Gone The New Hope

Yes! I'm sorry, I've had quite the busy spell but a new update is forthcoming and the sequel thread will be begun soon.

Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Welcome to the insanity! Thanks for the kind words and don't worry there's much more to come.

Love the username by the way...

Take your time to make it as great as usual. I was just worried the timeline just died like so many others before it. Glad to know you are still here and writing. Keep it up and above all have fun doing it.
Thank you for the TL

Confessed lurker on the boards, one of the "silent, judging, masses", heh. :D Just dropping in to say how much I dig this TL, the vision of Dune with Spader was like a crysknife to the heart in terms of how much I want to pop over to this TL and pick up the bluray of it.

Again, keep up the good work as often the muse allows, quality does not require speed.
Love the TL !
I wonder how this affects the betamax vs vhs war?
What about laserdiscs and audio cds?

IIRC all of those technologies were just coming out in the 1975 - 1980 range.
Take your time to make it as great as usual. I was just worried the timeline just died like so many others before it. Glad to know you are still here and writing. Keep it up and above all have fun doing it.

Hey, thanks!

This has been a fun TL and the best parts are yet to come.

However, my writing partner has opted to leave the site indefinitely under some mysterious circumstance or another. With my lack of Internet, an inspired idea for a pre-1900 TL, and the loss of my collaborator (and, I thought, friend) I've found working much more on this TL an improbable chore.

That's not to say there won't be more GTNH, I plan on getting to present day at some point... it's just going to take a lot more time to do and the updates may be less detailed. A qualified and enthusiastic helper would be a big help but I'm worried about offending those who I would inevitably have to turn down.

The only user who could replace Vultan in my opinion would be someone with the enthusiasm and knowledge of Nivek with the time, skill, and English of Brainbin.

Hang in there. This isn't dead. But expect it to be rather different and, at least for a time slow in coming...

Confessed lurker on the boards, one of the "silent, judging, masses", heh. :D Just dropping in to say how much I dig this TL, the vision of Dune with Spader was like a crysknife to the heart in terms of how much I want to pop over to this TL and pick up the bluray of it.

Again, keep up the good work as often the muse allows, quality does not require speed.

I'm honored to be responsible for your first post! The TL that brought me to the site was Wilcoxchar's Union and Liberty and for four years I wondered if I could have the same effect on another lurker... :D

Dune's casting has been rough. I've always been a fan of Spader and I think he could have been a stellar Paul. I also needed someone good who for continuity could later be believable as Kyle Maclachlan's father...

Welcome to the board, thanks for reading and commenting, and if there's ever anything I can do to help you on here please don't hesitate to ask me.

Love the TL !
I wonder how this affects the betamax vs vhs war?
What about laserdiscs and audio cds?

IIRC all of those technologies were just coming out in the 1975 - 1980 range.

Thanks for reading!

Indeed in OTL there were clear winners and losers in the format wars.

Without getting into too much detail, in ttl the formats stay pretty much tied for a variety of reasons. Eventually, the formats most used stay for the most part OTL, with an exception or two, but the competing format is still widely available for alternate use unlike in OTL.

Again, thanks everyone for the feedback and encouragement. You have no idea how much it's needed and appreciated.

Apologies for the wait but you are not forgotten! Update soonish and in the meantime...

May the Force be with you... Always...
Coming soon...

While I'm not quite finished outlining the next update, I did want to let you all know that after a hiatus of over a year I will be returning to Gone The New Hope with an update within the month.

Thanks to all of you for your support and patience and I assure you that I will try my best to give you the best possible end result for your wait.
While I'm not quite finished outlining the next update, I did want to let you all know that after a hiatus of over a year I will be returning to Gone The New Hope with an update within the month.

Thanks to all of you for your support and patience and I assure you that I will try my best to give you the best possible end result for your wait.


Fuck yeah, waiting to see it, i was thinking the worst but (see image)
'It's important to remember that sometimes these things take time... Sometimes they even take years.'


'Illinois Congressman and recent presidential hopeful John B. Anderson announced yesterday his plans to host a "Symposium on Union and Liberty" in Chicago next summer. Anderson ran an ultimately doomed but fascinatingly quixotic Republican primary campaign over the past year against George Bush and eventual nominee Ronald Reagan, before launching an historic independent run in the general election very nearly unprecedented in modern American politics.

Drawing almost as many moderate to conservative Democratic and independent voters as he attracted moderate to liberal Republicans and independents - as well as securing a comparatively large percentage of the youth and minority votes despite competition for those same demographics from Democratic rival Governor Jerry Brown - the scholarly statesman can be reluctantly described as a political rogue. Now, he says, he's interested in zeroing in on problems in the nation that don't receive a lot of attention from either major party and perhaps more alarmingly to Anderson, from the American electorate.

"Infrastructure isn't sexy," he told reporters from the Sun-Times and others at a press conference held in Springfield yesterday afternoon, "Electoral college reform isn't sexy. You rarely if ever hear a politician from either party talk about campaign finance reform, a fair vote, limiting or eliminating the influence of lobbyists, reevaluating the Federal Reserve, or improving or even perfecting how the American people exercise their right to true representation. These issues and many more fall by the wayside during election years, but during the course of my campaign I discovered that these issues directly or indirectly impact Americans in spite of their lack of knowledge or concern about them. The voters are under informed or distracted by who is taxing what and how big a stick we should wield."

Anderson is calling upon economists, educators, activists, analysts, philosophers, businessmen, scientists, political theorists, scholars, and yes, even a few politicians from all corners of the political spectrum to participate in the Symposium, where over the course of the week various and frequently overlooked problems facing the country can be pinpointed, discussed, and theorized upon with the purpose of finding "objective and pragmatic" ways to inform and involve American voters, and finding non-partisan, bi-partisan, or even multi-partisan ways to then improve the country and eliminate the agreed upon maladies.

"I think we need fresh eyes on these issues and many more in order to truly find ways to make them matter to the citizens of this country," Anderson said, "and of course to find ways to address them. I am positive there is a problem that a libertarian and a socialist would agree upon, and they would even agree on how to fix it."

Bold words, but that seems to be precisely whom Anderson is trying to attract. "Radical moderates," he joked at the press conference, but the accompanying press release does seem to indicate that moderate to liberal Republicans, moderate to conservative Democrats, socialists, libertarians, political outsiders abandoned by their parties, and open-minded independents will all be welcome and represented as equally as possible. "I believe most Americans are a little bit of all of the above, whether they like it - or even know it - or not. But most if not all of these issues transcend politics and party. I don't need to know who you vote for to try to improve our country with you."

Anderson is vague about whether this event will turn into a sort of convention for a new political party with him at the helm, and that's exactly what critics are calling the Symposium. He hasn't yet decided on another run at the White House and so soon after his valiant defeat no one could blame him. Having received the requisite percentage of the popular vote in this month's election to acquire Federal campaign matching funds for '84, however, it's a near certainty that John B. Anderson or someone he supports will carry his message onto the campaign trail in four years.

For now, though, Anderson seems content to focus on the short term and the big picture. "I think if this is a success we could see some unique planks trickling onto the platforms of down ballot candidates from all parties, and if there's progress at a local level those seeds could begin to sprout and bear interesting fruit come the midterms."

While optimistic, that does apparently make enough sense in theory that already some major names are voicing their support. Chief among them is the aforementioned vanquished Democratic Presidential nominee and recent John B. Anderson opponent California Governor Jerry Brown who praised the idea and vowed to participate. "I think it's an interesting idea in a time when interesting ideas should perhaps more than ever be encouraged. I'm really looking forward to it." Also expected to participate is fellow Californian Thomas Sowell, a renowned African-American economist and educator, self described libertarian-Republican, and Vice President-elect Jack Kemp acolyte who has in recent years begun a quiet political career as a California State Assemblyman and now Senator. Also expected to join Gov. Brown and Congressman Anderson are such disparate characters as soon to be former Democratic Vice President Walter Mondale, businessman Lee Iacocca, political theorist and writer Noam Chomsky, Republican Congressman Ronald Paul of Texas, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, activist and newly elected Mayor of Burlington, Vermont Bernard "Bernie" Sanders, former Congressman and Anderson's Vice Presidential pick Edward Brooke, and economist Walter E. Williams.

The Symposium on Union and Liberty will be held for a week, the beginning of which will operate as something like a cloistered "think-tank" consisting of a select group of "the best and brightest minds of the left, right, and middle," before opening into a larger invitation only convention for two days. The Symposium will then become open to a select number of the public for limited participation over the next two days, with the final day being completely open to the public. John B. Anderson envisions crowds cheering for ideas they had never before considered and being invigorated by the diversity and unity represented onstage. "When you've got all that enthusiasm directed at a stage on which, seated side by side, are a white billionaire and a black professor, or an activist seated next to a politician, etc. people won't be able to help but think, "maybe we really should be doing something about corruption, or about improving the Electoral College, or about maintaining our bridges,"' he laughs, 'and that's ultimately the goal.'

