Every man needs a dream right? A goal to eventually reach in life, a star to aim for. Dreams give focus to our lives and meaning to our actions. Without them no man would ever aim to be better, no person would seek fulfillment, no one would ever look towards the stars. Lately, as a writer I’ve been feeling a bit out of form. Stranded amongst a sea of thoughts and words, only ever trying to pull together some form of coherent message. My goal sometimes with these articles seems aimless and lackluster at best. I guess you could say that a small dream of mine is beginning to waver and as such I‘m losing site of my goals. It’s times like these that we all need something to come and take us away, to throw us into that big blue sky.
That reminds me of something I’ve forgotten over these last few weeks. Those few choice words at the end of my first article, what were they again? “So next time you’re out under that big blue sky, look up and let the world and yourself have a smile.” You know, I think that sky holds onto a lot more meaning than we sometimes give it credit. After all, Gene Starwind found his purpose amongst the stars. If a man like him, as lost as he was at times, is capable of finding and running after a dream then we all are. Yes, indeed every man needs a dream.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one, a young boy spends his days looking out at the stars and one night after watching the launch of a shuttle he turns to his father and says “Dad, one day I’m going to fly away into those stars.” Flash forward several years, one traumatizing incident and a dead daddy later and we meet this week’s character of interest, Gene Starwind. Well, Gene’s no longer the starry-eyed little kid he once was. No, he’s a gun carrying ladies man willing to kill if it means getting the right price, or if he feels like it. Gene Starwind has now become an outlaw hunting down bounties and spending the cash on weapons, cars, girls and whatever else that will fill the hole left from knowing that the dream he once knew will never be.
You see Gene’s a coward. Not of any battles, no, he’ll happily fight if he needs to. Gene’s afraid to go into space. Naturally it’s a bit difficult to pilot a space ship when you pass out every time you hit orbit. You see, that traumatizing incident I mentioned is the whole reason behind Gene’s little phobia. When he was a kid he and his father were on a shuttle in space, unfortunately pirates tend to occupy these waters and so Gene and his father were attacked. His father pushed him into a shuttle to save his life and as a result was killed in the impeding bombardment of the ship. Ever since that moment Gene has been phobic of being in ships and in space and as such has continued to run from his dreams. A fear so bad that even looking at the stars with cause Gene to become sick and dizzy. While this little personality quirk seems somewhat basic it is actually the basis for Gene’s first major form of development. You see, pretty soon Gene is going to be thrown into that sky whether he likes it or not.
Somewhere in his life Gene met his business partner Jim Hawking and opened up a small agency that would take care of any “situations” that should ever arise. This little agency of theirs is what brings them face to face with one of the most hated outlaws in the galaxy, Hot Ice Hilda. Well Gene’s no man to ever pass up a pretty face and so he get’s wound up in a situation that sends him, Jim, Hilda and a mysterious girl in a suitcase shooting off into space. Very quickly Gene is forced to come to terms with his deep rooted fears as not short after going into space he’s thrust into the captains chair of the best ship in the galaxy, the Outlaw Star. Despite managing to subdue his fears enough to pilot said ship he is still plagued with bouts of anxiety when faced with the prospect of being alone in space.
While facing this fear was no easy task Gene eventually managed to compose himself enough to become a passable captain. In fact he very quickly makes a name for himself as one of the dumbest and most half hazard pilots to ever fly in space. While he may not be the brightest pilot his natural skill managed to pull his ass out of quite a few situations. If anything his reckless way of flying shows how much of a quick thinker Gene is. He may leave most of the technical sides of things up to his partner Jim but it’s his instincts and brash attitude that win over more often than not.
Gene’s not a complete idiot though, when it comes down to it he can talk his way out of death if need be. While he can’t be considered a persuasive man he does nonetheless have a bit of charm that people hang on to, something that has more than once saved his life as well as garnered a few unwanted tagalongs. Unfortunately his charm lies mostly in the fact that he is such a brash imbecile that will jump into any situation unnecessarily. Still Gene is undoubtedly a skilled man, aside from his natural piloting talent he is an excellent marksman. He’s been shown to be able to stand his ground against people far smarter and deadlier than himself but with his intuitiveness and ingenuity he somehow manages to always pull through.
