21 January 2012

How can that be? How can that be?!

"How can that be?  How can that be?!" shouted my daughter, her eyes searching mine earnestly, desperately for some sign that it was all a big joke.

But by the expression on my face she knew: it was no joke.  It was the truth. The awful, unbelievable truth...

Darth Vader really was Luke's father.

It's a shock the first time you're told.  In fact, it personally took me years, all the way up until the premiere of Return Of The Jedi, to fully believe it.

How can that be?  And yet, it is.

I know I'm not alone among parents of my generation to experience the strange sense of fulfillment, the hard-to-articulate sense of the-circle-being-unbroken that comes from watching through the entire Star Wars anthology with your kid for the first time.  The movies are chock-full of suck in spots, and are, at so many turns such a gross disappointment in terms of plot and character, that it's always surprising to me just how much I enjoy them, especially when taken together as a whole set of six films.

Especially when viewed over the course of several evenings with your wife and kid beside you, while the movies play on your big, grown-up flatscreen TV and John William's score rises and falls triumphantly through the custom home theater sound system of which you are so proud.  Much better than watching them at Harkins.  That's what I think.

We'd been waiting for years to watch the Star Wars movies with her, holding out for that perfect moment in time when my wife and I were both comfortable with her readiness.  Our kid was aware of this, too, eagerly awaiting the day along with us.  She'd heard us refer fondly to the movies many times over the years.  And I'd even given her my Jabba the Hutt action figure to play with years ago, when she was still very small, in anticipation of her one day meeting him on film.  He's been a permanent resident of her Barbie play house ever since.

A few days after we concluded our week-long marathon through episodes IV, V, VI, I, II, and III (in that order, natch), we made our way down to Bookman's on a Saturday afternoon, as is our regular habit most weekends.  As usual, we had each gathered a few things for the trade counter.  Me, a couple of old CDs; my wife, a few old books; and our daughter, a few well-loved DVDs she'd watched a million times.  Strangely, however, the DVDs she'd picked out to trade-in on this day were a half-dozen of her favorite Barbie movies.

We've come-and-gone through the Wiggles, the Backyardigans, even High School Musical, but to-date she'd never ever considered even the mere suggestion that she should trade-in her Barbie movies at Bookman's and exchange them for something else.  But, for whatever reason, this time, all on her own, she'd put a selection of her most-favorite movies in our trade counter sack.

And what did she select in-trade to replace her beloved Barbie movies?

A Princess Leia and two Ewok figurines.

Star Wars figures!  How awesome is that?

"But why?" I asked her.

"So my Jabba has some real friends."


Shawn said...

IV, V, and VI are the first three movies period. That's just good parenting.

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