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Silver Screen Dropout

Plus: A thumbs down in advance for George Lucas.

by Dear Jon
July 26, 2001

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Silver Screen Dropout_Dear Jon-Plus: A thumbs down in advance for George Lucas. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

People who say "literally" when they mean "figuratively" are just using hyperbole. How can I respect an advice columnist who doesn't remember this word and prefers to drone on and on to explain the same thing?

Sincerely, Freedom Fighter

Dear Fighter,

To answer your question, I submit a reader poll: How many of our readers knew the meaning of the word "hyperbole" before today? The purpose, in giving advice, is to aim for comprehension. Your purpose, however, is to "drone on and on," a turn of phrase even more annoying than "literally" because it is even more redundant.


Dear Jon,

I have lost virtually all interest in movies. I fear that my closest friends and roommates have therefore concluded that I couldn't care less about their fellowship. How can I diplomatically say that I like my friends and their fellowship, but that, save about twice a year, every movie released is absolute crap not worthy of anyone's time, let alone mine?

Nimrod of Babylon

Dear Nimrod,

What an honor to receive a letter from one of Jon Deer's past lives. (Ha ha. I'm making fun of Jon Deer, not of you.) You have written before, right? I recall making some reference to Hogan's Heroes in an earlier sort, but I don't have time to look it up.

This letter reflects the soul of someone advancing beyond the "Middle Brow" and into the "High Brow." Since I am not advancing there myself, I do not have much advice. I enjoy going to the movies -- though not like I used to. The best movie I have seen in a long, long time is Memento. That might be one of your two.

I think the best thing you can say is, that movies don't get you excited like they used to. Genuine friends will accept that as part of who you are becoming. You might actually give freedom to someone else to say, "You know, $8.50 can be better spent, instead of sitting for two hours in the dark unable to talk to my friends and being subjected to drivel."

Or it could all backfire and you spend your week-end evenings alone. In that case, find out if they are meeting for coffee afterward, and offer to meet them there. You shouldn't mind if much of the conversation is devoted to the movie they have just seen. But one advantage about seeing movies that people have seen, is that it allows for comfortable conversation.

Another alternative is to find new friends of the High Brow persuasion. Gallery openings, coffee house concerts, museums and book groups are places to start.


Dear Jon,

How would you advise George Lucas to end Star Wars [Episode] 3? I suggest that maybe a 10-year-old Han Solo with a teenage or young adult Lando steals the Millenium Falcon away from Anakin Skywalker and/or his evil/cloned twin. That would make an upbeat ending to something everyone assumes will be a dark conlusion. What do you think?

Sincerely, G.L.

Dear G., I can tell you this: Lucas has no idea where he is going. He will end it in whatever way makes him the most money in terms of likely repeat viewings. What a bore, anyway. He makes Darth Vader a weenie in Part VI, and now we are supposed to care how a weenie became a weenie in Parts I-III?

I honestly believe that Palpatine will secretly clone Anakin, that the evil clone will destroy Anakin's life and loves, and in the process of killing his own clone, Anakin will succumb to Palpatine's seduction and join the Dark Side. Maybe Lucas will have a more interesting plot twist than this. More likely, the plot twist will be less interesting.

In Part III, just to turn it around, one of the following two scenarios will happen. 1. The Empire will mount an attack on the Jedi flagship. They will mount a diversionary frontal assault, while Darth Vader takes a small fighter into the flagship's exhaust system. He will blow it to smithereens, with most every Jedi on board. How original. 2. Or, the Jedis will mount a diversionary attack on the Empire's headquarters, while a small party infiltrates the palatial quarters with a view of destruction from inside. However, both flanks will step into an ambush and be annihilated.

See, isn't that original? That whole "diversion" thing didn't work. Get it? What a twist, huh? Little does the Empire know, however, that Yoda and Obi Wan have treated THAT as a diversion so that they can program the R2-D2 droid as a deep cover spy with latent routines activated only by certain code-words, and kidnap the Skywalker Twins.

Friends, I have not read anyone's script. I have only watched the movies. Lucas' imagination is as transparent as a window pane. Here is the Dear Jon challenge: IF the next two movies are substantially different AND BETTER than what I have just described, I will pay for admission to each 5 times. You read it here first.

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