A good friend of mine once said to me that nerds like us anticipate their child’s first viewing of Star Wars as most normal parents might anticipate taking their kid to his first baseball game.
It is SO true. And our kid definitely had some early exposure to the franchise before seeing the movie just by living in this house. We dressed him as Yoda for his second and third Halloween (he was a mere seven days old at his first Halloween). He learned a few of the characters from a strategy guide of my husband’s that became bathroom reading for awhile during the toilet training phase. He broke the antenna on the Boba Fett bobble head when he was one or two years old because Daddy’s toys are always more interesting than his own. And most recently, he’s been playing the Lego Star Wars game on our late PlayStation 3.
The game having piqued his interest, he began to seek out other Star Wars themed toys and books. He told everyone he encountered that he wanted his own lightsaber, or “light saver, because it saves people.” So when we went to visit his grandparents recently, they caved and bought him a pair.
We went to the library, and he went to the desk to ask the librarian if they had any Star Wars books for him. We came home with Death Star Battles and I Want to be a Jedi. And we read the parts that interested him and skipped the spoilers (which were everywhere in the Jedi one especially).
We got this new HDTV, so we thought we might be able to postpone the screening of A New Hope until the Blu-Ray movies came out in the fall. We thought perhaps a birthday treat. Well, none of us, it seemed, could stand to wait that long.
So on May 30, 2011, Memorial Day, we watched that Star Wars movie.
Our boy spent the time shooting storm troopers and Darth Vader with his toy gun (aka “blaster”). He made us all say, “utinni!” over and over again. And he kept asking who everyone was. He liked the exciting parts, like the shooting, the lightsaber battles and the space battles. He got a little antsy during the more expository scenes like Luke’s various conversational encounters on Tatooine. The parts where the droids get knocked around upset him somewhat, though he didn’t seem bothered by the storm troopers falling left and right, nor by Obi Wan’s defeat at the end.
And when the final credits began to roll, he said, “Can we play the next board?”
You should have seen his face light up when we happened to mention that there were five more movies. I believe his response was, “Can we watch those five more movies right now?” And the next morning, as soon as he woke up he asked, “How would YOU like to watch that Star Wars movie again with me?”
Since then, he’s had fun making lightsabers and blasters out of toys or sticks or garbage. He usually pretends to be either Obi Wan Kenobi or Darth Vader. And often, in the car, I am Princess Leia driving the space ship. Today he told my husband that he looked like a wookiee. Ha!
Anyway, it’s so fun that we’re starting to share the saga with the next generation of nerd. I don’t remember really having watched the films all the way through until around the time of the Special Edition theater releases leading up to the prequels, so now I know how my friends felt when they took me to the shows way back when.
I can’t wait for Empire, though I’m pretty sure he’s not quite ready for all that heaviness just yet, because he’s been making us listen to the Yoda song (Weird Al Yankovic) incessantly in the car. I think he’ll really enjoy seeing Yoda in action someday. Soon. Perhaps when the Blu-Ray comes out in the fall.