Thanks to the incredible heavy-handedness of Lego’s marketing department, my younger son claims to be obsessed with Star Wars. I don’t really believe this is possible, given that he’s four and has never actually seen the movies. But, still, he insists “I weawy wuv Staw Waws.”
I doubt him because as an ubercool preteen, I actually was obsessed with Star Wars. And to be fair, I hadn’t seen the movies at first either. I caught this virus from a library book: a novelization for Return of the Jedi. And it was surprisingly overwritten, as I recall. I remember my mom reading it aloud in a perpetual tone of surprise. I mean, it’s Return of the Jedi. The author of this novelization had every right to just phone it in. But he didn’t. He wrote the heck out of it.
And I became obsessed with it. I hadn’t seen the movies, because well, it was all girls at our house and it just never came up. But then in sixth grade, it came up big time. And these were the days when renting a video was kind of a big deal, at least at our house. I had to wait for weeks. I remember reading the weekly booklet of TV listings searching for the Star Wars movies, hoping against hope that this, THIS, would finally be the week when there would be a Lucasfilm triple feature. That day did not come, alas.
So now that the kid has taken an interest, I’m uncertain. Do I just unleash it on him? He’s four, after all. Isn’t most of it going to whoosh over his head like the star when the Million Falcon, as he calls it, makes the jump to light speed?
I tried to compromise by starting small: we’ve checked out some Star Wars easy readers from the library, including some Lego Star Wars, so I know we are smack in the middle of some kind of boy demographic here. Well played DK, well played.
But really? Let him watch Star Wars? He can barely sit still through the books. And to be honest, I can’t even follow the plots for all that Episode 1-3 business.
I’m not completely sure what my hesitation is. Maybe I don’t like feeling like I’ve been marketed into something? Maybe I’m not sure we have enough room in the Fun Apartment for a Lego Star Wars obsession? The lego bin is already overflowing. . . .
Or maybe I want to wait til he can actually appreciate the story. I have long suspected that kids movies aren’t really for kids. Take this huge steaming pile of . . . . merchandising, for example. I know most grownups appreciate kids movies with adult humor too, but I am sort of turned off by it, because it means there’s a bunch of jokes the kids can’t understand but can repeat. And they kind of make the movie boring for kids. Trust me, they were bored somewhat stiff while I snickered through this.
Also, I am not sure that any kid who insists it is “3DPO! Not C3PO!” is really ready. Then again, I did actively argue back, so maybe I am not ready either.
So I guess the answer is maybe, coming soon to a galaxy near us.
Until then: Help me Obi Wan Kenobody, you’re my only hope.