So, back to Robyn and Skeeter's house for another tale of my youth. At this house in the nether reaches of the great Blue Mounds, my family would gather for the Fourth of July yearly. This resulted in about 20 grandkids running around and playing with each other to varying degrees: some actually played together, some just sort of talked, and some just picked on the younger ones. I was one of the younger ones (not to mention the fact I was skinny with a rather freakishly large head), so I was picked on incessantly. Paired with my equally skinny and top heavy cousin Christopher, we were the butt end of all older grandkids' jokes. But sometimes, just sometimes, they would actually play with us! Lo, what grand days those were!
I think every kid around our age had one thing in common: at some point in their youth, they played out the Star Wars saga. Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, and Darth made an appearance regularly at our Fourth of July picnics, as I'm sure they did for most people. When the older cousins would say they were going to play Star Wars, it rang like incredibly nerdy music in my cavernous cabeza. Christopher and I would immediately run over to join the passel of kiddies, eagerly awaiting our assignment from the older cousins. Were we going to get to be Luke? Nah, that was for the older kids. Oooh, maybe because of our size, we could be Yoda? Ah, nope, there were older cousins of smaller stature that would play him too. Wait, we could be loyal legions to Darth as Stormtroopers! At least then we could have guns (sticks). Sure, we might die, but there's always a need for more Stormtroopers! We could respawn and have more fun and...
Oh, we're Ewoks? Again? Well, I guess that's okay. We get to carry sticks that represent, well, sticks. And we can throw rocks that are clever metaphors for, uh, rocks. But those rocks in the movie were a metaphor for, hmmm, something I'm sure. So, in a completely metaphorical way, we were metaphors for a simile that was representing something... I got nothing. We were fucking Ewoks. We were the background extras of the Star Wars universe: indecipherable from one another and even when we got the top billing, no one cared. We were a side note that happened to get a bit of glory killing inept henchmen. And then we sang fake words. Awesome.
But at least we were included! We got to play with the big kids. It was amazing. Well, amazing for about 10 minutes. It was then we learned where the Ewoks were to reside. "Why, it must have been the magical forest moon of Endor," you're probably saying incredulously. "It must have been amazing."
I assure you, it was not amazing.
It's worth mentioning now that my aunt and uncle were obsessed with their Burmese Mountain Dogs. For those of you that don't know what they are, here's there Wikipedia page. Basically, they're St. Bernards that have a slightly different coloration. They're big, lovable, and terribly expensive if pure bred because of genetic problems. They also require a lot of space, and if you're going to have them in a kennel, it has to be a rather large kennel. You also need to make sure if you have a kennel that the handle for the kennel is high so your dog can't trip it. And did I mention these dogs, being as huge as they are, will produce an inordinately large amount of waste? Well, they do, and their kennel definitely reflected that fact with its smell. How do I know what that dog kennel smelled like, you ask?
Because that was the magical forest moon of Endor. Yep, the Ewoks were based out of a dog kennel. The dogs were usually out running around at this point, so at least we weren't getting mauled by these huge, bloodthirsty mongrels (a quick note: these dogs were not bloodthirsty at all, instead they were rather docile and even-tempered). But it did smell like large dog and large dog bodily functions. What a wonderful moon we Ewoks resided upon. But at least we were being included and we got to play Star Wars!
Not exactly. The big kids basically locked us in because we were too short to reach the high latch on the gate (at least we know it worked for keeping something in). So my cousin and I would play Ewoks (hey, if were playing Star Wars, then we weren't going to waste that opportunity) while the older cousins ran around on Endor and Tatooine, fighting Rancors and Wampas, while they rode on their Banthas and Tauntauns (I'm a nerd, so sue me). All Christopher and I wanted to was be included as we loved Star Wars so much. To an extent, we were included, but stupid Ewoks never got to do anything. My older cousins were lame (but still so cool!).
All I know is that if my kids wanna play Star Wars, I will gladly play with them. They won't have to be Ewoks, they can be whatever they want.
So long as it's not Han. That role is taken.