I Thought These Movies Were No Longer For Me
To be fair, I was never so much a Star Wars fanatic as to put myself anywhere close to the kind of contenders that currently exist for superfan. But as kids, we had Star Wars sheets, and I spent a lot of time playing in the yard with my siblings, running around shooting blasters and using sabers as part of the never-ending mash-up of games we played involving The Cat From Outer Space, Inner-Space, Indiana Jones, and just about any other movie that caught our fancy growing up. But even though I was not a superfan, even though no part of me screamed, “THIS IS MY LIFE,” it was so much a part of my life that I always felt that it was there, somewhere in the back, guiding me. Really, more than Star Wars, it was Harrison Ford’s characters that I really looked up to.
Between the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, it is safe to say that Harrison Ford was essentially my second father. It isn’t that my own father was absent per se, but through a number of circumstances that involved his work-life, and my subsequent adolescence, we just didn’t see a lot of each other. Not that I particularly thought of Harrison Ford as a person in the world that could, theoretically, even BE my father. He was just some actor. But counting up all the hours spent watching him and seeing him act as an adult seemed to imprint onto me this feeling that, perhaps, he was someone that I should probably watch a little closely, and see if I could learn anything from him.
Not that he ever portrayed or oozed any amount of fatherliness. He was the guy that you would go on adventures with, and most likely, would lead you into trouble. And for some reason, my own father didn’t bring me on his adventures, so at least I got to see Ford’s. I knew that my own father worked for the railroad, and that he also went hunting & fishing, but I could only imagine what this was code for, and I could only dream about what relic he was uncovering, and what space ship he was piloting. The world of Indiana Jones felt closer to me growing up – especially since Indy had already traveled with a kid, Short Round – and since my real father did not take me to every derailment he was sent out to clean up (where I imagined him lifting the trains up himself, asking for guidance as he set them back on the tracks), while he was gone, I could at least follow Han Solo to the end of the Universe several times over. All before my father could get home from work.
In 1981 I was six years old, and my parents took all four of us (my brothers and sister) in a station wagon to see Raiders Of The Lost Ark at a local drive in. This was ideal for any family in the early ’80s, offering a chance for my parents to sneak off and get stoned outside while we were mesmerized by the speaker delivering the sound of the movie. While I was absolutely horror-struck by the melting nazis at the end (a nightmare that stuck with me for years), the rest of the film sparked in me a deep love of Indiana Jones, and I spent hours in our yard being chased by boulders and running through the woods, studying “archeology,” wanting to be just like him. When I finally got a denim jacket, I tried my hardest to get it to look “brown” like this (I threw dust and dirt all over it), and I begged my parents for a hat like his. It so subsumed my imagination that to this day the music and feeling that movie fills me with can bring instant tears of nostalgia and joy, and I found myself more excited about the ride at Disneyland than just about any other amusement part experience I can ever remember.
I don’t really remember a time when I hadn’t seen Star Wars. With hindsight, it is likely that I only ever heard about Star Wars in those days, and might not have actually seen it. (I was two when it came out in theaters, and in the late ’70’s it was unlikely my parents had a VCR, or that it was on TV.) More to the point, most kids have a spotty memory when they’re that young. For all I know, I was in the theater for all of it and just can’t piece it together. I have a vague memory of being watched one night when my parents when to see a movie without us and I feel like it might have been Star Wars (only because I also think I remember them talking about it), but even that might not be a real memory. In school, Star Wars was all any self-respecting kid could talk about, and so while I may not have seen it personally, I already had cultural knowledge of it on a fairly intimate basis by the time Empire Strikes Back came out, and was all anyone could talk about on the playground. And yet, I did not see it in the theater, to my knowledge.
No, what sticks out for me is that I saw both Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi on consecutive days in the summer of 1983, when I was visiting my cousins with my family. It started like this: my cousins had a VCR in the house, had rented Empire, bought a bunch of candy, and with our two families crammed into their outfitted den (to accommodate the large crowd), we huddled around what could not have been more than a 15″ Standard Definition screen and watched in awe. By the time the lights were turned off and the crawl began, I felt like I knew everything I needed to know – weather through memory or social osmosis – and it absolutely flooded into me. I was excited, disgusted, scared, and sad, all at once, and while the end brought me to tears (WHAT ABOUT HAN SOLO!), I was comforted by my parents that everything was going to be alright.
