Archives for posts with tag: George Lucas

“I’ve been dying a little bit each day since you came back to my life.”  “I truly, deeply love you.”  “…being around her is intoxicating.”   If you’re like me, you’ll find these lines in “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack Of The Clones” nauseating.  This is dialogue I expect from a first time screenwriter who is still in Junior High School.

Co-wrote another mediocre screenplay, George Lucas has.   One of my greatest fears is that Lucas writes or co-writes another “Star Wars” screenplay; and my fears came true again with this movie.  Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.  And so, my fellow “Star Wars” fans, we again suffer through another Episode that had so much promise that went unfulfilled.

Ten years have passed in the “Star Wars” universe since Episode I.  Thousands of solar systems have left the Republic (the Separatist Movement); intergalactic war is imminent.   Hayden Christensen (playing a teen-aged Anakin Skywalker) is now a powerful, Jedi apprentice, learning from Ewan McGregor (playing Obi Wan Kenobi).  Both are tasked with unraveling a mystery as to who is trying to kill Natalie Portman (playing Senator Amidala).  This leads to an awkward, ten year reunion between Christensen and Portman, leading to awkward banter, leading to awkward flirting, leading to a cringeworthy romance.  Let’s get this straight: Christensen and Portman are good actors; but no matter how good your actors are, if they are given a s*#t script, you will get a s*#t performance.   It’s like giving a Ferrari low-grade fuel that’s been sitting around for 5 years.

Anyway, as Portman and Christensen are making kissy faces at each other, McGregor investigates a bounty hunter involved in Portman’s assassination attempt.  This leads him to a planet where a clone army (clearly, the predecessor of Stormtroopers) has been ordered by a Jedi Knight for the use of The Republic.  Who exactly ordered this army, and why?  The overall plot of “Attack Of The Clones” is a good one, with a bit of mystery and a few plot twists; but most of all it contains the evolving relationship between Portman and Christensen, and Christensen’s slow descent into the Dark Side of The Force .  In the hands of a skilled screenwriter, this movie would have soared to new heights that would have approached the level of “The Empire Strikes Back.”  Instead we got Stevie Wonder behind the wheels of a Lamborghini.

Please give me a few moments to suffer in silence as I ponder on what could have been…

Okay.  On to Manny’s memorable, movie moments.  One such moment is the scene when we see jet packs come out of R2-D2’s legs and he starts flying!  That was super cool!  I’m sure we were all geeking out with that scene!

And for my most memorable, movie moment of “Attack Of The Clones”…Yoda’s lightsaber duel with Count Dooku!  I think every “Star Wars” fan yelled out “holy s*@t” when the little dude lit up his green saber and went off on Dooku!  In “Empire Strikes Back” Yoda said “Judge me by my size, do you?  And well you should not.  For my ally is The Force, and a powerful ally, it is.”  He was not kidding.

Nitpicking time.  Wasn’t it nice for the insect army of Geonosis to let Portman keep her utility belt during the execution scene so she could slip out a pin to remove her shackles and escape?  Didn’t you find it odd that McGregor didn’t bother to help out Yoda during his fight with Dooku?  Yes, McGregor was wounded, but he could still wave his hand and move things around.  What about Portman’s decoy (played by Rose Byrne) who was a few feet away from a huge explosion that destroyed a large ship?  A few minutes later into the movie, she’s right as rain.  Yoda mentions early in the movie that it is impossible to see the future.  WTF, George!  In “Empire…” Yoda and Luke saw the future (Han and Chewbacca being tortured in a city in the clouds, Leia being the other hope)!  George Lucas had Yoda say this to cover his ass re: why none of the Jedi Knights — none, none, all these years — foresaw Anakin becoming Darth Vader!  And one doesn’t have to be clairvoyant to see that Anakin Skywalker is a bad egg — just look at his face, his attitude, the things he says, his reckless actions, his disregard for authority.  What about…never mind.   I should know better than to ask when dealing with a writer/director who spends hours finding the right pattern on a piece of clothing for a character that shows up for only two seconds, yet does not put in the time necessary to turn in a script absent silly lines of dialogue and plot holes.

