Today, just like most every geek on the planet, I am counting down the days until Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters. We have tickets for the whole family and, here it comes: my kids couldn’t care less.
They’re not looking forward to it and they’d rather hang out at home. They don’t like the Star Wars movies.
If I had to pick one thing, one moment, one instant that turned me into a geek it was when I saw Star Wars in the theater when I was a little girl. My Dad went to see it first to make sure it wasn’t too scary and then I went with him once it was deemed watchable. He covered my eyes when Obi-Wan lopped off Ponda Baba’s arm because of the blood. Hey, I was only seven and blood is icky.
We have watched the movies with the kids over the years and they’ve shown brief moments of interest, but no real love for the films. The Empire Strikes Back was even proclaimed goofy. This weekend, we sat down to watch Return of the Jedi and they made it to the sarlacc before the look of utter bordom on their faces convinced me to turn it off. The realization that they really, truly, absolutely are not fans of the films made me sad.
Yet, this morning before school I heard lightsabers in the living room. There was also giggling and smack talk and the sound of blasters. They were playing Star Wars: Battlefront and having a wonderful time. They played the game over the weekend too, snuggled on the couch with controllers in their hands yelling about the Dark Side and how badass Luke is and loving the whole Star Wars universe.
Seeing them at it again this morning had me thinking about how they love the games, but not the movies. The original movies are a part of my childhood. They were very of the moment and they were absolutely perfect for 7-year-old me and my Dad when they came out in the 70s, but they are not perfect for my very modern kids.
Somehow, the movies cannot capture their interest the way they captured mine, but a more modern medium has given them the same love. They enjoy playing Battlefront and they loved playing the Lego games. They know the characters. They know the universe. They simply aren’t into the movies.
It’s a weird thing to realize you can be a Star Wars fan without being a fan of the movies, but that’s only because my introduction came from the movies. It’s where it all started for me, but it’s not where it started for my kids. They love playing video games so Star Wars games are perfect for their interests. They love Star Wars in a different way.
Make no mistake. I’m still dragging them to the theater to see the new films. Hey, it might turn out that this new, modern take on Star Wars finally gets them into the movies. I’m not holding my breath, but you never know.
In the meantime, I have to go convince the Jedi and Sith in my living room to put down the controllers and head out the door to school.