TV SERIES PITCH
The saga of Don Quixote, retold as a comedic TV series set in the present day, with a delusional Star Wars fan and his recurring episodes of mental illness.
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes, first published in Spain in 1605, is the story of a socially isolated affluent middle aged white man who becomes obsessed with medieval fantasy. He makes a costume with items found around his house and embarks on a delusional quest to conquer villainy as an errant knight. His first outing describes the trouble he causes with the locals. His niece and concerned community members are unable to contain his delusions. Eventually Don Quixote recruits a poor labourer (Sancho Panza) to be his squire, and the two set off on an epic series of travelling adventures, causing mayhem wherever they go as his delusions clash with reality.
The Adventures of Obi-Don Quixote is the same story, set in the suburbs of today.
After years of continuously watching Star Wars, middle aged Don Keyowski is immersed in a fantasy. He trains and prepares for what he believes is his destiny, as a wandering guardian of intergalactic peace and justice. Becoming Obi-Don, he abandons all reason and sets out to save the galaxy, in a bathrobe, with a flashlight dangling from his belt.
This is a timely story, setup to speak on the big issues of our day: mental wellness, social isolation, cultural stereotypes, immigration, White entitlement, and the search for a universally validated sense of social justice in a cruel world, all in the “new normal” of going out wearing makeshift costumes of personal protective equipment.
This is a story that teaches the modern audience how to act when encountering a person suffering a mental health crisis.
How should someone act?
(uoıssɐdɯoɔ puɐ ssǝupuıʞ ɥʇıʍ :ɹǝʍsu∀)
Universal themes and comedy fun, combined with the popularity of the Don Quixote and Star Wars archetypes, make a story idea marketable to media markets around the globe.
The Don Quixote character and story have long been accepted and studied as cross cultural properties in the public domain. And like Don Quixote, the Obi-Don adventures are a parody, structured to meet all modern “fair use” factors of copyright law, using new entirely original characters and storylines presented in a way that is not dependent on copyrighted Star Wars material. This is a Star Wars story that can legally be a Star Wars story without being a Star Wars™️ story.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Donald Keyowski (a.k.a. Don, or Obi-Don, or Obi-Don Quixote), was only three years old when he saw his first Star Wars film. Now, after years and years of continuous viewings and immersions into the fantasy, and a series of family tragedies left him isolated with an overactive imagination, his mind has warped. Without treatment or intervention, his mental health has progressed to the point where he now believes himself to be living in a Star Wars universe. He’s reached middle age, has assembled his costume, and he now feels compelled to complete his training, constructing what proves to be an unusually bright flashlight. He’s “The Star Wars Kid”, all grown up, but without ever ceasing to imagine himself living in a Star Wars universe.
Obi-Don’s episodes of delusions, depression and manic spurts of energy are accentuated here for dramatic and comedic effect, but he’s a character that suffers from a debilitating mental illness.
Leia Keyowski. A young woman in her early twenties. Obi-Don was ecstatic when his brother named his only child Leia. From the time she was born, Obi-Don showered his niece with Star Wars gifts, turning her into another kid totally infatuated with Star Wars. But she’s outgrown all of that now, and is hard at work establishing herself as a professional in a serious career. She has long since packed away her toys, Padawan costume, and Padme posters. Leia shares Obi-Don’s tragic back story of family loss, and the two live together through provisions of a family estate. Leia loves her uncle, but is beyond embarrassed by his behaviour and continued obsessions. She has seen all of the Star Wars movies, as she would say, “too many fucking times.” She suffers from extreme Star Wars fatigue.
Maribel Gutierrez (Tienda Del Sudor) is the Honduran refugee hired to care for Obi-Don. Fearful of losing her job, and the possibility of deportation, Maribel feels compelled to follow her new employer’s every command. Obi-Don commands her to call him Master, carry a flashlight at all times, and wear an oversized hooded winter coat, regardless of the weather.
