“It means when you can’t feel anymore love in your heart. You think you have to get love from something else. But you don’t. You just need to close your eyes, breath, and look deep inside your heart. It’s still there.”
“Is that why Anakin is good, then bad, then good?”
“Yes. It takes a long time for him to find the love inside his heart.”
My five year old son is obsessed with Star Wars. Not the movies. He hasn’t seen them for a couple of reasons: he’s too young, and he’s not a big fan of movies. He doesn’t even like Disney/Pixar movies because of the “scary” parts. He gets so emotionally involved, he doesn’t quite understand that it is make believe. When my son watches a character he’s emotionally attached to deal with something that he personally has not yet learned how to emotionally deal with (ie: Bambi’s mother dying), he screams at the top of his lungs, “Turn it off! No! No! Turn it off!” So we don’t watch movies.
But he loves Angry Birds and Legos, and since the marketing genius that is Lucas put Star Wars in that mix, it is the next logical step in my son’s cultural fandom. It doesn’t hurt that my husband is also a huge fan geek. We have an original Darth Vadar Halloween mask on the book shelf. It’s up there with other memorabilia – a couple of years ago I got an American Revolutionay hat from the production of JOHN ADAMS – he’s now “Darth Adams”. My original love for STAR WARS was more in the “Tiger Beat” vein – Mark Hamill was the movie’s answer to my Shaun Cassidy obsession. IF I had known my husband back then, I would have thought the 12 year old lanky boy talking to me wearing his Darth Vadar mask was a loser. Likewise, my husband would have seriously scoffed at my pudgy 10 year old self who thought she was too cool with her Dorothy Hamill/Farah Fawcett haircut (depending on the day). But I digress…
So in the past couple of months my husband using Star Wars stickers, pictures, and Legos, has shared the saga with my son. He can’t get enough of it: light sabers, spaceships, good vs. evil, storm troopers, rebel alliance, the force.
“Mommy, did you know General Grevious is the worst?”
“I didn’t know that…”
“He’s part robot and part human. And has four light sabers!”
Because of this my son is engaging me in philosophical conversations. He’s trying to understand the big questions posed by the world of Star Wars. It’s lead to fun and fantastic discussions. It also gives me the chance to teach some life lessons.
I can say this. But when Yoda says it, it has more meaning for my son.
At a stop light I look in the rear view mirror. My son is squinting at me, hard. His arms are stretched-out, his hands cupped.
“What are you trying to use the force for now?”
With a sheepish grin, “Mommy, I want a treat when we get home.”
Hmmm….what would Yoda say about that?