Ladies and Gentlemen, a milestone has been made.
My son (9 yrs. old), has finally begun to watch the Star Wars saga, starting, of course, with none other than the original Episode IV. How else could you start, right?
Although it took some effort to get him into it (believe me, I’ve been trying since he was 7, the age when I got into it), this year’s enormous hype of next month’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens combined with the YouTube bombardment of Star Wars Battlefront definitely piqued his curiosity.
Before I knew it, every time we went to Target, he began to behold their super-promoted Star Wars toy line and would ask about the different spacecraft and characters on the shelves. The ominous presence of the 48-inch Darth Vader was one he particularly gravitated to every time.
“Whoa…Who’s that guy?”
“That’s Darth Vader.”
“Is he a bad guy?”
“Well, yes and no. He started out as a good guy, but then got influenced by the Dark Side.”
“What’s the Dark Side?”
“Hmm. You gotta watch the movie to know that!”
After that came the TIE fighters, the X-Wings, and of course, the Millennium Falcon. Each and every one prompting the response, “See the movie. See the movie!”
With a little extra encouragement, I would even bend down low (well, not that low, he’s a big boy) and say, “You know, I saw Star Wars when I was like, 7 years old. I was younger than you, and it’s still one of my favorite movies. Of all time.”
“Even until now?”
“Yup, even until now.”
“Whoa dad, and you’re like, 45 years old!”
“Yup. That’s how good the movie is.”
He paused for some moments to absorb that statement, and we walked on.
It took some nudging to get this kid to finally sit down and watch it. I mean, with all the different avenues of hyper-stimulation that kids have these days—especially via YouTube and his X-Box 360—how easy would it be to get him to watch some old-ass movie that’s almost 40 years old? That would’ve been like my dad trying to get me into watch one of those old Charlie Chaplin silent movies or something.
But the way I see it—and I’m sure every Star Wars fan out there would agree—Star Wars is timeless. It’s simply epic. In fact, when we sat down and watched the opening scene, I got goosebumps and remembered that very same moment in 1977, when I sat in a darkened movie theater and saw something unfold on the big screen that would forever change my life.
I’m hoping that it does the same with my boy. There is hope with this young one, though. Last night we were only able to watch about half an hour of Episode IV. This morning, as I walked him to the car to go to school, I was about to ask him if we could finish the movie tonight. Instead, he beat me to it and said with one of the biggest smiles I’d seen, “Hey dad, can we watch Star Wars again tonight?”
“YES!” I exclaimed. And I probably had one of the biggest smiles he’d ever seen.
Above is a drawing of Darth Vader I did circa 1977-’78. This was featured previously on one of my several Growing Up Star Wars posts on leftylimbo.com, and will hopefully find a new home here.
I’ve always wanted my kid to see me play. Then one night, I saw him play, right on stage during our closing number. Watch for him next to Deston (keyboard player on left) about midway through the song. What a kid.
It feels good in my hand
Soft and squishy
The pill says Dquil
In neat, modern letters
I think of the factory where they made them
and picture the machines
and people on breaks
or vending machine cookies
I hold it up to the light
and see it shine through
the blazing red orange
technology is beautiful
made on our well-being
can say “I did that.”
I think of the future
this could be food
a complete meal
a baconburger combo
kung pao chicken
with brown rice
toast with butter
For now it is hope
hope that it works
cures me of this
crazy, annoying thing
Not coz I feel feverish
not coz I hate coughing
not coz I hate blowing
my nose of sticky
It’s ‘coz I have a kid
who can say
“I want to play with you, Daddy”
so freakin’ clearly
that it shatters my heart
into a million pieces
each and every millisecond
that I hesitate because
of my weakened condition
This morning I woke up and was like, “I want to celebrate today with some good food.”
I remembered that in my cupboard I had one of those new “half-can” Spams, which yielded just enough slices for a hearty breakfast. So out on the stove it went. Sizzle sizzle. Mmm mm. Hot, fried Spam on a bed of fresh steamy white rice is definitely something I’m thankful for…on any day. 10-12 hour turkey? Whatever.
Speaking of this holiday, by far the most memorable quote I associate with Thanksgiving would be Wednesday’s ad-lib in the Thanksgiving Day Play on Addams Family Values:
You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans, and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the road sides, you will play golf, and enjoy hot hors d’oeuvres. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts.
Kind of strange that I didn’t realize the irony in Thanksgiving Day celebration until I saw that movie. Yet since then, Thanksgiving has taken a whole new meaning to me. I see it simply now as a day of giving thanks for the health, love and happiness I have in my life.
In that context, I believe I should be thankful every day for those things. Perhaps Thanksgiving Day is just an “official” day to count my blessings.