A lofty goal indeed, considering the current state of the more allegorical bridges in our country.

The Symposium on Union and Liberty is expected to be held next summer in Chicago, Illinois.'

- The Chicago Sun-Times, November 27th, 1980

'We really didn't know what we were on the verge of then. I certainly didn't and I don't believe he did either. We were dipping our toes into history and finding it just warm enough to dive in...'

- Thomas Sowell, 1991


'Of course, at that time, we were all quite worried about Ian - and for good reason. He had been caught trying to hang himself the night before we left for America. No one had any time to recover from that, least of all Ian Curtis. But the States did him some good. The lads worked very hard, and played very hard. The single climbed the charts, either because the press was so vocal about his suicide attempt, or perhaps because the boys genuinely did very, very well. I think it was the latter. He wrote less and less though, and the other three wrote more and more. The next album would truly be a collaboration.

The return to the UK was brief. America wanted us back, and we had a bonafide hit single to promote there. This time, however, the clubs would be bigger, the tour would be longer, and something truly impossible would happen. Keith Forsey had become a fan and got us a weird date with Blondie at Studio 54, immediately following our immensely successful CBGB date. The punks revolted. They were horrified that they were fans of a band that was going to play 54. Many of them went to that show to heckle and spit - and horror of horrors - many of them were allowed in. The rest tried to stage a riot outside. The Studio 54 crowd thought it was sensational. The usual coked out disco crowd, interspersed here and there with the requisite glamourous celebrities, were infiltrated by punks or "punks" some of them legitimately wanting to see Blondie and Joy Division, and others only there to cause a scene.

The scene turned on them. The music press called them the "disco-punks" and showed photos of them shirtless hanging on the similarly clad waiters, or sitting atop a movie star's table with all the drinks knocked over drinking straight from a bottle of Moët et Chandon whilst half soaked in it. Of course these kids were infuriated and humiliated, but they all also really enjoyed the show. It was the first time many of them would experience the glamour and invincibility of cocaine, previously an unattainable luxury. New York punks who were more than well on their way to becoming a heroin generation got a taste of the good life.

So began Joy Division's second American tour. CBGB's and Studio 54 to begin. While they were traveling across the States, however, something unexpected happened. Turn-punks treasonously began going to the Studio, and cocaine took over CB's. Once a month on their least busy night of the week, Studio 54 began a semi-ironic "punk night" which consisted of the DJ spinning punk songs in with the usual fare, and some DJs remixing well known punk tracks into dance songs. Drink specials of course. The troublesome thing was that punks actually came. As did seemingly everyone else in New York dressed in their absolute worst. Punk died officially in 1980. Disco had already died. But punk's fuck-off ashes were combined with the drippings from the purposefully absurd sinew of the corpse of disco in the mortar and pestle of what was already being called "new wave." The resulting unholy spawn, when hit with a tasteful dash of hip hop's nascent turntable percussion and a sprinkling of the soon-to-be relevant "8-bit" sound would form a glam-tinged, overtly ironic, vulgar, quasi-violent, death-obsessed, hyper sexual speed ball eventually called "dance-punk," "disco-punk," or sometimes rather unoriginally, "new wave." Punk rock with a supercharged disco beat and ample synth. It barely lasted five years, really, but it infiltrated every genre of music across the board. It was also indirectly responsible for Studio 54's IRS raid late in '81 that resulted in the venue's closing for over a year.

By the time the boys returned to New York for the last dates of their tour, CB's even had a tongue-in-cheek "Disco Night" in response, and while it was all fun and games - punk bands doing irreverent covers of shitty disco songs - it also attracted legitimate disco celebrities whose popularity had waned or faded and who just wanted to get piss drunk and play on a real stage again. Joy Division, grumbling the whole way through, would pack out both venues once again. Then, grumbling no longer, they instructed me to procure them flats in New York and studio time with Keith Forsey.

Much like the Beatles or the Stooges or the Sex Pistols or Bowie or arguably even Elvis Presley before them, Joy Division would accidentally invent a revolution one day, denounce it immediately, and then spend years being shamelessly influenced by the artists who took over the revolution they left behind, in an attempt perhaps to subjugate it, perhaps to recapture it. Such poetry. Of course, they couldn't really do any of that with Ian Curtis. Ian was always on borrowed time and anyway, Ian answered to nobody but Ian... Ian or perhaps Debbie.'

- Tony Wilson


'What I have always maintained, and will always continue to maintain, is that George Lucas is an artist; and fortunately for the world artists make poor moguls. Nobody could have predicted in nineteen seventy-five, nineteen seventy-six that George would have this culture defining smash hit picture that allowed him to buy out United Artists and merge his company and Zoetrope into this massive mega corporation. George couldn't have even predicted that. It wasn't the original plan. But the timing was perfect for that eventuality. Solo United spent, lost, and wasted boatloads of money and it also almost always made a profit. If we could use that profit to takeover ailing multimedia conglomerates we could retire in style and make sure only the highest quality film was busting the blocks.

But George, again, is an artist. Had things been different I think George could have continued to be a producer and a businessman, but he did that so successfully so quickly in the late seventies and early eighties that it bored him. George Lucas is now a consistent filmmaker, he directs a pretty good movie every year or two and every few years he directs a masterpiece. This year he directed a "Star Wars" movie for the first time in over twenty years and it's as beautiful and exciting and meaningful as James Cameron's sequel from three years ago. It's every bit as surprising as the first, and last, "Star Wars" movie he directed in seventy-seven. His original films, his own intellectual property is his comfort zone, because he's an artist. But look at his work on other people's property too. He's directed a Star Trek, an Indiana Jones, even a Godfather. He's done World War II movies and adaptations of novels. The guy is a phenomenal talent. He makes it all uniquely his own. But at the beginning of the eighties he was very close to simply being another Warner, or another Turner, or another Ladd.

Tomes have now been written about Steven. If the Guild Wars was the American Revolution, Steven Spielberg was General Washington. Steven got something in his head after working for Jerry Brown's campaign and decided to single handedly take on the studio system for the cause of something bigger. That snowballed for Steven and we all know the rest. He all but abandoned film at the top of his game. With the possible exception, arguably, of "Dark Skies" he has a perfect record in film criticism and ticket receipts. They'll call him the greatest filmmaker of all time. Maybe he is, though it's funny to think about that now. He was this kid brother to all these "New Hollywood auteurs," became an auteur himself, then managed to become this hitmaker. But from "Jaws" to "Triumph" is a very short time. Think about that. Everyone thought that George would be this studio executive, businessman, producer. In a way that's what Steven became. Everyone thought that Steven Spielberg would direct a good movie every year or two and a masterpiece every few years. That role would instead go to George Lucas.

I was there for all of it and I think I know when it happened exactly. The switch. George wanted to maintain his personal life, his marriage. He had very little to do with these movies that bore his name. He put people together, made dream casts, oversaw some special effects work, bought rights to properties he thought should be made well. The fun parts of filmmaking. When he wasn't doing that he was just filthy rich, delegating business responsibility to able hands, and making Marcia happy. They got so bored. "Raiders" had gone well. George was active in that, but it ultimately wasn't his picture. He didn't direct it. He didn't have much to do on "Dune" or "the Batman" or "Lord of the Rings..." He wanted to direct something. Marcia wanted him to do that too.

George co-directed "1941" with Ron Howard, co-wrote it with Zemeckis and Bob Gale, and of course, produced it. It came out in December of eighty one and did reasonably well, before "Rings" destroyed it. It wasn't enough for George, but it started the Howard-Zemeckis relationship which I think is important, even now.

What George really wanted was a "Star Trek" and he eventually got Gene Roddenberry's blessing, but Paramount - this was before the merger with Fox - was absolutely against it. On the one hand they knew his name would attract all these new sci-fi fans and that the special effects budget and technology he could acquire was an infinite asset. On the other hand, they'd lose not just hardcore Trekkies, but the franchise forevermore. The new wave of filmmakers and fans would desecrate their crown jewel, and besides, they had had just about enough of Gene Roddenberry anyway.

George and Gene pushed it. The guy Paramount wanted to write it was Nick Meyer. They'd wanted him to direct it too. An unknown, but a talented unknown. He was already writing the script. George called him and they met. George wanted to find a compromise. Paramount said George Lucas could have a minor producer's credit and could co-write the story and could be allowed to do some doctoring on the final script as long as it was minor. In return, Paramount would have unlimited access to Solo United's resources, particularly its special effects division, ILM for this one film. Under no circumstances would they allow George to direct, but if Nick Meyer could co-direct some of the main unit and all of the second unit as well as produce, they'd let George and Nick pick a compromise director subject to Paramount's approval. They agreed on Irvin Kershner. Paramount flinched but gave the green light. That movie would of course become "The Vengeance of Khan" which I think is a masterpiece and came out in eighty-two. Marcia Lucas was on the editing team and it reinvigorated her. The Lucases had tested the air with "Raiders" and "Vengeance" and were ready to tackle something of their own.

