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June 23, 2005

Cultural initiation

Posted by Phil on June 23, 2005 11:02 AM

No matter how badly you may wish to ameliorate the STAR WARS cravings of a child too young for the real deal, don't ever, ever get the STAR WARS--DROIDS (or, presumably, EWOKS) DVD. "We're doomed!" becomes 3P0's "Wutchootalkin'bout?" and you might as well be watching Scooby-Doo. Garbage.

We've been skirting a bit around the actual source material ever since Max discovered the action figures at the home of an adult friend who's managed to hold onto his childhood toy fixation. We've been collecting the chunky Playskool STAR WARS figures, and the lodestone purchase has been "Luke's X-Wing," which both the Luke and R2 figures fit in, and which makes keen sounds like the "wikk-a-wikk" of laser cannon; Luke saying, "Red Five, I'm goin' in!"; and the full-on "STAR WARS Theme," which Max kind of croons along with now.

So this has been building for awhile. There was a brief, earlier foray into The Empire Strikes Back, but Mom eventually nixed it as too intense. But it turns out three isn't really too young for the original STAR WARS. Max can't make out the smoking corpses of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, but you do have to create a diversion when Ben lops off the hooligan's arm in the cantina. Other than that, it's all death by sterile laser-fire!

Max had a little trouble pronouncing "Obi-Wan Kenobi," but he's developed a credible imitation of the sound of a light-saber igniting, and waggles his souvenir mini-baseball bat convincingly. True appreciation of the jump to light-speed took a little nudging, but he doesn't seem too jaded yet by modern CGI: The Millenium Falcon dogfight and the attack of the X-wings are both still grippers.

We haven't gone too deeply into the ways of the Force, but he gets that when the target-thingy zaps Luke in the butt, it's because he hasn't mastered his feelings. We're all still working on that.