Like most of us born in the late 70s, I grew up a Star Wars kid. I remember seeing Return Of The Jedi in theatres, collecting as many figures as I could get my hands on, playing with my Millennium Falcon, and reading the Marvel comics throughout their run. As I hit my 20s, I lined up for a few hours to see The Phantom Menace on opening night, even going so far as to see it two more times in theatres after that, convinced it was a good film (it’s not, but it does have some great moments).
Now I’m a dad to a three year old, and the constant discussion the Queen and I often have is when do we introduce certain things to our daughter. Horror is obviously not going to be on her radar until she’s in university, but the Princess has already discovered Ghostbusters through a few harmless episodes of The Real Ghostbusters and the app she found on my iPad. Recently though, with Star Wars Reading Day approaching and on my radar, I thought I would see about introducing her to the world of Star Wars. The franchise is built for kids in so many ways (much to the chagrin of a lot of older fans who still can’t get over Jar-Jar Binks), and our pals at DK have been publishing some amazing books designed for kids my daughter’s age. I wasn’t sure if she’s be interested, but I should have known better.
The first two books we looked at together were from the Star Wars Readers line – Who Saves The Galaxy? and What Is A Wookiee? These books are written simply, in a way that quickly engaged my daughter, featuring pictures from all the films, and are a good introduction to the various characters, from Luke Skywalker to Sebulbah. The only pages that she insists we skip are a two-page spread in What Is A Wookiee? that features Jabba The Hut (I don’t blame her). Those two books have actually become our go-to, pre-bed reading, with C3P0 and R2-D2 already favourites in our house.
The third book we’ve been looking at is Lego: The Yoda Chronicles, which you can consider a biography of Yoda, told tongue-in-cheek using Lego figures and vehicles. There isn’t really a narrative running through it though, so we tend to go to certain pages and talk about the various characters that we see. It’s a fun book though, and my daughter has absolutely fallen in love with Yoda (having a Lego figure come with the book is a nice touch too).
On a day when the world is engaged in Star Wars Reads, its nice to be able to tell you how engaging these books genuinely have been to my own child. As we read (and reread and reread some more) these easy entry titles, I’m always struck with just how ingrained in our pop culture world the mythology George Lucas created is. With a few years to go until Episode VII, these readers will help prep my family for whatever comes next for Star Wars.
In the meantime, isn’t it time we all got over Jar-Jar Binks. Kids love him.