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Thursday, September 10 2015 08:03

The First Order or The Resistance? A Side Has Been Chosen...

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Earlier this week, FedEx delivered to me a package that was at some point adulterated in transit between NYC and Rock Father HQ in Illinois. The clear cylinder was open at both ends, and inside were a pair of posters that appeared to have been removed... as if someone decided to sneak a peek at what was inside. What was missing were two caps - one red, one black - each representing opposite ends of a spectrum, one dark, one light. The note included presented me with a choice - perhaps the most difficult that I've had to make in ages: #ChooseLightSide or #ChooseDarkSide? Yes, this moment was being dictated by Hasbro - a toymaker placing me in a position to potentially go against the wishes of my family in order to fulfill a destiny and declare allegiance to either The First Order (remnants of The Galactic Empire) or The Resistance (what was spawned of The Rebellion) when it comes to shipments of toys from J.J. Abrams' forthcoming film, STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. My daughters made it quite clear what choice they wished me to make - "Choose the light side, Daddy!" But I don't think that I can...

As a kid that wore the same Don Post Darth Vader Halloween costume for no less than three separate Halloween's in the 1980s, how could I possibly turn my back on that legacy? In my old song, "Darth Vader is a Real Cool Guy!" I made it very clear that "He's Down with The Dark Side and So Am I!"

And if STAR WARS were reality, The First Order (Empire) would be the Government, and The Resistance (Rebellion) might be considered to be "domestic terrorists" of sorts, so there's that. Both sides would definitely view themselves as heroic, yet the balance of right and wrong would teeter upon the decisions of those like myself, who in the real world can't even align with "Republican" or "Democrat," opting instead to remain "Independent." 

Knowing that a number of other websites have received the same directive from Hasbro, I can tell you that The First Order is growing... and that The Resistance is much smaller in numbers. I put the call out to friends and social media and the reaction was overwhelming: #ChooseDarkSide.

But...

I #ChooseLightSide.

#ChooseLightSide

Despite The Dark Side having cooler-looking uniforms and vehicles (and that red-and-black KNIGHT RIDER color scheme that I'm so affectionate toward), again I have to go back to reality - I don't work for the government. I'm not in the army. My independent spirit would probably make me more of a Boba Fett... or would it actually be more of a Han Solo - the cocky guy with good morals that just would rather not be fully attached? There's a freedom in that. 

Plus, my girls already have so much love for that little Droid, BB-8. 

Stay tuned... THE FORCE AWAKENS...

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade as Publisher of The Rock Father Magazine, he joined Adventure Publishing Group as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider—a destination for all things pop culture. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 25 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He 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. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

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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