This, of course, was all preparation, because the following day we were going to see Return of The Jedi in the theater. While the exact memories of these experiences are largely lost – I mostly remember impressions and what I was told about that day: being happy, playing Star Wars with all my cousins afterward – I try to imagine what my eight year old mind must have thought having seen those two movies in such close proximity of each other, at age eight, no less. My imagination must have been overwhelmed with new ideas and characters to incorporate into my fantasy world, and while I certainly remember loving it, I had no idea then how many times I would actually see these films in the years to come.
While I have heard many people talk about what they find to be their own personal favorite film, with a clear head and having seen them all, I decided very early that I loved the first film the most. Star Wars – what is now referred to as “Episode IV” or “A New Hope,” but in those days, it was just Star Wars – had a quality to it that felt like a story from my childhood, and perhaps having seen it the least and having such a social memory of it made me like it more. Much like Tom Sawyer or Lord of The Rings, the first film felt like like established literary canon, a part of the vernacular that every kid my age spoke. I have contended that, before Clerks came out, very few people would point to Empire as their favorite, and that it was Kevin Smith’s commentary on why Empire is the superior film that has put that one in the lead as the better movie. But having met a number of people who love it unconditionally, I’ve come to realize my opinion is in the minority. Regardless, all three films were incredible, and while my heard was with the first film, I never turned down seeing the others if I could.
Like many people in those days, when VCRs became affordable (and rental stores popped up everywhere, even in small towns), it was worth it to make sure you had one in the house when HBO was offering a free weekend, or when another family would loan you a bunch of stuff so you could copy their films, and among our many collected tapes as I was a youth (with at least two other boring films crammed on the tape with it) was a recording of Temple of Doom, made shortly after it had hit cable channel. (The turn-over for films in those days was pretty quick on HBO, so we must have had that recording by early ’85, the year after it was released in theaters.) I must have watched that movie hundreds of times, knew every line of dialog, and could cite Indiana Jones knowledge with the best of them.
It wasn’t long before our families got copies of the Star Wars movies too. And, of course, in 1989 I was in the theater watching Last Crusade with all the other teens, and finding that while the cynicism of a then-14 year old was pretty strong, the music and the mania that was Indiana Jones could still instantly fill me with excitement, no matter what age I happened to be. The end puzzles of that film became a whole new game I tried to act out in the woods by myself.
My parents were just as excitable as we were, and periodically between the ages of 8 and 18, we would get together and watch them as a group or in small sub-divisions, depending on who was game. While we never managed to get a copy of Raiders or Last Crusade in the house, we still managed to seen them regularly (on TV, rented, or at a friends house), and by the time I was thrown out of the house just before I had graduated from High School, I had seen those six movies hundreds of times. Often on tapes that were poorly dubbed from television, at the worst resolution, and on the smallest screens. And we never cared in the slightest. We would watch them at any time, in any form, for the music, for the action, for the dialog we’d memorized, but mostly because they were so goddamned much fun.
It isn’t that I haven’t come to appreciate Harrison Ford for his other work, but I am hard-pressed to name many other movies of his that I’ve seen, and more to the point, none of them are as good (in my mind) as these six films. It isn’t that he is a bad actor, though he is totally willing to turn in a so-so performance just because he feels like it. But when I see him in other roles, all I see is Han Solo and Indiana Jones wearing some other costume, looking longingly out the window, wishing they were running around hunting for treasure, on the run, fighting nazis or stormtroopers. Not only do the performances in these films capture the imagination, but they offer a unity of form and function that has the same artistic tone throughout all six movies, largely because of this shared character trope given life through the John Williams score that is ultimately hummable and breathtaking to listen to, all at once. The serialized nature, the comic sense of humor, and the feeling that you get to come along while these amazing events unfold, these six films felt so connected in my mind growing up, and probably always will, no matter how old I get.
Han Solo and Indiana Jones are essentially the same character in different costumes when you get right down to it, and while the environment and character motivations are slightly different, both are con artists, even among their friends. Both are incredibly smart and suave. Both are swash-buckling, willing to do whatever it takes to make it out of a situation that seems and appears to be absolutely impossible. And they both have their own immediately identifiable costumes, unmistakable even in profile, and yet feel similar in some way. They’re both quippy, they’re both funny, they both mutter jokes to themselves even when no other on-screen characters are there to hear it, and they both share with the audience their charm and sophistication in a way that makes you feel like you are there with him, acting as his side-kick, following his lead, a part of the action, too. You get to see Han and Indy when they are at their best, their worst, their most exciting, their most beat up and bruised, their most romantic, and they still let you tag along. In many ways, I knew more about Harrison Ford’s characters on screen than I do about my own father, or anyone else in my family, for that matter.