As I said earlier Gene Starwind is an outlaw, but just as every thief still has their humanity so does every outlaw have their pride. Gene doesn’t see himself as low as any pirate or criminal but he’s not above stretching the rules a bit to succeed. While Gene’s not one to shy away from killing he does make sure to not drag innocents into any business of his own and doesn‘t make a habit of killing without a good reason. Even beyond being a smug, skirt chasing bastard he still retains a bit of a kind heart. Every now and then he shows the willingness to actually sincerely help another person without compensation, often because they may remind him of himself in harsher times. Regardless of outlaw status though Gene is still a legitimate citizen and business man and is willing to work to earn his reward. That all being said Gene’s not one to do any favors should there be no returns. Even the hero of the story can have his greedy side and if there’s not enough money in it then the job is just not worth his time. Gene may not always be a serious man but he is one to take his pride seriously, no matter how questionable the morality of that pride may be.
For being such a charmer you’d think that Gene would have fairly good composure, he does but unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Gene isn’t exactly a professional in most cases and often ends up making a complete fool of himself though he isn‘t without his cool side which is what allows him to be such a smooth talker. His composure is more or less completely lost once he’s faced with the prospect of death though. Nobody wants to die and Gene certainly isn’t one to set that trend. Gene’s fatalistic side is something that drives him as far as putting him into a depressive state often causing him to drink and become confrontational towards others. Sacrificing one’s life for any means just isn’t Gene’s philosophy, and it’s this idea that keeps Gene from often reaching any sort of goal to stake his life on. It’s during these moments when he faces death that Gene begins to doubt his rather shallow life and his purpose within this world. While Gene reaches no legitimate answers he is none the less more willing to live worthlessly than he is to die meaningfully.
Gene’s not without his comrades and there’s no better comrade to him than his partner Jim. While at first it may seem odd that Gene Starwind has an eleven year old as a best friend it’s easy to see just who is dependent on whom. Jim Hawking is far and away smarter than Gene ever will be but despite his responsibility in the business and over Gene he is still the one that in the end looks up to Gene the most. It’s hard to imagine Gene’s life without Jim as the two have developed a codependence so strong that without each other they struggle to carry through a complete job most of the time. Jim more than makes up for all of the immaturity within Gene and remains the best balance to him within his life. The two are undoubtedly a strong duo and a close pair.
As anyone with eyes could have gathered by now Gene is not a man of many morals. For starters he’s easily the most perverse character I’ve written about as of now and is shameless in that fact as well. After all who cares if you’re a pervert if you’ve got the money to make your life happy, or at least Gene thinks so. It’s easy to see that he isn’t a man of moderation be it women or booze and is not slow at jumping at the chance for either. What is the only redeeming factor to his morality is of course his somewhat narrow pride. He isn’t one to try and fool others to gain the upper hand and as mention previously he isn’t one to gain his rewards illegally. While he succumbs to many desires and greed he always manages at least enough self control to keep him from sinking any further.
“An outlaw must always be a lone wolf without anything holding him down. You can only count on yourself but sometimes you just want to feel the warmth of another body.”
Through his perversity and greed can you really blame Gene though? A man who has lost everything, who knows nothing of love is doomed to a dreamless life. A man like that must grab a hold of whatever happiness he can get no matter how shallow. In the end that’s the whole reason Gene is the way he is, he grew up alone and doesn’t understand anything that could even resemble love. The only way he knows to fix himself is through material desires. So what is it that this man truly desires? Money? Pleasure? Power? I think if anything it’s fairly obvious at this point. Through whatever exterior the man has, through whatever charming words he may spew in the end you can’t fool the truth that lies deep inside. Love. Every being, be it man or animal, knows love. The bond of such an oblique emotion shared between all people be they family, friend or lover. Love is this man’s dream. Love is the thing he has always longed for but never obtained, the hole that he has never filled.
In the end there comes one thing that Gene will risk his life for, one thing that he ultimately desires. Melfina. The mysterious girl in the suitcase, lost without a past or a purpose, a kindred soul to fill Gene’s empty existence. The two were almost destined for each other in a broken down sort of way, each having that which the other was missing. For Melina a purpose and for Gene a love. While it may take a lifetime these two will no doubt eventually find their dreams within the stars.
So what is there to learn from such a seemingly unguided man? Well maybe there’s nothing to learn. Maybe, if anything, we can find a little piece of ourselves in Gene Starwind. What are our goals, our dreams, our purpose? What meaning do we carry in this life and will we ever be fulfilled? I can’t answer this, not through Gene’s story and not through my own. All I can say in the end is to keep looking out at that big blue sky and maybe, just maybe, we can all find our place in the stars. Until then, just enjoy your life and live it without apology.