Some ideas were floated around for a time. Steven and I wanted to help. Finally George got a letter from a little classroom asking him to adapt their favorite book, "The Outsiders" into a film. He asked me to write it and produce and I said yes. Anything but "Batman" or "Godfather" I thought. Write and produce "The Outsiders" for George? Sure. That movie also came out in eighty-two.

Of course, everyone loved that movie. When I directed "Rumblefish" the sort-of spiritual sequel which George co-wrote and produced for me and far fewer people loved that, the writing was on the wall. George needed to direct. I needed to write and produce. It was that simple. It took him until nineteen eighty-five, two years after he directed a little movie called, "Gremlin: The Extra-Terrestrial" produced by Steven and written by Steven, Melissa [Matheson], and Chris Columbus to fully hand over the reigns of the company. He'd still own a controlling share, and sit on the board, etc. but George abandoned all that he had built to get back in the trenches and make movies. I admired that. After "Rumblefish" I thought I'd never direct again.

I didn't find out until years afterward that that little classroom had tried to send me a letter too.'

- Francis Ford Coppola, 2000

'I said it in the past that I thought they only used the name and made it a Christmas movie and that was the extent of my involvement, but "Gremlin" contained a lot more of my ideas than that, honestly. And I got to doctor the script. Once Spielberg had committed to co-writing, co-directing, and co-producing "Dark Skies" with Tobe Hooper he abandoned a lot of ideas that I'm glad got put into Kathleen and Melissa and mine, and of course, George's hands. That's one of the biggest movies ever, and I can't bitch and moan about not doing much on it. My name was known after that. I've done alright...'

- Chris Columbus, 1995


'We weren't aware of any laws against what we were doing - for the most part there weren't any. Was it cutthroat? You bet your ass. It was also brilliant and it worked. We could release a third-party operating system, a vanilla OS superior to and more popular than any potential competitors, jack up the price a little and the big hardware companies had to use it. They at least had to make it an option. Then our computers could be released exclusively using a master version of that OS and sell at competitive prices. Hundreds of thousands of units sold turned to millions, while we still made profit off of farming out the vanilla OS. IBM raised hell, called it dirty tricks, but what could they do? By the time they managed a lawsuit, we were for all intents and purposes the only personal computer in the world, they had finally developed their own OS, we were on top, and could afford to settle out of court. Maybe I got greedy, but who could find fault in that? We had the idea and it worked. If America were the ideal America that would be why. Come up with the idea, then fight for it. Fight dirty if you have to. That's why I am where I am today, although now of course, I'm doing something entirely different. There are more rules, yeah, but that makes for an interesting challenge...'

- Steve Jobs, 1987

'Steve is a madman. He has been my best friend and my worst enemy - simultaneously, not off and on - since we were practically children. I don't know if his relationship with George has been like that, but that's how it's always been with me. He's also one of the smartest guys I think I've ever met, in a sinister kind of way. An evil genius. He's a rockstar, teetering on the knife's edge of confidence and arrogance. People like that get to where Steve is and make it look easy. They take risks and hurt people's feelings and fail, but they never lose sight of the big picture or the next big thing. I think he's more than qualified to run any company he wants to. Even his own.'

- Bill Gates, 1997



Drunk Driving Accident Over Holiday Weekend Kills Or Injures Six Others

'The son of failed Republican Presidential candidate George Bush has died in an automobile accident near the Bush family home in Texas, sources confirm. George Bush Jr. [sic] is said to have been heavily intoxicated and speeding on the rural Texas back roads when he veered into the wrong lane at a curve, resulting in a head on collision with an oncoming station wagon before dragging both vehicles into an electrical post. Both vehicles came to rest in a wooded ditch and were there for some time before responders arrived on the scene. Authorities report the younger Bush died on impact, and instantly killed three occupants of the station wagon. Two more victims are in "seriously critical" condition while a sixth is not expected to survive the weekend. Sources indicate two of the first three deceased were the parents of the other four victims, and none of the other passengers were over the age of thirteen.

Sources close to the Bush family say that while the younger George Bush had apparently struggled with alcoholism in the past he had recently embraced faith and family to help to overcome his drinking. Bush the younger was a successful businessman in the family tradition and friends close to the Bushes say he had political aspirations himself. All of that was laid to waste early Saturday morning.

The Bushes are no strangers to automobile tragedy. Investigators have uncovered sources indicating that George Jr.'s wife, Laura was allegedly involved in the vehicular manslaughter of her boyfriend while still in High School. Laura Bush was never tried nor convicted of any intentional wrongdoing.

The elder George Bush has so far declined to comment on the incident, but a spokesperson for the family said the tragedy has "cast a painful shadow on the holidays for both families," that the Bushes are "fervently praying and asking for prayers," and assured the press that the fallen politician will be giving a statement on Monday.'

'I've had to come to terms with it now because I've done the best I can do, but I'll never be completely able to not at least partially blame myself. I was not the easiest man to be around that Thanksgiving. I was exhausted, embarrassed, and on edge. There was a little alcohol at the house. We fought and he left. I never saw him alive and whole again.

He had met up with some of his old buddies and found an open bar somewhere to take the edge off. He was on his way back to the house when it happened.

The Sheriffs told me it almost looked intentional. He never even hit the brakes. There were a lot of factors. Both cars were speeding. The children weren't properly secured. There had been a little rain. Maybe there had been a deer, I thought. Something to make him swerve like that.

The youngest girl wasn't even two.'

- From the diary of Governor George Herbert Walker Bush, Texas, 1995

'The eldest was thirteen and was the daughter of the father from a previous marriage. She lived a few more years, but was brain dead. She rarely woke up again. The twelve year old was the mother's son. He never woke up again and died within two days. The parents had two children together, an eighteen month old who was in the front seat with them and a six year old. The baby and the parents died on impact. The six year old, Connie, never walked again. Paralyzed from the waist down. Dad paid all her medical bills, paid for and attended all the funerals, put her through school, and supported her foster family. She's now working on her Doctorate, in spite of her paralysis.

Dad was angry with George Walker. We all were. And yet we were also incredibly sad. Dad lost a son. I lost a brother. George Walker had orphaned and crippled a little girl with one turn of the wheel, and left her without her siblings. The holidays were never ever the same.

Dad took over all of George Walker's affairs and business dealings and no one batted an eye at that. He also fulfilled a lot of George's goals and dreams as if allowing the ghost of his son to live vicariously through him. It became something of an obsession. And so it was that out of his partially self imposed exile dad became one of the wealthiest and most successful men in Texas history and launched the unlikely second act of his American political life.'

- Jeb Bush, 2001



'Filmmaker Martin Scorcese's new science fiction film, "The Bladerunner" - an adaptation of author Phillip K. Dick's novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" - is awash in controversy over its use of adult language and graphic depictions of violence and sexual situations. The film, which Roger Ebert calls, "visually captivating and ludicrously violent. Smart, sultry, stark, and sinister," is being critically praised for its use of the absence of color - the film is partially shot in black and white and partially in extremely high contrast color with sets, makeup, lighting, and special effects designed to give the impression of colorless dystopia - but parents, religious groups, and family values activists are pledging to boycott and threatening to protest if the Motion Picture Association of America refuses to reverse its "PG" rating in favor of a more appropriate "R" designation.

This is not the first time Scorcese, who also directed "Mean Streets" and "Taxi Driver" has attracted controversy for the themes and violent elements of his films. Not one to shy away from a fight Scorcese says, "I know how much I can get away with and I got away with all of it and more on this picture. I didn't expect a PG rating either, but what can you do? What I don't understand is why these people think these movies are for them in the first place. They can boycott all they want but they were never going to buy a ticket anyway, and at any rate they weren't invited."

The studio and producers involved with "The Bladerunner" are using the hype to their advantage. "The most violent PG rated film in history," they boast while vowing to make available an even more graphic and adult unrated Director's cut of the film for a limited theatrical release as well as for home video. Meanwhile, big names in Hollywood are weighing in on the current rating system. Filmmaker Steven Spielberg said in an interview on a San Francisco radio station yesterday morning, "I absolutely wouldn't be opposed to at least one, and possibly even two or three new rating tiers for films. I could definitely get behind that. Not just to protect children or inform parents, either, but adults want to know what they're getting into when they go to the movies too. They should be allowed to know if there's something they're sensitive to or don't want to see for whatever reason."

"I would be very interested in something like that," Spielberg continued, "and I wouldn't mind reevaluating how we dole out these ratings in the first place either."

President-elect Ronald Reagan, former actor and leader of the Screen Actor's Guild agreed with Spielberg answering a question during an unrelated press conference yesterday afternoon, saying, "I listened to his remarks today and I couldn't agree more with Mr. Spielberg. It seems I can hardly watch a thing anymore without being surprised and embarrassed with pornography, foul language, and gore. I admire Mr. Spielberg's work and would very much like to hear more of his ideas regarding ways to tackle what is clearly becoming a growing problem in my old industry."