Obi-Don teaches her about the ways of the universe as she follows him along on his adventures. It’s Maribel’s story of her past as a worker in a sweatshop that inspires Obi-Don to train her as his apprentice whose name he believes to be “Tienda Del Sudor”. Ultimately he forces her against her will to embark on the “secret mission” that leads to the saga’s climax.
Maribel is reasonably fluent in English, but does not understand most of Obi-Don’s ramblings. and babbling none sense bleeps and bloops droid sounds. All she wants to do is earn money to provide for her children at home in Honduras. Until Obi-Don makes her watch them repeatedly, she had never seen a Star Wars film.
Hoover S3765040. Leia and Maribel refer to it as a vacuum cleaner, because that is what it is. Obi-Don believes that the temperamental appliance is a spirited robot with a bad motivator unit and always addresses it by its full serial number. Obi-Don insists that Maribel carry or pull it along with them wherever they go.
Baljit Singh Chandi is Obi-Don’s next door neighbor, the elderly patriarch of the multi-generational Chandi family, a retired farmer, and a recent immigrant with limited English. Obi-Don was fascinated with the Chandi family when they first moved into the neighborhood, and he now insists that Mr. Chandi is Master Chandi, a wise old teacher from the planet Punjab. Mr. Chandi speaks very little English. He had seen his grandkids play with their colorful plastic swords before, but he had no idea what Star Wars was until after Obi-Don’s first rampage through the neighborhood.
Police Constable Anna Chen is one of the responding police in the first Obi-Don disturbance call, and is later assigned to lead the followup investigation. As a fifteen year veteran of the force she has attended many cases of disturbed middle aged caucasian men in bathrobes. But none like this. She has seen the original Star Wars trilogy, the Phantom Menace, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Trevor Newton is the mental health out reach worker from the local public health unit who helps with Obi-Don’s release and followup care. He sincerely wants to help Obi-Don, but his efforts to mitigate Obi-Don’s delusions usually backfire. Trevor is a Black man. Due to the impression of Obi-Don’s repetitive childhood viewings of the original Star Wars, and the singular representation of Lando Calrissian as a Black person in that universe, he can’t help but associate in his mind all Black people with Lando Calrissian. Trevor understands. He has seen all of the Star Wars films, some many times over, and he is a well trained, mental health care professional who responds to the people under his care in crisis with kindness and compassion.
SEASONS & EPISODES
The story, imagined as unfolding in a three season trilogy:
Ignoring the pleas of his exasperated niece, Obi-Don ventures out in costume with a delusion to confront the dark side. He sets off on a bicycle he imagines is a speeder bike. The errant knight encounters his elderly neighbor (Baljit Singh Chandi), who he sees as a vision of a Jedi master. Obi-Don voyages to the Chandi back yard home, where he intimidates Baljit into becoming his master and complete his training. Obi-Don harasses the old man and tramples his neighbor’s garden. Once he gets the impression that he has passed a trial, and received his master’s blessing to go forth and confront the dark side, he sets off on an adventure across the neighborhood.
Obi-Don attacks a passing jogger, vandalizes a rooftop satellite dish, throws sticks and stones at a gardener, duels a neighbor across the steam of a hot tub and becomes trapped in another home, dismantling and destroying a garage door in the escape. The police arrive and he is tased and arrested.
Bound, sedated, and held captive, Obi-Don believes himself to be caught up in an evil plot, with the dark side blocking his ability to call upon the Force. His niece Leia comes to the rescue and secures his release.
At home on house arrest, Obi-Don recoups. When he skips his medication he feels the Force awaken, calling him on another adventure. While serving his sentence at home he befriends Maribel Gutierrez, the care home aid Leia hires to assist around the house and keep Obi-Don out of trouble.
Maribel shares her life story. Obi-Don is immediately enraptured by her tales of work as a captive seamstress in a Tegulcigalpan sweatshop on her home world of Honduras, and how, after participating in a labour protest, she was threatened and forced to leave her children and family and flee as a refugee. Obi-Don takes her name to be ‘Tienda Del Sudor’ and insists that all of these wrongs must be righted. He coerces Maribel into becoming his apprentice.