Yes, Maximus, I was entertained, but equally disappointed.  A movie this important to “Star Wars” fans, with a gigantic budget and thousands of people working in it should be as close to perfect as possible.  No excuses are acceptable.  So here are your grades, George Lucas: Special Effects — A; Sound Effects — A; Costumes — A; Sets — A; Direction — B; Screenplay — F-.

Now go home and get your shine box!

— M



Written and directed by George Lucas — six of the most fearsome words to movie fans, these are.

“The Phantom Menace” is the first part of the prequel trilogy to the “Star Wars” movies.  Lucas goes way back here…before Luke Skywalker was born, before Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, before the dark times, before the Empire.

Senator Palpatine (who would become the Emperor) has created a false threat — a phantom menace — about a growing conflict involving taxation of trade routes and embargos and invasion and war, all to set in motion events that will allow him to rise in power as he promises to bring order throughout the galaxy.   Put into this turmoil are two Jedi Knights — Liam Neeson and his apprentice, Ewan Mcgregor (playing a young, Ben Kenobi) — who, throughout their mission, encounter the droids R2-D2 and C3PO, a young Anakin, and Anakin’s future wife (played by Natalie Portman).

One of my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when we are first introduced to R2-D2.  Portman’s ship is under attack, and her deflector shield has been damaged.  Four Astromech droids are sent outside to mend the broken parts, and three are quickly destroyed by enemy laser beams.  R2-D2 is the last droid standing, and it manages to bypass the thingamajig’s energy particle dilithium crystal thingies to repair the damage.  R2 saves the day, setting a precedent that will last all six episodes.

As most “Star Wars” fans may have guessed, my most memorable, movie moment of “The Phantom Menace” is the lightsaber duel between McGregor and Ray Park (playing Darth Maul).   Whatever problems the movie had — and it had plenty of them — they all went away when Darth Maul emerged and his light staff lit up to fight  Neeson and McGregor.  Unfortunately, when the duel was over, we were again in the world of Lucas’ shortcomings.

I want to be fair to Lucas.  I believe the man is a genius when it comes to filmmaking.  It’s not that he lost that ability, it’s that he lost his focus: instead of focusing on the story and characters, he started focusing on the costumes and special effects and sound effects and action sequences.   There are parts in “Episode 1” that shows his talents: the droid army entering Naboo’s capital is similar to the Nazis entering Paris during WW II; the duel between the Jedi Knights and Darth Maul; and Lucas’ great use of the subject of a government creating threats to instill fear in those they govern, in hopes the people will give the government more power to supposedly provide greater protection for the people.

All of the good things above are crushed by the following: Jar Jar Binks (and his way of talking that sounds like a black buffoon of early movies); horrible dialogue throughout the movie (“Are you an angel?” — I almost throw up every time I hear that line); the Trade Federation who sound like stereotypical, old Jewish men; the character Watto who sounds like a stereotypical Arab man; enemy droids who talk like idiots (“roger roger”); the lack of emotion on Anakin’s mother when Anakin leaves her (was she not capable of acting like a distraught mother who may never see her young son again — in which case it’s Lucas’ fault for not casting someone who was capable of doing so — or did she have the talent to do so but Lucas didn’t see a need for all that drama, in which case it’s Lucas’ fault for lacking the vision to know that the separation scene should have been more emotionally devastating).   Okay, I’ll stop beating a dead horse.

“The Phantom Menace” is light years away from being in the same league as “The Empire Strikes Back,” but it still has to be seen by every “Star Wars” fan because it’s part of the story, whether you like it or not.  We’re stuck with that movie…search your feelings, you know it to be true.

— M



The final movie of the original “Star Wars” trilogy, “Return of The Jedi” bestows upon fans the rescue of Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford), the truth of the connection between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill), a massive, Rebel Alliance offense against the Empire’s new Death Star; and the long-awaited, final duel between Vader and Skywalker.

For the hundreds of millions who have seen this movie countless times, there’s almost nothing I can say that you haven’t already read or heard about.  For those who still haven’t seen the movies, what are you waiting for? Take 6 hours of your life and watch Episodes 4 through 6.

