10 Things Star Wars can teach your kids

Today is International Star Wars Day (4th May)… ‘May the 4th be with you’ – get it? If you don’t, you’re clearly not a Star Wars fan. As a Star Wars geek and parent I thought I’d investigate the things this infamous series could teach your offspring. There’s lots of things it could teach them, but I’ve kept it to a compact ten. So here goes:

  1. Treasure your friends: Friends come in all shapes and sizes. But if you find a loyal one who’s willing to fight by your side (think of the likes of the Wookie Chewbacca, also referred to as Chewie) then those are the ones you cherish and don’t take for granted.
  2. Don’t underestimate (little) people. Mentor Yoda is amused by Luke being unimpressed with his size, quipping: “Judge me by my size, do you?” Teach your kids not to make judgements about someone just because they are small or different. Yoda and the Ewoks were small in stature but boy could they fight!
  3. Always repay your debts. If you owe money be sure to pay it back otherwise there will always be a Jabba the Hutt chasing you across the galaxy to get his money back. There’s no use avoiding it and hiding like Solo did. You don’t want to be stuck in carbonite all your life, do you?
  4. Believe in yourself. Yoda says a lot of things that bring up ‘light bulb type moments’, but one of my favourite sayings is: “Do or do not, there is no try.” Of course bad guy Darth Vader also quipped: “I find your lack of faith disturbing”. Even if evil, he was also a great believer in having confidence in what you do and surrounding himself with ‘doers’. What a great motto to live by and instil in your kids!
  5. Women can be leaders and there’s not much of a deal made about it because in their world, it’s normal. In the Star Wars’ ‘The Force Awakens’, we meet Rey a feisty, ass-kicking, lightsabre wielding female protagonist who doesn’t need rescue. Many claim she’s the feminist hero we’ve all been waiting for. And of course in the first series we had Princess Leia. Yes they put Princess Leia in a bikini for the boys (and men) to ogle at. But she was a strong character that took no nonsense – something for any little girl to aspire to.
  6. Having a sense of humour will help in getting your love interest. As the garbage compactor threatens to crush Han Solo and Princess Leia, Solo jokes “One things for sure, we’re all gonna get a lot thinner.” With his twinkling eye and confident smirk, Solo often tackles adversity head on but never without a joke or two – something that I’m sure won over Leia in the end.
  7. Don’t let the odds hold you back. Nervous and danger-averse, but extremely polite droid C-3PO (See-Threepio) warns Han Solo “Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating that asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1.” Solo retorts: “Never tell me the odds,” and then successfully navigates the asteroid field.
  8. Don’t say ‘I have a bad feeling about this’. This is usually followed by something bad occurring. It’s like saying “It can’t get any worse” – that’s surely just tempting fate!
  9. Don’t give into the ‘Dark Side’. Anger, fear, evil, greed and ambitions that come with a ‘I’ll get there no matter what or who I hurt’, turn Anakin Skywalker into the menacing, loathed, Hitler-esque Darth Vader that destroys planets and throttles people to death at a whim. Negative emotions can’t be avoided but in Star Wars it’s all about not giving into these emotions and letting them get the best of you.
  10. Families are always complicated and you don’t get to choose who your parents are. When Luke SkyWalker found out his father was the evil Darth Vader who went around murdering people who got in his way he didn’t tell his father to park his TIE Fighter around the corner and pretend not to know him. No, he continued to believe there was good in him and succeeded it turning him back to the good side. Our Star Wars characters may live in a land far, far away with more advanced technology than we may ever see in our lifetimes, but even they have family problems.

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