Clerks – Kevin Smith (estratto script)

INT: CONVENIENCE STORE. DAY
DANTE is tugging at a can of Pringles potato chips. The can is stuck on a MAN’S hand.
DANTE
You hold the counter and I’ll pull.
MAN
Usually I just turn the can upside down.
DANTE
(pulling)
Maybe we should soap your hand or something.
MAN
(straining)
They oughta put some kind of warning on these cans, like they do with cigarettes.
DANTE
I think it’s coming now… The can pops off and DANTE staggers back a few steps. The man rubs his hand.
MAN
Thanks. I thought I was gonna have to go to the hospital.
DANTE
I’ll throw this out. Precautionary measure.
MAN
It stings a little.
DANTE
A word of advice: Sometimes it’s best to let those hard to reach chips go.
DANTE steps behind the counter.
MAN
Thanks.
The MAN exits as RANDAL enters. DANTE throws the canister away.
DANTE
Do you know that article is accurate? Caitlin’s really getting married!
RANDAL
You know what I just watched?
DANTE
Me pulling a can off some moron’s fist.
RANDAL
Return of the Jedi.

DANTE
Didn’t you hear me? Caitlin really is getting married.
RANDAL
Which did you like better: Jedi or The Empire Strikes Back.
DANTE
(exasperated)
Empire.
RANDAL
Blasphemy.
DANTE
Empire had the better ending: Luke gets his hand cut off, and finds out Vader’s his father; Han gets
frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. And that’s life-a series of down
endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets.
RANDAL
There was something else going on in Jedi. I never noticed it until today.
RANDAL follows DANTE as he cleans up around the store.
DANTE
What’s that?
RANDAL
All right, Vader’s boss…
DANTE
The Emperor.
RANDAL
Right, the Emperor. Now the Emperor is kind of a spiritual figure, yes?
DANTE
How do you mean?
RANDAL
Well, he’s like the pope for the dark side of the Force. He’s a holy man; a shaman, kind of, albeit an
evil one.
DANTE
I guess.
RANDAL
Now, he’s in charge of the Empire. The Imperial government is under his control. And the entire galaxy is under Imperial rule.
DANTE
Yeah.
RANDAL
Then wouldn’t that logically mean that it’s a theocracy? If the head of the Empire is a priest of some sort, then it stands to reason that the government is therefore one based on religion.
DANTE
It would stand to reason, yes.
RANDAL
Hence, the Empire was a fascist theocracy, and the rebel forces were therefore battling religious persecution.
DANTE
More or less.
RANDAL
The only problem is that at no point in the series did I ever hear Leia or any of the rebels declare a particular religious belief.
DANTE
I think they were Catholics.
A BLUE-COLLAR MAN half enters the door.
BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Are you open?
DANTE
Yeah. Come in.
He goes to the coffee machine and makes a cup of joe.
RANDAL
You know what else I noticed in Jedi?
DANTE
There’s more?
RANDAL
So they build another Death Star, right?
DANTE
Yeah.
RANDAL
Now the first one they built was completed and fully operational before the Rebels destroyed it.
DANTE
Luke blew it up. Give credit where it’s due.
RANDAL
And the second one was still being built when they blew it up.
DANTE
Compliments of Lando Calrissian.
RANDAL
Something just never sat right with me the second time they destroyed it. I could never put my finger on it-something just wasn’t right.
DANTE
And you figured it out?
RANDAL
Well, the thing is, the first Death
Star was manned by the Imperial army-storm troopers, dignitaries- the only people onboard were Imperials.
DANTE
Basically.
RANDAL
So when they blew it up, no prob. Evil is punished.
DANTE
And the second time around…?
RANDAL
The second time around, it wasn’t even finished yet. They were still under construction.
DANTE
So?
RANDAL
A construction job of that magnitude would require a helluva lot more manpower than the Imperial army had to offer. I’ll bet there were independent contractors working on that thing: plumbers, aluminum siders, roofers.
DANTE
Not just Imperials, is what you’re
getting at.
RANDAL
Exactly. In order to get it built quickly and quietly they’d hire anybody who could do the job. Do you think the average storm trooper knows how to install a toilet main? All they know is killing and white uniforms.
DANTE
All right, so even if independent contractors are working on the Death Star, why are you uneasy with its destruction?
RANDAL
All those innocent contractors hired to do a job were killed- casualties of a war they had nothing to do with.
(notices Dante’s confusion)
All right, look-you’re a roofer, and some juicy government contract comes your way; you got the wife and kids and the two-story in suburbia-this is a government contract, which means all sorts of benefits. All of a sudden these left-wing militants blast you with lasers and wipe out everyone within a three-mile radius.
RANDAL (CONT’D)
You didn’t ask for that. You have no personal politics. You’re just trying to scrape out a living.
The BLUE-COLLAR MAN joins them.
BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Excuse me. I don’t mean to interrupt, but what were you talking about?
RANDAL
The ending of Return of the Jedi.
DANTE
My friend is trying to convince me that any contractors working on the uncompleted Death Star were innocent victims when the space station was destroyed by the rebels.
BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Well, I’m a contractor myself. I’m a roofer…
(digs into pocket and produces business card)
Dunn and Reddy Home Improvements.
And speaking as a roofer, I can say that a roofer’s personal politics come heavily into play when choosing jobs.
RANDAL
Like when?
BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Three months ago I was offered a job up in the hills. A beautiful house with tons of property. It was a simple reshingling job, but I was told that if it was finished within a day, my price would be doubled. Then I realized whose house it was.
DANTE
Whose house was it?
BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Dominick Bambino’s.
RANDAL
"Babyface" Bambino? The gangster?
BLUE-COLLAR MAN
The same. The money was right, but the risk was too big. I knew who he was, and based on that, I passed the job on to a friend of mine.
DANTE
Based on personal politics.
BLUE-COLLAR MAN
Right. And that week, the Foresci family put a hit on Babyface’s house. My friend was shot and killed. He wasn’t even finished shingling.
RANDAL
No way!
BLUE-COLLAR MAN
(paying for coffee)
I’m alive because I knew there were risks involved taking on that particular client. My friend wasn’t so lucky.
(pauses to reflect)
You know, any contractor willing to work on that Death Star knew the risks. If they were killed, it was
their own fault. A roofer listens to this…
(taps his heart)
not his wallet.
The BLUE-COLLAR MAN exits. DANTE and RANDAL remain respectfully quiet for a moment. An angry WOMAN opens the door and pokes her head in.
WOMAN
Is that video store open or not?

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