Jackie Chan was born in 1954 in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The night he was delivered, a UFO was spotted over the hills near Choi Hung. The weather observatory later issued a statement, saying simply: ‘it wasn’t a UFO, it was a concentrated collection of mist particles.’ The claim was debated fiercely for about five days until it was replaced by the story of a local actress having “a meeting” with a studio boss in public toilets near Tin Hau.
Jackie’s family did not have much money, so he spent most of his childhood with his arms inside his t-shirt, begging for coins. As soon as he could make a sentence, he was given a script to say to passers-by:
To women: ‘Mummy…’
To men: ‘I don’t need any help, I’m a man.’
To scientists: ‘Whatever you need, I’m in.’
When he was eight years old, his father sent him to a [cheap] kung-fu school so he could learn how to beat people up in an aesthetically pleasing way. It wasn’t well-known, but the school was funded by a gang from Tai Po. The master [‘Brother Power’] taught the kids how to stand on one leg and fend off large groups with only a stick…then used the same stick to beat students who gave him shit. Jackie had such a good time at the kung-fu school that he remained there for the next seventeen years.
Jackie never had time for University. In fact, Brother Power told him it was pointless to go there as tuition fees were so high and all the poor students were tagged and put in the stupid corner, and besides, he didn’t need education, not when he could earn a living from kicking people in tournaments.
Despite this lack of education, Jackie developed a keen interest in science and politics, even going so far as to write down forty pages of his own theory, detailing the ways in which science and socialism could mix for the betterment of mankind.
While writing the forty-first page, Jackie was interrupted by Brother Power. The master saw the title and asked his least favourite student what socialism had to do with anything, especially them.
‘Well,’ said Jackie, ‘to me it’s the way the world should be…’
‘Bullshit,’ said Brother Power.
‘You speak any more and I’ll break your fucking neck, boy.’
‘Ah, forget it, I’ll talk to your Dad.’
The next day, with a bruise on the side of his face, Jackie’s father told him not to poke his head in those stupid socialism books ever again. Jackie nodded, more committed than ever.
Jackie entered many tournaments in the 1960’s and early 70’s, but often came second. Another fighter called Bruce Lee always beat him in the final, and then beat him up in the car park too.
‘You weren’t hungry enough, boy,’ said Brother Power, eating his son’s leftover rice.
‘But he’s so fast…’
‘Stop thinking of getting hit and hit first, that’s the secret.’
‘You and you’re damn ‘buts’…what is he? A ray of light? Get in close and hit him, hit him again, keep hitting him…got it?’
In 1972, under the ‘sponsorship’ of Brother Power, he officially joined the 14K Triad group. It was a violent time, the early 70’s, and it’s unknown how deep Jackie got sucked in. It was rumoured that he was in the same restaurant as a lieutenant of the Sun Kai group when he was chopped in front of his wife and four year old daughter, but nothing was ever proven.
In his free time, with his father keeping a close eye on him, Jackie moved away from political studies and turned instead to cinema. He said later that he would go to at least four movies a week and his favourite was undoubtedly ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still.’
In 1973 he accidentally walked onto the set of the Bruce Lee movie ‘Enter the Dragon’ and saw many men with their tits out trying to attack Bruce Lee [also with his tits out]. He remembered how much he despised Bruce Lee for winning all those tournaments and driving cars over his feet, so he took off his shirt and tried to attack him too. However, Bruce thought and moved like water, and ended up breaking two of Jackie’s ribs with one punch.
After the success of ‘Enter the Dragon’ Jackie asked Brother Power if he could go to the Golden Harvest movie studio and become an actor. Brother Power said yes, as long as Jackie gave 14K seventy per cent of his earnings.
Later that year, the head of Brother Power was found in a warehouse in Kwun Tong. The rest of the body was never recovered. Jackie attended the funeral, but kept his distance when other group members started chanting, ‘come back, Brother Power.’
When Bruce Lee died, the position of number one kung fu movie star in Hong Kong was up for grabs. Jackie, determined to be that star, visited a crone in Wan Chai and asked her to hit her shoes on the ground to bestow him with good fortune. She did, so he thanked her, gave her cash, clapped his hands etc. then walked off and slipped inside the nearest prostitute.
