one of the many pre-birth-of-our-child talks that mommy and i had was concerning Star Wars, and what age would be appropriate to introduce it into our daughter's life.
NOW! i said.
she's not even born, mommy said.
i'm pretty sure we have the technology to get it pumped in there (motioning vaguely to mommy's mid-section).
you want to show it to my gall bladder? she asked. i motioned lower.
SWEDEN! i said.
hunney, i'm pretty certain Sweden has seen Star Wars by now.
no, i said. we may have to go to Sweden. i'm sure they possess the technology we'll need.
mommy felt that bebe should be 14 or something dumb like that. okay, maybe it was somewhere closer to six or seven... i forget where we compromised. her argument was that same-old stuffy one of violence and flashing lights and and tender brain cells and blah blah blah (i was playing a really violent kick-assy game on the playstation when we had this fight, er, discussion, so i really don't remember most of what she said). my argument was that i had seen it, multiple times in the theatres, when i was only four/five. sure, a lot of it went over my head, but i got the important stuff: space, heros, darth vader, lasers, intergalactic dictatorships, the force, triumphant music... it even had stuff to read at the beginning. last time i checked, reading was a good thing, mommy.
anyway, i got what i got, and i missed what i missed, and filled it all in during the 300 or 500 times more that i saw it by the time i was something close to an adult. by then, the tapestry was rich and lush, and i didn't even think the kissy parts were gross anymore.
young me: dad? why does han solo want to kiss princess leia?
younger dad: well, he has nice feelings for her, and he wants to show her that he cares for her.
INTERJECTION- my parents were INCREDIBLY supportive of my star wars lust. they even set up the toys i got for x-mas in accurate scene reproductions from the movies. i mean, SANTA set them up that way. - END INTERJECTION
young me: couldn't he hit her with a lightsaber, instead?
younger dad: no. that would hurt her.
young me: they sound cool when you swing them around.
younger dad: also, han solo isn't a jedi. he doesn't carry a lightsaber.
young me: thanks, dad.
*END SPOILER ALERT*
well, well, well, ladies and germs, this past weekend we went to dinner at our friends rodd and karen's house. they have two young boys, ages 8 and almost five, and as is usually the case when i am around young boys, the conversation quickly turned to talk of Star Wars: favorite characters, parts, which movie was the best/worst, etc. and you know where that gets you- all giddy and sweaty palmed and looking for the remote so you can fire up the dvd player you keep separate and always loaded with the Star Wars. the boys were feeling Jedi that night, so after a few button hits and sound adjustments, as we like to say here in the boston sports media- BAM! laser show. for real.
i know, i know. some of you out there will think "Jedi" and judge me. it was not my choice to start with Jedi. i had many a grand fantasy of properly introducing each film, perhaps even going so far as to make her wait the same three years between each, to replicate the three or so that i had to wait. and i would of course start with the original trilogy and screen them in order of initial release. but if the compromise i have to make in shaving off nearly four years is starting with the "last" movie, then fine. it's a perfectly acceptable place to introduce a small child and hold them, wriggling in it's jaws. it's got the ewoks, some funny bits, tons of action, lots of cool scenery, etc. and if this is how she gets into the story, there's no way she could be disappointed when she asks, "so daddy, what's the deal with the FIRST Death Star?"
lady, would you like to know what the freaking deal with the first death star is? BAM! A New Hope. perfect. and then for all of the bad dialog and unintentional campiness of that one, along comes Empire to save the series. Perfect! and at least i didn't start with "Attack of the Clones" for crying out loud. even the little boys we watched Jedi with liked that one the least.
bebe, like lots of little kids, really loves being around bigger kids. she spends a lot of time watching them, studying them, taking them apart and putting them back together, making them talk in foreign languages and wear silly outfits and go down waterslides in tuxedos and tu-tus and riding horses backwards into pools filled with pudding and... okay, i'll admit i don't really know what she's thinking about while she watches them. but she watches them. hard.
so, in the end, i think she spent more time watching the boys watch Star Wars than actually watching it herself, although today, apropos of nothing, mommy heard her muttering "arrr tooo deeeee too. arrr tooo deeeee too." the only characters she knew of prior to this screening were yoda and "Derf... Nader!"
the seed has been planted... may the force be with you.