Not so long ago, in a galaxy just outside of Dayton, Ohio, a Star Wars obsession was born.
It all began with a chance viewing of a Star Wars marathon on Sunday afternoon. When the next morning our then-preschooler’s breakfast request began with, “Eat cereal, I must,” we knew our youngest son had been taken with “The Force.” With a gleam in his eye and a hand-me-down light saber scavenged from his big brother’s toy box, he began his journey to immerse himself in all things Star Wars.
“To the Death Star!” he’d yell in his best Luke Skywalker impression, though his range was closer to that of Princess Leia’s. Out of his room he’d appear, dressed in full make-shift battle gear, handing me a weapon and waving for me to follow. Our cocker spaniel would double as a reluctant Chewbacca. I found myself putting off housework to help him defeat the empire, turning off televisions and opening garage doors by using “The Force” to wow him with my Jedi powers. Though the first few times he was in awe of my skill, eventually he caught on.
With a sly smirk and obligatory giggle he would say, “Uh Mom, I can see the remote control behind your back.”
Pretty soon, the whole family joined in. Dad would look for any opportunity to say, “I am your Father” in his best James Earl Jones voice, much to his son’s delight. Big brother occasionally would engage him with light saber battles, the most epic of which occurring on a vacation to Lake Michigan with two light sabers made out of swimming noodles. From Legos to tree branches, he could fashion Star Wars weapons from any available materials. I was beginning to think his next obsession might be old reruns of MacGyver and started stockpiling toothpicks and duct tape in preparation.
But there would be no next obsession. Attempts to introduce other toys were futile, as Transformers and Iron Man were no match for Darth Vader and his evil empire. When he started carrying light sabers with him wherever he went, and answering inquiries as to what he wanted to be when he grows up with, “I want to make REAL light sabers,” I realized that this Star Wars fascination was not likely to go away anytime soon.
And then it hit me. My son is going to grow up, go to college, get a real job and dress up as a Star Wars character every weekend to hit the convention circuit.
To his future wife I say, “May the Force be with you.”