Dak’s 4th and Final on TFA: Maz Kanata and the Land of Phoenician Dust

The true depiction of fantastic reality is often mistaken, yes, for the bogus renderings of the Yaqui way of knowledge. The poet among the lunatics is the traveler who sees what she sees, not the tourist who sees only what she has come to see.

Last night brought with it another visitation. This time, she was a Steampunk E.T., a faded Takodana rose from millennia gone by. A Luo traveler, once enslaved north of the bayou country, she comes from a distant tribe of fishermen. She gives voice to our shared unconscious. For countless generations, she has followed the bantha tracks. She has entranced the shaggy lizard of the Iroquois. She has romanced the Wookiee. She has communed eye-to-eye with big cats. And she has seen the same eyes in different creatures. Needing adventure, she has sailed the seven seas. In search of treasure, she has lived on grander dreams. That is until the end of her pirate days when the first woman of all gifts opened her reliquary box, and evil took on many forms, and lightsaber visions rained down on Perceval when she prematurely reached for the sheathed Excalibur. And yet—this bespectacled Force sentient assures me—remains Elpis.

Grandly, this diminutive pirate captain then passes me a sabre-tooth and bids me take it. She says such prizes inform our imaginings and play, even our futures. Sailor, she now whispers. Come home. We abide within a magic circle, where we children play our games of chance until we are become warriors who can cross the rainbow bridge of imagination. In her airship, she says, she will take me there that I may comprehend all in its grand totality. In an instant, we are on the quarterdeck. And as we ascend, I look down and see I have left behind my shadow selves at some ghost ranch in the sands below. She eyes me reassuringly. They’re never coming back, she voices.

I am the New Eve, and I tell you: this story we are all in now informs all peoples. We owe it to ourselves and to them to understand fully what it means. Only a fool ignores this truth. We are stardust. We are golden. And we may not know who we are, but life is for learning. Yes, learning, as long as the line of our clan continues, primally proceeding through the waist-high waters of the marsh until the end when we traverse in majesty alone as the tallest of creatures on this Earth.

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And thus she spoke as we did fly over antres vast and deserts idle, spying creatures of the air beside and creatures of the land and sea below—all on the move, all making their tracks in all their glory—as all the while her kinsman did sing of our dream of `afar, the land of Phoenician dust.

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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.