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The Lord with A Ring

5 January 2007

Legendary Chan Dragon (Jackie Chan 成龙) is regarded by many as the current reigning Kung Fu King of the silver screen. Sadly, His Majesty is now half a century plus two years old, so a decision to select his successor was officially announced in Beijing last Friday, December 29, 2006.

The move shall not be read as the indication that the King is about to abdicate his throne in a near future, said the board of the selection, the Beijing TV station. "I still have lots of movies to produce," the Majesty proclaimed. Which means his successor will have to wait patiently in the wings. Nothing wrong with that. Charles was made the successor to Queen Elizabeth II long before half of the population on the planet were born, and the Queen is still going, going, going, going … not gone.

Our king has a son actually. But unlike all other kings or queens, this king has decided not to make the royalty a family business, 'cause he's a firm believer that raising a good successor to the throne is a very important thing. It’s not that his son isn’t good. He is good and has been showing punches and kicks on the screens lately. But the king wants the best man for the job, not just a good man, suppose.

In ancient times, Chinese sage kings like Yao (尧) and Shun (舜) used to select their successors by virtue. But this noble tradition was replaced by a backward new fashion, inheriting through bloodlines, in the next five thousand years or so. Now Jackie Chan is determined to go back to the forward old way.

It is reported that the board has already begun to accept registration by candidates. The basic criteria requirements include that the candidates must be aged between 18 and 28, capable of driving a car or motorbike at the speed of a bullet, jumping from the rooftop of a skyscraper, doing martial feats such as highflying kicking, dizzying spining, mindless twisting, siderolling, backfliping, and then able to not be themselves, for instance, laughing while feeling sad, bemoaning while feeling happy…… and much more, much much more …… more ……

The final contest will be held on the Great Wall, said the board, and the ten winners will then be awarded with the opportunities to play leading roles in Jackie Chan’s new film "The Inheritors of the China Dragon" that is planned to be screened for the occasion of the Beijing Olympics 2008.

Among the ten, one that is the best will be crowned, or more precisely, ringed as the successor to the King with a jade ring Jackie Chan inherited from his mother.

It is a long journey for a construction worker in Australia to grow into an international Kung Fu Lord. Thirty years ago, when Jackie Chan first started his acting career, he was scoffed at by an author as unfit to play his hero for the sin of having an unproportionally large nose. And he was also ridiculed by some leading actresses who co-starred with him. "You've got to be kidding," they would complain to the directors. "How on earth would I love a man with such small eyes?" Cruel comments as those often sent Jackie Chan weeping alone in toilet.

But he who laughs last, laughs best. Jackie Chan has finally risen to a lordly height, while many other stars have long faded from the scene. Long live the King!

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