The Birth of a Star Wars Geek
A wretched hive of scum and villainy... oh, wait.
I’ve blogged in the past about introducing Henry to all things Star Wars and last year I wrote about how great I think Star Wars Lego is, and it’s the Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia which I talked about in the second blog that became Henry’s introduction to the Star Wars universe.
With me being a huge Star Wars fan it’s hard to not pick up a little geekiness just living in our house. Henry has been exposed to all sorts of models and posters and action figures on the walls and shelves here. One day Henry took the Star Wars encyclopedia off the shelf and started looking through it. He loved all the minifigures and the book swiftly became something we looked at every day. Within a week he knew some of the names and within a month he was pointing and naming Star Wars stuff all round the house. Although for some reason he always calls Admiral Ackbar “Daddy.”
He loved the Padawan Menace DVD and all the various Lego adventures it contained when we watched it together. They say you’re proud of your children when they first walk and with their first words and stuff like that. Nah… My proudest moment was when Henry looked at the various action figures in my Clone Trooper display cabinet and then pointed at one figure and said “Boba Fett there.” He was on the way to being a Star Wars fan and Lego had shown the way…
It was Henry’s Birthday last month and we decided that we’d introduce him to the junior Lego Duplo range, God knows he’s been trying to get his hands on my Star Wars Lego since he could stand up. It’s about time he had some of his own. To go along with the Duplosets we bought him we arranged a trip to Legoland in Windsor. As luck would have it our trip coincided with the recent opening of the Lego Star Wars Miniland Experience. This “experience” features Lego creations of seven dioramas from the six Star Wars movies and one from the animated Clone Wars series, all made out of over 1.5 million Lego bricks.
The exhibition is in its own dedicated futuristic looking building with a giant Lego Millennium Falcon over the door. As you pass through you’re treated to huge scenes of the battle of Christophsis, the battle of Naboo, Mos Eisley, the battle of Hoth and more; all with sound effects and lights and motion. It was great to watch my son wander through the place with a look of wonder on his face. It was even better when he started recognising stuff. With his little squeals of joy as he spotted “D2D2!” and “Larty!” and “Vader!” and “Yoda!” And yes, even Jar Jar Binks. The way Henry looks at Binks is making me revaluate the character ever so slightly, kids really do like the irritating Gungan. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age.
I must admit to getting a little excited at all the Lego creations myself, with a six foot long Millennium Falcon, a huge model of the Endor landing platform complete with Vader and shuttle and dog sized AT-ATs the various displays are all very impressive. The models are so intricate and the more you look the more little details you spot; Han and Greedo sat at a table in the cantina, Boba Fett hanging around outside a house on Tatooine… It all took me back to memories of the crude Star Wars models I used to try to make when I was a kid. I’m sure if I’d had access to these amounts of Lego bricks I’d have done a much better job of it.
The end of the exhibit, of course, leads you out into the shop. And dotted around the shop are various full sized depictions of characters from the films rendered in Lego. We had our photo taken with models of Darth Vader, Chewbacca, and C3PO. But it was Lego R2D2 that left the biggest impression. Henry spotted him from across the room and ran straight over squealing “D2D2! D2D2! D2D2!” With the speed Henry was approaching for a second I thought “D2D2!” was heading for a sticky end, but no, Henry stopped in front of the model of the little astromech and just pointed while he did a little dance, and looked to me and his mum with huge saucer eyes. I think he expected R2 to start beeping at him or follow him round the room.
All the rest of the park was great. The rides, the displays, all the various huge models made of Lego, it’s all very much aimed at the younger kids and we had lots of fun. But it was the Star Wars bit that left an impression. He kept mentioning R2 throughout the day and asking where the little droid was. So much so that he demanded we go round the exhibition again later in the day. And again he squealed over Lego R2.
If you have young children and you’re looking for a good day out I could do worse than recommend Legoland Windsor. The Star Wars part isn’t really worth going for alone, and it really is aimed at the kids rather than us grown up geeks, but as part of a family day out it’s a great little slice of geekery to go and see.
So, there you have it. Lego has started my son on the path to geek. It should be no problem showing him the Star Wars in a few years films now. But I’m still not sure what order we should watch them in…
May the fourth be with you.