So what’s so special about this Special Edition?  An enhanced, Sarlacc monster (you know, the big mouth in the desert that looked like an angry anus), a new song and dance number in Jabba’s palace (which I thought was not in the same tone as the rest of the scenes in that place, and therefore made the movie worse, new celebration scenes and music at the end of the movie, and a bunch of little things here and there that most won’t notice…ksjgl…wlodkwwwlloosp0-0%$…sorry, I fell asleep.  Okay, let’s keep it moving.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Return of The Jedi” is the scene when Vader’s helmet is removed.  After 9 years of the “Star Wars” trilogy, we finally see what is behind the mask!

Second place for my memorable moment of this movie is the scene ***Spoiler Alert*** when Mark Hamill realizes that Leia (played by Carrie Fisher) is his sister!  She is the person whom Yoda referred to in “Empire…” when Yoda said there is another hope.

Taking third place among my most memorable moments of “Return…” is the scene that had Fisher in the Slave Girl outfit that put a smile on so many young boys.   Princess Leia/Carrie Fisher was at her hottest!

3 years after “The Empire Strikes Back,” George Lucas and company ties up the first trilogy in a mostly satisfying way.  Ewoks, eh, I could have done without them.  I would have preferred the original vision of having Wookies instead of Ewoks.  Sadly, the Special Edition didn’t replace the midget bears with Wookies.  On the upside, “Return of The Jedi” is the movie that had the least tampering when it comes to the Special Edition.  And that is a good thing, because Lucas has a tendency to keep changing the first 6 “Star Wars” movies.  I’ll take this movie as it was, flaws and all, back in 1983 when it first came out, the same year my parents took me to the movies to see it.

Flaws are usually not a good thing, but they are part of what makes us what we are.

— M

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My parents bought me these 2 items when we saw the movie in 1983

Rarely does the second movie in a series surpass — regarding quality — the first movie.  “The Empire Strikes Back” (the original and the Special Edition) is one of those rare movies that does so.  And of all the “Star Wars” movies, this is my favorite.

“Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back” brings back all our loved heroes and hated villain from Episode IV: Mark Hamill as Luke, Harrison Ford as Han, Carrie Fisher as Leia, Alec Guiness as Ben Kenobi, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca, and James Earl Jones/David Prowse as Darth Vader.  Three important characters are introduced as well: Yoda, the Emperor, and Lando (played by Billy Dee Williams, Mr. Colt .45 himself, oh yeah!).

To paraphrase the prologue, since the rebellion’s victory over the Empire in the previous movie, the Empire has mounted a major offensive and has been kicking the rebels’ butts all over the galaxy.  The rebels have regrouped and found shelter on a remote, ice planet called Hoth, but Vader’s obsession with Hamill has Vader sending probes everywhere, and it’s only a matter of time before Vader finds what he’s looking for.

Hoth is assaulted by the Empire, forcing the rebels to scatter as their defenses are shattered by Vader’s forces.  Hamill escapes and sets out on a quest to find the Jedi master, Yoda, to continue his training to be a Jedi knight.  Ford, Fisher, Mayhew and C-3PO (played by Anthony Daniels) are in the Millennium Falcon, constantly pursued by TIE fighters and Star Destroyers.  And Vader, not able to find Hamill, will settle for capturing Hamill’s friends in order to force Hamill out of hiding.

Oooooh, there are sooooo many good things to talk about this movie!  First, “The Empire Strikes Back” is not directed by George Lucas; that credit belongs to Irvin Kershner.  Also, the screenplay was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan — story by Lucas, of course.  I believe the two main reasons why “Empire…” is such a great movie are that the screenwriting and directing are excellent.  Lucas did his story a great service by relinquishing his directing and screenwriting roles to others.  Hey, let’s face it, Lucas’ talents as a director and screenwriter are hit and miss.   One day he gives us the awesome “American Graffiti,” and the next day he gives us “Red Tails,” a movie that I’m still waiting for Lucas to pay me restitution for having wasted my time on that piece of mediocrity.  Moving on!

