Happy Star Wars Day: May the Fourth Be With You!
A long time ago in a galaxy not so very far away I discovered Star Wars. When I think of Star Wars I think of uncle's house circa 1983 and their wooden-paneled basement TV room. They were the first people I knew to have a satellite dish and a VCR and we spent a lot of time watching Star Wars down there. I think of them every year on May 4, otherwise known as Star Wars Day. May the fourth, I mean force, be with you!
On those afternoons at my uncle's house we probably never were there long enough to to see any of the movies in their entirety. Or at least I -- the youngest by a long shot -- never seemed to be allowed to hang out with the boys long enough to watch any of them all the way through, yet I remember always knowing who all the characters were and what happened in each of the movies. My youth is also my excuse for being excessively fond of the Ewoks. I thought they were cute and I was in the prime age group the Ewoks television show. I outgrew it. (Mostly.) And who can forget when C-3PO and R2D2 appeared on Sesame Street! My childhood was a happy Star Wars place.
When I was in university I had a Yoda poster on my wall because I thought the "Do. Or do not. There is no try." message might inspire me to study more. (It didn't.) My friends and I might have attempted a Star Wars drinking game once or twice. One of my roommates tried to argue that Yoda didn't have the best English skills, considering he was a Jedi master. I told her to just wait until she was 900 years old to see how good her language skills would be. My friends and I went to see the Phantom Menace and groaned our way through the dialogue while enjoying every second of it. No one writes bad dialogue quite like George Lucas.
Now that I'm grown up and many of our friends have kids just the right age for Star Wars I have fun sending them all the fun Star Wars stuff I find on the internet. My favorite thing to share with them are the many fun Star Wars themed books I find.
Two of my favorites are Tom Angleberger's middle grade fiction stories The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back. He has a third book, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, coming out in August. If you can't wait for his books to try making your own origami Yoda, he has a section on his website dedicated to Star Wars papercraft.
It was Spydergrrl who alerted me to Jeffrey Brown's Darth Vader and Son. As the jacket copy says, imagine what it would have been like if Darth Vader had taken an active role in raising his son? Spydergrrl pointed out it's probably more of a coffee table book than a bedtime story but it brings the hilarity.
Darth Vader and Son is published by Chronicle Books and it's not their only fun Star Wars book. Have you ever wondered what exactly Chewbacca was saying? Then you might need a copy of How to Speak Wookiee: A Manual for Intergalactic Communication. Just thinking about it makes me giggle. Following the same theme they have a cookbook called Wookiee Cookies and on their blog they shared a couple of recipes from it, including Yoda Soda. While I'm sure many of the customers at the Mos Eisley Cantina (Chalmun's Spaceport Cantina if you want to be really technical about it) drank far more potent drinks, I think some Yoda Soda would go really well with our Friday night pizza.
I haven't forgotten the grown ups. Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary would be a hit with both the young and those that are young at heart. I'm convinced Star Wars: The Prequel Trilogy has to have better dialogue than the films. The three books align with Star Wars episodes I-III and are written by Terry Brooks, R. A. Salvatore and Matthew Stover. I've heard that Stover's Revenge of the Sith is especially good if you want a glimpse into the dark heart of Anakin Skywalker.