Tonawanda News

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April 15, 2013

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Good guys, bad guys and all the shades of gray

He comes walking into the living room, the comforter from his brother’s bed draped over his head, dragging behind him and clutched in front.

Such is life right now that I barely do a double take.

“And what are you today, Sam?”

The voice is muffled. “I’m a bad guy, Mommy!”

“Oh. Do bad guys like cookies? Because this batch is cool enough now.”

The comforter is dropped like a hot potato. Bad guys might not like cookies, but 4-year-old boys do, and issues of good vs. evil pale in the face of baked goods.

Five minutes later, he’s bouncing around the house with a lightsaber. It’s a purple one; that signifies he’s a good guy once again.

Whatever that means right now.

We’ve had a certain fixation lately on good vs. bad at our house. It’s no surprise, really, when I consider Sam’s immense fondness for the Star Wars movies and our recent family Disney movie nights. Sith vs. Jedi, Empire vs. Rebellion.Maleficent vs. Sleeping Beauty (or probably more honestly, Prince Phillip). Scar vs. Simba. The “Bad Bear” (in Sam terms) vs. Merida.

It started out simple. The good guys win. Of course, he wanted to be a good guy.

It was an epiphany for him, though, when he realized that his beloved Anakin from Episodes I to III was also really Darth Vader from Episodes IV to VI. We heard about that for days as he processed it. “Anakin turned into a bad guy. He was a good guy, but he turned into a bad guy. Then then he was a good guy again. Luke helped him turn into a good guy. He became a bad guy because he missed Padme.”

(I thought that last item was a pretty good realization for a preschooler, to be honest.)

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