I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the second time this past weekend. The viewing was over Christmas break with my mother. I can’t remember the last time we saw a movie together, so watching an extension of the film series I enjoyed most in my childhood was quite nice.
The second viewing was quite different; my wife and I took our 4 year old twins to their first “big kid” (read: higher rating than G/PG) film. My son Sammy received an X-Wing for Christmas, and has since watched the original trilogy and prequel films. His favorite characters to play pre-Force were Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Luke Skywalker. Mildred, my daughter, wasn’t nearly as interested in the franchise but played Princess Leia and Han Solo.
Fast forward to Sunday after our return home: both kids wanted to be Rey (of course, since she’s a total bad ass), with less interest in Finn or Kylo Ren (although “Daddy” always has to be the bad guy, even if I prefer Vader or Fett).
Gretta and I always encourage our kids to disregard gender-normative roles and just be who they want to be, and Rey gave both of them added fuel for that fire.