"The Bladerunner", rated PG, stars Robert De Niro and is coming soon to theaters before enjoying a wide release in December.'

'That was the beginning. That was when everything changed. Obviously a movie like that, that stirred that much shit, was inevitably going to become a phenomenon. The most violent "PG" movie in history, with all the language and sex to match, was a box office surprise and a dramatic Oscar shock. That movie had no business being "PG" in the first place, of course, and for once the right wingers may have had a point. Then Steven met with Reagan. We had criticized the MPAA before that too, but the call for new ratings and how to assign them started a fire. They initially gave "Raiders" an "R" out of spite and although we got that overturned before the release that was the opening shot. When Steven started pushing them they pushed back harder.

"The Guild Wars" is kind of a misnomer, obviously, and serves as an umbrella for a lot of what went down politically in film in the early to mid-eighties, but "The Bladerunner" started the fight. That movie is mainly why we got an "R" rated "Star Wars" which devastated George, although to to be fair "Triumph" was kind of borderline anyway. When the system started cracking down on detractors, particularly us new money Young-Turks-made-good, Steven saw an opportunity to fight back from the inside. From the top. So he started gauging interest in possibly trying to become president of either the Director's or the Producer's Guild. Or maybe even both...'

- Francis Ford Coppola, 2011


'...and now the news in brief: Russian officials say the sharp downturn in fighting in Afghanistan signals the beginning of the end of hostilities there. The current socialist government under Karmal, which some reports suggest is supported by at least a simple majority of the Afghan people as well as the Soviet Union is said to be nearing a level of security from rebel freedom fighters and political detractors in the frontiers as well as within the Afghan government itself and the Russians are expected to slowly draw down their invasion force before soon pulling out of the country altogether. While President-elect Ronald Reagan has tacitly voiced casual support for the Mujahideen rebels, many - including some members of the President-elect's own party - warn that the U.S. should take a "wait-and-see" attitude and not intervene or pledge any official American support until direct and unequivocal Soviet influence in Afghanistan is discovered after the bulk of the Russian military withdraws.

Military and economic analysts in the East as well as in the West are focusing on China as economic recession and civil unrest continue to boil over. Last year's bloody eight month conflict between China and the Soviet Union was met with condemnation and panic from an international community convinced that the war would result in a nuclear exchange, and both sides agreed to a cease-fire only after their stalemate threatened to draw heavy sanctions. No short or long term peace treaties have been agreed upon and the U.N. has received pressure from various member states to investigate claims of chemical attacks and tactical nuclear strikes in violation of international law. Although irrefutably victorious in their initial war aims in Vietnam and Cambodia, the conflicts that sparked the ongoing conflict with Russia, a brief period of financial catastrophe in China has been quickly followed with a souring of relations with North Korea and violent protests and riots in major Chinese cities after the killing of peaceful demonstrators at what has become known as the "Democracy Wall."

The Soviet Union has responded to soon to be former President Jimmy Carter's remarks - that he believes much of the turmoil in the P.R.C. can be blamed on ongoing clandestine Soviet attempts to destabilize her longstanding communist rival and former ally going back at least a decade - by claiming Russian intelligence has evidence that the Carter administration is playing an active and covert role in attempting to democratize the industrial superpower through inciting violent unrest and committing economic terrorism. Regardless of how true either allegation is, experts insist a democratic revolution in China is, quote: "fundamentally improbable."

Turning to the Middle East and Persia, the Iraqi military earlier this year was thought to be assured victory in their invasion of Iran after they devastated the Iranian Air Force, took control of or destroyed strategic oil fields, and linked up with various ethnic Arab or Sunni religious minority rebel groups and anti-Ayatollah resistance fighters. New reports, however, strongly suggest that Iran has scored several minor but strategically significant offensive victories against the Iraqi military, even including a successful incursion into Iraq itself. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein blames Soviet support for Iran as the cause of the slowing of his victories and has said he, quote: "anxiously awaits the coming of President Reagan," who he believes will support Iraq as a direct ally in her, quote: "great patriotic war against Persia, the Communists, and Shiism."

Meanwhile, as new details emerge of a second disastrous attempt by the Carter administration and U.S. Special Forces to rescue American hostages from Iran, President-elect Reagan has called on Carter to "cease any further attempts" to extract the prisoners, before the outgoing President, quote: "makes the matter too complicated to fix." The President-elect has up to this point refused to meet with Carter in a decision making capacity on Iran in an attempt to avoid potential unconstitutionality, or of the appearance of constitutional impropriety, but has now agreed to meet with President Carter under the condition that nothing further be attempted during the remainder of his presidency.

Several hostages were rescued but a small number of others as well as some U.S. military personnel were killed or wounded during the latest failed rescue attempt and an unknown number of American troops were taken prisoner. The rescued Americans have reported that more hostages have died in custody since the last rescue attempt. The White House is refusing to reveal specific details, such as the names of the victims, until after the New Year.

President-elect Reagan is urging Americans not to lose hope after assuring the country last week that he has a, quote: "Plan for Iran."


'One could say this night is more highly anticipated than the second coming of Jesus Christ...'

- David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, November 22, 1980

'They decided that inviting someone to film the studio reunion might be a worthwhile idea. That decision would of course result in a documentation of some of the most dramatic moments in pop culture history. The film wouldn't be completed for over a decade. Once the four had spent some time in the studio together, working on "Double Fantasy" for John, the unspoken decision to reunite was finalized. The film shows that after a tracking session, John, Paul, and Ringo all looked to George Harrison, not saying a word but waiting for some sign that he would cooperate. He famously answered the silence with an unenthusiastic, "Alright."

They worked together on one another's songs over the course of a couple of months, and in the evening would have dinner together with their wives - usually at the Dakota or at various hotels. The plan was to release four EPs over the next year on which they would back one another. Five or six songs each. The Beatles would be the artist name but the titles of the EPs would simply be, "Ringo Songs" "Paul Songs" etc. They would close out the inaugural Euphorium festival, and before that possibly do Madison Square Garden and a show or two in England, a place for which John Lennon had secretly pined of late. Then release the film and attend the premiere, ending the Beatles once and for all on good terms, and perhaps never speaking again.

To announce their reunion the Beatles all agreed that they wanted to appear as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live...'

- Mark Lewisohn, Beatle historian, 1993

'Now, at that time I had been interested in acquiring what we used to call an "alphabet network" and had originally considered CBS, but NBC was low hanging fruit at the end of the seventies and beginning of the eighties and I bought it, although not without some difficulty.

Lorne had left Saturday Night Live but after I took over I convinced him to come back close to the end of the season. He was now in charge of a cast he hadn't hired. A great cast, but it wasn't his. The show had been failing pretty spectacularly, if you'll recall. I didn't envy Lorne Michaels, but the timing was right and the rest is history..."

- Ted Turner, 1989

'I had left and come back at Ted Turner's urging. Maybe the week before Jean had left, or been fired. She ended up just being demoted and got her old job back as associate producer. It's a long story. So, I come back. We weren't doing well. I was a mess. I kept getting calls at my office from a "Yoko Ono," and of course I thought it was a crank. I hung up on Yoko five times in three days. Finally she comes down to 30 Rockefeller in person. I come out of my office and there's this miniature colossus who leaps from the chair with a start and sharply straightening this beautiful trench-coat fires off at me, "Well, Lorne, do you want the Beatles or don't you?" She drops her head to the side and shakes it as if to say, "You poor stupid man."

I immediately and enthusiastically apologized and offered to take her for coffee and sandwiches which was where I was headed when she came in. She accepted and there we were. Negotiating the Beatles on SNL over deli meat and coffee (she had a cucumber bagel and a cup of tea that she described as a "weakling,") in this tiny, smoky little place in midtown Manhattan. It was a dream. She passed along a message from the band, "Do you still have that check?" She was so intelligent and funny and gracious it was little bizarre. You're supposed to hate this woman, aren't you?'

- Lorne Michaels, 1998

'Everything about that experience was absolutely bananas.'

- David Letterman, 2015

'That was a crazy muthafuckin week.'

- Eddie Murphy, 1985

'So, we had some schedule conflicts in the weeks before so we had David Letterman as our scheduled guest that night. He had just starred in "Airplane!" and he had his show and he had been guest hosting "The Tonight Show" from New York the whole week before. And of course, he's a funny guy. Perfect. Loads to do with Dave. He's great.'

- Lorne Michaels

'That was my debut too, did you know that? It's like, "We've got David Letterman and the Beatles and, hey! here's this funny new black guy too!" That's a lot of fucking pressure to put on a motherfucker.'

- Eddie Murphy

'The Charles Rocket thing. I really don't like to talk about it, but it's part of the mythology now. Charles and I hadn't been getting along. I'm a tough boss and Charles could be a real pain in the ass, it has to be said. Everyone else was pretty easy to work with. Jim Carrey, Gilbert, Gail. We had Joe Piscopo and John Goodman then. Paul Reubens, briefly. Everyone was great. They were funny people who were there to work. Rocket didn't like me one bit. '

- Lorne Michaels

'Apparently, Lorne suspended Charles Rocket over something and Charles had tried to hit him. He was almost fired, but the show was on the rocks...'

