Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hijacking Hollywood for Fatherhood: the retelling of STAR WARS for my 20-month old son

Are you bored to death reading the same bedtime book to your child over and over? Have you found yourself dreading another reading of Goodnight Moon? Well, here's a simple solution: rip-off Hollywood!

Munch and I have our bedtime routine down pat: we get him into his jammies, he grabs his teddy bear lovie, we settle into our cozy rocking chair, and I read him a couple of his favorite sleepytime books. Last night, the routine was no different—until it came time to read the "sleepy penguin song"—and the mind-numbing, excruciating pain that comes with reading it.

But before I got to the part where you are supposed to whisper something about flippers flapping and bellies bumping, I cracked—I was done. Done with the stupid little penguins who can't sleep on a quiet, peaceful, isolated glacier. I mean really—there is absolute silence, it's dark outside, and they have a thick layer of blubber to help keep them warm... you couldn't dream up a more perfect slumber scenario!

So, instead of finishing that hellish penguin song, I closed the book shut and proceeded to hijack Hollywood, Universal, and George Lucas—thanks sucker!!! It was the best 10 minutes of bedtime storytelling in history, because in my night-night story, there were no penguins. There was action, adventure, magic, and all the other cool stuff embedded into the greatest story in the history of Hollywood. And that story... is Star Wars.

However, since Munch's favorite stuffed animal is his teddy bear, I decided to Munch-ify the retelling of Star Wars in a theme to which he could better relate. So, Luke Skywalker became Luke Skycub, Lord Vader became Lord Black Bear, and the Death Star became the Death Cave, and so forth...

And, without further ado, below was last night's bedtime story for my little man.

(insert soft humming of the main theme as an introduction)...

BEAR WARS: Episode IV - A New Hope
...Bearsville is a peaceful nation. Most of the bears in Bearsville are nice bears, except for one—the evil and terrifying Lord Black Bear. Lord Black Bear had used his magic Roar to scare most of the bears in Bearsville, except a small group of bears called the Bear's Den. The Bear's Den mission is to overthrow Lord Black Bear and restore peace to the forest of Bearsville. The Bear's Den is led by Princess Leia Beargana who recently stole plans for a mighty Bear Cave that Lord Black Bear was building—a cave so mighty that it could occupy an entire forest! Princess Beargana tries to outrace Lord Black Bear, but she isn't fast enough and is captured. But, before being captured, Princess Beargana hides the stolen plans in R2Bear2 and deploys him to a remote part of Bearsville.

This remote part of Bearsville is called the Tatooine Forest, and it is home to Luke Skycub. Skycub lives with his Aunt and Uncle. One day, Skycub and his uncle visit a group of Jawacubs. The Jawacubs are known as scavengers, and they sell the best machine parts in all of Bearsville. Skycub becomes very excited when he sees R2Bear2, so he purchases him. That night, while pushing some of R2Bear2's buttons, a secret message appears. It is Princess Beargana, stating she has been captured by Lord Black Bear and that she has a secret message for Obi Wan Bearnobi. Skycub knows of Obi Wan Bearnobi, who lives in seclusion, up in the desert hills. The next morning, Skycub takes off with R2Bear2 to see Obi Wan Bearnobi and play him the message. Obi Wan Bearnobi immediately recognizes Princess Beargana and wants to save her. Obi Wan Bearnobi tells Skycub Skycub that he knew and fought with his father, Anakin Skycub, but that Lord Black Bear betrayed and killed Anakin. Obi Wan Bearnobi gives Skycub his branchsaber and offers to help Skycub develop a magic Roar. When his aunt and uncle are killed, Skycub joins Obi Wan Bearnobi and they set off to find Princess Beargana's part of the forest and alert her family.

