Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dumb Stuff I Love

My daughter Rachel and I were watching the DVD of "Star Wars Episode III," and I noticed a line of dialog I'd missed when I saw the film in the theater. (Not hard to do, since ignoring the dialog is necessary to enjoying the film.) Now, I've been sick (see below) so maybe I misheard this, and in any case, it may have had no significance at all, but given Lucas' professed love of old-time movie serials, I think it was intentional. I believe it was just before Obi-wan's final battle with General Grievous, when he addresses one of the clone soldiers as "Commander" and then, a moment later, as "Cody." When I heard that (or misheard it), I did a mental double-take. And I thought, for the first and last time during this benighted new trilogy, "Hey, that's cool!"

Could it be Lucas was referencing that famed hero of TV's yesteryear...

Commando Cody... Sky Marshal of the Universe!

Not Commander Cody, as in the band, "Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen", nossir; I'm talking about that high-flying Rocketman played by Judd Holdren on TV, based on the character from one of the last great sci-fi serials, "Radar Men From The Moon." This guy, here:

Not this guy, here:

who's probably best known for the 1991 movie of the same name, but previously appeared in a series of comics written and drawn by Dave Stevens, ie:

The Rocketeer was, I believe, an affectionate tribute to the original King of the Rocketmen (who went by several names before settling on the Cody moniker), including, of course...

... Jeff King, as in, uh, King of the Rocketmen.

From Commander Cody and his band, through Dave Stevens' Rocketeer and George Lucas' clone soldier Cody, it's clear to me that I'm not the only kid who fell in love with that rocket-strapped leather jacket and tin can helmet. Maybe you did too. Maybe you didn't.

But this is one of the Dumb Things I Love.

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