Obi-Don teaches Tienda Del Sudor the ways of the Force.
Obi-Don gives Tienda Del Sudor a flashlight of her own. The two compile a list of errands and together board the Subaru Legacy, the silver station wagon that Obi-Don has decorated to become a spaceship. Together they set out on an epic quest to the mall.
Enroute to the mall Obi-Don and Tienda Del Sudor battle an excavator and vandalize a highway construction site.
When the pair arrive at the mall, Obi-Don is enthralled by the whole place and thrilled with his ability to Force push open automatic doors. They ride the elevator and drop off a broken Hoover S3765040 at a vacuum repair store. Obi-Don owes the repair shop money for previous damaged vacuums.
Mesmerized by the escalator, Obi-Don rides up and down, over and over again. Eventually he gets his robes caught, is pulled along and almost choked out, but Tienda Del Sudor saves him in the nick of time.
At the food court, Obi-Don inadvertently fat shames an obese family when he imagines himself to be in the court palace of an intergalactic alien crime lord.
Obi-Don gets in a heated argument with the patrons and employees of a comic book & gaming store.
Leia, with the help of mental health worker Trevor Newton, tries and fails to intervene in Obi-Don’s delusions.
Passing shoppers are alarmed and offended when Obi-Don berates Tienda Del Sudor for not addressing him properly as her “Master”.
Obi-Don nearly blinds a couple of Goth kids in the arcade, when he attacks them with his laser pointer and flashlight.
Tienda Del Sudor encounters the StarSmart Shopper brand on clothes made in the same sweatshop that forced her to flee Honduras. The pair learn of an upcoming protest and Obi-Don is eager to join.
Mall security grow impatient and ask the pair to leave. Hoover S3765040’s retractable cord comes in handy during an escape. Then they travel across half the mall in a ventilation shaft, until they become trapped and Obi-Don sets off an improvised explosion that sets fire to the mall. The battle and chase are on!
Part III brings the story to dramatic and thrilling conclusion, as Obi-Don and Tienda Del Sudor ride public transit, make their way downtown, briefly find religion, are swept up in a protest movement, then a riot, spend some time in a dumpster, than go for a ride in a garbage truck and climactically attack an office tower (where Obi-Don misdirects his rage towards a random local mid-level StarSmart Shopper marketing executive, and his severely disabled wheel chair bound daughter, that Obi-Don takes to be the man’s half human, half machine robot apprentice).
Obi-Don dies in the end.
This is a small but epic story, set across a cinematic suburban landscape. It’s designed to aim high artistically, yet be shot with practical fx and budgeting.
The soundtrack is a dramatic symphonic score, hummed entirely by Obi-Don. The adventures are accompanied throughout by his enthusiastic pew-pew-pew explosions and other loudly vocalized sci-fi sound effects.
In his delusions, Obi-Don interprets all “foreign” people and things as “alien” (of the outer space kind). Sometimes he interacts with other cultures with reverence and deep respect. Other times he does not, causing great offence and accusations of racism.
The story is setup to be a production that fully embraces the diversity of representation in recent Star Wars films. This cast is setup to be intentionally and comically diverse.
This is a tale that could be set in any modern suburb on the planet Earth.
No delusions of Hollywood grandeur here! Just a strange compulsion to share this story idea, with a new hope and wish upon a star that someone in the comedy and TV show making business will read this, become enthused, and unite with their friends and colleagues to make this series so that I can watch it.
So. If that person reading this happens to be you, and you could please do that, that would be great. Thank you!
Here’s a shitty home made trailer, starring comedian Rory Scovel (made entirely without his consent):
And if you’re into it, here’s an imagined script for a pilot episode:
Interested TV producers are encouraged to reach out with the Force.
Or e-mail. Whatever.