Skycub, Obi Wan Bearnobi, and R2Bear2 go into town and unfortunately, see a lot of Lord Black Bear's Clone Bears. Obi Wan Bearnobi uses his own magical Roar to scare them before they meet Han Solobear and Chewgrizzlybear in a local pub. Solobear brags that he built the fastest ship in Bearsville out of a bunch of tree trunks and calls it the Millennium Falcub, telling Obi Wan Bearnobi that it will cost a lot of berries to take them to Princess Beargana's part of the forest. However, Obi Wan Bearnobi doesn't have any berries, but tells Solobear that the Princess is captured, and there will be a large reward for rescuing her. Solobear likes the idea of a large reward and agrees to help them. They all get into the Millennium Falcub and travel just outside of Princess Beargana's part of the forest. As they get closer, they see the largest cave they have ever seen called, the Death Cave, which has completely taken over the forest. Solobear tries to fly away, but the Millennium Falcub gets pulled into the Death Cave.

When they become captured inside the Death Cave, they all manage to escape and disguise themselves as Clone Bears. The group searches all over the ship and finds Princess Beargana. They free her, but not before they fall into a bear trap and nearly get squished. After they escape the bear trap, the group finds the Millennium Falcub. But, before they take off, they see Obi Wan Bearnobi in the distance. And, he is fighting the evil Lord Black Bear in a branchsaber battle. Skycub tries to help, but is held back by Solobear and Chewgrizzlybear because its too dangerous for him. Just then, Obi Wan Bearnobi looks across the room and sees Skycub, drops his branchsaber to the ground and Lord Black Bear strikes Obi Wan Bearnobi down. Skycub becomes distraught and yells out to Obi Wan Bearnobi but Chewgrizzlybear drags Skycub inside the Millennium Falcub and the group takes off as fast as they can.

Princess Beargana leads the ship to the secret Bear's Den lair and tells the bears about the Death Cave and Lord Black Bear's plans to destroy them. As the Bear's Den plans their attack on the Death Cave, they find out that Lord Black Bear has found their hidden base by putting a tracking device on the Millennium Falcub. The bears analyze the secret plans and decide that a single shot from Skycub could destroy the Death Cave, but they need to act fast. Solobear and Chewgrizzlybear receive their reward for rescuing Princess Beargana and decide to leave. Skycub tries to convince Solobear to stay and help them fight, but Solobear leaves anyways. Before Solobear leaves, he tells Skycub, "May the Roar be with you."

Skycub and R2Bear2 lead the Bear's Den in the fight against Lord Black Bear and the Death Cave. All of the bears are shot down in battle leaving just Skycub and R2Bear2. As they near the Death Cave, Lord Black Bear appears tries to shoot down Skycub. Just as Lord Black Bear is upon Skycub, Solobear and Chewgrizzlybear appear in the Millennium Falcub and blasts Lord Black Bear. Skycub hears the ghost of Obi Wan Bearnobi telling him to use his Roar, so Skycub closes his eyes and, using his own magic Roar, takes the single shot into the Death Cave. The shot ends up blowing up the Death Cave and destroying it completely.

Back at the Bear's Den, our heroes—Skycub, Solobear, Chewgrizzlybear, R2Bear2—all win medals of honor from Princess Beargana. Skycub hears the ghost of Obi Wan Bearnobi once more, telling him to take R2Bear2 and go to Dagobear where Giant Panyoda Bear will help him learn and understand how to control his magic Roar. Solobear and Chewgrizzlybear decide to stay with Princess Beargana and help the Bear's Den restore peace to the forest.  And just when everyone thinks that Lord Black Bear has been destroyed...(insert my best Lord Black Bear breathing)...Skycub gets a strange feeling that their enemy may still be out there.....

(insert soft humming of the final theme)

I'm not sure when Munch fell asleep, probably about the time Solobear was introduced, but this turned out to be the most fun bedtime story ever told—at least for me.

I now turn to you, Stunt Dad Nation. To what other movies should I apply my Hijacking Hollywood for Fatherhood methodology? Can you think of a good readaptation?

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  1. Nice work! I'm going to read this to two little girls who will enjoy this tonight...

  2. Awesome! Let me know if you guys have any ideas for my next Hollywood hijacking!!! :)