Alphabetical Movie – The Return of the King
I have a framed poster for this film signed by Peter Jackson and it is hanging in my bathroom. There’s a picture of it on the left if you don’t believe me. Every time I poop, I see this poster.
I’m not saying that to brag. I mean, if I was trying to brag, I wouldn’t admit that I look at this poster every time I poop, would I?
OK, fine. I’m bragging just a little bit.
I’m not a big memorabilia collector. When it comes to autographs, I place far more value on a genuine interaction with another human being than I do on their signature. Still, it’s pretty damn cool that I got to see an advance premiere of Return of the King with Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson and Peter signed a poster for everyone in the room.
The story is a lot more interesting than the autograph, actually. I could’ve forged the autograph. It could have been stamped on by a printer.
Such is the case with most of the autographs that I actually value. Take, for instance, the autograph I have from Peter Mahew.
As you may or may not be aware, Mahew played Chewbacca in the Star Wars trilogy. He is, among other things, a very tall man. His height has nothing to do with the story but it is quite noticeable.
He visited CONvergence as a guest several years ago and he was charming, British and, as I mentioned, quite tall. He did a Q & A before a screening of The Empire Strikes Back with Michael Sheard (I have an autographed picture of Michael as Hitler) that I thoroughly enjoyed. I thought he was great but I never once asked for his autograph.
A few years later, I went on a hike on the island of St. Maarten in the Caribbean. No, I’m not trying to impress you by saying that I went for a hike in the Caribbean.
Well, maybe just a little bit.
In any case, this hike had an elevation gain of about 300 feet or so (you can’t gain too much more elevation than that in St. Maarten) and we reached an overlook called “Chewbacca Rock.” I was told that the heir to the San Pelligrino fortune was a big Star Wars fan and at some point, he was allowed to name an overlook for a birthday present. Why not, right? They guy has lots of money. What else does he need?
Because he was a Star Wars fan, he named it Chewbacca Rock. He could have named it Bib Fortuna rock or R5-D4 rock but he didn’t. He opted for Chewbacca.
I took a picture from that overlook and another picture of the sign by the overlook. Everyone else on the hike did so as well but they didn’t have a purpose. I had a purpose.
Because, you see, I knew Peter Mahew was coming back to CONvergence later that year and by god, he was going to sign my picture of Chewbacca rock!
I assumed that he fielded such requests all the time. How could it be possible that Peter Mahew would have never heard of the rock named after everyone’s favorite Wookie?
He hadn’t. It came as a complete shock to him when I presented him with my photo montage of one of the most awesome examples of Star Wars geekdom on our little planet. I believe he was amused.
He signed that photo montage for me and let me tell you, I have no idea where I put it.
Because the signature isn’t important. It’s the story that goes with getting the signature.
And that’s why I have Peter Jackson’s signature in my bathroom. The autograph isn’t all that important but, when people notice it, I can tell them where it came from.
And that’s kind of cool.