This edition contains an essay on one of the characters portrayed by Anthony Starke, as well as a puzzle. If you're interested in writing an article for Starke Struck, or a regular column, please feel free to contact me about this. I am, in particular, looking for individuals interested in writing reviews of Anthony Starke's work, as well as installment fanfiction to post in the newsletter. Other ideas are welcome. -- Cat Standish
When first considering which character to talk about in this essay, I asked myself which one I think about when I think about Anthony Starke. Ezra Standish? Ezra is certainly the most obvious choice for most of us. But I really didn't want to start with Ezra. So I chose Wil Dezmond.
Wil Dezmond is the character Tony portrays in Inferno. Inferno also stars James Remar, Jonathon LaPaglia, Kathryn Morris, and Stephanie Niznik. The premise of the movie is that a solar eruption (a 'chronomass ejection') is heading towards earth, heating the atmosphere to levels which seriously threaten life as we know it. The temperature is expected to hit between 140 and 155 degrees Fahrenheit. This movie focuses on the way a few people are affected. The story follows a history teacher who is a reservist in the National Guard (Starke), a lifeguard with a little bit of medical training (Niznik), an unlicensed medical doctor (Remar), a lowlife towtruck driver (LaPaglia), and his partner (Morris). Their lives all intersect at some point during the movie, as we watch how each of them rises--or sinks--to the occasion. Some become heroes, while others reveal their villainous nature.
When we first meet Dez, as he is called, he is teaching history in a high school. One of his students, Lewis, receives a "business" call while in the class, and Dez confiscates the phone. Lewis grabs Dez's hand, and Tony utters one of my favorite lines: "Look, if you wanna hold my hand, you gotta buy me dinner first." He shows that he does demand that his students pay attention to his lessons, without the distraction of phone calls in the class room. He later has a heated discussion with the same student, Lewis, after he tells him not to bother coming back, because Lewis is wasting his life and Dez doesn't really want to watch it. It is very apparent through the discussion that Dez is trying to break through to Lewis and make him understand the importance of education. Lewis, however, doesn't want to hear it, and responds by trashing Dez's car.
The relationship between Lewis and Dez turns out to be a rather pivotal to Dez.
Later on, Dez reports for duty with the National Guard, where his unit is first charged with distribution of supplies. His platoon leader, Lt. Simpson, requests reassignment to another detail because he didn't "re-up to be a damn grocery clerk." Dez now takes on the role of science teacher to his friend Leopold, first talking about the temperatures that humans can survive, what is causing the smoke and vapor in the air, and finally the fragility of life.
They arrive on scene where a gang has taken up residence in a burning building where the fire department is trying to control the blaze. The gang has opened fire on the firemen, and the National Guard has been assigned to provide cover. Simpson declares that they are on a 'search and destroy' mission, and Dez questions the order. He believes they are there to protect the firemen. Simpson declares that he is in charge and he gives the orders, thus squelching any further protest from Dez or any of the others. This reveals some characteristics of both Simpson and Dezmond. Dezmond does not blindly follow orders, and Simpson clearly expects that from him. We also see the beginnings of madness in Simpson.
Later on, Dez and Leopold are captured by a gang. Coincidentally enough, one of the members of the gang is Lewis. Lewis recognizes Dez and tries to convince the gang leader not to shoot him. Words fail, and Lewis takes action, saving Dez's life. Unfortunately, at that moment, the Guard bursts in, guns a-blazing, and Lewis is shot, but not killed.
Dez wants to take Lewis to a medic, but the platoon leader wants to abandon Lewis. Dezmond defies a direct order and walks off, carrying Lewis to find a doctor...and the rest of the platoon continues Simpson's War.
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