I was a weird kid.
I actually rooted for Apollo Creed in both the original Rocky and Rocky II.
And I’ll never forget how when I originally saw the first Star Wars – to come out, which was, if I’m not mistaken, Episode IV – I kept hoping that Darth Vader was Black.
I mean he was Black. His outfit didn’t have a speck of any other color in it. And there was something about his voice that I recognized. I knew it was a Black voice, but it was also a familiar voice, I just couldn’t exactly place it.
And I knew he had to lose. I knew it. There was no way a nigga that cool, a nigga that could not only choke a dude out by simply curling his fingertip, but also had a whole gang of dudes dressed in all white working for him, could survive. Even at a young age, I knew he had to die. Him living would send the wrong message.
And what’s funny was that I knew this so young. I mean, I didn’t know how detailed the message was. I didn’t know that it was only Black criminals being allowed to keep on living that sent the wrong message. I didn’t know that white criminals survived all the time and that it was good.
I didn’t even know what crime was. I thought it was pick-pocketing, drug dealing and maybe murder, I couldn’t imagine it was slavery, Manifest Destiny and genocide. I knew what I was taught and that was about it. I hadn’t figured anything out on my own yet.
But look up Carlo Gambino.
I defy you to find anything ill written against his character, and this was the head and founder of the Gambino Crime Family- a mafia family!
Look up Joe Kennedy. The best thing you could say about him is that he operated “outside the law”. He also made his son an American President.
Look up Prescott Bush.
Actually, we’ve gone down that road too many times.
The bottom line on crime is not just that’s it’s only frowned upon when Blacks commit it, but it’s also usually only considered a crime if Blacks have a tendency to commit it.
Not only that, every story involving a true life Black criminal must end with his inevitable death or imprisonment, otherwise it simply can’t be told.
But back to Star Wars.
The best sequel ever, and this includes The Godfather II, was The Empire Strikes Back.
And that’s because Darth Vader was the unadulterated star. By then I’d also figured out that he was voiced by James Earl Jones who I knew from Bingo Long and the Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings.
If there’s a scene more chilling than this in movie history, please, show it to me:
When I knew they were doing a third Star Wars, I knew Vader would die, and I wasn’t surprised by the end.
I just never understood the difference between The Force and the Empire since they both killed people.
I guess that means I’m still weird.