Dad and I went to see Star Wars III last night. A few years ago I stopped giving my parents presents for Father's Day and Mother's Day. Now we go on adventures instead. Mom and I have been to the ballet and basketball games. Dad and I typically do baseball, with a few Star Wars exceptions.
This year we went to see Star Wars III together. I had seen it already of course, but watching movies over and over again is a habit/hobby that Dad and I have shared for my whole life, as I'm sure my mother and sister can attest to with exasperation. I just can't get sick of some movies. Every now and then you have to plug in Aliens and watch Ripley kick some ass.
I think that both my father and I have pretty well-rounded tastes in movies. While sitting in the theater yesterday and watching the movie trivia and popcorn ads scroll by, our conversation weaved between documentaries and tear-jerkers, actions and comedies, animation and live-action. Have you seen...? I saw a great one called... How long has it been since you watched...? Of course we've always had a special place in our hearts for the blow-stuff-up genre.
I was always astonished as a child to go to a friend's house and see that they were only allowed to watch G-rated family films. It's not that I didn't have a few Disney tapes (who are we talking about here, after all?) but I was also well versed in big people movies. The eye ball soup scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was a particular favorite of mine. I could tell the difference between a X-wing and tie fighter. I could recite the scripts of Die Hard and The Terminator. My father taught me well. Our conversations were laced with quips from the best movies ever.
Back off, man. I'm a scientist.
In a recent conversation with a friend, we were discussing how maternal instinct tends toward protection and nurturing while paternal instinct tends towards teaching. Most guys I know who are looking forward to having kids someday are primarily looking forward to showing their kid all the cool stuff that there is out there.
I remember once Dad brought home Beverly Hills Cop from the video store. I'm guessing I was 8 years old or so. We watched the whole thing together on a Saturday afternoon and after it was over, Dad asked me what I thought of it. I said that I liked it, the part where all the stuff blew up was certainly cool, but it was a lot like all the other cop action movies. Cop's partner is injured or killed so cop disobeys strict police chief/commissioner and seeks revenge. I don't know if I knew the word "formulaic" at age 8 or not, but I got the concept anyway. Dad nodded as if he expected this analysis and then leaned forward to impart some wisdom.
"Yeah, but this was the first one."
So yesterday we were watching Star Wars III in the movie theater in my home town -- the same theater where Dad and I waited in line to see Jurassic Park on opening day when I was 15. At a critical moment in the film, Yoda walks on screen and Dad smiles. I lean over and whisper, "Yoda's cool." "Yoda rocks!," my Dad corrects.
"Yes," I agreed. "Yoda rocks." And so do you, Dad. So do you.