Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cultural phenomenon

How is it that Star Wars has taken over my life, even though none of my boys has ever seen the movies? The boys dress up as Luke and Darth Vader. They pretend to be Anakin (is it going to be traumatic when they discover who that poor kid becomes?) and talk about Mandalorians. Jonathan sets up elaborate battlegrounds between the "good guys" and the "bad guys" with his star wars lego. (I think the designations might be entirely fabricated.) All the boys battle each other: Jedi (blue light saber) against "Roger-roger" (a droid, apparently? with a gun), ably supported by Josiah in the role of Yoda (green light saber). The computer game of choice for Jonathan and Thomas is currently this one which Jonathan found, all by himself, by laboriously typing (and correctly spelling!) "star wars lego" into my browser.

{Does anyone have a recommendation for really good internet parental control software? I don't want him stumbling into something icky by accident.}

It really is kind of strange how much the story and characters have succeed in capturing the boys' imaginations. I wonder what they will think of the movies when they eventually get to see them. When we do show it to them, in which order should we show it? 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3? or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6? Come to think of it, do you suppose I could get away with not showing them 1, 2, and 3 at all? I hate to think of them running around imitating Jar Jar!


Jessica said...

4, 5, 6 and don't even let them KNOW about the horrible ones! Jar-Jar aside (and, seriously, Jar-Jar, ugh), they're just terrible STORIES. The looooooong pauses so that the characters can plot-dump/backstory-dump in dialogue form, the terrible excuses for backstory, if it comes to that, the looooooong CGI action scenes that (unlike the action scenes in the originals) do NOTHING to advance either character OR plot . . . oh, it's just offensive.

And I don't think George Lucas is even sorry.

Amber said...

Over the last couple of months we watched 4, 5, and 6 (well, we skipped the first 20 min or so of 6) and we have no intention of showing them 1, 2, or 3. We've mentioned them and how bad they are to the kids and they don't seem to have much interest. We have some friends with star wars legos - lots and lots! - so we decided to slowly share the story with them since it was becoming a topic of conversation. It was fun to do, esp. since we made them wait at least 2-3 weeks or more between episodes - that seemed to make them less obsessive about it. Emma was SURE! that Vader was not Luke's father after Empire.

I couldn't even bring myself to watch more than episode 1 and about the first 20 min of 2. They are just so bad, bad, bad there is no way I could inflict them on my kids!

lasselanta said...

In answer to the first sentence of your post, my husband looking over my shoulder says, "Because of who you married??"


Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Oddly enough, it has not been Gabe bringing most of this in. He does *real* space with the boys, and they're fascinated by that, too. The Star Wars has been coming from other little kids!

Katie K said...

This totally cracks me up because I have a cousin who discovered Star Wars around age 5 through the Lego sets. He would study his Lego magazine/catalog and learn all the names of the ships and characters. My aunt and uncle (who are not really "movie people") had already decided that he would have to wait till age 8 to actually watch the movies (and even then, it would only be Episode 4 until he was older and they thought he could handle the rest of the movies) so he spent three years of his life quizzing everyone about Star Wars and somehow managed to piece together every scene of the movie. It was strange, he could describe the whole movie like he had seen it. His 8th birthday was a big event and we were all anxious to see his reaction to the actual movie. We were surprised at how stoic he was (in hindsight, I think he was a little overwhelmed by our expectations that it would blow his mind). Nevertheless, he spent the next couple of years watching Episode 4 every Monday after school. He turns 16 this summer and has now watched every Star Wars movie and show out there. Despite the constant eye-rolling he gets from his older cousins (mostly me) he even likes the bad stuff just because it's Star Wars. He is loyal to the brand because he is young and not discriminating in terms of story or character development. I often wonder what I would have thought of Episodes 1, 2, and 3 if I saw them for the first time when I was younger and less jaded by the world. Hard to say. Sorry for the long rambling story- feel free to delete it if it annoys you. =)