I’ve heard that the best part about being a dad is forcing your passions upon your children — sports, the outdoors, even progressive rock. For me, those passions include the classic film series “Star Wars,” and inspired by the teaser released recently for “The Force Awakens,” I sat down with my 6-month-old son to talk about why he should love these movies, too.
It didn’t go nearly as well as I would have hoped (my infant son is in italics):
Hey buddy, I have something really special I want to share with you. Are you ready to learn about “Star Wars”?
Okay. What are “The Star Wars”?
It’s just “Star Wars,” and they’re literally the greatest movies that have ever been made by anyone. There are space battles and a big hairy man-beast and spirituality and themes of friendship and cocky ne’er-do-wells and dramatic confrontations and a weird, incestuous love story, plus robots. All that stuff, plus robots.
I don’t know what most of those things are.
Doesn’t matter. I think you’re going to love these movies. I loved them as a kid, and I still love them today. Well, at least I love some of them.
Why don’t you love all of them?
So, there were three “Star Wars” movies that came out before Mom and Dad were born, and they were awesome. And then, three more came out when Mom and Dad were younger, and those weren’t very good. The second three movies were prequels to the first three, telling the story of how the characters in the first movies got to where they are.
How can something happen before something else even though it came out after the first thing?
It’s like the shows “Muppet Babies” and “The Muppets.” “Muppet Babies” began airing after “The Muppet Show” ended, even though it technically happened before “The Muppet Show,” because, you know, the Muppets were babies.
This doesn’t make any sense. Can I just play with my blocks? Or work on putting my feet in my mouth?
In a little bit, but I have to make sure you understand this, because it’s very important. They made the first three “Star Wars” movies, and everybody loved them. And just like with “Muppet Babies,” someone said “I wonder what it’d be like to see Luke Skywalker as a baby.” This was a terrible idea, but it still happened, and sometimes in life you need to deal with disappointment.
Who’s Luke Skywalker?
He’s somebody in “Star Wars.” They have funny names. Biggs Darklighter. Leia Organa. Darth Vader. Actually, Darth Vader had two names, because he was once Anakin Sky…. forget I said anything.
Anyway, there are more movies coming out in the next couple of years. And the guy who’s leading the charge on them, J.J. Abrams, has a track record of making really good stuff, so I’m hoping these new movies are on par with the first three.
Has this J.J. man made “Star Wars” movies before?
No, but he relaunched the “Star Trek” series, and those were awesome. “Star Trek” is a lot like “Star Wars” — space battles, lots of aliens, themes of friendship and responsibility. There are fewer robots in “Star Trek,” so don’t get your hopes up for robots there.
Do the “Star Trek” people fight in “The Star Wars”?
Again, it’s just “Star Wars,” and no, “Star Trek” people aren’t in these movies. But, oh my gosh, what if they were? I’m sure there’s 9,000 reasons why the “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” canons can’t overlap, but what if a character in the new “Star Wars” movie was sorting through some wreckage and came across an old, battered phaser from the “Star Trek” universe? That would be insane. I would wet my pants.
I just wet my diaper. Can we deal with this soon?
Just a little longer buddy — the movie is coming out in December, and you should start looking forward to it now. This could be a really big part of your childhood. You might be a “Star Wars” character for Halloween, and you might play “Star Wars” with your friends. Plus, I’m hoping you’ll like seeing movies with me — I’ll even buy you popcorn.
Have I eaten popcorn yet?
Not yet, and you probably won’t until you get more teeth. Come to think of it, you won’t be able to see the new movies for a while — the doctors say you shouldn’t have screen time until you’re at least 2, so we probably won’t let you watch them until you’re older.
Plus, it’s not like you can talk or even crawl yet, so I really don’t think you’ll get much out of them.
Wait – if I can’t talk, how are we talking now?
I’m just imagining what you’re saying. You’ve actually been drooling in my lap throughout this entire conversation.
So, can we pick this up again when I’m a little older?
Yes, but I’m excited now, and I wanted to share that excitement with you. Also, when “The Force Awakens” comes out in December, I’m going to leave you with Mom and go see it. Please don’t give Mom too hard a time while I’m gone.
Does Mom love “Star Wars”?
Not at all.
Bobby McMahon is a new father and writer living near Washington, D.C. He tweets @BobFrankPat.
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