Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Long Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Away....

*Cue Star Wars Theme Song!* If my last post didn't convince you of my level 110+ of nerdiness, I assure you, this one will. A few months ago, before all of the baby-drama started, we went out to Utah to visit Dan's family for Thanksgiving. My husband is the oldest of 10 (TEN) children. Yes, one-zero, 10, you read that right. There are 8 boys total, and 2 girls. 6 of the kids are married (and all but one are currently expecting or very,VERY recently gave birth). The 4 still at home range from 8-18, and they are all boys. So, naturally, Jayden loved every minute out there because he had lots and lots of boy things to do from Legos, gaming systems, Nerf Guns Wars, wrestling matches, and anything else "boy" related you can think of. In fact, 100% of what Santa brought him was decided during that trip. It was out there that he also discovered the game Lego Star Wars. He LOVED that game, and thanks to a very awesome aunt, he got it for Christmas! That game has helped tremendously in keeping his room clean and his happy attitude. Especially since he has to "buy time" with points earned from doing chores around the house. Anyway, he loves the game. But, he had never seen the movies. Dan and I are pretty old-school in the fact that we pay attention to the ratings of movies and their content before letting our children watch them. If it is PG, they don't see it until we've previewed it. And if we think it is inappropriate, then they can't watch it. We've had many, many emotional breakdowns over this rule. It is a rule that Dan's and my parents both had, and though we hated it as kids, I am grateful they cared enough to make sure we could handle certain things before letting us watch them.
Anyway, I got off track there for a minute. Jayden hadn't seen the movies, yet, so he really didn't know what was going on in the game. He just liked to play it. He would get so excited about beating a level and he would come in to tell me about it. "And the old guy with the green sword fought the black robot, and..." AND I CRINGED. I loved that my little boy was so excited about Star Wars and beating the game, but it was like fingernails on the chalkboard to hear MY CHILD refer to Obi-Wan Ken-obi as an "old guy", a Light Saber as a "sword", and DARTH VADER as a "BLACK ROBOT"!!!! I called Dan at work and asked him if he thought our kids were old enough to finally be exposed to the awesomeness that is the original Star Wars Trilogy. He was surprised they hadn't already been. We talked about it a little more because, honestly, there are some pretty intense things for a 4 and 5 year old to witness. Burned bodies, arms getting cut off, twisted family dynamics, and so on. But we also discussed the epic battle between good and evil, the importance of friendship, and a few other good qualities the movies possessed. In the end, the movies won out. We decided that we were going to watch them as a family (so we could stop, edit, or explain anything where needed), and only watch a little bit each night throughout the week due to Karate, late work days for Dan, school, and such. This week has been one of the Best. Weeks. EVER. We told the kids on Sunday that we would start watching the Star Wars movies that night if they behaved and got their rooms clean. Karah was a little disinterested, but she went along with it because Jayden seemed so psyched up about it. We all got snuggled up on the couch after dinner and began with A New Hope. Oh. My. Goodness. I can't begin to express how awesome this experience was. Jayden had so many questions (good ones, not annoying ones) and Karah (who typically loses interest pretty quick in movies if they don't include singing animals or fairy princesses...THANK YOU GEORGE LUCAS FOR PRINCESS LEIA!!) really got into it. Every once and a while Jay would bring something up like "Man, if Darth Vader would just stop trying to be bossy and listen to others, he would probably not be so mad! And then people wouldn't have to fight!" *I LOVE HIM* The kids enjoyed A New Hope, and they LOVED The Empire Strikes back, up until the last 10 minutes, that is. I WISH I had my camera out for their reactions to Darth Vader's "I am your father!" reveal. I wholeheartedly believe both my children were far more devastated than Luke himself. Real tears were shed. "But Vader's a BAD GUY!!! He CAN'T be Luke's DAD!! DID YOU NOT SEE HIM CUT OFF HIS HAND??? DADS DON'T CUT OFF THEIR SON'S HANDS!!"
The next morning Jayden came into my room while I was getting ready (meaning, while I was thinking about whether to stay in bed or mosey on out to the couch). "I can't wait to watch Star Wars tonight and see Darth Vader turn good!" Now, Dan and I have said NOTHING to our kids regarding the upcoming plot of Return of the Jedi, mainly because we wanted to witness their genuine reactions. "What makes you think he is going to turn good, Jay?" "Well, DUH, Mom. He's Luke's DAD. And dads aren't BAD." Karah piped in and said, "It only makes sense" and added a little nod, as if that settled it, signaling the end of the conversation. We decided that since it was Friday night, we would just start the movie and watch it straight through. Our copy was recorded off of the DVR, and we didn't realize that the last 5 minutes or so had been cut off. We watched the movie, both kids cried when the little Ewok mourns his little friend, both yelled angrily at the Emperor when they realized it was all a trap, and Jayden even cried out "WHY DID YOU LET US WATCH THIS MOVIE IF THEY ARE ALL JUST GONNA DIE???" when the Emperor started shocking Luke. Both jumped off the couch and cheered when Vader saved Luke and started doing a victory dance ("See, Mom?? We told you he was going to turn good!!") Then, they started crying again when Anakin died. The movie cut off just as they set fire to Darth Vader (which mortified Karah until we explained they were just burning his suit to show he had died "Good Guy Anakin" instead of "Bad Guy Darth Vader"...). Jayden was so tired after the movie ended that he had a little emotional breakdown about the Ewoks when Dan and I realized that he thought ALL of the Ewoks had died. I went to YouTube and found the last 10 minutes of the movie and showed the parties, celebration, and the Ewok village (all happy and alive) and that calmed him down enough to get him to sleep.
I love that my kids love Star Wars. It gives me something else to talk to them about that I am interested as well. AND, Jayden is now just as picky as me when it comes to Star Wars terminology. (I will have you know that I never tried to correct him before, because I knew he didn't know any better.) I also have another bargaining chip, seeing as the kids can't wait to watch the movies again...

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