Tonight I broke down and decided to go see the new Star Wars movie. By myself (with the blessing of my wife, of course....I'm not crazy). Why didn't I take my children, you may ask? With two boys aged ten and seven, you would think they'd be jumping all over the place to go be part of this popular culture and spend a movie night with their dad. It's a sordid story, alas.
I've been trying to get Nathaniel interested in Star Wars for a number of years now. It's not been one of my success stories. And it's always made me a little sad. Kyle is mostly indifferent to movies...except for the popcorn.
I remember back to my days of being their age and being so ecstatic when I first sat down to watch the original two back to back in a downtown Toronto theatre. The awe and wonder of hearing John Williams score blast out at the audience and the thrilling idea of the scrolling text which introduces each movie. The rotoscoping effect of the lightsabers and the climatic battles between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi...they just called out to something inside of me and I could watch them over and over again. And I did.
Beyond that, as I suffer from a bit of a completionist complex, I collected many of the books in the expanded universe and even didn't find as many faults with the prequel trilogy as others did. Were they as good as the original three? Well, no...but they were still good enough stories on their own.
I've been on holidays since December 23rd, and I've been dropping hint after hint to Nate that it's been awhile since he first tried watching Star Wars with me and maybe it was time for him to try again. At the time he found the introductory exposition to be a tad slow, but now he's watched other movies that have the same kind of plot devices and seemed to do ok. We just watched Ant-Man the other day and it starts at about the same pace. That can't be his excuse.
Then there is the fear factor. As I had deliberately been avoiding spoilers like the plague I wasn't aware whether there would be any extremely frightening scenes. I didn't want a repeat of Jurassic World. That was a movie I decided to be Good Dad and take BOTH of my kids to. I mean, boys and dinosaurs, match made in heaven, right? Nope. Both kids were terrified once the Indominus Rex showed its true colours and announced they wanted to leave. First time ever that I had to leave a movie early. It hurt.
As a social media and entertainment news junky, I am constantly surrounded by sources of information that are wanting to discuss the movie. In great detail. I knew that unless I wanted to go hide in a cave or on an island in the middle of a large body of water (ahem) for a few months I would be torn between giving into spoiler rich conversation about what happens to certain characters or just going to go watch the darn movie...kids or no kids.
So, tonight I chose to be the bad dad in my head and I didn't take my kids to Star Wars. I shouldn't be guilty, but part of me still is.
Will he be mad at me tomorrow? If so, I'll explain that the movie was only for those who had watched the original three. If that works...I'd happily go again....and I get my Star Wars buddy like I always wanted.