THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH HER

Disney and Lucasfilm have answered my prayers — as a Star Wars fan and the father of a little girl who’s destiny is to be a Star Wars fan as well — with Forces of Destiny.

Announced earlier today, Star Wars Forces of Destiny shines the spotlight on the women of the galaxy far, far away. According to StarWars.com

“Rey, Ahsoka Tano, Jyn Erso, Princess Leia, Sabine Wren, and other icons of a galaxy far, far away will take center stage in Star Wars Forces of Destiny — a new animated micro-series and initiative celebrating some of Star Wars‘ most beloved and inspirational characters.”

Star Wars Forces of Destiny will launch in July with a series of animated micro shorts on the Disney YouTube channel, and will explore all-new adventures of the Star Wars galaxy’s most beloved heroines. Following in the fall of 2017 will be a two-part TV special with eight additional shorts to be aired on the Disney Channel. These animated adventures will be canon and will feature the voice talents of Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), and Lupita Nyong’o.

After hearing of the Forces of Destiny announcement on the first day of the Star Wars Celebration 2017, I really don’t care if they do release the much-awaited trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) or not. I’m content with the news that there will be a Star Wars specifically for my little girl. That’s not to say that the current Star Wars movies, cartoons, books, toys, and other merchandise isn’t suited for my daughter — it very much is. Star Wars is for EVERYBODY! But this will be a Star Wars tailor-made for her and other girls that often have to shop for their Star Wars t-shirts in the boys’ wear section.

When a franchise has such strong female characters as Princess Leia Organa, Padmé Amidala, Ahsoka Tano, and others, it seems like a no-brainer that these heroines should be promoted and revered to inspire not only girls, but everybody. For too long, when it comes to media franchises such as Star Wars or Marvel Superheroes, girls seem to get the short end of the stick. Being heroic is not a virtue to market only to boys.

And, with an accompanying  line of “Adventure Figures” (an amalgam of traditional dolls and action figures), I know what Jean Louise is getting for Christmas and her birthday, and probably the any occasional time we just might happen to go to Target. Not to mention the books, apparel, bedding, and other must have accoutrements for any self-respecting little Star Wars fangirl.

Here’s a nearly 10-month old Jean Louise as Princess Leia on Halloween 2016…

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FIFTEEN MONTHS

Fifteen months ago today Jean Louise hopped on board the Earth Party Train. She was such a tiny and fragile creature. So small. So vulnerable. Yet, so incredible and captivating. It would be at this very moment that time, at least as I understood it to be — years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds — would cease to remain at the constant rate of motion that I had experienced for my 48 years on this Earth revolving around the Sun.

456 days later, Jean Louise isn’t as tiny and fragile as she was the moment she was born. And, as if it was even possible, she is even more incredible and captivating. Every day I am somehow more amazed that this little lady continues to grow and learn into her own person. She’s funny. She’s lovely, She’s smart. Too damn smart.

10,942 hours I’ve been wrapped around the teeny tiny pinky finger of this little girl. And, full disclosure… There is no place else I’d rather be — contorted or not. I may have the nagging lower back of an aged codger, the creaky knees of decrepit geezer, and the bitter disposition of an old fogy — but I am quite comfortable and content wrapped around Jean Louise’s finger.

656,580 minutes later and I don’t mind at all the minutes of sleep that I’ve lost because Jean Louise may be restless or in need of her dad when it’s way past her bedtime. The countless minutes I’ve watched Sesame Street as opposed to The Walking Dead, or even anything other than Sesame Street, don’t seem as valuable as they once were.”Just a minute,” is anything but just a minute when time with Jean Louise is concerned.

39,397,100 valuable seconds have escaped my grasp since I’ve been a father to my daughter. No longer how firmly I clutch to each instant in our life together, they seem to expire and an ever increasing rate. I’ve been told by many many folks who have been parents for longer than I have been, “Enjoy your time with her because they grow up so fast.” It is so true.  Every second counts.

“They grow up so fast,” is much more than just a cliché. If you have children you know that it is an indisputable scientific fact that children have a way of bending and manipulating the structure of the space-time continuum. They are adorable little black holes that absorb the chronological structure that we use to measure our existence on this plane.  The key to interstellar travel may very well exist in harnessing this amazing ability that sons and daughters have to somehow accelerate the presumably rigid and constant structure of time. Jean Louise makes every moment I’m with her a very rare and precious commodity — as well as making this scruffy gruff old man turn into a big ol’ softy.

Slow down, kid. You’ll be all grown up and seizing the day before you know it. Let your old man enjoy all the time that he can with you. Love, your father.

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