There are many new things in this movie that were not in Episode IV.  AT-ATs (All Terrain Armored Transports); AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport, you know, the one that looks like a mechanical chicken); Snowspeeders; Twin Pod Cloud Cars; TIE Bombers; Imperial Probe Droids; Super Star Destroyer; Tauntauns; Wampa Ice Monster; multiple wardrobe changes for Hamill, Ford, and Fisher.  What else…?  Vader has become more fearsome, killing his officers who disappoint him, prompting fearful looks from his Star Destroyer crew anytime he walks by.  We get a much improved, lightsaber duel thanks to Lucas hiring an expert swordsman to handle the choreography.  Ford shows what a badass pilot he really is.  Mayhew’s Chewbacca is shown to be more than Ford’s co-pilot, he is also a mechanic and great friend who shows sorrow and anger when Ford’s life is in peril.  Hamill is now part of a love triangle with Fisher and Ford — shocking, disgusting, and possibly titillating (depending on what floats your boat)…you know what I mean if you’ve seen Episode VI.

Now I will list the most interesting, new additions to this Special Edition version.  More shots of the Wampa Ice Monster, new shots of the Millennium Falcon flying through Bespin Cloud City, Hamill screaming as he falls after his fight with Vader, and a few shots of Vader preparing to go back to his Super Star Destroyer after his fight with Hamill.  Yeah, no major changes here; but then again, when you have a near perfect movie to begin with, why mess with it?   Sadly, Lucas messed with “Empire…” again years later.   By the time the Lucas dies, there may be a dozen versions of “Empire…”

Okay, time for some trivia.  Remember the scene when Hamill was in Bespin, and he was tailing the guard detail that was escorting Fisher to Vader’s ship?  Remember the Imperial officer who used Fisher as a shield from Hamill’s possible attack?  That officer is the same guy who played Boba Fett!  Also, Hamill had a car accident prior to the filming of “Empire…”  When I was a kid, I always wondered why Hamill’s face changed considerably from Episode IV to Episode V.  I didn’t know back then that Hamill was in an accident that damaged his face.   Having his character’s face mauled by the Wampa monster was a good cover to explain Hamill’s altered features.   Oh!  Oh!  You’re going to like this one: remember when Ford had the Falcon attached to one of the Star Destroyers as a way to hide from his pursuers?  Ford was watching the fleet break up, and he said something to Fisher like “if they follow standard Imperial protocol, they’ll dump their garbage before jumping to hyperspace.”  How did Ford know all this?  Well, I read somewhere a long time ago that Ford (Han Solo) used to be a soldier of the Empire, but was booted out when he fought another Imperial soldier who was maltreating a Wookie named Chewbacca.

As great a movie as “Empire…” is, it’s not without shenanigans.  When the Millennium Falcon is shadowed by Boba Fett’s ship after the garbage purge of the Star Destroyers, Ford had no clue that he was being followed.  Are you kidding?  Take a look at how close Fett’s ship was to the Falcon!  Hey, I love this movie, so it gets a pass.

Fourth place in my most memorable moments of this movie is the scene when Ford is about to be lowered to test out a carbon freezing process that may kill him.  Fisher says “I love you” to Ford, and Ford answers back with “I know.”  Ha ha!  What a cocky bastard!   That reply worked on so many levels.  By the way, I read that “I know” was not ad-libbed.  Ford was supposed to say something like “I’ll be back,” but Ford wasn’t sure he wanted to come back for  Episode VI, so they changed the line.

Third place in my memorable moments of “Empire…” is the scene when Yoda is telling Hamill about the Force.  How it surrounds us, and binds us.  That living things are luminous beings, not the “crude matter” that our bodies are made of.   These few words of Yoda packs a huge punch, because he touches on religion, the afterlife, and the need for being connected to the world around us.  The thought that our spirits, our minds, go on long after our bodies are gone is a great comfort to many people.

Taking the runner-up spot for my memorable moments of this movie: the scene when Hamill leaves Yoda and forsakes his training to look for and save his friends who are being tortured by Vader.  As Hamill’s X-Wing fighter ascends, Guiness says “that boy is our last hope,” followed by Yoda replying “No, there is another.”   Ooooh, that’s a big one there!   Episode VI reveals who this other hope is.


And finally…my most memorable movie moment of “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back”…most of you “Star Wars” fans would have to agree that it is the scene when Vader revealed to Hamill what happened to Hamill’s father.  I don’t know about you, but I get the chills every time Vader utters those lines.

May The Force be with you.  Unless you’re a d*@k, in which case may you always have sand in your shoes that you can never fully get rid of.

