The other day I posted an article from Apartment Therapy showing some attractively framed photographs of Kenner Star Wars action figures. About ten years ago now I decorated my bachelor suite in a somewhat similar fashion, but instead of displaying action figures I carefully selected six Marvel Star Wars comics from my collection and had them mounted and framed. The resulting piece is very colourful and has attracted a lot of attention--mostly positive!
Somewhat to my surprise, my girlfriend--later my fiancée and now my wife--especially liked the piece. But when we bought our first house we had trouble fitting it in with the rest of our décor. So it sat in our basement for a year or so until we found out we were expecting a boy. That news prompted us to dust off the piece and hang it in his room, awaiting his arrival. That was about eighteen months ago.
Jump ahead to three weeks ago. My wife wanted to spruce up the boy's room (he is now 13 months) and suggested we dip into my Star Wars collection again. She cleared a space on a shelf and invited me to put out some of my Kenner figurines. I began dreaming up an elaborate diaroma of Vader's duel with Obi-Wan, as Luke watches on helplessly. My wife quickly shot that idea down. "This is meant to be cool not nerdy", she explained. So I opted for a simple line-up of ten of the original twelve figures. My wife then combined these with some funky robot paintings she had picked up in a local shop.
What do you think? Mostly I really like it, but I have two reservations. Firstly, those are my actual played-with-for-hours-as-a-boy Star Wars figures. They have been safely in storage for the last twenty years. It makes me a little anxious to have them standing there on a shelf, exposed to who knows what disaster might befall them.
But I have a greater concern: I am not sure I want my son to inherit Star Wars from me. My childhood mania for the phenomenon--I don't say the movies because it was so much more than that--was excessive. While I have many fond memories of it all, I am not sure, looking back today, that it was entirely healthy. It wasn't terrible, of course. It was not a vice, it did not make me a bad person. But speaking as a father, I would prefer my children to have a wide variety of interests, without being singlemindedly obsessed with any of them. I almost feel I should keep Star Wars from my son, thus giving him a chance to discover it for himself, or even not to discover it at all and to develop his own interests instead.
But there is no hiding Star Wars. It's everywhere. I might as well try to conceal the moon from him. So I'll leave these Star Wars decorations out for now. If the little guy decides one day that he's not interested in reliving his dad's childhood, I'll be proud of him. But if he tries to pull my action figures' heads off, I'm putting them straight back into storage.