By Jennifer Bardsley
Please don’t tell this to my husband or son, but since I didn’t have any brothers growing up, “Star Wars” was something I only knew about because I had hand-me-down R2-D2 undershirts from my cousin Josh. My mom claims that I did go to see “Return of the Jedi” in theaters but that I fell asleep.
With marriage and parenthood, I have now been forced into submission to all things “Star Wars.” I have seen all six movies repeatedly (seven if you count “The Clone Wars”).
I have read and reread so many “Star Wars” books to my son that I finally disposed of “Epic Battles” in the middle of the night. I have been coerced into light-saber battles that have nearly destroyed my living room. I have been to the Dark Side and back.
The worst part of mothering a young “Star Wars” fan is when you have to stand in front of the action figure section at Fred Meyer for 20 minutes while your son decides how to spend his birthday money. Does it really matter which Stormtrooper he chooses when it is just going to be scattered on the playroom floor in a few hours? Sometimes I see other mothers standing in the same section while their sons deliberate too, and I feel comfort in the sisterhood of Star Wars Moms.
Really though, I should not feel too comfortable because there are hardly any mothers in “Star Wars” at all. The moms who do make it to a galaxy far away are usually quickly killed off. Anakin loses Shmi Skywalker Lars, Luke and Leia lose Padme Amidala, Luke loses Aunt Beru, and it is unclear where Yoda came from. George Lucas seems to be pretty cavalier about eliminating moms from the picture. Could it be because he is a fully capable single dad?
Maybe the reason that boys love “Star Wars” so much is because George Lucas has imagined a universe where mothers are not necessary. Slashing down battle droids is fun. Not having your mom there to tell you to be careful and not poke your eye out is even better.
Last night at the dinner table our family talked some more about the mothers in “Star Wars.” If you had to pick a mom from the galactic line-up, who would it be? The choices are rather dismal. Shmi seems pretty pathetic, Padme wears bizarre outfits that would embarrass you in front of your friends, and Aunt Beru seems like she would be a nag.
I made the argument that Chewbacca was really the closest character to what I would envision a good parent to be. He is protective, vocal, loyal and really snuggly. There also is a scene in “Empire Strikes Back” where he carries C-3PO around on his back for a while. It was not a Moby wrap, but it was close.
The more I think about it, the more I can picture Chewbacca taking over my mom duties for me. Chewie would be a hit volunteering at school, he could probably fix my vacuum cleaner, and I bet he would convince my son to pick up his dirty socks.
Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at http://teachingmybabytoread.blog.com.