Star Wars is all the rage these days, and there is direct evidence of it all over my house. There was a great deal of fanfare surrounding the newest movie’s opening night by my 8-year-old son, and probably even more so from my husband. They cheered in the theater and painstakingly talked about it (without spoilers) for days.
In the few weeks before the new movie opened, we started watching all of the older movies to build up to the big reveal. Even my 3-year-old got into watching the older movies.
I was a big fan of the movies when they first came out in the ’80’s, and I really enjoyed watching the Imperial Walkers and the Ewoks again. If you’re wondering if I have concerns about the violence in them, the answer is a big fat NO. Not even when everything becomes a light saber. Spoons become light sabers. Fingers become light sabers. Paper towel rolls? Light sabers. Their arms are light sabers. And for Christmas, they all got actual light saber toys.
In the movies, they typically throw in a good bit of emotion with the classic good vs. evil storyline, and we came upon a sweet moment I didn’t expect with my oldest son.
He doesn’t exactly sit on my lap anymore and smother me in toddler kisses, so I appreciate anything that shows me he loves me.
In Episode 1, The Phantom Menace (the 4th released movie in the series), a Jedi Master makes a bet with Watto, a shady junk dealer and owner of a young enslaved boy and his mother. The Jedi wagers that the young boy, Anakin Skywalker, will be the victor in a pod race against many other professional racers, and in exchange for winning the race, the boy would earn his freedom, as well as his mother’s.
The shady junk dealer would only grant the freedom of the boy in the race, where of course the odds are stacked against him. The Jedi, knowing the young boy is the chosen one and must be freed, has no choice but to agree to the terms of the bet.
Anakin, of course, wins the race against all odds (and in favor of a great storyline) but after winning the race, the Jedi informs him that only he is free, and not the mother who raised him, so the next day Anakin and his mother have to say goodbye.
My son didn’t understand the scene afterwards where Anakin’s mom encouraged him to leave. His eyes got big, and he got really worried about how long it would be before the boy would get to see his mother again. He felt really sad that she was going to have to stay behind.
I explained that even though Anakin’s mom would really, really miss him, she knew he was gifted and would have a great deal more opportunity in freedom far away from where he grew up. So she said a brave goodbye, and encouraged him to go.
During my explanation, I also made sure to throw in the fact that I wouldn’t be able to say goodbye so quickly because it would be really hard not to see him every day. He laid his head on my shoulder and watched the movie close to me for the next several minutes.
And then everything soon became a light saber again, and he engaged in pretend battles with his little brother.
So the affections were short-lived, but hey, I’ll take it.
It also made me stop and think about what it would be like to have to say goodbye to my son, who is very close in age to the boy in the movie. If it meant a better life as opposed to bleak circumstances, would I be able to do that? I don’t think I could. Not gracefully, anyway. If it meant freedom for my child, I would do it, but I would be a shell of a woman afterwards. (I’m glad this is a fictional movie.)
He brought it up again the next day at breakfast, so I know he loves me and he would really miss me if we were apart. I also learned he’s a bit of a hugger.
So in the future, if any further expressions of love come via a Star Wars movie, I think it would be a language that we would both understand. And if all else fails, at least the Force will be with us.More On