Obi-Wan-ing My Son

01Oct13

Henry has shown the first true signs of interest toward “Star Wars,” so I had some parenting decisions to make.

Backstory: for his birthday in August, he received a Lego Speeder Bike set (complete with Biker Scout, Stormtrooper and two anonymous Rebel soldiers) and a Jedi Starfighter as featured in the prequels. He took right to the Legos, and upon asking how the speeder works, I showed him the Endor forest chase scene and immediately piqued his interest.

The Jedi Starfighter was another issue. He refused to open the box, which featured not only a spacebattle between the starfighter and the Slave I, but a very determined/angry Yoda, lightsaber drawn, in the corner. “I don’t like that,” said Henry, and insisted that it stay out of his room. I think it was somehow too real for him or something.

But time passed, and for whatever reason, Henry got curious enough to open the box and play with the Prototype A-Wing*, and has really enjoyed it. It fits an action figure (of which he owns none from “Star Wars,” so Robin has been doing most of the flying), fires a missile and (I’m told) goes really, really fast. So now, coupling that with his recent semi-forced viewing of the original 1977 movie, and his discovery of the “Return of the Jedi” comic book adaptation (in which there are speeder bikes!) he’s very interested in what these “Star Wars” have to offer.

And that’s where the big decision comes in. Regarding the prequels. This is well-worn territory for nerd parents, as Patton Oswald can attest. The way I see things, I have two options:

1.) I let him know all about the prequels, live an easy life and just be cool with it if he ends up liking them, or (somehow…) likes the prequels better than the Original Trilogy.

2.) I hide the prequel DVDs and pretend they never happened, running the risk of him finding out they DO exist and confronting me with a kind of “Why didn’t you tell me?!” kind of confusion.

I have chosen Option 2, and I did so not a moment too soon. One night, after having a lengthy discussion about spaceships, he went to sleep and I promptly removed the prequel DVD’s from our family collection and hid them in my sock drawer. The very next day, he was playing and talking about “Star Wars,” and said, “I have a question,” and headed for the DVD’s, only to find the three original movies. He wasn’t expecting to find more, and the plan has worked. So far. I’m referring to this plan as “Obi-Wan-ing My Son” for obvious reasons. Just like the old Jedi telling Luke the truth about Anakin Skywalker “from a certain point of view,” I am going to parent as though Episodes I, II and III never got made. To protect Henry. It’s for his sake.

And mine. Sure, it’s about me. Of course it is. ALL OF THIS is really about me. I want my son to love something as much as I do. That’s just like a Dallas Cowboys fan hoping his son loves the Cowboys, too.

The only problems with the “Obi-Wan-ing” plan is that, just as in the movies, the truth eventually does come out, and the boy who was deceived feels betrayed, at least a little bit. He also loses his hand. I don’t know how literally to take it, but it’s at least very awkward.

But for now, I’m happy. I’m living in a house where we only acknowledge the three “Star Wars” films of merit, and so, if and when Henry requests to watch one, we won’t have to worry about him asking to watch “Attack of the Clones.”

Or worse: “Attack of the Clones” again and again. And again.

 

*In half a thought I came up with a cooler name for the ship than “Jedi Starship.” Man, prequels. You were just a bucket of imagination, weren’t you?

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One Response to “Obi-Wan-ing My Son”

  1. And you can take him to the new ones, once they come out…and he will see them…”in the order as originally intended”. Unless they suck.


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