The crone’s magic did and did not work. Jackie starred in a couple of kung-fu movies, but the choreography was terrible and the movies were not very popular.
He made a couple of aborted attempts at science fiction kung fu scripts, but the tone was never quite right. Why would anyone use kung fu on a spaceship? Future people were peace-mongers, not fighters. At least that’s what Klaatu would’ve said.
By 1975, Jackie was depressed and an alcoholic. One night he wrote a script called ‘Drunken Master’ then crept into the movie studio at five in the morning, borrowing cameras and extras to make his ‘joke movie.’ Somehow, it worked. ‘Drunken Master’ became the defining kung-fu film of the decade and inspired many copycats, half of them made by Jackie himself.
In the 1980’s Jackie made a thousand and two movies, most of them very similar to ‘Drunken Master.’ Some were good, others were awful. The problem, as with most Hong Kong films, was the lack of script and the insane schedule of three months from pre-production to finished product.
Behind the scenes, Jackie was determined to force meaning into his films. He had not forgotten his roots, or his studies of socialism, so again and again he hired scriptwriters to either re-imagine ‘Sullivan’s Travels’ or adapt Heinlein books he didn’t even have the rights to. For Jackie, life was art and art was everything and the only subjects really worth a damn were science and socialism.
During the nights, he played. There were thousands of pretty women in Hong Kong and he didn’t have forever, no matter how healthy his parents were. With his favourite suit and high heel boots, he set to work. The spending was huge, the drinking non-stop. Some of the women came to him, others needed to be won…a rare few needed to be re-programmed. It didn’t matter, as long as he got what he knew he deserved.
During downtime between movies in the 80’s, Jackie would dote on his new-born son, even taking him to interviews and photo-shoots. He would say, simply: ‘everything I do from this point on is for Jaycee [his son]. He is my legacy.’
In 1992, an apocryphal tale was born. Jackie was on set one day when a fan ran up to him and punched him in the face. When Jackie said, ‘why did you do that?’ the fan replied, ‘I thought you’d block it.’ This never happened. But a similar tale did. One day Jackie ran on set, drunk like Ollie Reed, and punched an extra in the face. When the extra said, ‘ Why did you do that?’ Jackie replied, ‘Because I knew you’d take it, baby.’
In 1993, Jackie locked himself in his mansion and waited for 1994.
‘Guy thinks he’s Howard Hughes,’ wrote Apple Daily.
‘Chan paranoia out of control,’ wrote Face Magazine.
To pass the time, he played with his son and read science journals, specifically articles on space travel.
‘I know a little physics, but not enough. Is there really no chance we’ll make it out of the solar system in the next 50 years?’ – Extract from a letter sent to New Scientist Magazine, signed ‘J Chan, Hong Kong’.
In 1994, Jackie made a movie in the US. He was forced to speak in English while punching and kicking ethnic minorities, and the result was not good. However, no one seemed to mind too much, as he was so creative with his violence. There were ladders and chairs and pool tables and buses and various other objects to make the fight scenes more interesting, despite the plot being ‘both a confused and confusing piece of shit’.
He made many more average movies in the US, and gained a reputation as a friendly, likable star. This was very different from his reputation in Hong Kong, where he was seen as a lothario and an apologist for the Chinese Government. Of course, there was a third side to the star…that he was a closet scientist as well as a guilty socialist…but it was rarely reported.
In 2007, he successfully denied responsibility for his eleventh illegitimate child. This was a new record in Hong Kong; most celebrities stopped at seven. Meanwhile, back in the US, most people thought he’d never even had sex. They say the truth in most things lies somewhere in between, but in this case, he really was putting it about a bit.
In 2010, he told people in Hong Kong to stop criticising the Chinese Government. This didn’t go down too well, and Jackie’s reputation hit rock bottom. The only people to stand by him during this scandal were his son, Jaycee, and an aspiring young actress who’d been staying at Jackie’s place for the previous three weeks.
