I had the pleasure of attending my 8-year old nephew’s birthday party this past weekend. Much like my own boys at that age, he couldn’t wait to explain to me in excruciating detail all the Lego sets he owned, the ones he still wanted, and the play-by-play descriptions of all the online videos showing these play sets in action. His parents were happy to let me indulge him as I think their own ears were weary by that point.
I listened patiently, in full knowledge that my attention meant a great deal to him and that my alternative was to join the adults who were recounting all the sports news from the week. Like any geek worth his salt, even a boy’s ramblings about Star Wars Legos held more appeal than another rerun of the NBA playoffs.
To his credit, young Brian had an impressive command of the Star Wars canon. This despite a curious refusal to watch the movies. Unlike my own boys who started with the movies and then collected the toys and played the video games, he started the other way around. He knows the plots of the video games and the Lego toy trailers, and seems to think that the movies might somehow spoil his view of this world rather than enhance it. Whatever. He’ll come around eventually. I hear he’s recently consented to watch a few of the Clone Wars cartoons, so he’s bound to work his way to Carrie, Mark, and Harrison at some point.
I was also impressed with the Padawan‘s reading ability. While taking me through the Lego Star Wars encyclopedia (page by agonizing page), he accurately pronounced the names of ships, characters, species, and planets as if Galactic was his native tongue. But then the English tripped him up.
As we got to the section with all the evil empire paraphernalia, I noticed he kept referring to things as “In Peril”. For example, he would say the “In Peril Star Destroyer” or “In Peril Stormtroopers”. Without correcting him outright I emphasized the pronunciation as “Imperial” while we were chatting… whereupon, he corrected me. “No Uncle Tim, it’s In Peril.”
I gently asserted that the word was actually “Imperial”, but undeterred, he then informed me that this was not the way he pronounced it. Apparently I could go on being wrong if I wanted, but he knew what he knew.
As I think about it now, I do know something he doesn’t. I’ve seen the films. Specifically, I’ve seen Return of the Jedi, and I know that by the end of the story the Empire is pretty much in peril… so in retrospect, maybe the lad knows more than I’m giving him credit for. I wonder, has anyone checked his Midi-chlorian count?