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Darth Vader v. French Justice, Surprise Verdict Of Stellar Mock Trial

Darth Vader and his Parisian lawyer
Darth Vader and his Parisian lawyer

PARIS — A short time ago, in a place not so far away, Star Wars fans in France were treated to a special Darth Vader drama, with a courtroom plot. Ahead of the release of the franchise's latest installment,The Last Jedi,a public trial was held in Paris for the father of all villains.

The Dec. 6 mock trial, L'Appel contre-attaque ("The Appeal Strikes Back") — in which a 3,000-strong audience serves as jury, and where sentencing is determined by the volume of clapping — was itself a sequel. A similar trial of the character, whom the French call "Dark Vador", had been held in December 2015 ahead of the last Star Wars episode, The Force Awakens, Paris-based daily Le Figaro reported.

Both events were held at Paris' Grand Rex (Europe's largest movie theater), and organized by the Fédération Francophone de Débat, an association that promotes "the art of public speaking" with a series of mock open trials of high-profile historical figures like Molière, Napoleon, Louis XVI, or even Jesus.

For the purpose of this intergalactic faux procès — albeit featuring very real and prominent attorneys and law students — slight modifications were made to George Lucas' cannon: The accused has survived his grueling death-by-Force-lightning at the hands of evil Emperor Palpatine and the ensuing blowing up of the Death Star, as depicted in The Return of the Jedi (1983). Lord Vader, now ordinary citizen Anakin Skywalker, was made prisoner and tried. After a two-hour debate in the 2015 trial, the evil defendant eventually emerged victorious, acquitted of violating virtually "all space laws' and contributing to the global warming of the universe by blowing up the entire planet of Alderaan. The public clapped Darth Vader "not guilty," apparently moved by his convincing, if asthmatic-toned, defense speech.

Last week's appeal lasted almost four hours, and the clap-o-meter was once again clearly on Vader's side. Jury's still out as to whether made illegal use of the Force to manipulate the verdict.

Another appeal, could there be? If so, we would have to wait two years, when the next Star Wars film is scheduled for release. Such is the pace of Hollywood mega-productions — and the French judiciary.

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How Parenthood Reinvented My Sex Life — Confessions Of A Swinging Mom

Between breastfeeding, playdates, postpartum fatigue, birthday fatigues and the countless other aspects of mother- and fatherhood, a Cuban couple tries to find new ways to explore something that is often lost in the middle of the parenting storm: sex.

red tinted photo of feet on a bed

Parenting v. intimacy, a delicate balance

Silvana Heredia

HAVANA — It was Summer, 2015. Nine months later, our daughter would be born. It wasn't planned, but I was sure I wouldn't end my first pregnancy. I was 22 years old, had a degree, my dream job and my own house — something unthinkable at that age in Cuba — plus a three-year relationship, and the summer heat.

I remember those months as the most fun, crazy and experimental of my pre-motherhood life. It was the time of my first kiss with a girl, and our first threesome.

Every weekend, we went to the Cuban art factory and ended up at the CornerCafé until 7:00 a.m. That September morning, we were very drunk, and in that second-floor room of my house, it was unbearably hot. The sex was otherworldly. A few days later, the symptoms began.

She arrived when and how she wished. That's how rebellious she is.

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