Something wilder in space.
There are three things on my mind as I sit down to write this: Gene Wilder, Mr. Fuji, and No Man’s Sky. I’ll briefly talk about all three because that’s what one does in a blog section.
Let’s start with Mr. Fuji. He passed away a few days ago. He was a legendary pro-wrestling villain in the 1980s and early 90s. By the time I was old enough to start watching wrestling, he was the devious manager of some of the ring’s most evil characters. He was such a classic bad guy that he helped form my perception of what a pro-wrestling villain is. His laugh was pure eeeevil. His promo from an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event about how he forces one of his wrestlers to train four hours a day in his torture chamber is pure gold. My dad took me to a live WWE event (though it was WWF back then) where I saw the diabolical Mr. Fuji wrestle the noble and gallant Ricky Steamboat. Rest in peace, Mr. Fuji. You were one of the best of the bad guys.
Let’s move on to No Man’s Sky. I was excited for this game. I was worried it wasn’t going to deliver what I wanted it to be. After playing the game I can tell you that it absolutely delivered for me. I’m twenty-plus hours in and I’m still surprised and enamored by this strange universe. Don’t listen to the hate. This game promised me it was going to be a chill, impossibly expansive game about exploring countless planets and for over twenty hours I’ve done just that. Progress is slow because it was designed to be, and I knew that going in. Some planets are vibrant with wildlife and color, others are barren and rocky. I hold my breath every time I step into an Atlas Interface station because they’re freaking awesome. Making friends with the alien animals is an unexpected joy. I’m not going to get into an argument about this because no one is budging on the love/hate sides of this game, and I’m firmly on the side of love. I can’t wait to climb back into my ship and see what else I can find.
Finally, news of Gene Wilder’s death reached us all yesterday. I don’t need to talk about his accomplishments and his film roles because so many amazing tributes have been made and his praises have been sung more poetically than I can. While many will remember him for his roles in Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, and many other great films, one of my fondest memories of Gene Wilder was seeing his interview on Inside The Actor’s Studio. It aired just before I was going off to college as an Acting major. Watching Gene Wilder talk about his love of acting, his approach to the creative craft, and his general demeanor as an artist not only filled me with hope and inspiration for my own upcoming time in an acting program, but was a great insight into his kind soul and gentle heart. My attempt at acting never made it past college, but I try to keep some of that kindness and gentleness in my soul with each new creative endeavor. It’s not a bad way to live, and a great way to be remembered.