend, is able to secure Mara an audition for a slave girl position through his connections to Jabba. Ani, Tarkin, and Emily are there to watch Mara's audition ("Back On Top"). She gets the part and the cast celebrates with a reprise of the musical's first song.
|Chris Allen||Ani Skywalker|
|Denise Donovan||Mara Jade|
|Eric Kahn Gale||Sebulba/ Qui-Gon Jinn/Jabba the Hutt|
|Brian Holden||Jar Jar Binks/ Admiral Motto/ Bartender/ Fode|
|Nick Lang||Emperor Palpatine/ Obi-Wan Kenobi/ Bib Fortuna|
|Joe Moses||Boba Fett/ Veers|
|Meredith Stepien||Oola/ Beed|
|Joe Walker||Moff Tarkin|
(*) Bold names denote the actor's onstage Starkid debut
Ani: A Parody performed alongside The Trail to Oregon! in 2014 as a part of the StarKid Summer Season. Audience members were allowed to buy tickets to both shows or choose one. The two shows ran for six weeks over the summer. The first production of Ani was on Thursday July 3, 2014 with the final show on Sunday August 10, 2014. There were a total of 22 performances of Ani during the Summer Season. Each show took place on Stage 773 in Chicago, IL.
Ani became available on YouTube on October 31, 2014. It has over 1,000,000 views.
In Ani, Starkid went a different route of musical performance than they usually do. Starkid's musical numbers are typically performed and sung by the cast members. However, in Ani all the music was performed by a band off to the side of the stage. The music was performed by the band Talkfine.
|Clark Baxtresser||Keyboard 1/Vocals|
|Pierce Siebers||Keyboard 2/Vocals|
|Max Evrard||Keyboard 3/Vocals|
|Meredith Stepien||Percussion/Backing Vocals|
|Team StarKid Musicals|