No. I am your father!

Since Sunday is Father’s Day, here are six lessons for fathers that I’ve learned from Star Wars.

StarWars-Front

Have you ever watched Star Wars twenty or thirty times in the last six months? I have, and it really makes you start seeing things through X-wing-colored glasses. Since Sunday is Father’s Day, here are six lessons for fathers that I’ve learned from Star Wars.

— ∮∮∮ —

But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!

No whining. Ever.

If I was Uncle Owen, not only would Luke not be headed over to Tosche Station to waste time with his friends, but after whining like that he’d be cleaning protocol droids for the rest of the summer.

Kids relentlessly wield whining like a dual-bladed lightsaber. But with me, whining gets you nowhere, it gets you less than nowhere, it gets you back before you started. You’ve got to develop an impervious shield, that when activated causes the whiner to slowly vanish from existence. No joke, just ask my son (if he still exists)!

Come in 3PO! 3PO! Where could he be?

Be there.

At some point in your life as a dad, your kid’s going to be stuck in a garbage compactor on the detention level. Of course it may not be a literal garbage compactor, but either way, you’re going to need to be there to shut that thing down.

But be warned: the risk of becoming the garbage compator is real. While kids need help with lots of things (lots of poop-related things), they need to learn to do stuff on their own. Meddle too much and you’ll crush their inquisitive drive.

Your powers are weak, old man.

They grow up fast.

It will happen, and it will happen sooner than you thought it would. Eventually you will transition from font of coolness to big sack of lame. No longer will your child come to you for information about how the world works, but they will turn to their no-good and (probably) Galactic Empire-supporting friends. The passing of time will strike you down.

If you’re lucky your kid will keep your shimmering ghost on the sidelines and along for the ride. Here’s hoping he won’t decide to replace you with Hayden Christensen.

And I thought they smelled bad…on the outside.

Kids are disgusting.

I don’t know if you’ve ever met a kid, but they are disgusting little creatures that like disgusting things. Most kids would happily live inside of a tauntaun eating nothing but bantha fodder if they could, just to make you do more laundry. Depending on their stage of life they will shit, piss, and vomit on your person. And not just once, either.

Unfortunately, this the way of things, and I write these words for the uninitiated fathers–to prepare them. If the thought of vomit makes you want to take a dive into a sarlacc pit, with any luck you have a partner who doesn’t mind being coated in the digestive fluids of their offspring. If you’re alone on this one…may the Force be with you.

Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking…nerf herder!

Keep it posi.

Two lessons here:

1) I don’t care what galaxy you’re from or how long ago it was, but “nerf herder” is a weak insult.

2) What do you gain from hurling insults around like asteroids in an asteroid field? Other than alienating possible friends and allies, not much. And your children, your little sponge-brained children, are always watching you ready to emulate your every word and deed.

It’s never charming or cute to put other people down, so just don’t do it, especially around your kids. After all, luminous beings are we.

It’s a trap!

Don’t take the bait.

I’m convinced that all kids are born to the dark side. From the age of zero, they begin to manipulate you: pushing you towards conflict and hate, trying to turn you to the dark side as well. Why do they do this? More ice cream and Spider-man toys.

Sometimes, and kids are masters at this, they’ll lure you in with what looks like a incomplete space station just to, POW!, hit you with a fully functional Death Star II. But don’t take the bait and attack unnecessarily! Bide your time and wait for an opportunity to engage when level heads may prevail.

This advice applies to kids who’ve grown up, as well.

— ∮∮∮ —

Special thanks to my two best Star Wars pals, Emperor Philpatine and Suebacca, for help on this one!

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Ross Catrow

Ross loves his family, Richmond, and beer (in that order). He is the master and commander of the good ship RVANews, and he watches a lot of movies.

7 comments on No. I am your father!

  1. The SW-reference-per-square-inch ratio is satisfactory.

  2. Ross Catrow on said:

    @Tess Only satisfactory!?

  3. R Day on said:

    As a father and a son, your advice is as sagey (word?) as it comes. I read this with my 10 year old at my side. We both laughed and agreed. HFD to you.

  4. I will re-read this again with my 9-year-old son by my side. Ross, you should stand before the entire rebel fleet and awarded a medal by woman with cinnamon buns on each side of her head for this fantastic column. Reminded me of this I will have to look forward to later in life if I don’t parent correctly now:

    DARTH: “When I left you, I was but the learner, now I am the master.”
    OBI-WAN: “Only a master of evil, Darth.”

  5. @Phil Riggan Hahahahaha why didn’t we think of that one???

  6. David Dorr on said:

    Excellent piece. I can’t wait for my son to be old enough for Star Wars.

  7. John D Watt on said:

    Fabulous writing, Ross. Just shared this with my 23-year-old son who was raised on Star Wars (over and over again!).

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