Over the summer, Atticus watched Star Wars for the first time. We had to do this because our friends were tired of us getting mad at them when they would say things like, “I am your father!” (Also Toy Story 2, I am giving you some side eye.) We had a few Star Wars books and our answers to his questions about the characters were starting to feel inadequate. It was time for him to experience the movies for himself.
(Because I know are going to ask: no, he is not allowed to watch Episodes 1-3. They are terrible and we want nothing to do with them. The end.)
Watching Star Wars with Atticus was awesome, everything I ever imagined about one day sharing it with a kid. He was excited and scared in all the right places, he fought Darth Vader with his lightsaber, and he was thrilled when he met Yoda for the first time.
It was no surprise that his choice for Halloween this year was Darth Vader. Darth Vader finds peace and a little bit of redemption at the end of his story, but even if he didn’t it was satisfying to watch Atticus explore that side of himself. He spent the weeks before Halloween menacing us and threatening to blow up various planets (“but just pretend”). I don’t think I ever dressed up as a “bad guy” for Halloween but of course Darth Vader is the most interesting and terrifying character of the story. And of course we all want to be the guy who can blow up planets sometimes.
This is what I find so wonderful about Halloween, that it makes it possible for a three-year-old to dress as the most terrifying figure he knows, and that he can run around among the Elsas and Annas and superheroes of the world and find the lights on and doors open to welcome him.