Although it’s set in a galaxy far, far away, there are many scenes in Star Wars that could easily be played out under our roof. Sometimes being a parents sees you switching from being one of the goods guys, and then other times, when the kids are getting on your nerves you really feel like it would be easier to summons the power of the Dark Side of the Force and strike them down with a little Force lightning. Well, maybe that’s going a little far in these days of “quiet time rather than smacking,” but you get what I mean.
So here’s my list of 10 Things In Star Wars That Parents Can Relate To…
1. Kids Will Try Your Patience While You’re Trying To Teach Them
In Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Luke travels to the Dagobah system to be trained by Jedi master Yoda. While trying to train him, Yoda gets a little stressed out and tells Obi-Wan’s Jedi ghost;
“I cannot teach him. The boy has no patience.”
Sometimes kids want to learn from you at home, and other times they have other things they’d rather be doing. And in all honesty, when they start to gets disruptive and their attention span starts to wane, you start to think of all those other things that you could be doing.
2. You Have To Remind Your Kids That You Are Their Parent
It’s okay to be friends with your kids sometimes. Many Generation X parents take this too far sometimes; I know that I do. But there comes a time when I have to take my friend hat off and put my parent cap, or maybe, my parent helmet on and remind my kids that;
“No. *I* am your father…”
3. There is Always Someone Trying To Awaken You
Back in December 2014 the Star Wars producers (Lucasfilm, Bad Robot Productions, and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) released the first teaser trailer for Episode VII – The Force Awakens. This is the one where we saw the (then) unnamed Finn pop up with a really worried look on his face after an evil sounding voice over says;
“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?”
Although it is becoming almost a distant memory for us with our youngest waking in the night once every three weeks or so, there was a time when come two or three in the morning my wife and I felt a disturbance in the bedroom with at least one of our boys waking up and coming in to our room and waking us up.
So yes, in answer to the question asked by that evil voice, yes we have felt that awakening…
4. Way Too Many Little Furry Things
There’s a scene in Episode VI – Return of the Jedi where our heroes find themselves surrounded by those cute little furry Ewoks. This is a scene that plays out in a house. From the teddy bears they had (or still have) when they were babies, to the plush superheroes, Star Wars characters and minions (oh so many Minions), sometimes it feels like I’m surrounded by a bunch of Ewoks myself.
On the nights when I let the boys fall asleep in our master bed, our eldest will run off to his bedroom and bring back a plush toy or two (or more) to cuddle while he’s drifting off, and once he’s asleep and I’ve carried him to his bed I make sure that all those plush toys are back in his room because I’ve seen those Toy Story movies, and I’m not about to let anything that may possibly come to life once I’m asleep stay in my room.
5. Kids Give You A Bad Feeling About This
Sometimes, as a parent, all you really want is some peace and quiet. You just want your kids to leave you alone. And then when reality hits and they do give you some peace and quiet, it always seems too quiet.
I can’t speak on your behalf, but if you’re anything like me, there comes a moment when you feel a disturbance in the Force. As Obi-Wan said in Episode IV – A New Hope;
“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”
You know that what they’ve done just couldn’t compare to the destruction of Alderaan, but you know that they’ve broken something or possibly even destroyed the whole item, and in your little corner of the galaxy, to you, it’s probably just as bad.
6. Different Languages
One thing that I could never understand in the Star Wars movies is how the human characters could speak in English to the “alien” characters, and those characters would respond in their own language having understood the English dialogue completely without a translator. And then, in return, they would speak in whichever language it is that is native to their tongue and the English speaking human character full understands what has been said to them. This did not make sense to me…
…until I became a parent.
Somehow, before their language is developed, and well before they can speak in return, your children just seem to understand what it is you are saying to them. And then, again before they have a grasp of the language you speak, they can communicate with you and let you know what it is that they want.
7. Long Drives With Many Complaints
The galaxy within the expanded universe that Star Wars is set in is a rather large place. When you are travelling from Tatooine to Yavin 4, it’s not exactly a 10 minute drive, even with the use of hyperdrive. And while you try to make the journey more comfortable by giving your passengers things to do such as playing a game of Dejarik (that’s the chess like game pleyed in Episode IV – A New Hope), you know you’re going to get complaints from the back seat…
“Oh my, I’d forgotten how much I hate space travel.“ – C-3PO
You can give your kids colouring books, hand held video games, portable DVD players, or play games like I Spy and those long family car trips still seem to produce times when the kids grow bored, stressful, tired and tiresome. And then come the complaints, the screaming and the tears followed by mum or dad saying…
“Oh my, I’d forgotten how much I hate road trips.“
8. Carrying Your Kids
In Episode IV – The Empire Strikes Back, a clearly tired and weary Luke Skywalker runs through the jungle with Yoda on his back. If climbing a vine wasn’t already hard enough as part of his training, he had to pick the little green guy up and piggy back him. Come on Yoda, you can walk. I know you have the energy. After all, getting an X-wing to lift out of the swamp ain’t an easy task.
Ever take your kids to one of those new shopping centres with the kids play areas? The kids can run around them forever. And when you’re ready to go and you let them know, they put up a fight telling you that they haven’t finished playing yet. But sure enough, as soon as you want to continue to get some shopping done, that same kids who was full of beans not five minutes earlier will insist that they are tired and you have to pick them up.
9. Kids Don’t Understand The Phrase “Don’t Touch Anything”
In Episode I – The Phantom Menace, after entering Watto’s Shop, Qui-Gon Jinn walks past Jar Jar Binks and instructs him to not touch anything. Of course, the ever clumsy Gungan doesn’t heed the Jedi Master’s advice and hilarity* ensues after Binks hits a Pit Droid on the nose releasing the droid from its rest. As Qui-Gon leaves the junk shop he calls for Jar Jar to follow and of course more hilarity* by way of slapstick humour is taking place with the Gungan getting himself in somewhat of a bother after touching more things he shouldn’t have.
But it’s after they leave the store that Jar Jar finds himself in further trouble when he sticks out his tongue and grabs a Gorg that is hanging up on display in Gragra’s outdoor food stall. Which part of “do not touch anything” did Jar Jar Binks not understand?
It’s exactly like taking your kids anywhere, especially to the shops. While we ask them to keep their hands to themselves, the request to do so at the beginning of your shopping adventure pretty much amounts to the words falling on deaf ears as your children will inevitably touch everything. Taking them into a store with breakable items is a death-wish. Those “you break it, you pay for it” signs were invented to encourage parents to keep their kids in check.
I will put my hand up at this point and admit that I have had to purchase an item such as a chocolate bar after one of my boys decided that not only did he want it the minute he saw it, but he proceeded to open and start eating the item before I had a chance to say no.
* Actual hilarity is relative, and generally only observed by young children.
10. End Up Battling With Your Kids
As much as we try to be mindful parents, as hard as we try to maintain a peaceful relationship between us, kids being kids, and taking into consideration the nine previous things that I have mentioned about parenting, some, if not all of these can end in confrontation. You just need to put them in their place, tell them who’s boss, and give them a little bit of discipline.
Okay, maybe not that. We don’t really get out out lightsabers and start duelling with our kids to teach them discipline. Although, having said that, 2015 for me will go down in history as the year I had way too many lightsaber battles with my kids…
Did I miss anything? Are there any other scenes or concepts in that galaxy far, far away that remind you of parenting?