The irony, of course, is that I don’t know if I actually took any of Han/Indy’s lessons to heart after I left the house and lived on my own. During that period of my life, I only had an ancient copy of the first Star Wars film on VHS, and the country mouse behavior of Luke and the overall innocence of everyone in that film was closer to how I really felt about life, and I bore no resemblance to my hero in the films. First, I displayed no confidence around women of any kind. I did not take chances, I was not athletic, showed no skill in school or in academic settings, struggled with puzzles and riddles, could not lie or con way way out of being wrapped in toilet paper, and had none of the ruggedness that he oozed in every scene. I could barely bring myself to dress with any amount of style or ruggedness, and I could not pull of the laconic turn of phrase like him. My slow-witted, introverted & nerdy confusion about life outside of fiction only made me awkward and confused most of the time, as if I was always itching to pick up some power converters at Toschi Station. I was easily excitable, and would tip my hand so often that anyone and everyone around me knew exactly what was on my mind. I had no arch-rivals, and the few fights I had been in not only illustrated my clumsiness – I could barely even climb a tree without falling out and getting hurt – but resembled so little of what Han Solo or Indiana Jones were actually like as to be comical if I were to ever claim publicly that they were my idols.
As I got older, this idea of manliness and masculinity seemed entirely formed more by Ford’s characters than by any of the other men in my own life. Divorce can often create this kind of confusion in kids (especially when it happens when the kids are old enough to be looking for father figures), but in my case the post-divorce world was entirely devoid of men. I was the only one; my mom and her girlfriend took care of their three girls, while I was the one being asked to kill spiders and take out the garbage. The only men in my life that I could even speak with any amount of authority about were Ford’s characters, and like many sons who look up to their father-figures, I was unlike him in many ways that made me feel inadequate. The kind of “put-together messiness” that is at the center of those two characters was something that I chased after in my own fashion for years, but never succeeded in capturing. (I gave up and started wearing bow ties and sweaters after a while.) I thought I could use the lessons I’d seen in the films to aid me in my life as a young adult. When I pursued women I tried to imagine Han Solo wooing Leia, or Indy & Marion together. But none of my jokes landed, I was never adventures and confident enough to make an impression, and more importantly, my gawky and ineloquent manner illustrated how unimpressive I was as a young man.
Even my sense of writing was inspired by him as I fumbled with pen and paper. My male characters were some version of a smart adventurer who might have had some dirty dealings in the past. I tried to shape the dialog as if it had come from Ford’s mouth. There were never any paladins or virtuous men in my fiction. It was all well-meaning rogues that I would put down on paper, loved by everyone, reflecting what I wished I was, and wished I could be.
Living on my own as an adult naturally caused me to find and seek out other interests, but I kept a copy of the the first film on VHS for years, something I still have to this day. For a long time, it was one of the few movies I actually owned, along with Evil Dead II, Negativland’s “No Other Possibility” tape, and Almost Famous. But by then, the charm and allure of continued Star Wars-ery felt a little crass, and exploitative. I worked at a B. Dalton in a mall for many years, during the time leading up to the prequels, and then continued to work for them as the merchandising blitz hit a threshold that was hard to fully take in. As I understand it, the franchise has held at that rate for some time, and Disney has only made it crazier.
A Word About The Prequels, Now That I Mention It.
I never developed a relationship with any of the movies made as prequels or since then, not like the one I already had with the first six films. When word first came out that the original Star Wars film would be in theaters (remastered, and with cleaned-up effects), I was interested for a hot second. But after seeing what they did to Star Wars when I finally saw it, I decided to hang on to my VHS for the time being. The advertising and tie ins were, of course, leading to the prequels, and what I saw really put me off the “Episode I” idea at first. I let it sit for a while when it was in the theater initially. In early 2000, when a friend of mine was in town for a bit after being at school in the UK and he hadn’t seen the movie, we agreed to make an afternoon of it. What sticks out the most was the puzzled conversation in the car on the way home, as we tried to make sense of what we’d just seen.
