“The Empire Strikes Back Is Boring”

“The Empire Strikes Back Is Boring”

The Empire Strikes Back is boring.” Those were the words that came from my 10-year-old son’s mouth several months ago. After I recovered from the sheer shock I had just experienced, I checked my son for any possible head injuries. After running him through an NFL-level concussion test, I decided it must be something else that caused this nonsense to come from my son. He is a very intelligent boy so something had to be wrong. The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite movie of all time. Surely my son didn’t mean what he said. So I asked him if he was just joking. He assured me nothing was medically wrong with him, he was not joking, and this was his honest opinion. He said he likes TESB, but it’s just kind of boring to him. He also likes Pacific Rim and no one in their right mind likes that movie, right? (I’m looking at you, Cory Clubb.)

Empire poster

I then went to my 8-year-old son and he agreed with what my 10-year-old said. Maybe it was bad parenting. No, that couldn’t be it. So I had to make sure they were both actually my sons. After a long discussion with my wife about their paternity she assured me that they were both my sons, and that they just disagreed with my opinion about The Empire Strikes Back. All three of my sons (I also have a 4-year-old) love Star Wars. They all have different favorite Star Wars movies: Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and The Force Awakens. My favorite Star Wars character is Darth Vader, but he is not the favorite of any of my sons. And that’s ok. In fact, it’s awesome!

Vader and Luke

As you know, Star Wars fans can be amazing and usually are. The singing of the French national anthem at Star Wars Celebration Europe during a moment of silence for the victims of a terrorist attack in Paris is proof of that. But sometimes we get a little cranky with each other when we don’t agree on all things in the Star Wars galaxy. Just bring up online the old debates of prequel trilogy vs. original trilogy, Hayden Christensen, Jake Lloyd, Jar Jar Binks, Han Solo movie, or Ewoks and see what happens. You will get a myriad of opinions on all of those topics and those discussions can get pretty heated.

We have these debates about sports all the time. CWK blogger Mike Audette and I go back and forth quite often on Twitter about the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. I love the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, and Mike is wrong. No big deal. I consider Mike a great friend. I’m never going to convince Mike that he should be a Broncos fan and he’s never going to convince me that the Patriots aren’t the Palpatine of professional sports. But we will always agree that we love football and we love Star Wars. (Don’t tell Mike that I think Tom Brady is amazing, actually.)

Talking to my sons about this helped me realize even more that we all can be and are Star Wars fans even though we like different things in Star Wars. My 10-year-old wasn’t trying to be rude and I certainly wasn’t going to hate him because his favorite film isn’t The Empire Strikes Back. So why would I hate someone else for not agreeing with my opinion? It can actually be fun to have the debates. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to convince my kids that TESB is the best movie of all time, but I still haven’t changed their minds. And to be honest, I really hope I don’t change their minds. I want them to disagree with me. I want them to try to convince me that they are right. Unless they are trying to convince me to see Pacific Rim 2. We may have to settle it with lightsabers if it comes to that.

Luke and Vader

Thanks so much for reading my blogs each month. I do appreciate it. If you’d like to have any friendly debates on Twitter you can contact me @ryderwaldrondds or email me at ryderw@coffeewithkenobi.com. And remember:

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  1. mithrandirolorin
    August 11, 2016 at 14:00 Reply

    Empire is adequate, but I’m not super impressed by Episodes IV of V.

  2. Jay Krebs
    August 12, 2016 at 16:39 Reply

    Omg, Ryder…I can just hear your voice throughout this whole entry, and I couldn’t stop laughing!
    Of course, your sense of humor and mine are very similar, as are our attitudes about the heated disparity that often occurs within the fandom!
    TESB is my favorite Star Wars movie….now. But, like your son, quite honestly it was my LEAST favorite of the original trilogy when I was 10 (which was when it was released in theaters). Return of the Jedi was my favorite of the three, and was released the summer I turned 13.
    What I have ultimately found to be true (at least for myself), is that Star Wars speaks to me in different ways, at different times in my life. The bridge scene in ROTJ, when I was a teenager, was just a filler scene. Now,as a parent, that scene has become one of the most powerful moments in the saga for me.
    So, be patient keep rooting for the Broncos (Goodness knows I’ll never debate the “greatness” of the Browns…), and have that conversation with your son(s) about TESB in a few years… and keep on having a many conversations as possible!!
    Perspective is everything!
    Such a fun read, Ryder! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. pambruchwalski
    August 18, 2016 at 06:46 Reply

    LOVE THIS! And I agree whole-heartedly….that the Patriots are the Palpatine of professional sports. 🙂

    You touch on such an important point…that in our Star Wars fandoms, as in everything, it’s OK to be different. No two people are the same, so why should our fandoms and preferences be the same? I know that I *learn* from those who think differently than I do, about Star Wars and about life.

  4. My Son and the ARC Troopers | Coffee With Kenobi
    October 11, 2016 at 08:01 Reply

    […] I like to think that I know my kids pretty well, aside from the fact that I rarely call them by their correct names. I know their favorite colors, foods, sports, books, teams, and TV shows. I know what makes them happiest and what makes them want to go Kylo Ren and impale me with the nearest lightsaber. But last week I was talking to my eight-year-old son about Star Wars and began wondering what is his favorite Star Wars installment if he could choose from the movies, The Clone Wars series, the Star Wars Rebels episodes, and any of the Lego Star Wars episodes. I suggested to my son that after he told me his favorite that we watch it together, dissect it in a very Coffee With Kenobi way, and write a blog about our experience. I’m always interested to get different points of view on Star Wars from fans of different age groups to see how they perceive and process it. And to make sure I’m raising my children properly. This is up for debate since my eleven-year-old son revealed to me recently that he thinks The Empire Strikes Back is boring, as some of you may have read in this blog. […]

  5. Melinda
    October 18, 2016 at 08:24 Reply

    My favorite Star Wars film is “Return of the Jedi”. What do you have to say about that? 😉

    What a fun read, Ryder! 🙂 Yes, one of the best aspects of Star Wars is that we all enjoy talking about it — what we like, don’t particularly care for, delving deeply into all aspects of it. Even when I don’t have the same opinion about one facet or another, I oftentimes can walk away from a conversation with new insight into a character/aspect. 🙂

    My favorite character is Luke Skywalker. Although she has “a few favorites”, my eldest daughter’s (in her 20s) favorite is Wicket. My youngest daughter’s (also in her 20s) is Boba Fett. (Hmm… one of these days I’ll have to ask my husband who tops his list. 😉 ) Did I ever try to convince either of my girls to come over to “Luke’s side”? 😉 That would have been an interesting conversation. 😉

    Interesting that each of your boys’ favorite is a non-OT movie. Well, maybe “interesting” is not the correct adjective to use. 😉

    Thanks for sharing this tale! MTFBWY 🙂

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