- David Letterman

'Worst ratings in the history of the show. Before or since. I was dealing with his shit and also I didn't really know the players well yet. I hadn't hired them. NBC wants to fire everyone...'

- Lorne Michaels

'So, then Charles comes down with the flu or something. He can't work anyway. It was going around New York that winter. Carson got it too while he was here after the Burbank studio caught fire. I'm the SNL special guest host that weekend, so Lorne says something like, "Do you wanna do 'Weekend Update' on the day?" "Sure!" I says. Sounded like fun. I call up Charles Rocket and he sounds like shit and I say, "Do you mind if I do it?" "Of course not." You know? "Fuck Lorne Michaels." All that. He couldn't care less. "Get well soon!"

Then he finds out the Beatles are coming on the show...'

- David Letterman

'Obviously that's a career highlight moment. You gotta do the Beatle show. Charles calls me and I'm a bastard to him, but he's suspended, lucky he's not fired, and besides he's sick. He can't get the Beatles sick. "Absolutely not." I told him, "Get some rest and watch it from home like everybody else.

That was a big pressure show, you understand. The network wanted to can us. This could have and did save the show. I had to tell the scheduled musical guest we had to cancel them for the Beatles. They, of course, understood. The Beatles wanted to do more than the usual amount of songs. At least five, with one of them being a big medley. I told the network, "Look, we've got the Beatles. We may go long." NBC comes back with a, "If you really have the Beatles you can have an extra half hour, but if the ratings aren't there you're toast."

I thought: If you really have the Beatles? This is horrifying...'

- Lorne Michaels

'My understanding of the situation was that Charles Rocket had filmed some little video segments. "On the street with Charles Rocket" type stuff. They had been held back while he was gone, but they were all about him stalking John Lennon trying to get dirt on his album. That was hilarious stuff and appropriate to the episode. Lorne had to air it. Only he doesn't tell Charles Rocket...'

- David Letterman

'Someone got wind of it and called Charles like, "Good news!" You know? "In a way you'll still be on the Beatles show!" Which of course Charles doesn't see it that way. He calls me forbidding me to use the segments. "I made those, Lorne. They're mine and you can't air it." "Well, you little shit, I own them and they're airing." Hung up the phone.'

- Lorne Michaels

'It was fucking surreal, man. Like I'm walking around in a white people fever dream or some shit. There's Paul and Linda over here with Jim Carrey just chilling the fuck out like they think they real people or something. George motherfuckin Harrison is just shooting the shit with Gilbert Gottfried and Jane Curtain. Lorne is running around everywhere shouting at motherfuckers. There's incense burning and Bill Murray and Ringo and Letterman are talking to all the girls and drinking scotch. John Lennon is puking his goddamn guts out in the dressing room. "Hi, I'm Eddie!"'

- Eddie Murphy

'Charles was barred from the building. Couldn't even get a seat. Got into a fight with security. He's sick as a dog and also, allegedly, drunk and/or high on something. He's lost his mind. Furious. I can't blame him.'

- Letterman

'Some of the former cast members wanted to come be a part of it. Some of them even flew in last minute. I couldn't say no to them, but they couldn't all be on the show, so I gave them seats in the audience and let them all come backstage.'

- Michaels

'You've all seen it a hundred times, so I don't have to tell you, but I love talking about it. Wouldn't you? I had cut my monologue in half for time, which was for the best because the original thing probably wasn't all that funny. Bill Murray was there and got to do a bit. The Charles Rocket segments got aired and they killed. People loved it. That was Eddie Murphy's first night as a player, too. We did a bit for 'Update' together and he was fantastic. I got to do a bit originally intended for Malcolm McDowell, who had had to cancel that weekend, in which he was supposed to play John Lennon and Gilbert was supposed to play Yoko and Rocket was supposed to interview them. Malcolm and Gilbert were going to be mocking them, referencing their eccentricity. Lorne thought it would be far more hilarious if John and Yoko actually did it. Early in the episode. They mocked themselves beautifully. It was hysterical. People were finally starting to come around to Yoko. I got to call Jane Curtain an "ignorant slut" which is, of course, a dream come true for me. Lorne got to hand the Beatles the check he had promised them a couple of years before and that whole thing was really funny too. It was a real check. They actually cashed it. Hysterical. Lennon got away with accidentally saying "fuck" which is completely unprecedented before or since.

Then when the Beatles played I got to announce them. I rehearsed the old Ed Sullivan intro and did it exactly the same way every time. The Beatles were incredible. Paul Shaffer was great backing them up on keys and with so little rehearsal. They did a couple of old Beatles songs of course, and "I'm Losing You" off of "Double Fantasy." George really got to do his thing which you could tell he really appreciated. I think that was a big part of them getting back together. John and Paul supporting George Harrison for once, especially now that the last decade had shown he was at least their equal. I read afterwards that both John and Paul were aware that it could have been a disaster if either of them tried to be the leader again, so they had this unspoken contract that The Beatles would be George's band for the duration of the reunion experiment. That was wisdom, I think, and it shows how much those guys had matured.

The last song was a medley that began with Ringo leading the Beatles on Joe Cocker's version of "With A Little Help From My Friends," complete with a Belushi cameo, and ended with "Hey Jude" and we all got to sing along on stage. I found out later that the Beatles had all thought the medley idea was very lame, but their wives had insisted. I've always thought that was so cute. I guess it was pretty lame, but we all loved it...'

- Letterman

'While it would become famous as the highest rated and most watched episode in the program's history (and it was, objectively, the funniest episode of that era of the show) later analysis has concluded that it was also one of - if not the - most simultaneously viewed moments in the history of television. The entire country was watching, and via satellite, much of the rest of the world. It's repackaging value was also infinite, as it happens to hold the record as the most watched rerun, beginning with its showing in its entirety two Saturdays later.

A few sour notes and cracked vocals aside, it was also without question, collectively and individually, the most enthusiastic and impressive performance of each man's solo career. Ironic, or perhaps not so very ironic, that they accomplished it together.'

- Mark Lewisohn

'NBC had sold advertising space at record prices - higher even than the World Series. It paid off and then some. The Beatles didn't just save SNL, they may have saved NBC. Not to mention that all the products advertised received massive bumps in sales without a single exception. Movies, video games, soda, computers, television shows, booze, cars, records... That night the eighties arrived. Of course Ted Turner had just taken over and maybe that helped, but after that night I had determined to leave the show anyway in the foreseeable future...'

- Lorne Michaels

'Of course we were ecstatic. John looked so relieved and even George appeared pleased with himself, y'know? Tickets for the Madison Square Garden show went on sale and immediately sold out. They booked two more nights which sold out too. Big stuff. We were officially booked to close out the first Euphorium festival the following summer. Shows were announced in Britain and studio time was set aside for the four "Songs" EPs. It felt like going back to work a little bit, the next day. But that night we remembered what we had missed about it all. The satisfying bits of success and not the burdensome bits. We partied backstage at 30 Rock, then the afterparty was at Studio 54...'

- Paul McCartney, 1988

'Everybody was there. Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Robin Williams, David Bowie, you know. The whole cast came along. Bill Murray and John Belushi too. Letterman. It was a real party. Then we fled 54 for Max's [Kansas City]...'

- Ringo Starr, 1982

'[Counting on his fingers] Lou Reed, Rick James, Stevie Wonder, Patti Smith, Donna Summer, Prince...'

- Bill Murray, 1999

'This whole crowd of drunken superstars came piling into CBGB's. We were playing there with Talking Heads and Sister Lovers, so Alex [Chilton] was there. Debbie [Harry] and Billy Idol were there too. Everybody. It was a busy night. The fucking Beatles walked in. We'd all watched Saturday Night Live on bar tv's before the gig and then here they were. Ian [Curtis] was cured for one magical night. We were like children. They sat in with the bands. It was really bizarre. This giant jam session. Played long into the night. It wasn't really their scene, but I guess that's why they came. No one would expect them to go there. When word got round that the Beatles were at CBGB's with everyone from Saturday Night Live and Michael Jackson and Bowie and Jagger they all had to split before the place filled up with sycophants. We were sycophants too, so we followed them like puppies back to Studio 54 where we stayed all night till well after the sun came up. It was almost as bizarre seeing Paul McCartney, Rick James, and Michael Jackson in CBGB's as it was seeing Lou Reed or Lennon or Harrison in Studio 54...'

- Peter Hook, Joy Division

'You've all seen all the pictures by now, I know you have. That shit was crazy. Absolute insanity. A lot of those motherfuckers had gotten "clean" if you know what I'm sayin, but that night everybody cut loose. That was my introduction to fame. Not a bad start...'