As I worked my way through what was going on in this new movie, a few things became apparent over the next few weeks. First off, the film was entirely forgettable. Where I remember endlessly quoting of the older movies, this movie felt inarticulate and dry, with stale lines delivered by semi-lifeless actors who didn’t seem to want to be there in the first place. It wasn’t long before I couldn’t remember what happened at all, and for the most part I can only really tell you that I remember meaningless speeches, pointless fight scenes, and characters that were almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the ones I remembered.
But, more importantly, what I realized was that Star Wars was no longer for me. As much as I had loved those movies growing up, in the late ’90’s / early 00’s the movies are being presented in a different light, and to a different crowd. The re-edits, cartoony CG, the bad acting, and the emphasis on explaining things where there didn’t need to be any explanations made these movies pointless, compared to the adventure laden, funny and poetic tone the original three had taken. The prequels were a overwrought slog through a kind of pomp and circumstance that were largely joyless, and left me feeling ostracized as a viewer, uninterested in what the story might have been.
Or, rather, I should say prequel, because I have only ever seen Episode I. I never bothered seeing the other movies when they came out because I had already made up my mind, and with each new film I just saw and ad for COMMERCIALISM, and felt gross when the idea of watching them came up. Even when a girlfriend of mine in the early 2000’s insisted I watch Episode II & III with her on DVD, I balked for quite some time. When I finally began to watch the second film, I was confused and annoyed almost immediately, and gave up soon thereafter. (Perhaps I watched them while drinking and sorting comics, the memory is fuzzy.) It was talking with her that made me realize not only that these movies were very much not for me, but that our relationship did not have much gas in the tank, either. (It didn’t, sadly.)
This feeling of being left out continued in the summer of 2008, I went on a date with the girl I was seeing at that time to watch the then-new Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, hoping to recapture some of the joy of those early movies. While the experience was not terrible, per se, it made me realize that the “not for me” quality was still there, and still present. There were parts that I liked, much that felt indifferent about, and some that was just plain bad, from any perspective. (I was initially going to write about the film for this blog back then, but gave up and wrote two lists of things I liked and things I hated, and much of the lists repeated.) In fact, the experience sort of put me off revisiting any older movies from my childhood for a long time. In many ways, I felt left out, and didn’t want to return to that feeling if I could avoid it. Growing up, these movies were always about inclusion, but everything made since I’d been on my own seemed to be exactly the opposite. There were hundreds of other movies to watch if I was bored. Why should I rewatch something when there was so much out there that was new?
It never occurred to me that Han/Indy was a father proxy until pretty recently, though. Having hit 40, I have become overly sentimental about everything for some reason, and the slightest pang of nostalgia or the sweetest and kindest moment in a film brings me to tears instantly as I think of my wife and the things that are important to me. (If there is a scene with a man and woman talking about how the feel about each other, I am in tears before the scene is over.) So it is not hard for me to start going to maudlin places when it comes to stories I love. But a conversation I heard on The Incomparable podcast really struck me, when John Siracusa mistakenly called Han Solo by the name Indy, and threw away a comment about how they were basically the same person who raised him anyway. I didn’t exactly consider what he had meant by that at the time, but that point only came home to roost when my wife and and I watched Temple of Doom recently. Not only was this a movie that I clearly remember watching nearly every day for years, but there had recently been a nearly 15 year gap since my last viewing, and my life has changed dramatically in that time. The effects of college, broken relationships, heartache and epiphanies, and the years to sit and ponder and let things stew and fester, have changed me considerably, and I came out the other side of the last 15 years with a wife, a degree, and an analytical perspective that I did not have the last time I sat down to a classic Indiana Jones movie.
What stands out from watching it – with Siracusa’s comments in mind – is the Indy / Short Round relationship, and how endearing it is. Indy cares so much for that kid, and Short Round wants to be just like Indy so bad that he follows Indy everywhere, trying to act like him, talk like him, play cards like him. This relationship pays off in the film, because it is only Short Round that can undo Indy’s brainwashing by reminding his father figure that he loves him. You can see that their arc completed when Indy and Short Round are fighting in parallel near the end, and they are now exact reflections of each other, throwing punches in unison, overcoming their own hardships in nearly the exact same way. When they look at each other afterward, it is so obvious that they are stand-ins for each other’s missing child / missing father, I broke down sobbing in front of my wife as we were watching it.
