There are many recurring motifs peppered throughout Twin Peaks: The Return — electricity and tulpas, anyone? — but David Lynch, ever the secretive fellow, will never divulge the meaning behind any of it. (He’s mastered the art of politely refusing to answer narrative-based questions for decades now.) But likely due to being in a good mood while celebrating his second annual Festival of Disruption this weekend, Lynch temporarily tore back the curtain and shared a nice story about the often-seen bronze statue Dougie Jones is transfixed by in Las Vegas. You know the one: It’s in the plaza outside the Lucky 7 insurance agency and features a Western-dressed man shooting a pistol into the oblivion, which led many viewers to suspect it was an homage to David Bowie’s role in The Man Who Fell to Earth. In fact, it wasn’t a meta moment of remembrance for the since-deceased Twin Peaks actor, but rather a way for Lynch to poignantly pay tribute to his dad, Donald Lynch.
“My father, when he was 19, worked at a fire tower. They’re way up in the air,” Lynch explained during his Sunday-afternoon talk. “He had to hike once a week for five hours to get water and food, and then hike back, and then climb way up in this tower to scout out smoke and fire and call out to the firefighters if he saw anything. I’m not sure if he took the first selfie, but with a string he managed to take a picture of himself holding a pistol out with a stance, and that was the impetus for the statue.” With this image in mind, Lynch requested the custom-built work of art for Dougie’s scenes, although the aesthetic results were a little more mixed than he would’ve liked: “It doesn’t even look like him really,” he said, “but it’s the pose.”