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  June 6, 1999



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As clear as black 'n' white
By BRET "The Hitman" HART -- For The Calgary Sun
  I'm not going to talk about my brother, Owen, for now. I need time to work through my feelings. It wasn't until a couple of days ago that I found any quiet time to grieve. I'll have more to say about Owen -- but not now.

 I do want to express my heartfelt thanks to each of you who sent condolences. Your support is deeply appreciated in this time of sorrow.

 Today is my youngest son Blade's ninth birthday and we went to see Star Wars. The kids have been surrounded by dealing with death and somehow it seems even more important than ever to celebrate life.

 They say the new Star Wars movie is expected to be the numero uno box-office boom of all time. Yet, George Lucas held out on this prequel and some movie insiders say it's because he was reluctant to play 'can you top this'.

 Maybe, but with LucasFilm continually redefining effects technology and the epic saga already written, I really don't think that they doubted they could live up to the hype. In fact, I'd imagine Lucas was eager to tell the rest of his tale. I think the long wait was more a case of tuning in to how the expectations of the audience have changed in two decades. We've gone from a time when heroes told kids to say their prayers and take their vitamins, to 'suck it' and then Owen's bad guy Blue Blazer character, designed to poke fun at goody-good guys.

 Under all that cool, slick Star Wars visual stuff is the most basic story on Earth -- and in a galaxy far, far away. Good guys vs. bad guys.

 Jedi Knights vs. Evil Empire. Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader. Luke's in white, Vader's in black and ... that's the problem. Too often, today's heroes and villians aren't black and white. They're shades of grey.

 Will you like this new Star Wars movie if everyone is grey? Does that mean Lucas sold out? Or if they're still black and white, will that sell in 1999?

 I'm not going to ruin the movie for you by telling you which direction they went. You be the judge. The effects will blow you away.

 It's the effect of the movie that I'm not sure of.

 Which way will it go: Do you think the current popularity of grey heroes and cheered villians in wrestling will affect the way people react to the characters in Star Wars? Or do you think the way people react to Star Wars will sway the anti-hero trend in wrestling?

 At least the kids can come away from it having a great time and knowing that nice guys don't always finish last. I can only hope that one day, I'll be able to say that, again, about wrestling.

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