This is probably so easy to explain that you have already jumped to the conclusion already: Short Round was my proxy as a kid, and yet now (as an adult), I am seeing their relationship in a very different way, and not just through the eyes of a longing child. I wanted to be like Ford’s characters, and failed as an adult. Short Round, to some degree, has succeeded where I could not. This certainly gets at any number of underlying issues that could easily be probed if I wanted to lay bare my own psyche for further psychiatric inspection, but I imagine that this experience is probably not that much different form other middle-aged men like me who grew up largely without fathers. At least, I am certainly not the only Indiana Jones fan who was raised on these movies and looking up to Harrison Ford’s characters.
The Indy / Short Round relationship is only sadder if you look at it from a narrative point of view, too. Temple of Doom chronologically takes place before the other films, and Short Round is nowhere to be seen in any of them. Short Round, having grown up and reached the same kind of status as his mentor, clearly goes on with his life, to find a path that leads him to his own future and life without Dr. Jones. In many ways, their relationship is over when the film ends, and the father/son bond they solidified seems to have disappeared, the true tragedy and loss of these films. (Yes, continuity nerds, there are “official” sources that say that Short Round has a life outside of this film, where he goes to school and becomes a professor like Indy. But we never see it in the films. And even still, this would suggest that Short Round has completed his transformation into following in his father’s footsteps, at the cost of no longer getting to go out on the adventure anymore.)
History is a funny thing, in that the events of the past only make sense in hindsight, and seen against what is happening now. It didn’t take long to break the Inter-Web when Disney announced they had bought the rights to Star Wars, and were making six new films over the next several years, the first of which was in 2015. It seemed like some weird future news headline from Back To The Future II, and felt very out-of-place to me. But the writing had been on the wall for years. Lucasfilm was stagnating, and Disney was knocking it out of the park with the acquisition of Marvel. There were enough hot young directors out there that would bring home the money with the right financing and script, and Disney could afford to keep working until they get it right. It was this odd moment where there were two possible futures: one good, and one terrifying. And it all hinged on Episode VII being worth a damn.
This is, of course, a long way of saying that I am still not sure what to make of the events in The Force Awakens (and I will try to talk about this as spoiler-free as possible, but I suspect that everyone at this point knows what happened). It was clear, long ago, that Ford had an uneasy relationship with Han Solo, and the idea that he would come back – even if for only one movie – seemed like part of the package deal when it was announced. It seems very clear that no matter what the actual outcome of the film happened to be, this would be the last time we see Han Solo, and even the trailer seemed to be hinting at that. I knew that this would probably suggest that I would have to process this loss at some point. While I did not watch those movies as obsessively as an adult as I did when I was younger, I would check in with them now and then, and certainly found them a part of my life in a way that I didn’t full understand until I reached middle age.
I am not usually the kind of person who cares about this sort of thing, and to be honest, until I walked out of seeing The Force Awakens the other day, I hadn’t read a word about any of it. Because until I saw it on the screen, I couldn’t have cared less, to be honest. I was firmly convinced that it would be okay at best, that Han Solo would be leaving the franchise, and that so much was riding on it that there was no way it could be any good. I had paid so little attention to it that my mind was firmly focused on Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 as the sci-fi film I wanted to hold out for in the theater. I simply had no interest. Even when it started to seem as if it might be good, when the cast and director was announced, I balked. Reports were coming in that people liked it. The script was supposed to be exciting. The other actors all looked cool. Could this, even for a moment, capture the excellence of those early films?
And, of course, there was the other problem to contend with: my own nostalgia. I am ridiculously prone to thinking about the past, and the lens through which I view those movies – the lens through which we all view them, I think – is so coated in that fuzzy Cybil Shepherd soft-focus filter that I don’t think I’m a good judge of what a good job might look like in a Star Wars movie. It was easy enough to dismiss the prequels because they were so badly made, and that is the consensus argument, even for the people who say they love them. But would I be able to view a Star Wars movie and understand it on its own terms, without being over judgey about the way they portray Chewbacca, or heaven forfend, Han Solo?
In a lot of ways, it was easier to forgive the new Star Trek movies, also by the same director. Star Trek has had endless iterations, and hundreds of hours of material, compared to Star Wars. In my mind, even if I had hated the new Star Trek movies, they didn’t diminish anything about the originals, which were all still there (un-tainted or edited, I might add). We were fortunate enough to have some pretty good movies with the Star Trek reboot, so there was nothing to get too upset about in the end. But this was different. There was one chance to get it right with this series, and there was so much at stake emotionally that it seemed like a huge leap of faith to even buy a ticket for it.
