With the multiple Star Wars days been and gone (May the 4th, Revenge of the 5th and Return of the 6th, you know, incase you didn’t know), I started thinking about what Star Wars meant to me and how it has had an impact on our 2 boys.
Growing up, I loved Star Wars. The original trilogy was fascinating. I was totally immersed in the universe of Jedi and Sith, Wookies and Droids, Scoundrel’s and Scruffy Looking Nerf Hurters! I loved playing with the toys and acting out mini adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca in the Falcon and imagining them fighting on various planets against the mighty AT-AT walkers and Star Destroyers. Yes, I was a nerd and my wife would still testify that I still am!
Visiting the Disney parks throughout the years before marriage and children, getting my Star Wars fix was easy with Star Tours being at the Disney/MGM Studios (as it was called back then) and then when in Paris, at Disneyland. I loved being able to fly through space and doing that iconic trench run. You get totally sucked in and feel as though you are in the movies (Captain R-3X, you are missed but glad you found your calling as a DJ, more on that in a future post). We were lucky enough to be able to visit during the famous Star Wars Weekends once held at the Studios. Temuera Morrison (the chap that plays Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones) was there along with Warwick Davies among others. I got my photo in Jedi robe with various characters and a full size X-Wing! To me, that was the best Star Wars experience you could have……oh, that was just the tip of the iceberg!
It was only natural that when I was to become a dad, I would “educate” (some would say brainwash) our boys in the story that is Star Wars.
So when our first son came along, the Star Wars influence began with various little toys brought and meeting Chewie at Hollywood Studios (not that he knew anything about that as he was asleep in his stroller). When he was at the right sort of age for them, we did get a nice collection going of the PlaySkool Heroes toys which he enjoyed playing with. Of course, we’d watch the movies too. He grew up watching the prequels and Revenge of the Sith was his favourite (don’t put me in flames)! Anakin Skywalker was his favourite character and the duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi was his all time favourite part. To be fair, that whole sequence was pretty cool!
Younger brother arrived a few years later and the same sort of plan was taken, much to the delight of my better half. Another WDW visit was planned and booked not too long after his arrival and various merch again was bought (for the boys, not me…..much). The fact that my boys enjoyed Star Wars as much as I did was brilliant to me and we could share happy moments as a family and my wife would be happy too just experiencing it with us.
Over the years, we enjoyed various Star Wars themed events both at Disney Stores and at home. A standout event for me was when we got to meet the one and only Jeremy Bulloch (original Boba Fett) at the Disney Store on Oxford Street. I bought a Boba Fett Pop Figure which he signed and whilst in line, we got chatting to some fellow Star Wars fans who we are friends with to this day! The boys were also filmed around the store that day too by the Disney CM’s.
I was also lucky enough to be able to take our boys to Star Wars Celebration when it came to the London ExCel Centre where I came face to face with Darth Maul (cosplayer).
With plenty of other experiences throughout the years, it all led to what we went on to experience in the Black Spire Outpost at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. That, my friends, is a story for the next post.
If you’ve brought your kids up sharing the love of Star Wars, what sort of things did you do with them as they were growing up? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear your stories!
Take care, stay safe and may the force be with you,