Can something as simple as a movie create a bond between parent and child that will last a lifetime? I think so.
I have an 11-year-old daughter, Emma, and I want more than anything to feel that when I’m gone, there will be a part of me that stays with her. That through the things we have shared, there will be something that has touched her life in a meaningful way and will remind her how much I love her. It’s always been my belief that sharing your passions with your kids can create that deeper bond.
Well, one of my biggest passions is Star Wars. I can still remember sitting at the drive-in with my own dad, watching the movie on the big screen. This is why I’ve shared my passion for this iconic movie with Emma. We build Star Wars LEGO together, we collect Star Wars trading cards on our app, we faithfully watch every episode of Star Wars Rebels.
So when I read about author Alexandra Bracken’s love of Star Wars, it made me wonder how she developed such a passion for it. And like my own experience (and my daughter’s), it was because of her dad.
Alexandra Bracken is the author of the book Star Wars: A New Hope – The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy (just released today!), a brand new adaptation of the original Star Wars story for the next generation of fans. It tells the tale of Star Wars from the perspectives of Leia, Han, and Luke as the events unfold around them, and Alex adds even more depth to each character and their background. It was obvious by the detail in her writing that she had a passion for these characters and I wanted to know more.
At only 28 years old, Alex is already a New York Times-bestselling author and the writer of the hit series The Darkest Minds, which has been optioned for a movie. When Disney Publishing was first looking for someone who could connect to a new generation of potential Star Wars fans, they asked her to write it … and she almost said no.
Alex’s dad — who was an incredibly dedicated Star Wars fan, had a huge collection of Star Wars memorabilia, and shared his love of the movie with his daughter — passed away in 2012. “His favorite thing,” Alex said, “was sharing his collection with visitors to the house, giving them tours through it and explaining about each piece, and I smile every time I think about his excitement.”
They would go hunting for Star Wars treasure together at antique shows and toy stores. “I mean, how many kids have dads who were on a first name basis with managers at Toys ‘R’ Us and got to go into their back rooms to check out the new shipments of toys?”
Star Wars wasn’t just a childhood memory for Alex, but a special connection to her father, and when she was asked to write the book, it hadn’t been that long since he had died.
“At that point, I hadn’t watched any of the films or engaged in the Star Wars universe since his death because I had such a strong association between it and him. But the offer felt like getting a high-five from him through The Force, and, ultimately, working on it and revisiting the wonderful story had the opposite effect of what I was expecting — it made me feel close to him.”
And now Alex is passing along that gift to new readers — young and old alike. When I had the opportunity to interview her, I told her how much I enjoyed the book and that I passed it on to my daughter who loves it just as much as I did.
She wrote back, “You seriously have no idea how thrilled I am that your daughter likes the book!! I have a feeling I was a lot like her when I was eleven.”
I bet you were, Alexandra, and I hope like you and your dad, this is a special bond we will share that ultimately will keep us close no matter where we are.More On