It’s Valentine’s Day 2017, and I know of no more romantic movie than STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Here’s my associative transliteration of the film in found-poem form:
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
Legend. Scroll. Gold over blackness.
Seed pods. An ice planet, an explosion. A crab rises out of the crater.
The pirate and the princess. Solo and Organa.
Their faces lit in an ice cave, from reflection.
“The temperature is dropping rapidly.”
“That’s right, and my friend’s out in it.”
You will go from here to a jungle. A swamp. A planet.
And this will keep you warm.
Have we ever known the story of that long night in the deathly freezing, in the shelter,
when Han watched over Luke, smelling of tauntaun entrails?
This is Rogue Two.
I have herded nerfs, up on Laserbrain Mountain.
“I didn’t hit it that hard.”
Darth Vader sits in a semi-lotus position.
Leia briefs the daredevil pilots.
The Ion Cannon shoots at the sky. The transport slips past the shark.
“We have spotted Imperial Walkers.”
The snowspeeders are spitbugs, overmatched.
Wedge is that guy who does everything right.
The AT-AT’s soft spot is the armor at the back of their neck. It goes without saying.
“I’ll get her out on the Falcon.”
“Someday you’re going to be wrong and I just hope I’m here to see it.”
(That’s an expression of true love.)
Vader’s breaths as they leave.
The chase of forever begins. The asteroid belt.
“You don’t have to do this to impress me.”
(The Millennium Falcon cockpit is the best 4-shot in the history of filmmaking.)
Scoundrel One, Slave One, Sith Two.
A swamp planet. Thick air.
The Master plays the Fool. Grumpy, needy, dependent on a stick.
“Don’t do that.”
Yoda welcomes him with food.
Anger. Like his father.
“Where he was. What he was doing.”
Yoda has his doubts. Look what happened with the other Jedi.
The peaceful hum of the Falcon in a cave. In a worm.
Mynocks. Chewing on our ship. Rebels cannot rest anywhere.
“I am not a committee.”
“Anger, fear, aggression. Easier, more seductive.
Knowledge and defense.
There is no try.
Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter.
You. Me. The tree. The rock. Everywhere.”
The Bounty Hunters.
Also, how is Luke on Dagobah for only a day,
are they chasing the Falcon through the asteroids for a month?
Bespin, also known as the planet of constant sunset.
“I don’t like this.”
“Well, what would you like?”
“What have we here? Who might you be?”
“I don’t trust him either. He is my friend.”
Luke makes a necessary bad decision.
Remember your failure at the cave.
Leia is the another. She’s the last one if Luke loses.
The carbon freezing chamber.
“There’ll be another time.”
“I love you. I know.”
“Luke, don’t, it’s a trap.”
Dad knocks me through the spiderweb window.
Dad cuts off my hand.
“No. I am your father.”
Dad watches me fall into the netherclouds.
“We’ve got to go back.”
“You know better than to trust a strange computer.”
The last chase.
“I’m standing here in pieces, and you’re having delusions of grandeur.”
Hyperspace, after all that.
The Medical Frigate.
A new hand.
The trust of siblings.
The rendezvous point.
X-Wings, to John Williams’s most heartened theme, unto the end.