Friday, April 06 2018 11:49

Teaching the Force The Rock Father Way - Movie Night with Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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This special feature is presented in collaboration between The Rock Father™ and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

It was just over six years ago that I first published Teaching The Force The Rock Father™ Way. At the time, I was discussing how I'd initially shared with our only daughter the original Star Wars films. Six years and nearly 6,000 articles later, times have changed greatly. My wife and I are now raising two daughters who are well-versed in the ways of the Force, something I've written about at length both here and in my column over at The Toy Insider. To put things in perspective of just how greatly life has evolved, when I published that entry back in 2012, we thought that Star Wars was done. Instead, Lucasfilm was sold to The Walt Disney Company just eight months later and a new era of Star Wars was ready to begin! In the years since, there has been more Star Wars storytelling than we ever experienced the first time around. Disney XD's Star Wars Rebels (2014-2018), Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Forces of Destiny (2017-), Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and now we're looking ahead to Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), the Untitled Episode IX (2019), a new series of films from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, a new Trilogy from Rian Johnson and a live-action television series from Jon Favreau.  With much to look forward to, we're still in "Last Jedi mode" around here, and the recent in-home release for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has added fuel to the fire. 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Party

We saw The Last Jedi twice in theaters - starting a new tradition by making one of those visits a 4DX screening on Christmas Eve (movies on 12/24 is gonna become a thing). While my wife and I loved the film, there's no doubt that it's been a divisive installment among some of our fellow grown-up Star Wars fans. What's intriguing for us is how it played to the kids, and in many ways that's really what it's about. The Saga has always had a running theme of family and we're passing it along to the next generation. The difference is that these kids are in the midst of experiencing a new trilogy in theaters, just as we experienced one 40 years ago. They're seeing these films with fresh eyes and they're allowing the story to unfold in front of them with no idea of where it will take them. Unlike many adults, they don't hold a false sense of ownership and expectation, and that's fascinating. 

When we were kids, it was hard to bring the Star Wars experience home aside from amassing a ton of Kenner action figures. I remember gathering around the old TV when it would air - and without the instant access of streaming or even the pausing capability of video, if it was on TV you just had to gather 'round and watch it as a family... live. While we can now watch anytime we'd like, there's still nothing better than enjoying the latest Star Wars adventure at home with the family, and that's just what we've been doing. There's many fun ways to craft a movie night inspired by a galaxy far, far away, and my friends at ShopDisney and Entertainment Earth have all the goodies you could possibly want to expand the fun off-screen.


So what's the biggest teachable moment in The Last Jedi? As Luke Skywalker shows Rey, the teachings of the Force are now up for debate, and what he proves to her is that sometimes you have to make mistakes in order to see the big picture.  

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is available now on digital HD and 4K Ultra HD™ via Movies Anywhere and on 4K Ultra HD™ Blu-ray, and Blu-ray™ and DVD.

James Zahn

James Zahn is not a journalist, nor a blogger, though he may be credited as such by others, or even accept the title... depending on the circumstance.  Instead, he considers himself largely to be an "entertainment and lifestyle writer," bringing 25+ years of experience in the entertainment and publishing industries into the family realm as THE ROCK FATHER™.

As a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur, James now finds himself raising a pair young girls - The Rock Daughters™ - along with his wife from their Illinois home.

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, has contributed to The Toy Book and writes a regular Star Wars column - Transmissions from a Galaxy Far, Far Away for The Pop Insider. He also regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, WGN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, BusinessWire, Babble, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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