Thursday, September 30, 2010

Some things are just hard to explain, son

So my kid is in kindergarten now. And he's meeting a lot of new kids, a lot of new teachers. He loves going to the computer lab and the library. He ultimately decided he didn't want to join chess club.

But things are going good for the most part. Except for the fateful day when he brought something home from the library.

I knew the day would come when I would have to explain something unsavory to him…something maybe I found offensive…in language a 5 year old can understand. That day is fast approaching, because he's started to ask some really tough questions.

Questions about Star Wars.

I've tried to shield him, and perhaps because of that this is ultimately my fault.

It would have been better if I just handed him the TV remote and let the world reveal itself naturally.

But I didn't.

So what he brought home was Star Wars: A New Hope, in story book form. Many of us remember reading a similar book in our childhood years, perhaps with a Viewmaster or micro-sized record to play included.

Unfortunately, George Lucas has gotten to the Star Wars story books. This one was the "Special Edition."

And so my son understood the story perfectly…R2-D2 and C-3PO out in the desert, the Jawas, the Sand People. Okay, he had a little trouble with Sand People because he understands they are aliens but doesn't get that they are native to Tatoine.

The humans came later, and now the Sand People don't like the humans messing with their stuff. See…easy to explain.

But then we get to Jabba. And he thinks we're in a whole different movie! He thinks we're in Return to Jedi, and he keeps turning the pages, looking for the skiff fight.

I tried to gloss over it, and divert his attention, until the brave adventurers find themselves trapped on the Death Star. We get through the Darth Vader/Obi Wan Kenobi lightsaber battle, the Death Star blowing up, the end.

I don't think he remembers Jabba right now. But he's going to want me to read it to him again tonight, I'm sure. And I can already see the wheels spinning in his head.

"Why's Jabba in the first movie, Dad?"

I don't know…I just don't…know. What do you say?

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