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5 Star Wars Mom Shockers in GIFs

When I was 7, my days were filled with light saber battles in the backyard, complicated Death Star scenarios performed by my 4-inch Kenner plastic figures and messy attempts to wind my long blond locks into side buns. At night, I would take that same light saber, hide under my blue blankie adorned with images of Leia, Luke and Han and pour through comics illustrating their adventures.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I was totally a Star Wars nerd.

Then I grew up. As a tween, Star Wars was replaced with Siouxie and the Banshees. I gave up on the side buns and instead tried teasing my hair. Han Solo no longer made my heart flutter. That was now a job relegated to John Taylor.

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Although I had boxed up the well worn blankie, the piles of comics and the banged up action figures, my Star Wars allegiance was still there. It was just being safely stored in my parent’s basement.

Over the years, I never hesitated to declare my love for Star Wars. It was an important player in my childhood, like a favorite playmate or a cherished pet. But here’s the thing: although I kept this candle burning in my pop culture loving brain, I hadn’t actually seen the films for approximately 30 years. (I’m talking about the original trilogy, not the Jar-Jar Binks, fancy-pants follow-ups.) I’d seen the first three so many times as a kid that they were etched into my mind (and soul). I didn’t need to see them again (I thought).

Then it came time. We had reached that monumental rite of passage. It was time to share the “Star Wars” saga with my 8-year-old daughter.

With much anticipation (oh my God, Luke! Leia! Han!), anxiety (oh my God, will she hate it?), and awe (oh my God, it’s been so long!), we watched “Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” over a series of nights.

My girl? She loved them. I had a convert. My job was done. Or so I had thought.

While viewing the series, another thing happened: I saw "Star Wars" through a completely different lens. I was watching them as a “been there, done that” adult rather than a wide-eyed child, and there were a whole bunch of things that totally surprised, nay, shocked me.

1. Luke Skywalker is totally whiny

He’s like the male equivalent of Jane Brady via Tatooine — naïve, wide-eyed, and totally whiny. George Lucas recently said he initially made the film with 12-year-old boys in mind. Seeing Luke from a mom lens puts his character much more into focus. He’s not the epic hero I thought he always was, more like a slightly annoying but well-meaning adolescent.

2. Replace the word “force” with the word “God”

One of the most, if not the most, famous phrases from Star Wars is “may the force be with you.” You could effortlessly replace the key word and get “may God be with you” and have pretty much the same meaning. This isn’t an original epiphany on my part. There have been oodles of op-eds and articles addressing the religious and spiritual connotations in Star Wars. The story has even inspired books like “Star Wars Jesus — a Spiritual Commentary on the Reality of the Force,” “The Gospel according to Star Wars: Faith, Hope, and the Force” and “Finding God in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: A Spiritual Exploration of the Star Wars Saga.”

3. Hans Solo is kind of a dick.

I hate typing that sentence. Hell, I hate thinking that sentence. But I have to face facts: Han Solo is a jerk. I still love him, will always love him. But after seeing the films as an adult, a woman who has had my fair share of run-ins with real life Han Solo types, I can’t see him the same way as I once did. The scene where Leia confesses her love for Han before he gets frozen, man, that made me cringe.

4. Yoda is, like, totally Zen, dude

I’ve recently become more mindful of, well, mindfulness. I’m a coffee addicted, go-go-go kinda gal. My daughter goes to a school that not only promotes, but practices, mindfulness. Now, finally, I’m getting it. So when Yoda aptly dresses down Luke in a few swift swipes saying:

“All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless.”

I was totally mindful that he’s preaching the key “be here now” mantra. He also gets all Zen about the Force saying:

“For my ally is the Force and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.”

If Yoda existed in real life, he’d be that really wise dude running a yoga studio in Palm Springs.

5. Special effects ain’t so special now

When I was a kid, those special effects in the original “Star Wars” kicked ass. Now they seem like a something a 17-year-old kid could create in their basement. That’s purely a old school vs. new school issue. There have been so many advances in movie special effects, spearheaded by Lucas himself (with ILM and LucasFilms), since the original came out 38 years ago.

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Image via Twenty20/x_captain_kaos_x

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