Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jedi Old School, Jedi New School

For thirty years, since the first Star Wars movie was released, children around the world have brandished sticks and plastic toys, making lightsaber sounds and pretending to be Jedi. Even on the movie set for the later trilogy, the lead actors were reportedly reminded that the sound effects would be added later, so they should stop making whooshing noises and moving their lips during fights. The fascination remains, but some things have changed.

In 1977, the audience was enthralled with the basic concept of a laser sword. A lot of times, the lightsaber was just moving around in the air- Ben demonstrating or Luke practicing. Thus, the humming, buzzing noises that we made as children.
In the newer movies, the Jedi and enemy Sith engage in many high speed fights, so Q-ster makes a zzzttt, zzzztttt noise when playing, the sound of two sabers clashing in battle. Generationally differentiated, child-made sound effects!
Note: For those who were wondering, most of the little dude’s exposure to Star Wars is from the Lego game, where the action is jolly and cute. He’s seen long segments of Episode I: the Phantom Menace (Jar Jar Binks may be irritating, but he’s funny to kids, plus scenes like the pod race are also very accessible), and several child-friendly pieces of Episode IV (the original movie). The other, more graphic material will wait until he’s older.

When he plays with his preschool buddy K, Q-ster is Obi-wan (young action hero of the Phantom Menace) and his friend is Luke, since the K’s dad started his boys with the original Star Wars. I think the best part of this Star Wars obsession is seeing how much fun and creativity whole families have with all the silliness.

Baby's first lightsaber duel, a few weeks ago. I don't think I've ever seen Buster giggle so much.


Damselfly said...

Ah, ode to the lightsaber. How could a person grow up with Star Wars and not ever once pretend to have a lightsaber? :) Your kiddo obviously loves it!

I have to admit, even within the past year, a friend and I used glow-in-the-dark "rave" bracelets, unlooped, to "fight."

Christina said...

How cute! Are those balloons with tape around the end? What a great idea for making lightsabers!