As a young adult who is atheist, one of the great concerns facing me and my wife is that one day, we will have children, and we will inevitably have to have “the talk.” No, not the one about sex (I’m gonna let Cinemax handle that one).
When should we talk to our kids about Star Wars?
It’s a sensitive subject. How young is too young to bring up “the force?” What if they have questions that I can’t answer, like “Why can’t I have a light saber?” or “Why are there no Ewoks at the zoo?” or “Is Daddy going to turn into Darth Vader because he has breathing problems?”
Well… I guess those are easy: you’re too young (plus they don’t exist), Ewoks have sentient intelligence and don’t belong in a zoo (plus they don’t exist), and daddy is just asthmatic (though sometimes he does want to kill you… so eat your vegetables).
The truth is, it’s never too early to introduce your children to Star Wars. You just have to do it right.
You might ease into it, perhaps playing songs from the original score at appropriate times. At birthdays, play the upbeat song in the Cantina (you know… do DO do DO do doodly doo do do, doodly do, do do do do-ooo doo). Luke’s theme makes for a good waking up music, or for dramatically staring out over a desert at a binary sunset. And Darth Vader’s theme is a great soundtrack to the in-laws visiting.
Also, be sure to pipe the original score in its entirety through headphones on you or your wife’s pregnant belly, so the baby can become familiar with it in utero. You really can’t start too early.
You might also throw some memorable quotes into your conversations years before exposing them to the actual films themselves. I can’t think of a more appropriate thing to say when staring up at the night sky with your child than, “That’s no moon…” If you find yourselves sitting down to eat a meal with vegans: “I have a bad feeling about this…” or perhaps, “It’s a trap!” And encourage your kids to call people they don’t like “scruffy looking nerf-herders,” unless the person is fat, then they should call that person “Jabba.”
Also, it will really help their grammar and syntax if you talk like Yoda as much as possible.
The bottom line is this: atheist children should not feel left out. Remember, it’s your job as a parent to screw them up and fill their head with unreal fantasies and over-simplified notions of right and wrong. Luckily, the Star Wars movies are there to help, so take full advantage of them and your children’s trusting nature.