The X-wing fighter has sunk, and only the tip of its nose shows above the lake’s surface.

LUKE: Oh, no. We’ll never get it out now.

Yoda stamps his foot in irritation.

YODA: So certain are you. Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?

Luke looks uncertainly out at the ship.

LUKE: Master, moving stones around is one thing. This is totally different.

YODA: No! No different! Only different in your mind. You must unlearn what you have learned.

LUKE: (focusing, quietly) All right, I’ll give it a try.

YODA: No! Try not. Do. Or do not!! There is no try….

The lines above are from the screenplay to The Empire Strikes Back, the second of the first trilogy of Star Wars movies, aka Episode V. Many of us who originally saw the 1980 film back in the theater fondly remember this scene in… More…


Long ago, in a distant age partially obscured by the mists of time, people made movies like The Holy Mountain. I’m talking about the 1970s here.

In one memorable scene, the Jesus figure (“The Thief”) presides over a colonial war between toads and chameleons dressed as Spanish conquistadors. The reptiles clamber over a scale model of a pre-Columbian city replete with pyramids and temples. At the end of the scene, blood spurts everywhere and the model blows up.

The Holy Mountain is a religious fable that is also about outer space. It is based, more or less, on The Ascent of Mount Carmel by Saint John of the Cross and Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing by René Daumal. Limbless midgets, a group of aliens, and an Alchemist aid The Thief in… More…