Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Return of the Jedi

Last night my family watched Return of the Jedi (AKA Star Wars, Episode VI). This was not our first time.

I was cooking dinner tonight...grilling, in fact (no rain...for a change)...and had briefly considered posting pix of how I make Paraguayan chimichurri and baked mandioca. Eh. Another time. My grill is on its last legs (at least the charcoal pan), and in need of a replacement (probably in the Spring). The film I just threw on as "background noise" while putting stuff together...although the movie I started streaming was Rogue One. It was my daughter that switched it to RotJ.

My daughter (Sofia) is nine years old. Because she is my daughter, she's already seen these films...multiple times. However, this is not the same with her classmates. Oh, some have seen the movies...her friend Posey, and most (all?) of the boys. But not her best friend (Milana), and another friend...Maddie...has only seen the original trilogy, and only over the last three weeks. 

They, of course, love it.

Still Good
So they've been playing a lot of "Star Wars" at recess. Acting out the movies. Pretending to be the heroes or the villains or the stormtroopers, etc. This is why she wanted to watch Jedi...they've been self-performing the films sequentially and only just gotten up to "Jabba's palace." Sofia says they know most of the lines (well, she does anyway), but she just wanted to 'go over it.' The film had only just started as my wife and son got home from soccer practice (her turn driving tonight), and Diego exclaimed "Hey! I want to watch!" So we did.

It's interesting, watching my kids re-watch these films...films that were so much a part of MY childhood (I saw all the original films in the theater...multiple times). Sofia where I was at her age as far as understanding goes, but interesting to see her amazement at non-CGI special f/x. My son is much more developed and mature for his age and eyes things with the critical eyes of a film critic and seasoned campaigner (a lot of pseudo-military stuff in these SW films and my boy is all about the war games and military history). 

BUT...just astounding how well they hold up as entertaining films for kids. I do not approve of, nor appreciate, all the the things my kids find "awesome"...a lot of their pop music, for example, or some of the kids shows they dig, or many of their book choices (I can't stand those "Wimpy Kid Books" and they both eat those up). But here's something that we all connect on.

It is also interesting that the 9 year olds are SO into this...perhaps this is the "sweet spot" for those movies? I believe Diego was about the same age when he started his "D&D Club" at school, mainly to run a Star Wars RPG of his own devising (based on the B/X chassis...natch). That club has since gone defunct, but the kids who enjoyed it are still playing D&D (albeit with different groups outside of school). But...Star Wars (and, specifically, the original trilogy) were a unifying factor. 

Sofia last night (during the opening scene in the new Death Star): "Darth Vader is the BEST!" He's pretty good all right, probably my favorite "supervillain" of all time. Religious zealot, scarred cyborg, rage-filled, James Earl Jones. Just...menacing. Shiny helmet. Black cape. Featureless mask. It's all delightful. Jedi may be the worst of the first three films, but turning Vader into the hero at the end was a stroke of genius (although I prefer the original cut of the climactic scene which has NO inserted Vader dialogue during the crescendo of the film's score...why make the scene weaker, Lucas? Jeez).

Ok. I'll stop. 

[by the way, while Sofia has a huge appreciation for DV, I know that her favorite Star Wars character of all time...from all the still Darth Maul. She will tell you the same, if asked. She prefers the Rebels for our Star Wars Legion games, but I'm guessing that'll change as soon as she sees a Maul model on the shelf]

Why am I talking about this? Partly to grease the ol' 'blogging wheels' (a little rusty lately). But also because it's (very slightly) pertinent to a project I want to talk about. NOT a Star Wars project, but...perhaps..."SW adjacent?" That might be accurate.

First, though, I need to get back to that whole 'procedural gameplay' thing I mentioned earlier. We'll get to it.


  1. My two are a bit older than your two they too love the SW movies and have acted out their own scenes as well. They've made their own "Stair Wars" and my daughter always seems to win.

    A thing that I dislike is how there's been a trend since Episode 1 to highlight and celebrate the baddies more than the goodies. All the merch has Darth Maul, Vader or Kylo Ren.

    I have a theory that the Empire is in fact the British Empire and that the Rebels are the plucky American colonists, and that that's why the movie did so well in 1977 the year after the bicentennial of your treasonous rebellion ;-)

  2. This post made me smile. Thanks for sharing!

  3. <3 . Star wars as a setting is a little confusing and i cant get some parts (why are good jedis chaste when jediness is hereditary?). For some reason my favorite is episode one, and the song of weird al about the movie always makes me cry

  4. That makes me happy to hear. My boys really love The Mandalorian and other Disney+ Star Wars shows, but don't get so excited by the movies.