— M

This is me a few years ago geeking out with my Force FX Lightsabers.

This is me a few years ago geeking out with my Force FX Lightsabers.

This is my most prized, "Star Wars" toy, because it has a lot of sentimental value to me.  It is a 1977 Darth Vader action figure that is in near mint condition, with an intact lightsaber that is still tight.

This is my most prized, “Star Wars” toy, because it has a lot of sentimental value to me. It is a 1977 Darth Vader action figure that is in near mint condition, with an intact lightsaber that is still tight.

In the 1970’s, writer/director George Lucas created a magnum opus of science fiction and fantasy and religion, complete with innovative visual and sound effects that has changed how we experience movies.  That great work is “Star Wars,” later to be named “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.”  Lucas, not being satisfied with the production quality of his movie (mostly due to budgetary constraints), decided to fiddle with “Star Wars IV,” modifying some scenes and adding in completely new scenes.  So, in 1997, he released the Special Edition of “Star Wars IV.”

In another time, in a place very far away, an evil, galactic empire has constructed a Death Star, a space station that can destroy a planet with one blast.  Sowing fear and terror to subdue the empire’s territories are its primary purposes; total destruction of planets not falling in with the program will be its task should the rebellion against the empire not cease.  The main players in this story are Mark Hamill (who plays a young farmer who will soon be thrust into the heart of the rebellion against the empire); Carrie Fisher (who plays a Princess, rebellion sympathizer and prisoner of the empire); Harrison Ford (playing a cocky pilot/smuggler who reluctantly joins the rebels in rescuing Fisher); Alec Guinness (as a mysterious, old man who guides Hamill to his destiny); and David Prowse/James Earl Jones (as Darth Vader, terror of the empire, right hand man of the Emperor, wearing an all black outfit with a fully enclosed helmet, with a very intimidating breathing sound).

Now that I’ve gotten the synopsis (which most movie fans already know) out of the way, let’s talk about the more fun stuff about this movie.  First, I’ll talk about the major changes.  The greatest change is an all new scene between Ford and crime lord Jabba The Hutt.  Originally shot with a human playing Jabba, the scene ended up on the cutting room floor as it was redundant and it didn’t look good.  But with 1990s technology, Lucas had the human actor replaced with a computer generated image of Jabba (based on “Return of The Jedi”).  The result?  A redundant scene (due to most of the dialogue being repeated from an earlier scene) that looks cool the first few times you watch it.  After that, the fallacy of adding this scene becomes very obvious.  What’s more, we see Boba Fett hanging back with Jabba’s other henchman!  The super-cool factor of seeing Fett was destroyed when, at the end of the scene, Fett stops walking, looks at the camera, and then moves on.  It’s like Lucas screaming, “Hey, guys, did you notice Boba Fett!”  Yeah, dude, we saw him.  I guess we have to count our blessings that Lucas didn’t put a name tag on Boba Fett in day-glo colors to make certain that everybody notices him.  This scene, by the way, is one of my most memorable, movie moments of this Special Edition.

Another big change to the original is the addition of dozens, if not hundreds, of characters moving about the Mos Eisley Spaceport.  Lucas wanted a busier spaceport than he originally created, and now he has it.  Speaking of the Spaceport, there is a Spaceport scene that Lucas modified much to the horror of “Star Wars” fans.  That scene is the one where Greedo has a gun on Harrison Ford, talking all kinds of trash and obviously intending to kill Ford right then and there.  So what does Lucas do?  He has Greedo shoot first — and miss horribly — and then have Ford shoot back and fry Greedo with one shot.  Lucas, dude, WTF!  There was absolutely no need to modify that scene!  Oh, man, I think Lucas thought Ford came off as a bad guy because he shot first.  If that’s the case, Lucas’ fears were unfounded, as Ford shooting first was clearly an act of self defense — Ford’s life was in imminent danger of serious injury or death.  This controversial scene is my most memorable, movie moment of “Star Wars IV” Special Edition.

