3 ways to bond with your kids while enjoying the new blockbuster.
This Thursday, Star Wars: The Force Awakens roars into theaters. It’s already setting records for ticket pre-sales and will likely be one of the biggest movies of all time. As a 41-year-old male, I’m excited for the chapter in the Star Wars saga—a series that in many ways defined my childhood. (For more thoughts on how Star Wars has impacted men of all ages, check out this post in our Manhood and Movies series.)
But The Force Awakens presents a golden opportunity not only for men who are looking for a good dose of nostalgia, but for fathers who want to bond with their kids. Here are three ways the new film can help you do that.
1. You can rest easy knowing it’s good, clean fun.
I have always appreciated that my son can watch any of the Star Wars movies or TV shows without encountering a lot of bad language, graphic violence, or sexual content. I remember taking my then 11-year old nephew to the first Transformers movie in 2007. I thought, “It’s Transformers—what could possibly be objectionable?” I was surprised and embarrassed at all the potty humor and sexual innuendo in a movie that’s based on a line of toys.
But you won’t have that experience at a Star Wars movie. It’s basically good, clean fun that families can enjoy together. I would note, however, that The Force Awakens is rated PG-13 for “sci-fi action violence,” so use your own judgment.
2. You can bond over a shared experience.
I remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back as a kid with my family, and that’s always been a special memory. My wife saw Return of the Jedi with her father when she was 11. (He passed away several years ago.) Our son is now 11, and she’s been looking forward to enjoying The Force Awakens with him ever since it was announced.
Many adults have special memories of seeing one or more of the original Star Wars movies with friends or family. This is a great opportunity to create a new shared experience with your own kids. You might even want to revisit the original trilogy or the (gasp!) the prequel trilogy.
3. You can enjoy Star Wars toys and games together.
The Star Wars universe extends well beyond the movies. Lucasfilm has been licensing toys, books, games, and loads of other merchandise for decades. Star Wars is great universe to play in because it contains so many interesting characters, location, and ships. The possibilities for fun are endless. As a father, this gives you a great excuse to play with your kids.
A few years ago, we got our son the Lego Death Star set for Christmas. (My wife worked at a retail store at the time, so thankfully we were able to get a good deal on it because of her employee discount.) It was a great father-son project, and we had an absolute blast putting it together.
It’s rare that I talk to anyone who actively dislikes Star Wars. Most people enjoy the movies, and some absolutely love them. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, consider taking the opportunity to make some great memories with your kids when The Force Awakens hits theaters.
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