In order to redeem his image in the public’s eyes, Jackie toured the streets of Sham Shui Po, handing out $1,000 dollar bills to the homeless, but it was reported by most media as being nothing more than a cheap trick.
‘No, not at all…I’ve always been a socialist, deep down…I just never talked about it before,’ Jackie told RTHK, a week later.
Cheap trick, repeated the media.
In 2014, Jackie retired from movie-making. He said he would still appear in the occasional propaganda piece, but his fighting days were over.
‘I pass the torch to my son. It’s his turn now.’ – an interview with Movie first Magazine, 2014
In 2017, Jackie got fat. So fat he had to ride elevators alone.
Between the years 2020 and 2060, Jackie disappeared from public life. There were many theories and assumptions thrown about in the first ten years, but after more time passed, and Jackie was reduced to a mere cog-reference, one singular truth seemed to be settled on. He’d died in his mansion and had his son shoot his ashes into space.
In 2061, Jackie was spotted in Sweden, looking eerily similar to the way he was in 2020. There were no more gossip magazines around to speculate anything, but several governors spread the rumour that Chan had been funding scientists since the 90’s and one of them had finally come through for him.
By the end of the 21st Century, Jackie had returned to the movie industry. He was almost completely bionic by then [his big secret, exposed in 2073 when people wondered why he still hadn’t died], but so was everyone else. In fact, it wasn’t only Jackie who’d pursued this obsession; the entire 1960’s generation had refused to die en masse, and the progress of bionic engineering was mostly down to their desperation and fear of what would come next.
In 2094, after continually refusing bionic enhancements, Jackie’s only legitimate son, Jaycee, died of lung failure. At the funeral, Jackie gave a speech, stating that time was transitory and although Jaycee had died, he was still very much alive in the past.
In the year 2100, Jackie opened a new Chan institute of Science in Sai Kung. The facilities were huge and dynamic and way ahead of their time. Its mission: to investigate the link between consciousness and the physical state, and, if possible, disentangle the former from its cage.
In 2124, Jackie’s brain broke down. Scientists from the Chan institute jumpstarted it with spark plugs, but could only restore 76% of all functions.
After the operation, Jackie laughed with reporters, telling them he felt slimmer than ever before.
‘What about the 24% you lost, Mr Chan?’
‘Who cares? I won’t cry about it, not while I’ve still got enough…enough…not while I’m still here.’
The following year, Jackie starred in ‘Police Story’, the first movie in Hong Kong ever to use a policeman as the main character. Some people argued that, before records had been deleted in 2094, there had been seventeen police story movies, most of them starring Jackie himself, but Jackie denied this, insisting that had ‘such films existed, I would remember them.’
In the 2130’s, Jackie starred in the popular ‘Drunken Master’ movies. He was awarded the ‘Innovator of the year’ prize in 2132 for shaking up the kung fu genre and injecting new life into the South China film industry.
‘I just want to try, in my own small way, to take people’s minds of all the bad things happening out there…hopefully, things will get better soon. We’re all in this together, after all.’ – Jackie Chan, 2138, taken from an interview with Big House Magazine.
2139 saw the start of the socialist uprisings across most of Asia. It’s unclear what the tipping point was, but it was largely blamed on those who had nothing, the lazy, feckless scroungers living in the tower blocks.
By the end of the next decade, most of the rioters were either in prison, in space or dead. The police had eradicated the kids they used to go to school with and no one appeared to see any irony in any of it.
Jackie celebrated victory with a party on the roof of his Sha Tin palace. With cocktail in hand, he repeated what by now had become his most popular line: ‘we’re all in this together, guys.’
In 2156, Jackie held another roof party, this one with more wine and more drugs and more topless models than any he’d thrown since his son died.
In screening room no. 4, he raised his glass to ‘the future’ and informed everyone he was planning to ‘never die’.
‘We’ve all gotta go sometime,’ said his good friend, Andy Lau, drinking more Romanian wine [vintage 1989].
‘Not me,’ replied Jackie, the light bouncing off his metal forehead and onto the photo of his dead son.
