Strong with the Force We Are

In their 3D glasses waiting for the film to start

A little over three years ago, I first introduced my sons to Star Wars. Being seriously old school, I showed them what I knew to be the “original” Star Wars first, Episode 4…now known as A New Hope. I could not wait to show them The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I kept everything just as I had experienced it, letting them find out for themselves that Darth Vader was Luke’s father. Being the genius children they are, they immediately fell in love with that trilogy and asked us to buy it for them on disc because watching the films on the antiquated VHS tapes we owned was sub par.

After they’d watched those three episodes a few times, Joe came home and announced that his classmates had revealed the existence of three other episodes. He wanted to see those as well. Perfect. Three more films I can watch a million times. We found them on disc at Costco and sat down as a family to watch them all for the first time together.

I could not even estimate how many times our boys have watched those movies since we purchased them. If I admitted a possible number, Child Services might start knocking on our door. Those films were the best babysitters ever. As a special treat for us all, tonight we took our boys to see the 3D version of The Phantom Menace. It was fun to sit in the theater with them and watch the show we’ve seen dozens of times on our television on the big screen and in 3D.

My sons have Star Wars action figures, Lego sets, costumes, books, and weaponry. On Halloween, they have dressed as characters from the movies three years running. They never miss an episode of The Clone Wars on Cartoon Network. Joe, who can’t remember his times tables, can tell you the most minute details from each film. The kid who can’t spell “Colorado” can correctly spell the Star Wars planet names for “Tatooine,” “Coruscant,” and “Naboo.” During the film tonight, I tortured Joe with random Star Wars facts, which I of course had learned from him.

“Hey Joe….did you know that Tatooine is a desert planet?” I quipped.

“Mom…everyone knows that,” came his response.

“Hey Joe…did you know that Jedi mind tricks don’t work on Toydarians?”

“MOM…I know. Stop it. I’m trying to watch.”

I was cracking myself up. When I got tired of taunting him with the plethora of pointless trivia facts that are stored in my aging brain and keep me from remembering where I set my car keys, I started making up things to see if he was paying attention to me at all.

“Joe…did you know that Anakin’s real name is actually Spaghetti Skywalker?”

“Mom…you’re being ridiculous,” he replied, slightly annoyed with the interruption.

“Joe…you see that Hut standing behind Jabba? That’s Pizza the Hut.” I thought his eyes would roll right out of his 10 1/2 year old head on that one. So. Much. Fun.

My poor sons were doomed to become Star Wars junkies. I mean, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that one of the perks of naming our son was knowing that someday Steve would be able to tell him, “Luke…I am your father,” and I could remind him at the dinner table, “Luke…use the fork.” They run toward the automatic doors at Target with their arms outstretched so they can “force” them open. And, I would swear Luke has tried to employ Jedi mind tricks to get his way.

Thank you, George Lucas, for being a visionary and for sharing your story with the world. No matter what happens in the next few years as my sons become teenagers, I know we will always have Star Wars to fall back on. When they stop talking to me about their personal lives, I know I’ll still be able to bring up a Star Wars reference and get them to converse with me. And, grateful for that I am.

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