[This was originally published by About.com in its Poetry section, back in 1999, in response to the release of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. It was retrieved via the Wayback Machine as About.com no longer exists, and I’m republishing it here for my own archives, but also in an initial response to Boba Fett’s return, about which I’m feeling a little ambivalent.]
A movie review, news article and poem, all wrapped up in one. . .
Refuting the Book of George
or, why one month a year for poetry isn't enough. . . Two hundred years from now on a submerged island off the coast of Las Vegas divers searching for clues to our downfall will come across a sealed vault containing six tapes of digitized history. Watched in order they will tell the story of a boy whose battle with evil saw entire worlds destroyed. Scholars will dismiss the preface IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY as allegorical concluding they have found the final chapters of the New Testament call it the Book of George explain death-stars and the Force as metaphorical and faith as sometimes necessarily blind. A noted anthropologist writing from death-row in an obscure journal of alternative histories will note that amidst a diversity of species the human race seemed overwhelmingly white most having a curiously British accent. Little Asian boys and girls will be eyed suspiciously their black counterparts calling shotgun grateful for being included at all. A small group of rebels based in an underground community in the ruins of an eastern island city will hold weekly meetings at the risk of death reciting poetry. Out loud the words of Whitman, Williams, Hughes Clifton, Lourde, Giovanni Baraka, Bukowski, Perdomo mixing with their own leaping from mouths to ears to hearts to minds. . . setting them free setting things straight. History is a precious thing unappreciated until it is lost. Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away mine was rewritten sold to the highest bidder thrown overboard trampled underfoot hung from trees like ornaments converted, civilized, homogenized their stories lost forever. In the Book of George they do not exist. Lando Calrissian fell to the dark side went on to hawk malt liquor Sam Jackson delivers 3/5th's of his lines as if in the sequel to Pulp Fiction and I find myself hoping for Boba Fett to return remove his mask and look something like me As much as I always wanted to be Luke Skywalker I knew all the force in the world could not make it so. Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away poets risked death and poverty never questioning why because they knew there are too many stories that must be told to let one person tell them all.
© 1999, Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
Header image via StarWars.com.