Friday, September 18, 2009
One of the Good Guys
It's a conversation I'd hoped we'd be able to avoid until he was older. But television commercials, playground talk, and the natural curiosity of a 4-year-old forced my hand. Last week we began addressing one of the mysteries of life.
Is Anakin Skywalker a good guy or a bad guy?
When I was a kid (and I love saying that) life was simpler. Darth Vader was bad. Period. Sure, Luke ultimately saved him from the Emperor and they were reunited as a redeemed father and son. But Vader was the villain.
Then along came episodes 1-3. We see Anakin grow from a cute little boy into a lovesick teenager into a vengeful Jedi. He's the hero--albeit a doomed one-- and Anakin doesn't become Vader until the very end of chapter 3. As an adult I can appreciate the epic story cycle. I understand the complexities of character and the symbolism of fall and redemption.
D doesn't care about complexity and he hasn't seen any of the movies. He just wants to know where Anakin stands. When it comes time to play pretend with his buddies, he wants to play one of the good guys.
I pray that both of my sons always want to be the good guys. I love their gentle hearts and desire to do good and be the heroes.
So last week, I punted. Anakin starts out good, but he turns into a bad guy later. We moved on to Obi-wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo. Safe territory.
Satisfied for now, D's moved on to Transformers, a show that debuted after I'd graduated from high school. I guess that's a subject we'll study together.