I’ve been married to a Star Wars geek for seventeen years now. Before you tie the knot with a man who daydreams about lightsaber duels, wears Boba Fett T-shirts, and has a dog named “Salacious Crumb,” here are some important things to consider.
Where will all his Star Wars stuff go?
Is your boyfriend an avid collector of Star Wars books, games, puzzles, toys, models, diecast reproductions, artwork, etc.? Are the walls of his apartment plastered with Star Wars posters? Is his most prized possession a framed, autographed black-and-white glossy of Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca? Perhaps your boyfriend has promised that when the two of you move in together, all his Star Wars stuff is going to disappear (“I’ll box it all up, and you’ll never see it again, honey”). Don’t believe it for a second. He will want to add his unique flavor to your new home, and you should let him do so, within reason. It’s all about compromise.
Pick and choose from the following suggestions: Allow him to build a Jedi shrine in your bathroom (preferably the bathroom that guests never use). Let him hang Tie Fighters and X-Wings from the ceiling of your bedroom every Saturday night. Give him his own Christmas tree (don’t worry—the one with your tasteful ornaments and decorations will be in the living room, where it belongs; your husband’s Star Wars-themed tree, on which he can hang every single Star Wars ornament that Hallmark has ever produced, will look fabulous in the garage, next to the camping equipment). Wear the Princess Leia or Padmé Amidala-inspired lingerie that he gave you for your birthday (if it keeps him from displaying his limited-edition Emperor Palpatine doll in your great-grandmother’s antique curio cabinet, it’s worth it).
Suppose your boyfriend isn’t an avid collector. He merely appreciates the Star Wars movies far, far, far, far, far, far more than you ever will. He’s never forgiven his mother for selling his childhood Star Wars action figures for a quarter apiece at a garage sale twenty-five years ago, but he doesn’t waste his money on all the current Star Wars paraphernalia. Lucky you.
Don’t start gloating yet. Let’s look five or ten years into the future. You and your Star Wars geek may want children someday. He hasn’t shared the following secret with you, so I will: He has really, really wanted all of the Star Wars toys this entire time, but he’s been waiting to have kids before he starts buying them—that way, he can claim the toys (and Star Wars wall decals, sleeping bags, dishware, etc.) are for your kids.
Your husband, the proud daddy, who used to be such a low-key Star Wars maniac, will begin sneaking off to Toys ‘R’ Us on his lunch breaks to see if the latest Star Wars “Galactic Heroes” action figures are available yet. He will stage elaborate Star Wars action figure battles in your living room, and encourage your young, impressionable children to participate. Before you know it, your six-year-old son is writing and illustrating Star Wars: The Clone Wars stories in his free time, and your three-year-old daughter is humming “The Imperial March” as she chases the cat with a plastic lightsaber. Your children will know the names of even the most minor Star Wars characters—Biggs Darklighter, Plo Koon, Lobot, that green girl who falls into the Rancor pit in Jabba’s palace (I don’t know her name, but I can assure you that my son does, thanks to his dad’s tutelage).
Even if you’re able to talk your husband out of naming your firstborn son “Anakin,” your kids will still sleep with stuffed Ewoks and learn their ABCs from Star Wars encyclopedias, and every Halloween for a full decade will probably involve buying or creating Star Wars-inspired costumes. My son has trick-or-treated as Yoda, Anakin Skywalker (as a Padawan), Commander Cody, and Commander Rex; and he’s been a Stormtrooper several times.
Oh, no. No! You agreed to name your son “Anakin”? Look on the bright side: if you call him “Ken,” maybe no one will suspect that your precious baby boy is named after Darth Vader. (Why didn’t you go with “Luke” and pretend you chose the name for its Biblical relevance?)
Please, before you decide to marry a Star Wars geek, think of your unborn children—little Lando and Leia!
And don’t forget, Star Wars geeks travel in packs. Your husband and his best buddies have all the dialogue from The Empire Strikes Back memorized, and it’s only natural for them to recite it, line by line, every time they get together. Perhaps they want you to “be Yoda.” The best approach is to always, always refuse to “be Yoda,” and then pursue your own interests. You don’t have to play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit with your beloved geek if you don’t want to. Plant a tree instead. Paint. Knit. Take piano lessons. Start a blog. Anything! The sky’s the limit.
Have you decided that the Star Wars-geek lifestyle isn’t right for you or your children? It’s not the end of the world. Be strong! Go and find yourself a Nascar guy. Or a football junkie. Or a bodybuilder. Or a politician. I’m sure you’ll be a lot more satisfied with one of those.
No? You’re going to go through with the wedding after all? Will Darth Maul be conducting the ceremony? Please say you’re going to have a Death Star piñata at your reception—the kids always look so cute bashing the Death Star with their lightsabers.
I hope I’m invited to your wedding, now that I’ve given you this invaluable advice. We Star Wars widows have to stick together.