2159 was a slow year.
Jackie spent most of it locked up in his mansion, attempting to write what he would later title: ‘why socialism can never work.’
The only time he left the house was to visit the institute. All files pertaining to what he was doing there were destroyed in the Great Fire of 2332.
2162 became stained in infamy when the colonies on Titan and Europa downed tools, embraced unionism and declared independence from Earth. Ships from the Jupiter colonies were sent to quell the rebellion, but they were all shot down by ‘borrowed tech’. More ships were built at the Mars complex and then sent to engage the enemy, an enemy that included Jackie’s old friends Sammo Hung and Koo Tin Lok, but it took the new ships a year and a half to reach the moons, and by the time they did, defences were already in place.
Asked about the conflict, Jackie re-iterated what he’d said over a century before, during the rule of the old Chinese Government: ‘people need discipline sometimes, they need to be ruled.’
After its defeat at Saturn Spread 4 in 2165, the Afropean Government asked the Chan institute in Sai Kung to develop a metagenic weapon that could wipe out the troublemakers whilst keeping the colonies infrastructure intact. Apparently, said an aide, the Cardassians had tried something similar in Star Trek once, though no one remembered the details as pre-22nd Century TV had been deleted many years before.
All they knew was:
It was a bomb that didn’t look like a bomb.
There was a chemical agent.
It had a cool name.
There would be total and irreversible death for all dissidents.
After a two month delay, the Government’s request was refused.
In 2166, Jackie was sent to raise the morale of the troops stationed on Europa. While performing stunts on stage, a Saturnite colonist dressed like a German tried to assassinate him, shooting at his chest with a laser pen. The attempt failed, primarily because Jackie’s body wasn’t really human anymore; the laser cut through where his heart used to be, hitting some minor auxiliary circuits instead. Jackie laughed off the whole thing, calling it a ‘simple confusion.’
At the end of the Saturn Conflicts in 2175, Jackie went to live on the moon of Saturn that no one could remember the name of. At first, he imported young women from Earth to keep him company, but they soon got bored of him as all he ever talked about were ‘the better days’. After the women had gone, Jackie turned to children, importing them in one at a time and reportedly dressing them up in his son’s old clothes. When they turned thirteen, he’d send them back and bring the next one in.
In 2199, scientists at the Chan institute, funded by Jackie, were tasked with finding a way to travel to the past. Instead, they discovered a way to accelerate time and then slow it down again.
The 23rd Century was over in a second.
By 2324, time had returned to normal. The scientists, despite protesting their innocence, were executed by the river in Sha Tin, and Jackie was left with an institute of ghosts.
After Earth was declared uninhabitable in 2379, Jackie cut himself off completely from the survivors and stayed on his moon. No one really tried to convince him otherwise; they were too busy insulating their ships against all the fucked-up radiation lurking beyond Pluto.
For two hundred and forty-seven years, Jackie sat in the same chair, watching his old movies over and over until finally his body stopped working, the movies ended, and the TV screen went blank.
In 2626, descendants of the human survivors, who had journeyed away into Deep Space after Earth was destroyed, returned to find Jackie’s body in the same chair it’d broken down in. They revived it so it could smile and wave and then turned it into a tourist attraction [non-profit – money had been eradicated in the 22nd Century, just as Star Trek promised].
In the revised history books released the same year, Jackie was described as ‘starting well, with good intentions, before turning into a sterile, heartless machine.’ In addition to a short biography, they listed his achievements, his movies, his science institutes, but left out all mention of his son.
In 2628, Jackie briefly came back to life, shocking the couple having sex on the floor in front of him. He tried to join in, but couldn’t move his legs, so he just sat there and watched the whole thing carry on without him. When the couple had finished, Jackie smiled one last time then turned into a ball of luminous, green energy and rose up into the sky…or through the ceiling, at least.
The remains of his body were used as scrap metal to build shelters for all those who didn’t know how to operate the ships.
His eyes were given to a moon kid who liked to collect eyes.
His fortune, what was left of it, was deleted and all remaining bank notes placed in a museum near New Wuhan.