National Treasure Mike Francesa became profoundly confused on his show today when someone informed him that the original Star Wars is Episode Four. His confusion encapsulates so many epistemological twists that I encourage you to listen to the whole thing, but here are the highlights:
It began with the co-host opening up this can of worms.
"Well the tricky thing is four, five, and six are actually the first three back in the 70s."
This temporarily melted Francesa's mind:
"What do you mean, four, five, and six are the first three?"
Oh, dear. We can already see the problem. Nobody is going to tell him that four, five, and six were retroactively numbered once the prequels were announced (nor will anyone even mention the word "prequel"), carefully explaining that, yes, it does make the numbering kinda wonky, but makes sense from a storytelling perspective. His co-host tries to put out the fire, using more fire:
"I'm saying you might confuse people because four, five, and six are actually the older ones."
A profound silence. The damage has been done:
"I have no...I...wha...?"
That is the sound of a speechless man who never stops talking. The co-host attempts to explain, again, badly:
"They did it in reverse."
Francesa provides a scientifically accurate description of the space-time continuum:
"But who cares? You release a movie, then you release another movie, then you release another movie. The first movie they released was one. It was the first they released."
His co-host fucks everything up:
"I understand what you're saying but they actually called it four."
Unlike Han Solo being tortured by Darth Vader in Empire, Francesa breaks:
The co-host melts into the background as Francesa takes the mic, attempting to piece together his tattered conception of reality. He concocts theories as to how this could have possibly happened. He keeps referencing "books," perhaps thinking A New Hope was based on the fourth book of a Star Wars book series or something. He is wrong. No one tells him that.
He then explores the possibility of other dimensions, double-checks his math that four does in fact come after one, two, and three, and even briefly forays into atheism, demanding "Who made it four?" God stares back at him, mouthing "WTF."
"Why would it be four if it's the first movie they released?"
"What was it four of?"
"What realm did they see it in?"
"If no one has seen it, how is it four to them?"
"One, two, three, what?"
"Were they books?"
"What made it four if no one had ever seen it before?"
"If it's not a book how is it four?"
"How did they go back? From what? How would you know it is four if no one introduced the information before?"
Mercifully, nobody told him the actual correct order is 4, 5, 2, 3, 6. This would have been simply too much.