Dak’s 3rd on TFA: The Force Awakens Another Who Interprets The Han Child

In this Galaxy, we people of the dream are drawn to one another. A fan stands before Dak’s autograph table at the December 2015 WinterCon. He’s an Upstate Iroquoian who wants him to sign his Black Series Boba Fett totem. He’s come to the Big A, where punters gamble not just on horses. On wheels and machines they now do risk their credits. On the WinterCon level, however, the trade is in oral histories, sacred objects and other repurposed items scoured from the Western Reaches to the Moriches in the East. Beside him is a young yakonkwe with a long braid in her hair, his daughter. I ask who is her favorite Star Wars character. Pulling herself upright, her eyes flashing, her face is a map of the world.

Rey, she replies.

Hanging from her neck, I note, is a large fragment of a tooth fossil. Her father says it’s Pleistocene. He’s a collector; she, a Padawan scavenger—both in pursuit of fossil legends. They are from a clan of followers who trek after uki prints in the sand. He points to the Mandalorian Krybes on my ring. We are of the same clan, he says; we hear the buffalo thunder. When you entered the Mandalorian form on Bespin, he continues, you became my brother. And as brothers, not of blood but of the spirit, we can enter each other.

Last week on his latest quest, he found me in Tierfon. He just appeared. He was passing on his way south to the waters off the Matoaka Cliffs. Carrying his wetsuit and snorkel on his back, he was in search of a megalodon tooth he said was the size of his hand. He spoke of what he knew and of what he knew not—which had until now unsettled him. Sometime after we met in South Ozone Park, the Mother of Rey had appeared to him in a dream. With the voice of Ondinnonk, this stone-faced apparition was not of the New World. She is an exotic dancer of the Middle Kingdom. And speaking in a Scottish accent, she tells of her Han child possessed with jade-like power and nobility who once took the form of blind dancer, a rebel of the House of Flying Daggers. Yet this daughter of canon, the Holy Mother tells him, had in his world taken the form of a fleet-footed warrior who famously battled a short-faced bear, the monster of his people. They call this creature of fossil legend nya-gwahe. And after the daughter of canon killed nya-gwahe, she entered into the spirit of a falcon and flew to present one of his tusks to her father who was in exile on the island of the turtle.

In his dreams, he says, he too has battled Nephilim in the realm of the known. And now, the Holy Mother of Rey calls him to enter the spirit of a thunderbird to fly below the blue cloud that is the shadow of the shark. She calls him to leave the epic conflicts that are in the comfort zone of his people and delve dangerously in the realm of the unknown. And so he will dive into the waters off Matoaka to do battle with Dagon, so as to kill him and surface with the prized tooth. Such tusks, he tells me, are magic medicine. They make the warrior invincible. The Han Child’s arrival at Scellecc is a sign, he says. And as swiftly as he appeared, he leaves, saying that’s why I’m giving it to you.

Until then, I had followed the tracks, as Madam Sosostris counseled, only to find they are not those of the Tatooine bantha. They are the footsteps to the future in Jakku sand. They go alongside the unbroken trail of a small magnetic-driven all-terrain vehicle. They are the Han Child’s prophesied first steps.. They lead to the scrap trading settlement at Niima and ultimately Takodana where these visions of Johanna now conquer my mind.

Yesterday morning, I stop by Tierfon Base to walk around the hanger that in my day housed the Y-Wings on which we Yellow Aces trained. I am a phantom familiar from another century. A young trainee offers her view that Plutt’s mechanic is a chic geek. Looking over her shoulder while she and her astromech work on their X-Wing, she teases me. If she’s got the power to be, power to give, power to see, she says with a wink, she’ll not be stressing your now compressed hyperdrive flow, Dak. Suddenly I see. We have entered the era of Helens on their heroine’s journeys that promise to rebalance the Force. Madam Sosostris would approve.

Yeah, so last night, the Holy Mother of Rey enters me, dancing to the music of time. With her left hand, her darkling yin leads my sundance yang. Quiet, girl, the junk boss shouts into my ear, anxious to quell my rising anima within. To my right is my fellow clansman who waves the menacing Crolute away. He reassures me: we are in another country where on the plains of Lothal the sinews of the Amazon network have supplanted those of the iron horse. The sky powers, Thunder and Lightening, he says, have imprinted themselves anew on his daughter’s uki rocks. It’s world where urchins and orphans, young Ezras and Reys, do use the Force before knowing what it is. The sky is darkening above Taos, he tells me. Can you hear the buffalo thunder in the distance?

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John 'Dak' Morton
John portrayed Dak Ralter, Luke Skywalker’s Gunner during the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back. When Jeremy Bulloch played an Imperial Officer, he needed someone to cover him as Fett. Morton being similar in height was a body double for two days in costume. He filmed with another unit, the sequence when Fett confronts Darth Vader in the Bespin hallway during Han Solo’s torture – while Bulloch filmed his scenes as the Imperial Officer. Afterwards he left Hollywood and eventually settled in public relations work back in Annapolis.