- Eddie Murphy

'It's difficult to describe what I was feeling. There was a sort of tension because I knew it had to be too good to be true. Somehow this had to be a mistake. But it was such a happy moment. Doing a little work together during the next year seemed like a reasonable way to pass some time. But then, of course, a week or so later...'

- George Harrison, 1996


Yoko Ono Lennon Killed Outside New York Home, John Lennon Still Critical

Mr. and Mrs. John and Yoko Ono Lennon were shot outside of the Dakota, their New York apartment home overlooking Central Park late Monday evening. Authorities confirm that Mrs. Lennon had already died of her wounds when police arrived, while her husband John has been in critical condition undergoing near continuous emergency surgery at Roosevelt Hospital throughout the night and into the day today. The NYPD have identified the suspect as Mark Chapman and believe he may not have meant to harm Mrs. Lennon. Chapman is also currently hospitalized from gunshot wounds sustained during his arrest, but authorities say he is expected to make a full recovery.

Mrs. Yoko Ono Lennon, born in Japan, achieved fame and notoriety as a much discussed and frequently maligned visual and conceptual artist in the experimental and avant garde art circles of New York and London in the late fifties and sixties, attracting nearly as much critical interest and acclaim as she did controversy. Ono's relationship with and subsequent marriage to then current Beatle and British pop rock icon John Lennon in the mid to late nineteen sixties resulted in confusion and even outright consternation from the beloved musician's legions of devoted fans, as well as ridicule from her artistic peers, and the couple turned the frenzied media attention directed at them towards causes about which both of them were passionate as a response. In the ensuing decade the pair collaborated on numerous projects, ranging from musical to visual art - including film - but in recent years have become somewhat more infamous for the privacy which followed their most significant collaboration: parenthood.

The Lennons' five year old son, Sean, is in the custody of his godfather, Elton John - another much adored English pop star - who spoke to the quickly gathering crowd outside the Dakota last night to ask for "the thoughts and prayers of the many true fans, friends, and family of the Lennons in this tragic time." Elton John has said he is taking Sean and his nanny to the UK later in the week to meet with the child's immediate family and discuss contingencies for the boy's short term wellbeing.

Fans of both Lennons gathered outside of the Dakota building shortly after the shooting to pay their respects to Mrs. Lennon and lend their voices to songs and prayers for John, but reports of arguing at that gathering suggest not everyone was equitable in thought or respectful in tone. As a result, three separate gatherings have sprung up around New York, one mostly mourning Yoko Ono in front of the Dakota, one in Central Park to honor both Lennons, and a third outside Roosevelt Hospital to honor John and frantically urge his recovery. A polarizing couple even to the last.

Spokespeople from Roosevelt Hospital say that the doctors there are exhausting options to stabilize Mr. Lennon, who is not expected to be revived for some time - perhaps even weeks, if he survives at all. Meanwhile, although no funeral has been announced or is planned for Mrs. Lennon, sources close to the family have confirmed that a quiet memorial is being organized. Mrs. Yoko Ono Lennon was 47.'

'"Mr. Vice President-elect, Kemp, why have you decided to come to Central Park tonight?"

"Well, I think the Lennons were a great American immigrant story, and tonight we're experiencing a great American tragedy, and I..."

"But Mr. Vice President-elect, were you a fan of the Beatles?"

"You know, in the circles I hung around with the Beatles weren't the coolest thing, but that in no way diminishes the..."

"Mr. Kemp - "

"John and Yoko Ono Lennon changed the world of music and pop culture forever and were true Americans and true New Yorkers to the last. As a proud New Yorker I'm willing to say that tonight every New Yorker is a Beatles fan and every Beatles fan a New Yorker!"

"But Jack, how would you say the situation would have gone down if the Lennon's had been gun owners or if there were more controlling restrictions on gun - "

"I'll stop you right there, young man, because I think that that's a despicable question to ask right now. Don't politicize this tragedy, and especially not before the blood's even dry..."'

- Jack Kemp interview, Central Park, NYC, night of December 8th 1980

'What in all the hell was he even doing there?'

- Ronald Reagan

'Tell that ole bastard I was in the neighborhood.'

- Jack Kemp

'Chapman hesitated. That's why she died, and it's almost certainly why John lived. They realized what was happening before he fired the first shot and tried to get in front of one another, and also away from Chapman. There was a lot of movement. That first shot went wide and high and lightly grazed John's head. A grazing from a hollow point at that range is still pretty devastating, of course, but it wasn't quite a fatal wound. That bullet eventually went through a window in the Dakota. That first shot caused John to jerk down, forward, and to the side, and that's when the second shot missed him and hit Yoko. There was no chance of surviving her wound. She died right there. Chapman got sloppy. He fell out of his combat stance but kept firing. The rest of the bullets hit John on the ground and they were all pretty critical. Any one of them should probably have killed him. He lost a lot of blood, and was crawling around; wailing for Yoko, or trying to.

Chapman became very anxious. He had no love for Yoko Ono, but he had never meant to kill her. It was John he was after. He paced around and started to wander off with the gun still in his hand, as well as a book. He was wearing a hat and a coat and they thought maybe he was more heavily armed. The police didn't know if the gun was loaded or not, and I think he forgot he even had it. He wouldn't drop it, and was behaving very erratically. They shot him down and took him in. He and John were in the same hospital at first and security was a nightmare. The place was just chaos. They eventually got John mostly stabilized, and had him in a medically induced coma but when they took him off life support a few weeks later, he just wouldn't wake up. He wouldn't die, but he couldn't come out of the coma. So the decision was made to keep him alive and wait and see. John Lennon was asleep for years.'

'What is tragically under reported is that Charles Rocket killed himself that very same night.'

- Lorne Michaels

'That's how the eighties opened for me, you know? Mummy's dead and Papa won't wake up. I moved to England and took to calling Elton, "Uncle John" just to say my father's name...'

- Sean Ono Lennon, 1997

'There was some deep unhealthiness, I think, which is very understandable. He called me "Uncle John" and on accident, I think, occasionally "Papa." It wasn't as off-putting as when he would unintentionally refer to me as his mother, which happened a handful of times. Perhaps I shouldn't have moved him, but I thought it crucial he be near to actual family. I bought his Great Aunt Mimi a nice home in Liverpool, which was where Sean wanted to go to school. He became obsessed with his father and I think wanted to relive his life, in a way. He rarely spoke of Yoko. They were so close that I think he was in denial about her death and child psychologists have since told me that he may also have been subconsciously angry with her and that anger probably gave him guilt. If he became John Lennon, he must have thought, he could potentially awaken his father and perhaps even get his mother back.

It wasn't an unhappy childhood, though. He lived with Mimi and his nanny in Liverpool during the school season, and I visited as often as possible, and when he wasn't in school they all three lived with me outside London. Julian was a frequent visitor to both homes. He gave Sean the Les Paul guitar and drum machine that John had given him and showed him the same chords John had showed him. He also bought him a banjo, which he loved. I taught him piano and he was a great pupil.

It was my responsibility to John and Yoko to raise him as well as I could, as close to how they would have as possible. I had always wanted a child of my own, as well. Sean gave me a great deal of joy over those years. I'm proud of the man he became.'

- Sir Elton John, 2017

'A lot of the kids were in awe of me, I think. I didn't have a lot of friends. Those that weren't in awe were quite cruel. I had to learn to defend myself pretty quickly. Liverpool's a tough town, and while I'm grateful that Elton allowed me to experience it firsthand, perhaps he shouldn't have allowed a five year old boy with PTSD to decide where he lived and went to school, y'know?'

- Sean Ono Lennon

'He was very strange immediately after that. He had always said some things a little scouser, simply because dad spent so much time raising him. But when I first saw him after the shooting he was speaking in this horrible John Lennon impersonation. His accent is thoroughly British now, of course, having been raised there by Elton and taken all his schooling in Liverpool. He sounds just like dad, but with a higher pitched voice and a sprinkle of Sir Elton's London posh, but hearing him speak right after it happened... I knew the trauma had really impacted him. I never spoke to him about that, still to this day. I knew I needed to be active in his life. He needed a brother. Of course, what he eventually got was a very, very reluctant bandmate...'

- Julian Lennon, 2001

'I found out my mother was dead by watching the television. I had heard the shots, I think, or thought I had. I saw the blood that night, and then was taken to the hospital. I shouldn't have been allowed to see my father like that. It all gets more hazy and vague with the passage of time. I believed for years that my father's soul leapt into my body that night and we lived as one spirit for years while his body got ready for both of us to jump back into it. Then Sean's body would die and I would be John Lennon and we'd live for a whole other lifetime. It sounds tragically absurd, but when you're a little boy and this happens to you... I've had some very constructive therapy over the years.'

- Sean Ono Lennon

'So, we all convened and discussed what to do next. John had been so jazzed, we couldn't just let him down like that and go our separate ways. But it wouldn't be The Beatles if we got together without him, y'know. We went into the studio to try to play something. Anything really. We found ourselves playing a lot of John Lennon songs. We thought if we were tight enough he'd like to join us when he woke up, and then of course we'd be ready in an instant. Maybe playing together would help him to cope with the loss. We also noticed we were playing everything rather loudly. It almost sounded like Cream or maybe Led Zeppelin, y'know. We were frustrated and angry. Mostly we were quite scared....'

