The original idea behind Raising a Rebel was to chronicle our parenting misadventures in bringing our daughter up to be a Star Wars fan. Although the site has evolved over the last year – with exciting plans in the pipeline – I didn’t want to lose sight of that inspiration. In other words, time for an update on how our little fan is coming along.
There’s a specific kind of joy that appears on Lorelei’s face whenever the opening fanfare plays in her vicinity; and it’s not without good reason. The music has been part of her experience of the world since she was in utero, in the cinema during repeated viewings of The Last Jedi and, later, on home media with regular re-watches of the entire saga. It’s been my alarm in the mornings since before she was born and listening to podcasts and soundtrack albums means it’s a part of our home’s ambient noise.
Lori’s fond of all music. Any jingle or jig is enough to get her shaking her stuff, but there’s a real recognition when it comes to that fanfare. The same goes for droids. Ben Burtt, sound designer extraordinaire, created the iconic voice of R2-D2 by recording his own babbling sounds as a starting point. By design these bleeps and bloops appeal to children, and Lori’s no different. BB-8 was a step further and it’s no wonder she’s fascinated by the adorable ball.
At only a year and a month, sitting through any Star Wars content is a tall order, yet babies and toddlers are receptive to all the stimuli around them. The regular buzz of sound effects is already gently introducing her to the franchise. For anyone raising their own rebel, I’d suggest this kind of indirect approach. Think of it like exposure theory. Listen to the soundtracks with your little one, put the Forces of Destiny shorts on in the background or just have fun playing them droid sound effects. This will help to build familiarity, a foundation from which they can then transition from aural enjoyment to taking in the visual spectacle and, later still, the narrative.
To steal a phrase from Palpatine, forcing Lorelei into a Star Wars fan would be a “narrow, dogmatic” approach. Besides, that’s just as like to put her off. I know there’ll be plenty of Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol in the years to come. I know that I’m more likely to be buying dollies and dinosaurs as Star Wars toys. But I look forward to watching the saga with my little one and showing her the story of a boy who left his mother and who would one day save his son. In what order to introduce her, well that’s a long and complicated post for another time.
Main image courtesy of Looking for Leia