Sunday, December 13, 2015

Star Wars, FOMO & Getting Ready for The Force Awakens

As my family’s Year of Star Wars Part 1 is coming to an end, when my boys become indoctrinated, initiated and almost institutionalized with Star Wars Fever, it has occurred to me that I’m suffering from a retroactive case of FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out.

FOMO is an acronym defined as ”anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”

I’m generally not a jealous person and am generally happy for people who post their trips-of-a-lifetime pics on Facebook (as long as they don’t post 300), so that’s not really a point of FOMO for me. Though we all have our regrets, the one that has been on my mind lately is ironically something that I missed out on even though I was actually there.

Earlier this year at the Dad 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, one night we were bussed into the Presidio for an event at Lucasfilm. It was pretty cool walking on the hallowed grounds where so much movie magic has taken shape, yet at the same time I have to admit that I was a bit tuned out. I’d always been into Star Wars, but at the time I hadn’t seen any of the movies in quite a while and since becoming a parent my memory of the two moons of Tatooine had been replaced with a permanent memorization of Goodnight Moon. Needless to say at the time my kids’ interests were attuned elsewhere beyond a galaxy far, far away.

It’s not as though I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings, it’s more that I just wasn’t in a Star Wars frame of mind, so it was an amazing place to be, but I was elsewhere while I was there. That being said:

I was lucky to be greeted at the event by the wisest Jedi of all:

Given directions by these two gents dressed in reverse tuxedos:

And greeted by one of the more notorious parents in film history:

Fortunately I got a warm hug from this trusty little Droid:

I was given a sneak peak that night of the hilariously clever and pithy Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales and that kickstarted some of those memories for me. I was eager to introduce that series and the larger series it inspired to my boys, and a few months later I did. Hesitantly. I wasn’t sure if (then) 5 1/2 & 2 1/2 year old boys would really understand the movies, but I can honestly say that from the first loud blast of the Star Wars theme preceding Episode IV, they were hooked. We spent the summer watching all six movies, debating their merits, highlights and lowlights and wishing we all had real lightsabers of our own.

We’ve learned a lot along the way about family, relationships and communication, because when you really look at the root of the Star Wars saga, it’s about a troubled man who sacrificed everything for the woman he loved (and lost) and again, later in life, for his son. Anakin Skywalker suffered from the ultimate case of FOMO and thankfully he was able to redeem himself as his life concluded. Though he did miss out on most of his children’s lives, at least he saw that his son became the success he never could. So his fear of missing out was extinguished as his soul was put to rest.

I’ve also erased the thoughts that I missed out on my night at Lucasfilm with the few memories of amazing things I saw there, not the least of which was this LEGO bust of George Lucas, which quasi-resembled Burt Reynolds in Boogie Nights. 

Now, I’m ready to absorb The Force Awakens with my family on the big screen, opening weekend. To paraphrase Yoda, “miss out, we will not.”

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