Despite Noah's initially-underwhelmed reaction to Star Wars, I must now report that we are in the grips of full-fledged mania over here. His obsession grew with a slow burn: When offered the choice between going to bed and staying up late to watch The Empire Strikes Back, he picked the obvious and obliged us with an occasional glance at the screen. But then he haggled with us repeatedly over the next few days for a similar Return of the Jedi deal. And it was at some point during this film that his inner geek was truly awakened, and we have been pretty much All Star Wars, All The Time ever since.
I can't complain: I seem to distinctly remember talking about watching Star Wars with our unborn child no more than 10 minutes after peeing on the stick. It Is Kind Of My Thing, as long as we pretend that the three prequels didn't happen, because they make me unreasonably angry, as did the dumb "special edition" re-releases with extraneous CGI banthas and shit, I don't WANT extra CGI banthas, I want my childhood belief that three-inch models on string were totally giant ships in outer space and I want it on widescreen DVD without your stupid extra Jabba scene, LUCAS.
Ahem. Point is, I'm a huge Star Wars nerd, although also a bit of purist. Noah has seen ONLY the three original theatrical versions. He is not aware of the Other Ones or the cartoons, although I could probably be talked into the 1978 Holiday Special, because HA HA HA HA HA OH MY GOD THAT SHIT IS AWESOME.
(And yeah. We have a bootleg copy of it. Of course we do. I told you guys about this, right?)
I also can't complain because now everyday when I drop Noah off at his afternoon school, he and another little boy re-enact their favorite scenes: his classmate mimes Luke and his lightsaber; Noah pretends he's Darth Vader falling down the stairs at the end of Jedi. Then he does his best James Earl Jones impression* and says "Help me take this mask off" to his friend. The other boy obliges and Noah immediately jumps up and declares "I'm not a bad guy anymore! I'm a good guy! Yay!"
Redemption! And. Scene.
*I am not making that up. My four-year-old has an honest-to-God James Fucking Earl Jones impression. I've been trying and trying to get it on video but every time I pick up the camera and start asking him about Star Wars, he immediately launches into his best Star Wars According to a 3 Year Old impression.**
**Which basically sounds like this: Welllll. Welllll. Okay. Mumble mumble something Shiny Guy mmmppffg mumble smmrgg unintelligible don't talk back to Darth Vader he'll getcha it's an exciting movie Mommy can I watch the little girl on your phone again? Huh? Please?
I dug out our old CD box set (OF COURSE WE OWN THE BOX SET) and put the movie soundtracks on my iPod, and now he sings the music constantly. (The main theme song is red, for anyone following our adventures in synesthesia.) He's almost creepily tuned in to it -- a fairly generic track will play and he can pinpoint the exact moment that corresponds to everybody falling into the "trashy pool" or when Obi-Wan "missappears" after playing swords with Vader.
(He's watched each of the movies exactly twice. TWICE.)
One thing he does have wrong -- kind of -- is the title. Since he has no idea what the word "war" means, he originally thought it was called "Star Worth." He's now semi-corrected himself and calls it Star Wheres.
Jason spent several evenings online tracking down acceptable action figures for him. ("Acceptable" meaning anything "old-style" and manufactured before the Other Ones, which...damn, I didn't realize just how much collective anger and bitterness we harbor against those movies.) I felt kind of guilty when the $6.99 toys arrived from the various collectors, all mint in their original packaging and surrounded by 10 pounds of lovingly arranged packing peanuts, only to have Noah immediately rip them open in sticky-fingered glee and start re-enacting any scene that involved the character getting hurled from great heights and distances. R2D2's legs are already coming loose and C-3PO has some suspiciously small teeth marks on his leg, but after a decade and a half in their packaging, they are certainly not lacking in love.
He asked for a lightsaber too, of course, and that we've been reluctant to get for him. Not just because we're liberal pussies who have problems with toy weapons (we totally are), but also because the whole preschooler-with-poor-impulse-control combined with the general eye-level whackability of Ezra's head seems like a bad idea. I also think he'd challenge the TV to a duel. But when I told him I wasn't sure about the lightsaber, he took it quite well and asked for the "Yellow Letters in Space" instead. When I told him I wasn't sure they sold the opening crawl as an action figure, he also took it quite well.
"Santa will get me the Yellow Letters," he told me, quite confidently.
Cheeseball but true: I kind of feel like we're all a bunch of kids again. Thanks, Star Wheres.