In Which Storytelling and Character Defeat the Dark Side

Seriously, though, would you mess with Leia?

My husband has, on occasion, told people that our greatest failing as parents was our inability to get our kiddo interested in Star Wars. For her, it all seemed to boil down to: parents’ love of the movies + stubborn resistance to things parents love = disinterest in Star Wars.

Fair enough—we’ve all been there with our own parents and our own personal Star Wars.

But this past weekend, we finally sat down and watched Episode IV: A New Hope. The next day, I got a request to doozy up her hair in Princess Leia buns. I’d love to say this was a parental victory, but it had nothing to do with us. In reality, the conversion happened because of the power of story and character.

It was an interesting exercise watching the movie through someone else’s fresh eyes—and through the eyes of the person who matters most in the world to us. It also was interesting talking to her about characters like Han Solo, who seems like less than a good guy at first (and who maintains that delicious edge of scoundrel even later on)—and about Darth Vader, whose back story my kiddo doesn’t know and whose role in the story remains mysterious. It was amazing to hear things like, “Don’t mess with Princess Leia!” afterward and to see how this character captured my kiddo’s attention just as she did mine when I was a girl.

Because who doesn’t get caught up in a bold, brave, problem-solver like Leia—someone whose dedication to her cause is unstoppable, but who is completely human (and more than a little sarcastic) at the same time. Or Han, who is more than he believes himself to be. Or Luke, who yearns to do something important and change the world. And don’t even get me started on the layers upon layers that make up Obi Wan.

So, it wasn’t dedicated Star Wars parents who changed my kiddo’s mind—it was the story and the characters. And it served as a good reminder that these two things aren’t just to be found in books. They’re on television and in movies, in video games and in plays—and they’re important in all forms. So as much as this one movie opened my kiddo up to new possibilities, she (and the movie) reminded the die-hard book person that I am that my chosen story format isn’t the only one. Star Wars: blowing my mind since 1977.

Just don’t get me started on episodes I-III….

Mad-libbing it with The Bachelor—Because the End of the “Journey” Is Near

Will you accept this rose?

This week the Bachelor takes ____________________ (female name) on a date to ________________________ (place name). They travel to their romantic date on a _________________________ (mode of transportation). It’s so beautiful there! The Bachelor and __________________________ (same female name) can’t believe that they get to visit such a place. They can talk about nothing else. (No, really, they have nothing else to talk about).

____________________________ (same place name) is the perfect place to fall in love. But just as they begin to get comfortable, a ___________________________ (different mode of transportation) arrives to whisk them off to ___________________________ (different place name). Believe it or not, it’s the perfect place to fall in love, too! This is the best date of their entire lives. It really seems like they’re both here for the Right Reasons.

To prove it, though, she’ll first have to tackle her fear of _________________________ (common phobia). Because the only way you can show that you’re truly ready for love is to overcome her greatest phobia.

But even with that behind them, the Bachelor begins to have doubts. Will her _________________________ (noun) get in the way of her making a serious commitment? There’s only one way to find out—spending time alone together in the Fantasy Suite. They both claim they’re looking forward to a whole night of talking and getting to know each other better, but viewers know that the Fantasy Suite is really a code for _____________________________ (verb ending in -ing).

Soon it will be time for the final episode, but will the Bachelor choose ____________________________ (same woman’s name) or will _______________________________ (different woman’s name) win his heart in the end and receive the final __________________________________ (plant or flower name)?

Tune in next week for the most _______________________________ (adjective ending in –ing) episode of The Bachelor ever!

[image via ABC/Craig Sjodin]