thx-1138 novel

Thanks Tom L!

c.1981?|age 12 or 13? I was trying to be a bit clever putting in the THX-1138 bit. In fact until a few years ago, I believed that this is what he said in the film. He actually says “TK-421”. My friend Thomas L lent me the novel of THX-1138 when I was in secondary school, and I read it a few times. I really enjoyed it. It might have been my first ever dystopian-future novel.

When I finally rented the film on Betamax video—I loved it too, despite its bleakness, and its almost total lack of humanity or warmth. The people in it are almost like automatons, reciting a script—or CGI characters. Probably the dream of many a director! Unfortunately our George has lately fecked about with this film via CGI too, just like he did with Star Wars. The resulting additions look out-of step with the original footage and add nothing of any worth. When the car chase exits the tunnel and takes off through the night-time city—which appears to be outside by the way—I almost thought someone had switched channels!


(Update! “THX-1138” is actually spoken in the Star Wars <novelisation of ’77)

Art Notes

Panels 2 and 3 are lifted from Chaykin’s version. You can see how much better the brown gloved fingers are drawn than I could have done from my imagination. I wonder what the officer’s face in the bottom panel looked like before I revised it with black marker?

The gantry officer’s face registers fear! But more of that later –

tk-421 why aren't you at your post?

Howard Chaykin’s blatant rip-off of my own treatment, 1977. And let’s confuse things still further: the officer says TX-421!

Film Notes: the Forgotten Cast member

Clint Howard

Clint in his 2 other non-Star Wars age 9 roles. Above: as himself Below: as a terrified NASA guy

Recognise the chap in the bottom panel? That’s right, it’s one of the lesser known actors in Star Wars age 9: Clint Howard.

Brother of talented director, actor and famous-ginger: Ron Howard, he provided the inspiration to a Mr. and Mrs. Eastwood all those decades ago when they struggled to choose a manly name for their newborn. He too, rose to stardom. (I have a thing for red-heads: I even married one).


Clint Howard

“No… not another giant space teddy-bear!”

Clint has appeared in a couple of works other than this one, but he fought long and hard to break out of the SWa9 role which typecast him for so much of his younger acting career as “Nazi character who gets pounded by a giant space teddy-bear”.

Perhaps to make amends, when I tweak the following scene for my own Special Edition, I’ll remove the blaster shot to his chest—like George did—thus making it more child-friendly and less upsetting for Clint’s parents.

This page is for you Clint! You’re an SWa9 legend!