Sunday, February 24, 2013

Star Wars obsession

Our boys are obsessed with Star Wars.

They have Star Wars sticker books. They have Star Wars figurines. They have Star Wars light sabres (more on that later). They have Star Wars T-shirts, underwear and socks. They are bedecked, head to toe in Star Wars gear, including accessories.

They think about Star Wars day and night. When he wakes up in the morning, Nathaniel, the 4-year-old, bounces into our room with his blue-tipped light sabre holstered to his pajamas, ready to do battle in bed. During the day, he constantly pesters mommy and daddy to engage him in duels. He's always one of the good guys. Lately, he's been infatuated with some Jedi called Kit Fisto. I've been tasked with being one of the bad guys, someone named Count Dooku, wielding the red light sabre, symbol of evil. The battles rage in the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room, dining room, library and hallway. The sabres swing viciously, and hands, arms, legs are chopped off, until, at last, the evil overlord has been slain, falling to the ground in agony, and the victor standing over him with smug smile.

When mommy and daddy tire of battle, Isaiah, the two-year-old, is enlisted into the cause. Lately, he's wanted to be a Jedi master called Shaak Ti, but he's also been known to want to be Mace Windu, too. Either way, this poses a problem for Nathaniel, as his brother also represents good, reducing the ideological significance of the encounter. Plus, Isaiah isn't up to par with his sword fighting, or so Nathaniel thinks.

Many nights, the boys choose a Star Wars tune as one of the song sets at bedtime. Isaiah has two descriptions: The uplifting, Jedi song is "Bum Bum good guy." The battle-rattling, dark side tune is "Bum Bum bad guy." Either one is a winner for bed.

Aunt Rachel gets the dubious credit of spawning this craze. When we were staying with her and Sharon, she introduced the boys to the first films of the Star Wars six-pack – you know, the ones from the 80s with the then-superlative special effects and riveting plot line that swept the nation and the world. The boys were smitten from the first scene, and their fascination with the films, the characters, the different worlds, the spaceships and everything else, has exploded over time.

Take those sticker books. They are involved and heavy into the minutiae that only a real devotee could appreciate. Nathaniel has taken to these books like a kid to ice cream. He's devoured the characters and their roles. By now, he's memorized dozens of the Jedi fighters, nearly the entire cast of the evil characters and hordes of the otherworldly beings, animals, creatures, critters, places and things that comprise the Star Wars universe. The amount he knows about the franchise – just months after being introduced to it – is stunning.

Oddly, he stores all this trivia in his little mind, yet he can't recall what he did last night or at school just hours after being there. What gives?

Anyway, the intense interest morphed into obsession once Mimi Atlanta presented the boys with the light sabres. You slide a lever down on the hilt, swing the colored sabre from its sheath, and you're ready to go. The boys have been endlessly entertained with the light sabres since Christmas, and they are their favorite toys, surpassing even the Bat cave, which had a surprisingly long run.

All in all, good, clean fun and one divorced from video games and more predicated on imagination and action fighting. I'm sure the video games will come, so let's enjoy the role playing while it lasts.

And, now, for some gratuitous shots, since we haven't posted any in a while.

Nathaniel overjoyed with his Star Wars comic book

Isaiah overjoyed with Batman and the bat cave

Nathaniel and Isaiahb dining on chicken nuggets and watching Spiderman cartoons (while Daddy watches the Super Bowl on the TV)

The boys and their Ogre

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