But that trailer. Seeing Han & Chewie at the end. It HAD to be good, how could it not? And even the sense that this would be the end for Ford, that he would bow out gracefully and move on, made this one a little special. We needed some closure. We needed a way to look at the past with a new perspective, to pull off one last crazy adventure, and relive that experience again if we were ever going to feel The Force flow through us again. We needed it as a culture. We needed a good Star Wars movie like we needed to eat healthy and exercise more. Our social well being depended on it.
I can’t (and won’t) spoil the film. Most likely you’ve seen it anyway, and how excellent that it was a good film, too. Not just a good film, but a good Star Wars film, something exciting and funny and beautiful and tense and sad and wonderful all at once, with cute moments and scary moments and everything I wanted, and things I didn’t know I needed, too. And, as we obvious from the interviews and the trailer and from Ford himself, Han Solo isn’t coming back, or rather, Ford’s Solo isn’t. The character will persist, played by other actors for sure, but at 73 he not only looks tired, but like a tired father, who has raised countless children on screen, and isn’t quite sure how much more oohmph he has left in him. He doesn’t need to be running around, trying to be a con man one more time, and his character makes that point, too. He shouldn’t be doing this stuff. But, as usual, Han is running away from something, and fatherhood seems to be at the top of the list.
Our feelings and emotions are so complicated and entwined with the places we have been and the things that we have done, that it is no wonder that we struggle – often several times a day – to keep them under control. My family’s break-up, my parent’s divorce, and the subsequent hardships of being estranged from both halves, trying to find a place where I belonged and where I fit in, coming to terms with the mistakes of the past, these things are so complicated and have so many vectors that it is difficult to pinpoint where one feeling comes from, and why thing x fills me with this emotion, while thing y fills me with that. I can’t be the only one. And yet, when I make the same comment as John Siracusa – about Harrison Ford essentially being my father – I’m shocked that there isn’t more agreement from the people around me. I know countless women and men who are in love with Ford’s characters, and perhaps this experience or sensation is limited only to boys who have absent father’s in their lives.
There is a part of me that wants to use this narrative as a way of spelling things out, of providing specific personal examples that will get at the heart of what I’m saying. I don’t want my parents to sound awful; they did what they could, with what they had, and they tried to make it work for as long as possible, not just for the sake of their children, but for themselves as well. But as much as I want to go into detail, this story isn’t about them, and it isn’t about painting them to be heroes or whathaveyou. They are people, they have lives and stories and feelings too, and the incredible thing about growing up is that you realize that they are as frail and confused and baffled by the world around us as I was when I was a child.
Harrison Ford never wanted to be my father, and I never asked him to be, either. By chance or fate, our lives have come to have a bond that I can’t break, even if all my time as a drunk 20 and 30 year old tried to ignore at parties and in bars with girls. I looked up to him in a way that I have never looked up to anyone else, and I followed those first six movies with such academic closeness that my DNA will have Ford-like imprints on it if anyone wants to run the tests. Sure, Ford wasn’t the greatest father. He was absent a lot too, only there for certain kinds of exciting adventures, then gone again for years at a time. Surely, our relationship will always be one that I remember, and one that I can recapture at times when one of those films happens to be on.
But even writing about him this way is making me weepy, as I wrestle with both middle age and him as a part of my life. Perhaps there is something here that offers insight into why I don’t have children, and why I have never been comfortable with any kind of parental role in anyone’s life. But it is always why father and son stories absolutely slay me, too. It is so hard for father’s to talk to their sons in a way that isn’t coded, or meant as practical advice. And it is nearly impossible for sons to have that same conversation about the roles we plan in each other’s lives, because we have a hard time seeing our father’s as the frail human people that they are first, and as a responsible adult second.
Indiana Jones, of course, has a fifth installment in the works, and all the media news is pointing to Ford being involved. This is a little scary, for sure, not only because of the last attempt being so mediocre, but with Ford as old as he is, the Indiana Jones I love might not even be in the film at all. (The idea of “old” Indy, as seen in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, fills me with a little bit of dread and a lot of horror.) And, like our relationships with family, they move on, even if you haven’t. I will always have fond memories of the years where Ford’s characters raised me, and I can even recapture some of those feelings when I re-watch the films. And, I’m very happy that Star Wars is finally good again.
But, for a while anyway, I’m going to be mourning the loss of a father. A