A New Hope: Yippee-Ki-Yay

A long time ago on a frontier set not
too far away…

Scene (starry nightscape): Fair maiden is kidnapped from her homeward stage by Black Bart to compel the surrender of her compatriots. But foiling the evil plot, a pair of bit players escape in a quest for help.

At an outback ranch, the comedic relief are happened upon by a wide-eyed lad with an ill-advised lust for adventure. Counseled by a grizzled sage, the intrepid farm boy wanders off to a seedy port cantina to hire a roguish gunslinger (and his unshaven sidekick).

Together, the unlikely heroes rescue the damsel in distress, end the villain’s nefarious plans, and ride off into the sunset.

…or suns-set. Star Wars: The Western.

Sure, the straight man and comic ham were computerized percolators, and the cowboy’s white stallion was an intergalactic bird of prey, but still… a fairy-tale princess, a heart pounding rescue with blasters blazing, and a dark of the moon showdown… everybody loves a western.

Whatever is thought of the ingredient list, the recipe works. The failure of the prequels was not the fault of Jar Jar Binks. Well, not entirely.

And those ho-hum episodes that followed, cooked down to their western essence, were little more than late night, so-so sci-fi. Okay, not just the faithful camped out to breathe in the unfolding trilogy. But with no lace trimmed gals or stone faced men… who wants to see ‘em again?

Hollywood has always been the Land of Make Believe. And with digital editing and green screens, they’ve squandered whorishly to make non-believers believe in make-believe.

But CGI is no substitute for story.

And all that imaginary imagery conjured up by LCD-tanned four-eyed geeks easily gets trampled in a whirlwind of trail dust snorting low-tech mustangs.

More to the point, with or without campfires under the stars, petticoats an’ guitars, all the best flicks are westerns:

Rio Casablanca
Gone with the Sagebrush
Three Cowpokes and a Filly

Just replant the premise in the lone prairie, lasso some cows and tumbleweed, then cue the chiseled cowboy and his cotton calico’d lady: “Well, yaknow – well always have Abilene.”

High Noon: May 18th
I sent a man to prison – he was supposed to hang. But they commuted his sentence to life, then gave him own TV show. And now they set him free.

No Taxation without Preparation H
Do you live within 2½ miles of a decent pizza joint?
(Yes. No. Extra Cheese.)