Note, the following blog is a work of satire and is not intended to be taken too seriously…
I recently started watching the “Yellowstone” television series, which airs on the Paramount network. We’ve been watching it on the NBC streaming “Peacock” site. So far I’ve been very impressed! The sweeping Montana/Utah scenery, hearing all of those cows and horses making their respective noises (it’s soothing to me for some reason), and noting all of the similarities between John Dutton – and John Dunbar.
John Dutton is the main “patriarch” of the series, which means he’s kind of like the J.R. Ewing, the Blake Carrington, the Cliff Huxtable – the Charles Ingalls, if you will. He is played by Kevin Costner, whom was just MADE to be in Westerns! Though you might have remembered him playing a dead guy in The Big Chill (I think all of his scenes were cut), a farmer in Field of Dreams, a baseball player in Bull Durham, a whacked-out post apocalyptic seafarer in Waterworld and Robin Hood in the aptly named Robin Hood: The Prince of Thieves?
Let’s face it. Kevin Costner was MEANT to be in Westerns! If you thought Dances With Wolves was his first Western role, you’d be wrong! And you would DEFINITELY be wrong if you thought the 2003 movie Open Range was his first Western role! Robert DuVall is also in that one, and he’s another actor whom I think was just made to be in Westerns (another blog topic entirely). Costner’s first Western role was actually in the 1985 Western film Silverado (a great celebrity spotting movie – heck, even John Cleese is in it):
Arguably, one of Costner’s best known roles is that of Lt. John Dunbar in Dances With Wolves. If you thought Lt. John Dunbar lived happily ever after when the movie ended, you’re wrong! Now it’s time to behold my fan theory – (ahem) – Lt. John Dunbar from Dances With Wolves and John Dutton from “Yellowstone” ARE THE SAME PERSON!
I’m sure you don’t believe me, so allow me to explain!
First off, they have the same initials! Now if that isn’t enough to convince you, then allow me to go into fantasy territory:
As we already know from having watched Dances With Wolves, Lt. John Dunbar married a white woman named “Stands with a Fist” who was “adopted” by the Sioux after her parents were slaughtered with tomahawks when she was a child. And we can only presume that they would have also had some kids and lived their nomadic lifestyle until having the U.S. Army come in, thus ending the party and tell them to shoo off to reservations (if they were allowed to live).
Let’s assume things didn’t go well for Stands with a Fist and the kids and they get slaughtered by U.S. soldiers, but Lt. John Dunbar lived. Maybe a bereaved and suicidal Dunbar runs into a Sioux medicine man/mystic who grants him the power of extended (but not eternal) life. He ages, but he ages slower, kind of like Dick Clark. He also has to forget almost everything he knew of John Dunbar’s life (except he still knows how to ride horses and do lots of country/western stuff like riding the mechanical bull, keeping ranch hands in line, etc., looking fantastic in a cowboy hat, etc.). He also must live somewhere in “the West,” which could mean either of the Dakota twins, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska, Kansas or…Montana. Maybe Colorado.
And as we already know from watching “Yellowstone,” we know that Lt. Dunbar – I mean “John Dutton” – chooses an area near Bozeman, Montana – and he lives on a ranch described as being the size of Rhode Island (1,212 square miles). Fun fact, I won a tiebreaker in a trivia game by correctly guessing the square miles of Rhode Island…
What we also learn by watching “Yellowstone” is that even though the former Lt. Dunbar is enjoying his extended life, his life ain’t that easy! He is constantly trying to keep encroaching developers at bay (does this sound like the plot of a Western movie or what), trying to keep civil relations with local Native American tribes, make sure people don’t steal his live stock (hello, Western movie plot again), keeping his ranch hands/children in line on top of his own personal demons (like dealing with the death of his wife in 1997). I’ve only started to watch, but I’m already getting the vibe that Dutton has done things in the past with his children that are not in the “dad of the year” category as well as his deceased wife not exactly being a model mama, either. So this means his kids are a bit…screwed up. Kayce is a layabout trouble maker (even though he is kind of hot), Beth is an evil, drunken train wreck, Jamie just can’t seem to win daddy’s approval no matter how hard he tries, and perpetual bachelor Lee [SPOILER ALERT] dies in the first episode or two.
Maybe this was all part of that Sioux medicine man’s design. Yes, Dunbar would get extraordinarily long life, but his life would not be without all of the perils you’d see in a typical episode of “Dallas” or any Western film.
But…having a ranch the size of Rhode Island and your own helicopter is still pretty freaking sweet!