A REVIEW OF THE NEW STARWARS FILM WATCHED WHILE HAVING A PTSD-SCHIZO-MYSTICAL-AYAHUASCA FLASHBACK TRIGGERED BY HOLDING THE HAND OF A MAN FOR HIS FINAL FORTY MINUTES ON PLANET EARTH A FEW HOURS PREVIOUSLY. WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Dick got up from the dead man’s bed and looked at the clock. It was time to go home. He got his bag and stepped out into the busy market place of Kalighat. It was always a bit of a shock to walk outside into the chaotic bustling Kolkata street scenes after being in Nirmal Hriday all day long, but today was even more so than usual. As Dick walked towards the autorickshaw stand to head back to his Aunties house, he felt as if he was walking through some kind of holographic simulation whose unreality suddenly seemed very apparent to him.
He got home, threw his clothes in the wash and then had a long hot shower, replaying the events in his head as he washed himself thoroughly. He then closed the door of the bedroom, sat on his bed and began to brood about death for long enough for him to realize that it was probably not a healthy thing to do at that present moment.
He had planned earlier in the week to finally see the new Star Wars and decided to follow through the original plan. It seemed like a better option then to sit in his room and morbidly brood about death all night. He didn’t feel hungry at all, so after downing a mild weed cookie, he left the house and caught a bus to the cinema. On the bus, he couldn’t help but notice the sense of unreality still pervaded the world around him. The veil was thin and the seams were showing. The street scenes he passed were no more than elaborate cardboard set designs that would fall down at the slightest puff of wind.
The cinema was on the top floor of a very upmarket shopping mall. He entered the shopping mall and began to ascend towards his destination. If the regular street scenes had seemed fake to him, the world of brightly lit, mannequined window displays, overpriced brand name clothes and advertisements overpopulated with supermodels were an ugly mockery of reality. Dick watched the other people sleepwalk through the capitalist mirage like zombies. He felt like grabbing them by the shoulders and shouting,
‘WHO GIVES A FUCK ABOUT BURBERRY AND DOLCE GABANA WHEN YOU’RE GOING TO DIE MOTHERFUCKER ARRRGGHHHH!!!’
But he decided against it.
He finally reached the cinema, bought a ticket and headed in. As the previews played he felt the weed cookie slide on. It was nothing heavy, just a slight glaze over reality and a feeling of pleasant relief from the heaviness of the day. The cinema hall darkened. The familiar Star wars theme music began to play and the trademark logo appeared, rolling up the screen. Dick immediately knew he had made the right decision. Usually he rallied against Hollywood’s exploitation of the current adult generation’s past childhood but in lieu of the recent events that afternoon, nostalgic regression was the perfect soothing balm. By the time the written prelude text began to roll across the screen, Dick was in heaven, swathed in the past like a baby wrapped in cotton wool.
‘Goo goo ga ga.’ He mumbled in his chair.
The movie started. Whether it was good or bad was beyond the point. It was good enough and that was all that mattered. He could of just been watching a small, unmoving, black dot on the screen for all he cared, but the movie was at least much better than that. Dick didn’t really get into the Finn character so much, but when Han Solo and Chewie appeared on screen, all was forgiven. Dick’s heart swelled and he involuntarily cheered loudly in the cinema hall.
It was like seeing old friends again, old friends who had come to help him deal with the shit he’d seen that day.
‘I missed you guys so much!’ He involuntarily blurted into the darkness.
The movie went on, Dick fully immersed. It got to the part where Han Solo was talking about the force.
‘Oh the Force? The invisible energy that holds good and evil together?’ Han Solo said. At which point he turned from the movie screen to address Dick directly,
‘Oh it’s real alright… It’s real.’ He said.
Solo’s words struck deep and Dick burst into tears. As he blubbered in his seat, Dick tried to work out where the tears came from. They were tears of relief. For Dick knew then and there that the force was real and that he was a Jedi.
The world around him cracked open like an egg and he heard two very loud voices coming from both outside and deep inside of him at the same time.
REMEMBER OUR PROMISE? REMEMBER OUR PROMISE? The voices boomed.
‘Yes, yes, yes.’ Dick said, tears streaming down his face.
YOU WORK FOR US NOW ALRIGHT?
‘Yes, yes, yes.’
THERE IS A WAR GOING ON, BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARKNESS. REMEMBER WHICH SIDE YOU ARE ON.
‘The non CGI side.’ Dick mumbled.
JUST CHECKING. STOP EATING ONIONS AND SPICY FOOD AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR US BETTER.
REMEMBER WHAT WE TOLD YOU AND APPLY IT.
YOU WORK FOR US NOW. REMEMBER.
In an instant Dick re-downloaded the contents of his ayahuasca experiences over a year ago.
Then the voices were gone and he was back in the cinema hall again.
What the fuck was that? He wondered as the movie continued.
Dick kept watching the movie while trying to process what exactly had just occurred. The most likely explanation was that he had just lost his fucking mind and was on the precipice of some kind of schizophrenic breakdown.
Phew. He thought.
As the film rolled on, profound questions bubbled up from the recesses of his mind.
Why does Finn, the only black character, have to be the janitor. Isn’t that racist?
Why do they have to make all the bad guys have an upperclass English accent? Was Han Solo’s death worth seeing Chewie go apeshit?
Does anyone else notice that the alien rebel fighter pilot Nien Nunb who was also in return of the Jedi copiloting the millennium falcon with Lando Calrissian looks and sounds exactly like a racist chariacture of an Indian man?
It got to the scene when Han Solo got murdered by his own son. As Dick watched the lightsaber shoot through Han Solo’s chest and out of his back, Dick felt it pierce his own heart.
‘No!’ He inadvertently shouted in the otherwise silent movie hall, recoiling in his chair. Immediately Dick begin to relive the man’s death he had witnessed earlier that day. Two movies were playing simultaneously now, the man’s death overlapping the one on the screen. His heart was beating fast and he began to hyperventilate. Those wide, wide, wide eyes full of terror kept staring back him through the movie. But it was no use. He still couldn’t buy into the Finn character.
At some point Dick suddenly realized the credits were rolling and the film had ended. He left the movie hall heavily disoriented and made his way towards the exit. As he walked through the mall, he found himself staring at the bright advertisements and unending rows of closed designer brand name shops. It became suddenly clear to Dick that he was walking through the heart of the empire. He stopped in front of a window display and stared at some faceless mannequins modeling worthless clothes that cost a small fortune.
He was staring directly into the face of the Dark Side. It was a sleight of hand trick, a classic case of misdirection. Illusions created by the Dark side to distract people while the takeover happened right from under them. An invasion was happening and everyone was too preoccupied with meaningless crap to notice. But he saw it now, clear as day. After all, he was a Jedi.
There was a fine line between homage and repetition but overall the movie was good and he’d enjoyed it a lot.