If I saw George Lucas walking down the street I don’t know if I would kiss him or kick his Wookie looking *** all over the place. I’m not sure how it happened, but we are an Ewok away from becoming one of those dorky families who drives 1000 miles (you can’t get light sabers through airport security) to attend a Star Wars convention in Pennsylvania instead of motoring to Florida to drink five dollar Cokes with a giant mouse in high heels like most normal American families. The one thing that is keeping me from going to the “Dark Side” is that the ability to converse on all things Star Wars has become my passport to the mysterious world of boys.
If you asked, I could tell you why Boba Fett has no mother or how the Trade Federation was defeated at the Battle of Naboo, but I promise I am not a sci-fi nerd. Okay, I admit, I briefly flirted with “Nerdism” years ago as a newlywed when my husband and I watched way too many reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation. But we never once played Dungeons and Dragons, even when co-workers in our semi-geek world of archaeological consulting were moonlighting as wizards and unicorns. I thought my adventures in space ended on the Enterprise with Jean-Luc Picard but I was wrong. Like most good American media consumers, we allowed our impressionable young son access to the mind-altering, mass-marketing machines of Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network at about the time Phantom Menace was released. We quickly went from Tickle-Me-Elmo to bidding on entire lots of Star War’s action figures on e-bay and researching websites that showed how to build your own light saber using Graflex flash guns from vintage press cameras. Don’t ask.
Like most mothers, I try to support my children’s interests however I can. But you don’t know selfless love until you’ve spent Halloween trick or treating in giant cinnamon bun styled hair extensions from Fred’s over each ear, a large white polyester robe and homemade aluminum foil blaster on your hip. While my husband can pull off a hot Hans Solo in his sporty vest and Nehru collar, I looked more like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in drag. The alternative, stepping out in Leia’s “Jabba the Hut slave bikini” was just never an option. My youngest, always drawn to the villain, usually dons a Darth Maul painted face with spiked hair for horns and my oldest opts for the more classic and less embarrassing Jedi attire. We almost ordered a Yoda Costume for our Boston terrier but dignity prevailed.
My boys are five years apart and this often means that they are worlds apart, and as the only female in the family I can at times seem even more alien to them than Zam Wesell (oh, you know her, she’s the changeling bounty hunter who morphs into a green colored lizard before dying from Jango Fett’s blow dart.) But age and gender differences don’t apply in the imaginary realm of intergalactic space. When we are dueling with light sabers in the front yard or re-enacting the Arena Battle on the floor with hordes of action figures, we are all equals in a “galaxy far far away.”
1979 vintage Millennium Falcon- $45.00, Calypso dime store hair extensions $5.00, memories of a Star Wars obsessed childhood – priceless. May the force be with you.