Thursday, June 7, 2012

Return of the Jedi Revenging the Phantom Empire Striking Back...

On March 15, 2012, I updated my Facebook status.

This is noteworthy for two reasons.

First, I agree with "Columbus" when it comes to status updates:

So, I update mine about once a year.

Secondly, this update was special. Here's the scene:

I was just about asleep in my less-than-comfortable Turkish dorm room bed, which was a feat in itself in that place. Suddenly, my eyes snapped open, and I rushed to my computer. I had been hit by a philosophical conundrum like a freight train. My mind was instantly, and from out of nowhere, assaulted with this question:

I mean, honestly, what is a good dad to do? I want my kids to be idolizing Han Solo, I want them to be able to tell you why Boba Fett did not die in the Sarlaac pit, and of course, I want this:

But I also want my kids to think that Qui-Gon was the stud he is, and I want for them to see how Anakin turns to the Dark Side, and I want them to want to punch Jar Jar...

Little did I know that this question would create a great debate among the students on our trip and would be by far the most commented upon thing ever to appear on my Facebook. 

It was fantastic. People gots serious. This turned into a full-scale debate.

Some people were logical,

Others appealed to emotion...

 Some layered their good points in appropriate humor...

Some were controversial...

 Others were just plain funny...
 Or snarky...

This was the closest I got to an answer I could settle upon...

Despite the excellent responses, and the less-than-excellent ones, I still didn't feel at peace. I would still freeze up during that pivotal parenting moment. I couldn't decide. Quickly subject my kids to Jar Jar Binks and the Clone Wars before they could completely understand the butchery, or risk them losing interest in 45 year old special effects.

I was doomed to spend the rest of the nights in that dorm room restlessly tossing and turning; unsure of my to-be-parenting-skills. 

The question would fester until I just learned to live with it. I would forget my identity crisis...


A light from Bespin came beaming down in the form of novelty... and magazine print.

I opened this month's issue of Wired and gasped aloud!

They had tackled my Lucas-inspired dilemma.

Wired wrote up an article describing their perfect viewing order. It maintains the integrity of the original series AND allows for integration of the prequels.

To her credit, I had a friend who pointed this order out to me on that very status:

See that? I have friends who are months ahead of professional journalists.

I'm still not 100% sold, but here are the morals of the story:

1.  It will be absolutely fascinating to see where the profession of journalism will be in 10, 15, and 20 years.

2. Social media is the new way in which news is broken. People will find out about worldwide events because of their own personal accounts - not because of news anchors or paper writers. Which is incredible - and kind of scary. People will increasingly become aware of world events - a sorely needed quality. But more and more of the world will get their news in silos. People will simply filter out anything they don't like. The legacy of 24 hour news networks will be that people will be able to dismiss sources as irrelevant just because they have a different narrative of every story.

3. Star Wars is awesome. During the year of its 35th anniversary, this series is still creating and fueling debates. Most importantly, these movies are gaining new fans in every generation. Even now, in this generation, which will be the first without a Star Wars movie in theaters (if you count the Special Edition screenings). That is simply stunning.