The two sides of “The Force”

M and I are at our local playground and he’s insisted in me pushing him on one of the baby swings. He loves the swings and can go on for ages, and took this opportunity to loudly dissect the nature of the good versus bad side of The Force while I silently cringed.

I mentioned in M’s birthday poem that we threw him a Star Wars themed party. He’s been bitten with the Star Wars bug, big time, and has seen the original three movies plus the recently released ‘The Force Awakens.’

Star Wars is probably the most dark / violent movie that we’ve shown C and M, but we opened the floodgates after watching The Force Awakens sans children and remembering our mutual awe at the original trilogy growing up. So we thought we’d try the films out on our reasonably robust children.

But I’m also aware that the films are probably too adult and scary for some kids.  And ironically, M chose that moment in a crowded park with lots of 2 -3 year olds to muse about why there was a dark side to The Force and what it resulted in (in his analysis, people doing mean things and some Ewoks dying).  I could see the other adult glances.

After an initial wave of guilt and sheepishness, I got over myself and ploughed on with our conversation. I asked M if the films were make believe, and he confirmed they were. We discussed The Force as having a light and dark side, and how the dark side represented those who’d strayed from their morals and leading a kind life. Then we talked about how Darth Vader came back from the dark side in the end, realising the error of his ways. So it was reflective but reasonably light.  Sort of.

Have your kids seen Star Wars and did it precipitate interesting chat?

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