The last major change in the Special Edition of Episode IV that I will talk about is the addition of a scene between Mark Hamill and the character Biggs Darklighter.  Both are friends, going way back to their hometown planet of Tatooine, and now they reunite on a secret, rebel base, getting ready to launch an assault against the Death Star.  What’s important about this scene is it reinforces Hamill’s great ability to fly a ship, as mentioned by Biggs to the flight leader who asks Hamill if he is sure he can handle the X-Wing fighter.  Yeah, I know, there’s a bit of shenanigans going on here.  Hamill is going from low-tech, farm spaceships to a high-tech, fighter ship…with virtually no training!  At least none that the movie shows.  There are more shenanigans in this movie, of course, but this movie is so cool that I don’t want to harp on them much.  I’ll talk about some trivia instead.

Did you notice the stormtrooper hitting his head at the top of the doorway during the scene when the stormtroopers went into the command center where C-3PO and R2-D2 were hiding? Interesting that Lucas kept that in the movie.

Did you notice that Darth Vader’s light saber was white in the shot where he was walking toward the Millennium Falcon after he finished his duel with Alec Guinness?

Did you know Carrie Fisher thought she wasn’t going to get the role of Leia because she thought she was too short and chubby?

Did you know that when Lucas previewed this movie to his filmmaker friends, many of them basically said, “better luck next time, George”?

Have you noticed that many of the helmets in this movie are shaped like d@*$heads?  That Fisher’s spaceship in the opening sequence is shaped like a dildo?

And this part is really funny: the first time Hamill sees Fisher’s ­image, he is clearly enamored with her.  Hey, bud, put away the lightsaber; Hamill’s Luke has more in common with Fisher’s Leia ­­­­­­­than he knows.

I have seen “Star Wars Episode IV” over 50 times in its various iterations and will see it many more times before my time is up in this world.  It not only provides great entertainment, it also teaches about having faith, that there is a greater force in the universe that we can tap into to help us in our daily lives.  It tells the importance of friendship, courage and sacrifice.

Now, “Star Wars” fans, go watch this movie again.  You know you want to.  From the first movie to the last, so that you’ll be ready for the next “Star Wars” movie next year.  May the force be with you…unless you’re a jackass, in which case may Jabba sit on your face until you asphyxiate.

— M

Laserdisc set of "Star Wars" Episodes IV, V, VI Special Editions.  $102.99 from Tower Records!

Laserdisc set of “Star Wars” Episodes IV, V, VI Special Editions. $102.99 from Tower Records!

“American Graffiti,” George Lucas’ homage to Cali teens and young adults during the 1950s cruising scenes, is a classic that every generation can connect with.   Whether you were a teenager during the horse and buggy years, or a young man with an eight-cylinder, 2012 Pony car, “American Graffiti” has moments that seem very familiar to most of us.  Cruising in your ride, making out in your car, street racing, break-ups and make-ups with your girl or boy, going to dances, going to a cheeseburger joint, getting your car stolen, and making decisions on what to do with the rest of your life after high school.

For men, this movie has a greater fascination for us, because it’s a movie that prominently shows cars and all the glory they bring.  Cars allow us to pick women up during a date, and take them wherever they want to go — gone is the embarrassment of having to pick up your date on foot and waiting for a bus.  Cars give us confidence: we believe the power, speed, and beauty of these machines are infused with our bodies as we get behind the wheel.  Cars give us the first taste of raw freedom and control.  It is an awesome thing.

“American Graffiti” treats us to a young, George Lucas, back when he knew how to write and direct.  We are also treated to very young stars such as Ron Howard, Harrison Ford, Richard Dreyfuss, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, and Mackenzie Phillips.  And of course, there’s the music that keeps the nostalgia going for the rest of the movie.

My most memorable, movie moment of  “American Graffiti” is the scene when Charles Martin Smith is handed the keys and safekeeping of Ron Howard’s car.  The joy on Martin’s face is something every driver knows, as at some point, we were given the keys to our first ride.   The whole world fades away, and for a brief moment the only thing in life worth living for is to drive that car.

And for many of us, the love of cars goes on for the rest of our lives.  One very, very late and cold Friday night I decided to take a drive from Queens, NYC, to Suffolk County, Long Island, using the back roads.  The trip took several hours, and for the most part I was the only one on the road.  My senses were heightened from not having to waste any thoughts on traffic or careless drivers.  I took in every sight and sound of my vehicle and the streets.  I enjoyed every bit of it like it was my last night in this world.  I felt free.


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