When All Hope is Lost

Come boy, see for yourself

"Your friends, up there on the Centauri moon, are walking into a trap. From here you will witness the complete destruction of the alliance, and the end of your insignificant rebellion."

It might simply be the defining moment captured on film in the entire 1980's

It's true, 'Empire' is the superior film. Fawned over by cinephiles - ie.. people who like to use the word film - as the best of the original trilogy, 'Jedi' gets cast as the automatic. The Corvette of the series. Who wouldn't like it? It's got everything Lucas always wanted, his three distinct worlds, great chase scenes, lovable characters to package and merchandise to every child within earshot, and presented in a much more audience-friendly format than Episodes IV and V.

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And while yes I count myself as one who believes the hype re: Empire, it's this scene in the Emperor's throne room that elevates Return of The Jedi, in my opinion, this scene that EVERYONE wanted to see take place. What will happen when Luke not only has nowhere to run from Darth Vader, but when he is finally capable of destroying him?

Not so fast, young Skywalker

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Before we get to the final beautiful moment in this classic hero's journey, the Emperor demands some screen time, and reminds us of one of the more timeless lessons of all time. And yes I've written about this before.

Hope when all seems hopeless

INT EMPEROR'S TOWER - THRONE ROOM Out of the window and on the view screens, the Rebel fleet is  being decimated in blinding explosions of light and debris. But in here there is no sound of battle. The Emperor turns to Luke. EMPEROR Your fleet has lost. And your friends on the Endor moon will  not survive.   There is no escape, my young apprentice. The Alliance will die...as will your friends. Luke's eyes are full of rage. Vader watches him.

The Emperor actually IS telling the truth. All hope IS lost - from his view. The alliance IS on the brink of destruction. There IS a trap for them and what's more they're being led by hot-head Han Solo - so really anything could happen.

That's the thing about believing when there's reason not to - many times there's GOOD reason not to! In fact most great films have this built into the character's arc - pressing on when either no one believes or when there's every reason under the sun to quit.

I'm really disappointed in you Alden

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Did someone actually say that?

Yes they did.

But I've been in sales and I've heard my share of harsh criticism. I don't know if it was the dollar amount they were referring to or the number of backers but...

Lets just admit it, fundraising is hard

That's why non-profits sometimes actually offer decent salaries to a director. A director with friends and associates with deep pockets. The idea that someone else will do the dirty work - anyone really - frees the workers to get a street team together, a bake sale organized, a rally planned, protest, etc..

Brownies. Poster making. Outrage.

Those things are fun.

Fundraising is not fun.

But do you know what is fun?

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Finding bikes is fun.


Here's a few more:

  • Meeting people who won races on a Homestead is fun
  • Meeting girls who rode Homesteads is fun
  • Finding bikes I forgot about selling is fun
  • Meeting Bob Haro is fun
  • Meeting Eddie Fiola and Martin Aparijo is fun
  • Riding Martin Aparijo's bike is fun
  • Meeting kids at Sheep Hills Bike track is fun
  • Meeting Bill Allen from Rad is fun
  • Thinking of relaunching Homestead Bicycles is fun
  • Shooting a movie is FUN

Let's get back to Hopeless Luke.

EMPEROR Good! Your hate has made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny and take your father's place at my side! Luke looks at his father's mechanical hand, then to his own  mechanical, black-gloved hand, and realizes how much he is becoming like his father. He makes the decision for which he has spent a lifetime in preparation. Luke steps back and hurls his  lightsaber away. LUKE Never! I'll never turn to the dark side. You've failed, Your  Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me. The Emperor's glee turns to rage.

It doesn't look good for Luke

And what about me? Will I raise my support goal by this time tomorrow? Probably not. Will I have enough $ to make two trips to Northern California and one trip to Tennessee? Maybe, maybe not. Will I be able to finish the movie as quickly as I'd liked? It sure doesn't look like it.

But wait -

EMPEROR Now, young Skywalker...you will die. Vader grabs the Emperor from behind, fighting for control of  the robed figure despite the Dark Lord's weakened body and  gravely weakened arm.    The Emperor struggles in his embrace, his bolt-shooting hands now lifted high, away from Luke. Now the white lightning arcs back to strike at Vader. He stumbles with his load as the sparks rain off his helmet and flow down over his black cape. He holdshis evil master high over his head and walks to the edge of the  abyss at the central core of the throne room. With one final  burst of his once awesome strength, Darth Vader hurls the  Emperor's body into the bottomless shaft.

But I thought Luke was the star? Luke would overcome? Luke was to take over from Vader and lead, not have to saved by his DAD of all people -

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But we all need help.

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We all need friends.

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We all need cheerleaders.

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We all need a team.

Three final thoughts. Ok four:

  1. I'm closer to finishing than when I started.
  2. I can't do it alone.
  3. I don't want to do it alone.
  4. The film will absolutely get made.

I don't know exactly how. I don't know exactly by when. But I know it will get made. I believe it. I have a team. I have a meeting with an associate producer next week. I've met my heros and mentors from BMX days past and they're into the project. I'm riding again. I'm having fun. There's at least one more Homestead, buried in the back of a storage unit in San Jose and I've GOTTA film that.


Help if you can. Jump on board this crazy train and let's ride it together. Click this link and give what you're able. https://igg.me/at/30bikesfilm/x/1491750

Or just follow along and enjoy the ride. I already know what's gonna happen.

This story, this film,

is for you.

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Me? I'm already in.