In a recent column in the Denver Post, Bill Husted parses the theories of a CU prof who's positive Avatar is a metaphor for Crested Butte's battle against molybdenum mining on the Red Lady. (James Cameron apparently has a house in the area.) It got me thinking of other sci-fi blockbusters (and one not-so-blockbuster) that could serve as metaphors for some of our other esteemed resort towns. (I have a lot of time on my hands.)
5. Planet of the Apes: Aspen. Charlton Heston and the people are old (read: poor) Aspen, the apes are new (read: rich) Aspen, and the half-buried Statue of Liberty is Hunter S. Thompson's perspective on the situation.
4. The Empire Strikes Back: Wolf Creek. Hoth, the snowiest planet in the galaxy, could easily stand for Wolf Creek, the snowiest hill in the state. In this metaphor, the Empire and their AT-AT walkers are the developers who want to build a brand-new town on the pass, Luke and the Rebellion are the locals and environmentalists who oppose them, Yoda is an old-timer in South Fork (Dagobah), Cloud City is Aspen, and Lando is the real-life Billy Dee Williams.
3. Battlefield Earth: Telluride. There's got to be some Scientology metaphor/joke involving Tom Cruise's spread somewhere, but I didn't see the movie.
2. Star Wars: Vail. The Earth Liberation Front/Rebellion blows up a ski lodge/Death Star.
1. The Road Warrior: Winter Park. The Ski Train is shuttered, I-70 traffic sucks, and gas prices and temperatures are on the rise. In 10 years, the Fraser Valley could look just like Mad Max's post-apocalyptic Outback with roving hordes of punks in search of gasoline.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.