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.