- Paul McCartney

'We began to write together. It was a thrill, really, and very therapeutic. Two or three songs, all of them "Harrison, McCartney, Starr," and we actually all contributed essentially equally for the first time in a long time. Maybe even ever.'

- George Harrison

'I don't know if we'd ever played as a three piece before, in any band. It challenges you. Our anger over the situation helped as well. You've got to play a little more, a little louder, a little messier to fill in the gaps. John had written and recorded a lot of really great rockers and we were just running through the lot of them. Some from the Beatle days, and a lot from his solo stuff as well. The trashier and louder and rockier the better. "Cold Turkey" was a real heater. Those songs combined with the songs we had worked on the weeks before were a solid set and we were off...'

- Ringo Starr

'Calling themselves, "Harrison, McCartney, and Starr" the trio embarked on a year of touring and recording dedicated to the Lennons, with a large portion of the proceeds going towards causes John and Yoko had held dear. George Martin was asked to record the New Year's Madison Square Garden shows in order to combine them into a live album which he would then produce. Geoff Emerick was asked to co-produce and engineer, and Jeff Lynn would be an additional engineer. Young Giles Martin, still a child, begged to be an engineering assistant on the project. This unique team would as a result be tasked with one of the most challenging projects in the history of music...'

- Mark Lewisohn

'The Madison Square Garden album wasn't due to be released until '82 so there was time, but "Ringo Songs" was due out the beginning of the year and despite them having some of Lennon's guitar and vocals recorded from their rehearsal sessions for all four EPs there wasn't much there. They were dead set on having quite a lot of Lennon on the EPs so they needed to figure out how to use outtakes, alternate tracks, and actual Lennon recordings from his entire career manipulated in some way to sound different enough to get him on there.

That technology didn't really exist at the time. They had recently signed to Solo United's record label which owned the Beatles films and on which "Double Fantasy" had been released. David Geffen, a good friend to John and Yoko happened to run that label, and he convinced George Lucas to lend us all the resources of Solosound. Added to that was a team of proto-digital music pioneers from around the world.

The Beatle's first EP, "Ringo Songs" was a smash hit upon its release and was as truly pioneering as it was critically acclaimed, but in my opinion it suffered from the newness of the technology. By the time "John Songs" was released in December of '81, the technique had been mastered and it was the best, and of course the most popular of the four. It was easier as well, because we had John's demos that he had given the band to learn and co-write, and we also had the tapes from their rehearsals. All of that went into the recording. I think "Free As A Bird" is the best of that release, but the case could be made for "Real Love" as well.

I don't argue with people when they claim we pretty much revolutionized digital sound editing and recording in 1981. It wasn't even mostly digital manipulation, just a little, but I think they're absolutely right. It was really the beginning of that.'

- Jeff Lynn

'The band would go on to tour for a year, with the high point being them joining Elvis Presley to close out the Euphorium festival, and would close out the year with the "Concert For Yoko" in December which was a truly appropriate farewell, and coincided with the MoMA exhibit. Joining them on this tour was Paul Shaffer on keys and Jeff Lynn on twelve string acoustic and backing vocals. Shaffer and Lynn were pulled famously back in the mix, and sat to the sides and back of the main band out of the spotlight. Had they turned up or were they to be brought up in the mix it wouldn't have mattered. For once the Beatles were far louder than the audience.

The Beatles returned to their own respective solo careers after 1981 but would play a few more times throughout the '80's; most notably reuniting at the Ed Sullivan Theater to play The Tonight Show with Letterman as guest host in February of 1984 for the twentieth anniversary of their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and playing the "Sgt. Pepper" album in its entirety in '87. They all also played on one another's solo albums and several highly successful tours occurred with Ringo's All-Starr Band opening for the Traveling Wilburys or Paul McCartney or both.

But it wasn't until...'


'I had obviously heard a lot about Tom in the news before that, and admired him, but we didn't really meet until the campaign in 1980. He was the one who had started the "Draft Kemp" movement in California, which spread through grassroots supporters across the nation. I think the amount of write-ins I got after that was a big part of me being picked by Ron as his Vice Presidential nominee at the convention. So, obviously I wanted to meet this man I so admired and he clearly wanted to meet with me, and during a campaign stop in California I got the chance. We were friends immediately, and good friends at that. Our families had dinner together at their home and I invited him to visit us anytime in D.C.

After the election I convinced him to come on board as my Vice Presidential Chief of Staff. He was, of course, overqualified but I assured him it would be a good political move for him. He accepted, but told me he had little or no political ambition whatsoever. His minor role in state government had merely been to learn more about immediate effects of economic change at the state government level, and to help in any way he could. He would move to Washington as my CoS, but only on the condition he could be allowed to teach as a visiting professor of economics at Georgetown and other universities.

I, of course, agreed. The press made a lot in those years of our friendship. They were happy moments in the midst of some truly chaotic times. When talk of the upcoming Gubernatorial election began coming up more and more, I felt like he was absolutely ready to enter into the political arena. And at last he was too.'

- Jack Kemp, 1993

'Had someone from the future gone back in time to tell us what would be in store for us at the dawn of the eighties, we would not have been able to comprehend it even were we to believe it at all. The disasters of the next four or five years all served to terrify us as much as the revolutionary successes and positive changes served to excite us. They all also served, for a brief moment in time, even to unite us.

1980 was a lynchpin year. I had just voted in my first election, and was a staunch Jerry Brown man. There was so much hope, so much promise that a brighter tomorrow was not only plausible but even inevitable. Hip hop was mostly black music then, punk rock was mostly white. At the end of that year it was clear that everything was changing, that it had already changed. The next few years would get much better, and they would get so very much worse. America needed its heroes, and black America especially. We got them. Mick Jordan, Thomas Sowell, Prince, Debbie Allen. Mick Jordan especially...

Personally, I think if I knew then what I know now I would have done things very, very differently, but at the end of 1980 I was just a kid whose mother had just died and I thought I might as well join the army...'

- B. D., 1992

'I think Jack [Kemp] in some ways really was what a lot of Republicans thought Ronald Reagan secretly was: a libertarian trapped in a moderate Republican's body. He was really to the left of Reagan socially and to his right fiscally, especially in 1980. Obviously, he was only the VP pick for ideological purity's sake, not to mention that he was objectively the lesser of all the evils. Bush had dive bombed himself into an electoral liability, Dole and Laxalt were too valuable on the Hill, picking Gerald Ford would have been a constitutional mess. There had briefly been some talk about even Goldwater, but he had gone full Libertarian-capital-L and would have made a helluva lotta noise in an office in which silence is rightfully expected. Two westerners would have been a risk too, and besides, Reagan and Goldwater were no longer the chums they were in '64. Kemp, in a prophetic moment of what would become his infamous perceived foresight allegedly had tried to contact John B. Anderson as well as Reagan just before the convention suggesting Anderson as a favorable VP pick to unify the party. Anderson sent word to Jack respectfully dismissing the suggestion and the telegram never made it to Reagan. No, Kemp was not only the best choice, he was pretty much the only choice.

While they got along fine up to that point, there were warning signs of some upcoming strain. Reagan had encouraged a lot of participation from Kemp in picking the cabinet, and although the President vetoed most of Kemp's initial suggestions he also ran every one of his own final picks by Jack. Kemp encouraged Reagan to form an administration that would include a lot of moderates, libertarians, and Rockefeller Republicans to unite Republicans solidly behind them and impress Democrats and independents. He also envisioned a White House that was truly diverse, including women, Jews, African-Americans, and other minorities. The resulting cabinet was fairly diverse and fairly non-right wing, especially if you count the words "Deputy" or "Assistant" as being truly a part of the cabinet. Reagan had given Kemp an inch, Kemp wanted a mile and got pushy, and before Inauguration Day the two were already on edge.

It's still not absolutely known whose idea it was to send Kemp to China. Jack wanted to help there and saw it as a major part of economic recovery. Reagan probably wanted to hit the ground running after January 20th without Kemp being meddlesome. All the advisors thought it would be a fantastic idea. China was going through an upheaval and if popular, compassionate, and well-spoken Kemp could get through to the Chinese there could be some real progress. It was also a good tradition to begin historically in remembrance of Nixon's dramatic visit, that Republican Vice Presidents go ahead of the Commander-in-Chief to extend a promise of goodwill to the PRC.

Jack Kemp's State Visit to China was most likely supposed to shut him up. Instead it made him a sensation...'

- Bill Bennett


Interviewer: ...and of course we're here with a true American filmmaking icon, Mr. John Milius, and while we've spent rather a lot of time already talking about his early work and his upcoming projects in television and film we've yet to really address the pivotal years of his career that launched him into the household name he is today. He, uh, rather accurately corrected me when I called him the "George Lucas of this new era of 'historical filmmaking'..."

