Bonding with your son through Star Wars – and the hilarious Star Wars “Troops” fan film

Grant, my oldest and only boy, is about to turn 4. He and I have always been close – for better or worse he truly is a “mini-me” in both looks, personality and interests. However, our paths have converged even more over the last couple of months as Grant has discovered Star Wars.

I’m amazed at some of the difficult concepts of the films he is able to comprehend and his recall of minute details from the films. Every night when I get home from work Grant asks me Star Wars questions for a solid hour or two. It always starts:

Daddy, I have a question for you.

Then it’s Star Wars questions on various topics

Why is Chewbacca a Wookie? Does a Wookie have claws?  What planet are Wookies from?

What color is Anakin’s lightsaber? Why did Anakin turn bad and become Darth Vader?

He’s only seen a couple of the movies so far (I’ve been careful to skip through parts that I think he might not be ready for) and some of the Clone Wars cartoons. However, even without seeing all the movies, he us an unlimited number of questions.

A few days ago he asked me:

Daddy, what was the name of the planet with the big, tall, white aliens where they made all the clones?

I knew exactly what he was talking about (it’s from Star Wars Episode II – Attack of the Clones), but for the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of the planet. So this morning we’re having breakfast and Grant says:

Daddy, remember that planet we couldn’t remember, the one with all the clones? I think it was Kamino.

The planet Kamino of the Outer Rim

The planet Kamino of the Outer Rim

He was right, it was Kamino. I was stunned. The fact that he was able to remember the name the of the planet (only mentioned a couple times in the movie) from a movie he saw once, over a month ago . . . makes me realize I need to be very careful of what I say because he doesn’t forget anything.

So how have we “bonded” through Star Wars besides our “fireside chats”? Well:

  • We play the Star Wars memory game at StarWars.com/kids.
  • Every night we have a lightsaber fight (Grant uses his toy light saber and I use the lightsaber app on my iPhone).
  • We play with Grant’s Star Wars figurines in his room. However, for some reason my team never wins.
  • We play “Natural Star Wars” which in Grant-speak is Star Wars role-playing. Every member of our family picks a character they want to be. Lauren is almost always Princess Leah, but for some reason my beautiful wife Jess is always forced to play the role of the homely Aunt Beru
  • We are both fascinated with Boba Fett
Boba Fett the bounty hunter

Boba Fett the bounty hunter

Why is Boba Fett significant? I literally grew-up with Star Wars. My parents owned a couple video stores when I was growing up, so I would often go to the store after school and watch movies in the back. I have literally seen the original Star Wars (Episode IV for the die-hards) probably 200 times. I had Star Wars toys, bed sheets, lunch box, I went as an Ewok for Halloween one year, etc. etc.

For some reason all boys of my generation had a fascination with Boba Fett, even though he was a minor character in the original trilogy. There was something about Boba Fett that was cool, but you couldn’t really put your finger on it. Grant hasn’t even seen The Empire Strikes Back yet, so his only exposure to Boba Fett was literally a couple minutes in Return of the Jedi, but he is easily his favorite character. He constantly has questions about Boba Fett and would rather play with that figurine over any other.  I guess it’s a case of like father, like son.

These last couple months have been a blast and really make me look forward to finding new things that Grant and I enjoy doing together as he gets older.

I didn’t want this to become a fan-boy-geek-out-on-Star-Wars-post, but it kind of became that. Therefore, I decided to include the video above. Troops is a hilarious Star Wars fan film mockumentary that is essentially TV’s  Cops for the Star Wars universe. I don’t want to ruin the ending for you, but (unfortunately for my wife) it doesn’t end up good for Aunt Beru . . . enjoy.

2 responses to “Bonding with your son through Star Wars – and the hilarious Star Wars “Troops” fan film

  1. “Troops” is a classic fan film–I wrote all about how they made it in my new book about the history and future of fan films, Homemade Hollywood, which just came out and is in bookstores everywhere.

    Also, for what it’s worth,
    if you want to find out more about the world of fan films, you might want to check out my daily fan film blog, fancinematoday.com.

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