Introducing Nick to Star Wars

19 Dad Bloggers were asked the question “When/How To Introduce Your Kids to Star Wars?” You can read the entire piece here. Here’s my entry:

Star Wars has been a great bonding experience for me and Nick!

Star Wars has been a great bonding experience for me and Nick!

I’m a planner by nature, and I think the world is in a rush to have our kids grow up too fast. So, I delayed Star Wars until Nick was 6 (he’s now 7 ½). I LOVE Star Wars and wanted him to love it too- I figured premature exposure may ruin it.

What pushed me over the edge, despite my hesitations, was when I was called to do a customer focus group for some unknown product. It turns out the focus group was to get reactions to new Lego Star Wars products (awesome!), and the room was full of Dads about my age with kids about my son’s age. Almost all of them had shared Star Wars with their kids by then, and especially extolled the virtues of the Lego Star Wars video game.

The next day, I showed Nick some you tube clips- as a way to gauge his interest (through the roof), expose him to characters (he instantly was head over heels for Darth Maul!), and talk about basic plot points. I figured this would make the movies easier for him to understand and enjoy.

It worked!

He devoured the movies on DVD (and they are still in heavy rotation, especially Episodes 4 and 6). The Wii game came shortly after, and we played that together for about 6 months straight (great game, and the best was when, he wanted me to play but I was busy with work, and he said (and I shit you not) “the galaxy is better with you and me”- how could I resist?)

This Halloween, we went to our town’s parade as a big group of SW characters- he was Vader, I was Boba Fett, my wife was Amidala, and two friends were Leia and a Stormtrooper. It was awesome.

Halloween 2013!

Halloween 2013!

We have light saber battles almost every day (between this and his gymnastics, he really makes a great Jedi), and have battle-scenes all sketched out for the movie he wants to make when he’s older.

Just a few weeks ago, Nick experienced the high point of his life, as he battled Darth Maul at Disney World’s Jedi Training Academy!

Nick's opponent at Disney's Jedi Training Academy!

Nick’s opponent at Disney’s Jedi Training Academy!

In short, I think waiting until he was fully ready made finally seeing Star wars a life-changing experience for Nick and a great bonding opportunity for us. Don’t rush things.

May the force be with you all!

Looking ahead at FWF: On Monday, I’ll discuss strategies for coping with work-family stress, and, on Thursday, there will be another great entry in the “Sharing Experiences” series.

Leave a comment

5 Comments

  1. Scott,
    I applaud you for waiting until your son was little older before you introduced him to SW.

    I’ve heard that some parents will introduce their children to SW as early as three years old. That’s too young.

    How early do you start talking with him about some of the ritual, symbol, myth, involved in Star Wars?

    Matthew

    Reply
    • Thanks, Matthew- The year of Star wars in my house has been great. I’m very glad I waited.

      Actually, my son and I were talking about foreshadowing, using SW (hands being chopped off, etc.), so SW has educational uses, too.

      I tread carefully when it comes to religion and such, but the force is an obvious connection point to those topics.

      Reply
  2. When it’s right, it’s so incredibly right. The childhood memories are priceless, but knocking it out of the park for/with your kids is even more so.

    Reply
  1. 8BitDad | Thank You, My Son, for Saving Me from Princess Culture

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