Monday, September 23, 2013

'Star Wars' Is a Movie About the Delivery of Secret Plans

After months of anticipation, our 5-year-old finally got to watch "Star Wars" on his birthday.

Despite he and his schoolmates developing a borderline obsession with the "Star Wars" franchise, Elliot had never seen any of the movies and was almost entirely unfamiliar with the plot or the characters (he memorized the name Darth Vader, but that was about it).

So it was interesting to see the film through his eyes.

One thing immediately became clear: "Star Wars" is a movie about the delivery of secret plans.

Elliot latched on to the part about R2-D2 downloading Princess Leia's covert message for Obi-Wan Kenobi and assumed this was the main thrust of the film.

Those secret plans are then sent to Tatooine, captured by the Jawas and threatened by the Sand People.

The secret plans are ultimately received by Obi-Wan Kenobi, suffer through a white-knuckle ride at the Mos Eisley cantina, loaded onto the Millennium Falcon, sucked into the Death Star and transported to the planet Yavin.

Finally, the secret plans are used to destroy the Death Star.

Hooray for secret plans!

Due to Elliot's 8 p.m. bedtime, we had to watch the movie in three installments of about 40 minutes each.

Each night he asked me, "Will the secret plans be OK? The bad guys don't get them, right?"

I assured him that the secret plans survive. (I wasn't sure how to tell him that the secret plans were just the MacGuffin of the movie.)

All this makes me wonder how Elliot would experience the much-derided "Star Wars" prequels.

"The Phantom Menace" concerns itself with the taxation of trade routes and legislative machinations within the Galactic Senate.

I've been hesitant to show Elliot this film — because, well, it's terrible. But if he's determined to fixate on tangential minutia, maybe this movie is right up his alley!