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Monday, May 29, 2017

A Return to Buck Rogers: For the Love of Jennifer

In the last post, I posed the question: in the movie version of "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," why would Buck refuse to accompany Wilma and her rescue party back to New Chicago? Remember, he's seen the ruins of old Chicago. He's found his family's grave. It must be obvious to him by now that everyone he knew and loved was gone. As he's just been attacked, why should he remain?

Remember, in the original screenplay, upon which Richard A Lupoff (writing as Addison E Steele) based his novelization, Buck is grateful for her timely rescue, and willingly accompanies her back to New Chicago.

One possible answer is simple bravado, but that doesn't feel right to me. Buck usually did things for logical reasons. He didn't usually refuse to act in his best interests, or the interests of others, when one's personal safety, or one's existence, was threatened. 

Late in the first season, Buck and Twiki see a woman in a shopping mall in New Chicago. She looks familiar to Buck, like a ghost from his past. Eventually he tracks her down. She is the spitting image of Jennifer, a woman he loved in 20th Century Earth. Nor was she just a fling. He had planned on marrying her when he returned from his deep space mission. Only his ship experienced a freak accident, and he returned 500 years later. Of course, she's not the woman he loved back in the 20th Century, but as he discovers, she is someone he might possibly learn to love, given the right circumstances.

Does it make sense that Buck would refuse to accompany Wilma back to New Chicago, even at the potential cost of his life, to find Jennifer's grave? That's the only answer that makes sense to me. I'd like to think there's a better reason behind the script writers decision to change Buck's response to Wilma's rescue than simple bravado. 

What do you think?

Dragon Dave

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