Maybe it’s the appalling lack of sleep I got last night due to relentless and excessive wind gusts, but today I feel myself oddly compelled to write about Star Wars. The Star Wars saga permeates our house. Action figures traverse the staircase. Countless Star Wars encyclopedias litter bookshelves and tables. A two-foot tall Imperial AT-AT Walker stands sentry in the family room. Our daily conversations are peppered with words from worlds that don’t exist, worlds like Tatooine, Naboo, Alderaan, and Geonosis. And, at least once a day I am sure I use the term “gunship.” I have no one to blame for this complete Star Wars infiltration but myself. I introduced my boys to it. And now, two years later, my 9 year old is as wrapped up in Star Wars as my male classmates were when I was 9.
As an adult, I admire the series because George Lucas is a genius. He just is. He created one of the biggest franchises ever. He has not only vision but the talent to turn his ideas into a reality. Even if I didn’t care for Star Wars as a story (which, by the way, I completely do), I would still admire George Lucas simply for his creativity, meticulous attention to detail, and skill at bringing his ideas to fruition. So, honestly, I don’t mind that my boys are completely addicted to Star Wars. I don’t even mind that every Friday night, without fail, I get hounded to let them stay up until 10 p.m. so they can watch a new Clone Wars episode as it airs. Because, at the end of the day, I know that through the series there are valuable lessons about life, loyalty, friendship, good and evil, and human nature.
What I like best about Star Wars, especially when thinking about my boys and their impressionability, is that the females kick ass. There. I said it. If you must, please forgive the profanity, but seriously…”kick booty” or “kick butt” just makes the characters seem weaker than they truly are. I get so depressed seeing females cast merely as the hot sidekicks in action flicks. Princess Leia has intelligence, determination, and attitude in spades. She may be tiny, but she’s not about to get relegated to the background. Jedi females Aayla Secura, Adi Gallia, and Luminara Unduli are wise and skillful in battle; they are considered equals by their male Jedi peers. And, the villainous females, like Asajj Ventress and Aurra Sing, truly personify the Shakespearean phrase, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” I love them all. But, what appeals to me the most is that my boys see them and recognize them as powerful in their own right.
Call me crazy, but that’s how I want my boys to see me too. That is one of the reasons that I take on these adventures and that I push myself to achieve. I don’t want them to see me merely as a means to obtain clean laundry and awesome chocolate chip cookies, although I am that as well. I want them to honor that I am capable in many ways. I want them to believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that I am intelligent, strong, determined, and powerful…a force to be reckoned with. If I do my job then perhaps by the end of my time with my sons, they won’t think of me as a strong woman but remember me instead as a strong person.
So, as I sit here today coming up with a loose training plan for the upcoming spring and summer months, I think of those Star Wars females. I envision applying my inner Jedi to achieve great personal successes this summer, no matter how difficult the challenge might be. I imagine using Jedi mind tricks to convince others to watch my children so I can spend hours in my bike saddle. And, I know that by the end of summer 2011 when I have achieved all my short-term goals, I will be even more powerful than I am today. Go forth with Jedi strength and kick ass, my friends. May the force be with you.