As someone who has been pretty obsessed with Star Wars for the last 35 years or so, I always imagined that one day I’d be able to pass along my love of the franchise to my kids.
I wasn’t going to be one of these weirdos who plop an infant in front of a TV and claim they enjoyed Star Wars at weeks old. Yes, my then baby daughter was in the room as we watched the series finale of Battlestar Galactica, but she didn’t watch it. I was going to wait until she and her brother were ready to watch and enjoy things.
A couple of years ago I showed them Spider-man and his Amazing Friends, and was a little devastated when they hated the “Swarm” episode. Soon, they loved that show and we practically wore out Netflix watching that series over and over again. So it doesn’t have to be love at first sight. My daughter loved it so much she insisted on being Firestar for a superhero themed birthday party, and for Free Comic Book day a few years ago.
Like most 3-year-old boys, my son has an array of licensed charter shirts: WWE, DC and Marvel superheroes, and — of course — Star Wars. He first started asking about the droids, the little one and the gold one, and he really wanted a lightsaber. When I couldn’t go out and pick one up for him at bedtime I showed him lightsaber duels on my phone.
And he was hooked.
I’ve been using Star Wars stories as bed time stories for years, my Princess Leia as the protagonist version of the story was brilliant.
These movies have everything. A princess, a pirate, robots, space ships, and – yes — lightsaber battles. What could go wrong?
Today was a half day at school, so watching a two-hour movie after school was not an insane undertaking. My daughter decided she would be playing with her new Ever After dolls. So it was me and the little guy. I went through our DVDs and I found the prequels, special editions of Empire and Jedi. How was that going to help me? I briefly considered starting with Phantom Menace, but I eventually found Star Wars (yes, it was a special edition, but that was better than nothing).
We made the living room into a theater and started watching. The little guy was totally engrossed and asking questions until Luke, Obi Wan and the droids made it to the Cantina. He then had a fit. He eventually calmed down, and got back into it by the time they made it to the Death Star (hope this isn’t too spoilery). My daughter was now watching as well. They were both pretty scared when the gang was in the trash compactor. When Obi Wan and Darth Vader battled he was locked in.
Then he broke out the lightsabers. We dueled through most of the trench battle. Though he kept asking which one was Luke and where was that voice coming from. I can’t believe there were no questions about Porkins.
So it went well and he asked to watch more Star Wars, which is a promising sign. The force may be strong with that one after all.