It’s another May the 4th. Amazing how they just spring up on you every year at the exact same time. This year though – something is different about this year. No doubt, Star Wars fans are riding the high of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the critically and commercially hailed reboot of the franchise that in some ways had been crushed by the lack of critical success the prequels faced more than a decade ago.
In the wake of the drubbing those pictures took, there’s no doubt that the Star Wars world needed a roaring success at theatres for it to regain its rightful place as the space opera par excellence. That’s what J.J. Abrams managed to achieve with The Force Awakens, at least in my humble opinion. The criticism that the new film borrow far too heavily from A New Hope, while valid, overshadows the fact that The Force Awakens also gave us, dare I say, new hope, in the form of Rey.
This is the place where I get maudlin, so you’ll have to forgive me. But it’s hard to not get a little misty thinking about the character and just how much my own little girl loves Rey. While she’s only five, and has yet to watch The Force Awakens (“I’ll watch it when I’m six, Dadda”), my girl absolutely adores Rey. At night I tell her stories about Rey, some straight from the movie, others out of my own imagination. We talk about how brave and strong and cool Rey is, and my girl finds her inspiring in a way only a child could. I find Rey inspiring in a way that only a father could.
Rey is a character that doesn’t need rescuing. She doesn’t need a man to hold her hand and get her out of harms way. And damnit, she’s such a good pilot, I bet she could make the Kessel Run in less than ELEVEN parsecs.
Us geek dads, especially those of us with daughters, we’re so lucky to have this character to share with our kids. So this May the 4th, a tip of the hat to J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt, who wrote this character for our girls, and to Daisy Ridley, who embodied her with such life and spirit.
WAYS TO SPEND MAY THE 4TH:
Gaming – For the kids, I highly recommend picking up Disney Infinity 3.0 and grabbing The Force Awakens game set, which comes with Rey and Finn characters. The game play is just a ton of fun, as you play out scenes from the movie while also being giving a fairly open sandbox to explore. For the adults, Battlefront is a graphically sound multiplayer game that puts you into some fierce battles. Mind you, adults will get a kick out of Disney Infinity 3.0 just as much. Stick with that.
Books – As always, our pals at DK have some solid Star Wars titles out for this time of year. Their latest Star Wars Character Encyclopedia has been updated to include characters from The Force Awakens, and is an easily accessible overview of the galaxy of creatures, heroes and villains that make up the galaxy far, far away. Marvel has always been publishing outstanding Star Wars cannon comics for the past year and a half, and those are well worth picking up. You can read our overviews of Darth Vader and the ongoing Star Wars series here.