Sunday, March 8, 2009

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

Lately I have been concerned about CJ. She has a lot of boy friends at school. Like any father would be, I've been worried about the things they talk about at recess. I was horrified when CJ finally told me. They all think (and play) that Aniken Skywalker is some sort of hero and is the center of the Star Wars universe! It makes me sick to my stomach to think that my little girl is being deceived by the revisionist histories of the modern George Lucas!

In addition to this revelation, I have been building my own R2-D2 (which should be done in a couple of weeks), and my kids have naturally been curious. Along with that, the kids and I have been playing Lego Star Wars: the Complete Saga. They didn't understand who Luke, Han and Leia were. I tried to explain, but they still just didn't understand. I thought maybe their mother would have "the Star Wars talk" with them, but those hopes were dashed when I excitedly told Valerie about how Duff (from Ace of Cakes) had made the coolest Millennium Falcon cake for some one. She just stared at me. "You know, the Millenium Falcon", I said, "from Star Wars?"
"Oh!", she suddenly remembered, "Is that the big hairy thing?"


So I was forced to step up to my fatherly duties and explain (by my self) that the Star Wars prequels were made after the original Star Wars movies - but that they take place before them. Also that the Clone Wars cartoon is some attempt to extend the prequel experience, but that the only things that actually matter are the original 3 films. I also had to try to explain that George Lucas keeps messing with the original films, changing lines, adding shots, tweaking here and there, until we end up with some warped version of reality. Kinda like Michael Jackson's face.

I figured the best explanation was to simply show the original films to my kids. All three kids sat in absolute wonder through "A New Hope". CJ declared that Luke Skywalker was "really cute, like a twenty! - wait, what number does it go to?" Xander and Mia went around the house fighting with pretend lightsabers. When Mia watched "The Empire Strikes Back" while I was at work one day, she was so excited to tel me what she learned. She said "Luke got his hand cut off! And guess what!", then in a conspiratorial whisper, "Darth Vader is Luke's father! Nooooooooo" I was so excited at her excitement that I didn't even care that she called him "Dark Vader" (Xander says Darth Mater). Yesterday they watched "Return of the Jedi". The girls dutifully informed me that Luke and Leia are brother and sister, and that Han and Leia kiss a lot.

All in all, I feel that my kids have been shown the truth now of what Star Wars is, and are now prepared to handle the peer pressure relating to the prequels and Aniken. Who knows, maybe they will teach their friends by example and we will save a whole generation from the lies that are everything George Lucas has done to Star Wars since Return of the Jedi.