An open letter to the children of Star Wars fans

This week’s blog post is by The Paternity Test co-host Matt Boresi, who lives in the Edgewater Glen neighborhood of Chicago with his wife (“Professor Foster”) and their 4-year-old daughter, who doesn’t yet know who shot first, Han or Greedo.

Dear children of Star Wars fans,

Perhaps you’ve noticed a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of geeks were gearing up for a night 38 years in the making. You are very observant, Young Padawan.

The reason your dad, and perhaps your mom, too, are trying on cloaks and tying pretend light up swords to their belts, is that something very, very important happens Thursday – the Star Wars sequels they’ve wondered about since 1983, sequels to movies which began in 1977, will finally begin. And someone named Han Solo is going to be in them, which is very, very exciting to Mommy and Daddy.

This is why your dad isn’t looking at Twitter between now and Thursday. (Spoilers, (to quote a different geeky franchise) Dearie!) He doesn’t want to see what “Supreme Commander Snoke” looks like until he sees it on the big screen. He doesn’t want to know yet where Luke has been, or who lives and who doesn’t. He wants to feel like he felt when he was little and first saw the “opening crawl” of a Star Wars movie – full of wonder and fear and joy and excitement. Emotions you younglings feel all the time, but which your parents haven’t felt since you were born, when the excitement was tempered by blood and medical copays.

This is also why everything at Target is shaped like a big black robot guy and a green elf and a mannered gold robot and that white and blue garbage can robot and that white and orange soccer ball robot that looks like the garbage can robot.

This is Star Wars, and for most parents, it’s a big, big deal.

Even if your parents were too young to see those first movies (which, for reasons you won’t fully understand for a while, are numbers IV-VI), they’re old enough to have loved the red and black faced horned guy with the double lightsaber and the “Clone Troopers.” If your parents are of the age that they grew up with the “prequels” (numbers I-III), then they were too young to know that the prequels were terrible (“I don’t like sand.” “If you’re not with me, then you’re my enemy.”), and are still in love with Star Wars – Jar Jar and all.  (Don’t ask your parents what a Jar Jar is … you’ll only depress them.) That’s another reason your folks are getting weird about Thursday night, these sequels have arrived to wipe off the stink of the prequels – like Febreeze for Midichlorians and Obi-Wan rat tails and two-headed Podrace announcers.  (Don’t ask your parents what a Midichlorian is … they’re so happy right now, just let them enjoy themselves.)

Maybe you’re already familiar with the Star Wars universe, or maybe you aren’t old enough to start watching the movies yet. But you will be, you will be. Still, you’ll never appreciate this week like your parents do. You’re young, and the passage of time means very little to you, but imagine for a moment that Doc McStuffins was one of only a few really great shows and sets of toys in the world. And one day, the show ended, and they stopped selling the toys, and you thought about Doc McStuffins every day for 32 years. And during those 32 years you got old and wrinkly and thick, and your days were spent frequently thinking about spreadsheets and property taxes and performance evaluations and suspicious moles and elder care.

Depressing, right?

Now imagine that after 32 years like that, Doc came back, with all of the same characters and voices, and you got to find out where she’d been, and what happened to her clinic and her idiot brother Donnie, and Stuffy, Chilly, Hallie and the whole gang, and also Han Solo was there.

Wouldn’t you be excited about that? You would be SO excited about that.

And that is what is happening to your parents right now.

So, please forgive your dad for wearing a different Boba Fett t-shirt to the office every day. Please forgive your mom if her hair looks like cinnamon buns for some reason. Be patient if you’re lulled to sleep by John Williams tunes all week, or if your parents say that their SUV can make the trip to preschool in “less than 12 parsecs.”  They NEED this movie that’s opening Thursday. All of it.

And, yes, there will be another new Star Wars movie next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, probably for the rest of your life. And soon you will have an opinion on whether R5D4 or R2D2 or Chopper or BB8 is the best astromech. You will have an opinion on “viewing order” and whether or not the “loss of the EU as canon” is a blessing or a curse. And so will your children, and their children, and none of you will never know what it means to have nothing but Dark Horse comics and Made for TV Ewok movies to feed your love of a Galaxy Far, Far Away.

This first sequel is the last time a first sequel can ever come out, get it? The last first time Han, Luke and Leia can come back, grizzled, weathered and out of rehab and with smashed faces (not unlike your parents), but back again.

So, try and forgive your folks’ giddiness and nerves this week. Better yet, just do or do not forgive them … there is no try.

May the Force be with you,

Matt

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