The Return of Star Wars
I am having a geek-parent dilemma that probably means nothing to anyone else, but it has profound meaning to me. My kids are getting into Star Wars. Keegan at 4 YO and Taylor at 7 YO both have asked to watch the movies. Keegan wants more and more toys. Taylor so far just wants to know more about it. I am sure she will want toys or books soon too.
As a geek dad, this has many meanings to me. It’s should be a great thing for most geek dads and at one time, I really look forward to these moments when I thought about my potential kids. Star Wars was one of the major things that formed my fandom and made me the geek I am today. For MANY years, I was a HUGE fan of Star Wars. I ran the role playing game for 8 years and engulfed myself into the universe fairly deeply. Even though I introduced elements of my own, I was still REALLY into the overall universe. I read as many books as I could. I read many of the comics. I bought toys, collectibles and games.
All that changed when Episode 1 came out and then Episode 2 and 3 followed. By the time I left the theater after Episode 3, I knew that my Star Wars fandom had changed forever. And not for the better. Over the months after that, I abruptly ended my last Star Wars RPG campaign with no plans on returning to the game. My players could tell my heart was not in it any more. I struggled to wrestle with the way Lucas destroyed the vision of what I thought Star Wars was with his infantile changes and idiotic plot devices.
I went through the years of the Expanded Universe books as they were released and read as many of them as I could. Some were good (Timothy Zahn’s books, for instance) while others were just bad (Shadows of the Empire, for instance). But I muscled through those years. Even with the brought in the Yuuzhan Vong, I struggled with things but I dealt with it. It was not too far off to what I thought the Star Wars universe was. I could still wrap my mind around much of what others had added to the universe. However when the Master of the universe utterly destroyed the vision, I could not carry on. Midi-chlorian, Gungans and the cheesy way he introduced the clones in the Clone Wars – I just could not take it. The Clone Wars were described to be as this great horrific and cataclysmic war, but that’s not the way it was portrayed in the movies. Contrived battles that made no tactical sense. The overuse of dumb-ass droids. It was more
than I could take.
I eventually sold off all my Star Wars RPG stuff. I gave away much of my Star Wars library and collection to convention auctions. My games were auction items as well. I just sold the last of my d6 Star Wars – the books signed by some of the original movie stars.
So now, my kids are getting into it. I have to admit that it is reviving some of what I felt back then, but it is still tainted. I look forward to buying some of the stuff for Keegan and Taylor. We’ll see how far they get into it. All in moderation. I will put off showing Episode 1-3 until I have to. I am sure they will want to see the Clone Wars cartoons as well. All in time. I am easing myself back into the fandom, I guess, after a long period of the hurt and betrayal I felt. I won’t run the game again but I will not deprive my kids of what I felt back then. I know this is entirely too geekie for most mainstream folks, but Star Wars meant a lot of geeks like me at one time. Some got over the horrible Episode 1-3 while others did not feel they were that bad. I hated them, utterly and absolutely and i could not separate the two trilogies like some. I was into it THAT much.