Milius: Mhm. [laughs]

Interviewer: ...because as he says, "George Lucas was the John Milius of Science Fiction," but, as we all know, Lucas did play an important role in your transition from critically acclaimed cult-following screenwriter to world renowned filmmaker and revolutionary hit television series creator...

JM: Well, important, yes but really necessary more than anything. George and I are friends, going way back so I won't undermine his achievements or our relationship, but as we talked about I was a "go-to guy" in those days in terms of screenwriting and I had already directed. What I guess people consider the shift is when I lost Conan...

Interviewer: The first one.

JM: Yeah, the Barbarian. The studio wanted Oliver Stone to direct it, but they hated his script and wanted to use mine. Eventually the deal was, he could add a few things from his script into mine that I couldn't remove, but I could have a final doctor of it before it went into development. I was pissed off, but I was washing my hands of it like Pilate. I got a little producer credit on it, but it still said, "Written by Oliver Stone and John Milius" and, "Story by John Milius and Oliver Stone" which was insulting, frankly.

Interviewer: So, which came first as far as you bouncing back from that - Triumph, Lord of the Rings, or Inundariat?

JM: Which Lord of the Rings? The first one? Yeah, well that one was first but it came about at the same time as Inundariat. I knew they were working on it, so I reread the book and asked to see the script. I could see any script in those days. Basically Lawrence Kasdan was tasked with combining John Boorman's script with Ralph Bakshie's script and the result was such a movie script. It was too movie. Too short. I knew John [Boorman] wasn't satisfied. I says, "I'm reading the damn book, send me all three scripts and I'll have you an epic in a week."

Interviewer: Which was bold...

JM: Bold, yeah but true.

Interviewer: True, yes.

JM: I doctored three scripts, combined them, added some actual Tolkien dialogue and screen direction, removed some typical bullshit movie fluff, left in some of the weird shit, took the story all the way into about the middle of the second book, and then doctored that one more time after a day off and shipped it. Kasdan was impressed, Boorman was floored, I was pretty proud. Then Inundariat happened around there. So, close to wrapping up on filming Rings, something went down. Bakshie was the second unit director and the special effects supervisor. They were combining a lot of different methods of filming to get something new. You know Oz and Henson were real active on it too. And Solofilm's special effects department, etc. It had puppets and rotoscoping and stop motion and forced perspective and a little bit of early digital things. They threw everything at it.

Interviewer: It paid off...

JM: Maybe, but anyway Ralph Bakshie was done being on set. He'd finish the film as special effects supervisor and then be done. No more second unit filming. They still needed stuff. I jumped at it. I finished the second unit right about the time Boorman quit. They were almost done with principal filming and had done no pickups. I finished both and started supervising editing. Boorman was mad, but he did leave. I finished that movie and got credited as co-director, co-writer, co-producer. Everyone thought it was my movie because my name was all over the place. I barely did anything but finish it. They said it was too long, didn't focus enough on the hobbits. I said I didn't give a shit, this is a great picture. It did well.

Interviewer: It did very well.

JM: Good box office, great critically, the only mixed reviews were from hardcore fans, but who can make them happy?

Interviewer: So then it was Triumph.

JM: Losing Conan got me Lord of the Rings writing and Inundariat writing and directing. Those two movies got me Lord of the Rings finishing directing and Triumph of the Force writing. Those two movies got me writing and directing Return of the King - which finally got me my Conan. Oliver had to produce, but it didn't matter. We had made up. I got my Conan.

Interviewer: So how much did you do on the script for Triumph?

JM: Not as much as Rings, but the same thing. They were delayed by about six months. I asked for George and Steven's original story, the tapes from their story meetings, Lynch's big long treatment-slash-script, Kasdan's script, and Huyck and Katz's script. I made a movie out of it. It was a pretty brutal and bizarre Star Wars but it was a good script. Steven knew that. He loved it...

Interviewer: ...but George did not.

JM: That's the story that goes around. I think he liked it, or at least appreciated it, but I don't think he thought it was a Star Wars movie - whatever that means. But we all know the whole franchise stopped being Star Wars as it was in his head as soon as Luke died. Mike... What's...

Interviewer: Mark, I think. Mark Hamill?

JM: Mark Hamill. Yes. George's whole plan for that thing went out the window and I can't imagine his original vision being very interesting anyway. The farm boy becomes a hero. We've seen that in every story since Gilgamesh. Would Mark have had the chops for that? He was talented, sure. Handsome. But he couldn't grow a beard. If you watch the original cut he mostly just whines. It wasn't Mark Hamill's fault. George isn't a screenwriter.

Interviewer: I read an article where the author posits that had Mark lived...

JM: Yeah, the movie would have flopped and sci-fi would have died out. It's possible. That guy also said Carter would have been reelected...

Interviewer: Right. And paralyzed. Iran becomes World War III, no space program, no epidemic of Re-

JM: It's fun to think about, but...

Interviewer: We're getting off track.

JM: You're right. Anyway, by then I think George was done with it. He complained, but all his story stuff for the movie was still in there so he didn't fight it. He became a passive producer on it. He was working on other stuff. Going after Disney. Returning to the director's chair. Steven was a pig in shit. He loved this movie, this was his big war movie. Also, he wanted to retire.

Interviewer: We all know the rest, but since we're running out of time a little bit, I wanted to focus on the movie that really changed your career and - some might say - the world.

JM: Here we go...

Interviewer: [laughs] It has been heralded as the first wave of modern Afro-Futurism, the first, last, and only blockbuster midnight movie...

JM: The cheapest epic and the most expensive student film ever made...

Interviewer: ...a reluctant masterpiece. Conceived as "a parody of and protest against New Hollywood's science fiction fantasy monopoly," it is now celebrated as perhaps its finest moment.

JM: It was all downhill from there.

Interviewer: We're gonna talk about Inundariat.

JM: How Inundariat happened is a great story. I love telling that story...

Interviewer: We'll hear all about it when we come back...


'It's important to remember that sometimes these things take time... Sometimes they even take years. "Triumph of the Force" which you mentioned, is a great example of that. That movie wouldn't be released until December of 1983 - that's three and a half years after the last movie. George and I wrote a basic story, David Lynch gave us an extremely long and still incomplete scriptment for it which Lawrence Kasdan doctored and hastily finished. Katz and Huyck gave us a fleshed out rewrite and Milius combined them all, polished it, and added some dialogue. That process took years. The papers all said, "Delays continue to plague Star Wars" or something like that. George wasn't concerned, but I was frustrated and impatient. I was going to direct this final Star Wars and maybe quit film for good. I wanted it to be perfect.

It wouldn't have been such a weird, dark movie without that process. Everyone who contributed to it made it what it was. And what it was was a hit, in spite of the rating. They called it a masterpiece. It won everything. It brought George Lucas back into filmmaking. "Triumph" is one of my proudest moments as a director. And as an added perk, I got to marry the star...'

- Steven Spielberg, 1990

Last edited:
Great update. Well worth the three year wait.

There's a lot to this, and it's been a while, so I need to refresh my memory of certain details (like the Lord of the Rings adaptation.) So I'll make two comments:

How close is Dark Skies to the OTL concept? Does "Gremlin:The Extra-Terrestrial" more like Gremlins or ET.

There seems to be tensions between Kemp and Reagan. Will this lead into anything?
Great update. Well worth the three year wait.

There's a lot to this, and it's been a while, so I need to refresh my memory of certain details (like the Lord of the Rings adaptation.) So I'll make two comments:

How close is Dark Skies to the OTL concept? Does "Gremlin:The Extra-Terrestrial" more like Gremlins or ET.

There seems to be tensions between Kemp and Reagan. Will this lead into anything?

First of all, thank you.

Dark Skies is fairly close to the original concept, with a little more Poltergeist and a splash of E.T.

Gremlin is E.T. with a splash of Gremlins, and I'll go into further detail closer to the release date.

I'm so glad you're all reading, liking, commenting, and overall enjoying this post. I have written and lost it (or something increasingly similar to it) several times over the past few years and it's been a real struggle.

This isn't the perfect version of this post, that's been lost to the ages, but now that a lot of the things I had planned for GtNH have become extremely relevant in the past couple of years, I couldn't not start to post updates again. Even if they seem to me to be sub par.

Thanks again for the warm welcome back, everyone. You were all missed.


Reagan and Kemp's complex relationship is an enormous part of what I want to explore further in upcoming updates. Needless to say, butterflies are making this TL's Reagan and this TL's Kemp different people than who we remember, but not remotely unrecognizable (or unpredictable) as we go forward.


There are a couple of edits I have to make later today. Chris Columbus' quote, a misspelling, and the SNL date. Don't judge me too harshly until that's corrected! Will post an edit post then.
Last edited:
I was idly curious what this was so I looked at the first update.

Ended up reading the whole thing all the way through in one go - the amount of work put into this timeline is simply amazing.

Keep it up!