Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

With the latest Star Wars movie slated to hit the big screen later this summer (the animated 'Clone Wars' movie due out August 15th), I have been slowly introducing my young daughter to that galaxy far, far away. Two weeks ago we watched the original 1977 version of Star Wars - now dubbed Episode IV: A New Hope - and the reaction was just what you might expect: complete Star Wars mania. She wants to watch Star Wars, she wants to talk Star Wars, she wants to play Star Wars, she wants to read Star Wars, she wants to eat Star Wars for breakfast.

I have a bad feeling about this.

Okay, I might have created a monster with this, but I have waited four and a half long years to have someone in my family to share my enthusiasm for Star Wars. Now I have someone to duel with plastic lightsabers (although she somehow always wins), and reenact favorite scenes while driving in the mini-van (much to the annoyance of my wife, who is still in the clutches of the Dark Side of the Force).

Part One of our Summer of Star Wars was watching the original Star Wars for the first time. Part Two of our our Star Wars summer was going up to St. Paul to see the Star Wars exhibit at the Science Center. Our daughter did not know the nature of our trip, so when she saw the massive, three story Darth Vader plastered on the Science Center wall she nearly swallowed her tongue. It was great.

We practically ran from display to display, elbowing our way through the huge crowd of people to see original costumes and props from the movies. But it wasn’t until we were nearly done and getting ready to leave that the Sith hit the fan.

In walks Darth Vader.

I thought my daughter was going to go into convulsions. She jumped two feet off the ground, her eyes as big as saucers, and stammered: ‘there’s... there’s... there’s...’ It took a minute for her brain to catch up with her mouth, but she finally spit out: ‘VADER!’ We were waiting in line to go on the ‘Jump To Hyperspace’ attraction (something that Daddy really wanted to do), but my daughter was begging and pleading to go meet Darth Vader.

Well, the way the exhibit works is, once you leave the main hall you cannot return. This is done to keep the thousands of people moving along so everyone gets a fair chance to see the display. Of course, we had already left the exhibit when Vader made his grand entrance, flanked by two Imperial Stormtroopers. God bless the Science Center lady who was sitting at the end of the display. I explained to her that we had just left the exhibit, but my daughter was positively going to die if she did not get to meet Darth Vader, and was there any way we could go back through to have our picture taken with him?

This kind lady says: ‘Goodness, we can’t allow that to happen. You go on back through and meet Darth Vader, sweetie.’ To which I replied, quite naturally, ‘Thank you, and may the Force be with you.’

I’m such a geek.

So my daughter got her picture with Vader (and a high five! which kind of seemed out of character for a Sith Lord). I did miss out on the Hyperspace ride, but all was right with the galaxy just the same.

To be continued...

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