One of the fourth grade teachers at my school and I have a new favorite student. We know that we're not supposed to have favorites, but this kid said, when asked, that his favorite movie was "Howard the Duck." However misguided this opinion may or may not be, there is no argument about how profound it is to have a ten-year-old expressing it. "Howard" is twenty-five years old, and the comic book from whence it was adapted goes back more than another decade. The fact that this kid is mining the depths of pop culture from the past century is heartening, giving me hope that I won't eventually live long enough to see Justin Bieber run for president.
In my own home, I am always pleased when bits of my own media past surface long enough for my son to gobble them up: AC/DC, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Otter Pops. The last thing in the world I would want is for him to grow up in a vacuum, immersed in only those things that his parents thought were cool back when they thought things were cool. I am happy for every new song or podcast that my son drags in front of me. Sometimes I feign indifference, since I can't imagine a world where a video series where smart-alecks put new dialogue on video game footage. Who laughs at this stuff?
There is, however, some common ground for all of us. George Lucas, the producer behind "Howard the Duck" and the of "Radioland Murders," wants yet another swing at the fences with his Blu-Ray version of the Star Wars saga. In keeping with his tradition of keeping up with the latest trends, he would like us all to know just how truly remorseful Darth Vader (spoiler alert!) was about giving his son, Luke, up to the evil emperor. Way back in the twentieth century, I was able to infer that a dramatic pause that occurs just before he grabs the emperor and throws him down a tube and into space is that moment of recognition. Now George has gone back and added a bit of dialogue that should fix everything. None of that subtlety for us. We would like it explained. Instead of blaming George Lucas, maybe I should be looking at Rooster Teeth.