LOL…. bet you were never expecting to read THAT kind of title from a dad blog. #InsertSmirkEmojiHere… oh wait,…. ⇒ ?
Seriously though, there is something about these stories in certain commonalities for certain schools of thought.. and, it’s all based on…
Now that enough time has passed for general audiences to not panic about #NoSpoilers… we need to talk.
The Last Jedi, the last season of Game of Thrones… even the smashing success of Avengers: Endgame — these have been incredible contributions to cinema; AND YET, there has been and continues to inevitably be, a bunch of sour folks who call themselves “fans” in a fashion as if they are the only true fans… being salty poor losers that the way these stories unfolded, didn’t go the way they wanted them to.
And, here’s the thing… it’s not even THEIR story to tell.
But, as you were reading it, you probably read it that way, didn’t you?
“…. the way their stories unfolded”
Here’s the thing…
I like things and I’m a happy fan.
Even with the closure of the Skywalker saga with Star Wars Episode IX — I’m *still* a happy fan!
That’s right, I like to like things, and, I no matter how the lore unfolds in these many universes and stories that I adore, my day is not made worse because it wasn’t told in the way or put forth in the type of direction or conclusion that I otherwise would have liked, preferred, expected, or felt to have been “better.”
I have my mindset as such because I know these aren’t my stories to tell. I’m a fan. And, I’m a fan of the stories no matter how they go — because, I believe that there are LESSONS to be learned and more importantly… lessons to be TAUGHT to our younglings.
Here are a few examples of things I didn’t like, but… served to really tie in the lore of these wonderful stories.
Fair Warning: SPOILER ALERT!You’ve been warned…
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
I did NOT like the way The Last Jedi depicted long range turbo lasers.
It DID, however, do a great job reinforcing and explaining away that different energies in the Star Wars universe can be shielded for in different ways. AND, that blaster bolts in this universe dissipate energy over distance, much in the fashion that musket fire from the 1700s weren’t accurate nor energy efficient over long distances. So, the space battles we see in Star Wars as well as land battles with blasters makes a lot more sense with the legendary inaccuracies of the Stormtroopers — despite their serving as highly trained and equipped Imperial shock troopers.
- Game of Thrones: Season 8 — Jon’s Ending.
So what if he’s heir to the Iron Throne? Did he ever want it or anything of that ilk? He was raised thinking he deserved nothing. All he ever wanted was the absence of judging eyes and freedom. He also was a duty bound character, which led him to much suffering despite his grit. He deserved the throne in many ways… he didn’t get it. Tough. Life. And guess what? Jon was happy with it… to be free folk.
- Avengers: Endgame — The Rushed Ending
Phase 4 is around the corner, so all the loose ends can’t be tied up. There is now a serious multi-verse situation in the MCU. So, what about Cap? Of ALL the characters, he deserves a break…. as in his life to be lived. And, yeah… I cried like a baby for the entire ending… and, on my way out of the theater…. just like…. emotional destruction for a grown @$$ man. LOL. But, I loved it!
- Honorable Mentions As Of Late…
=> Toy Story 4… cried
=> Solo movie, explained — “I’ve outrun Imperial star ships. Not the local bulk cruiser, I’m talking about the big Corellian ships… she’s fast enough for the old man.” Episode IV, Han Solo.
- Back to Star Wars IX: Rey was a Palpatine all along.
I don’t mind saying that I CALLED THIS. Regardless of if this was originally the plan, completely retconned for Episode IX… whatever the case. #CalledIt
Listen to these podcast episodes:
=> Life Lessons from Star Wars & TROS Review with Dr. Ben Fung & Dr. Scotty Butcher, The Duck Legs Podcast
=> Same podcast — on Apple podcasts
So… how does all this lead me to being a better parent?
Tough Lessons from A Galaxy Far Far Away, Westeros, and Earth-199999 (and/or Earth-616).
I know this isn’t the most organized post. But, I wanted to put these random thoughts out as a collection of cognitive slices to communicate that all these stories tell tales of struggles; of life and death; of heroism and cowardice; of good versus evil; of massive gray areas; of fandoms vs. the way things are vs. the way things should be.
Here are lessons from these fandoms that made me a better dad:
- Doing the right thing doesn’t always reward you, but it is the right thing.
- It’s not YOUR story… so you don’t get a say. But, you DO get to enjoy it and you do get to play to your own imagination and fandom.
- Heroes make the sacrifice play. It doesn’t mean its a winning play.
- The quicker you accept what has happened, the swifter you can begin affecting the future.
- Where you come from, does not define you.
- You are not your family.
- How you grew up, doesn’t destine you to repeat it — in others (your kids) or yourself.
- We are never too old to learn from our mistakes.
- It is never too late to change.
- Some people will always been Full On Daenerys (GoT Reference). They will never know it, but YOU will know it as you watch them enjoy making the world burn to build their own kingdoms.
- The enemy always works from the shadows.
- Incorruptibility is found honest souls.
- Even the best of intentions can lead to disasters.
- Lead selflessly and people will come when you need them most.
- When new information comes to light (retconned or not), you can choose to accept it; or, you can continue to live in your past understandings which are very much most likely now in complete error. This is a thing in science, in social contracts, in relationships…. etc.
- New information should not ever shake your faith. Faith and knowledge are on different planes, but they do intersect.
- Vanity can destroy generations of peace.
- Impossible happened because you let it happen.
- Own your mistakes by never permitting them another sunrise.
- You are never alone.
We all have things we geek out about. That’s whats so cool about the enjoyment of life, imagination, play, and common interests. Whether these are sports teams, SciFi opera characters, feudal fantasy realms, or anything else — a sense of unity beyond all the daily things that weigh us down.
Fandom creates this sense that regardless of creed, we can all enjoy this thing we love for at least this time together.
Perhaps thats a metaphor about life. Life is so short, so precious, so terrifyingly fragile… what these fandoms really taught me in terms of being a better dad: