Kid learns who Luke's father is

The young lad in this video, four-year-old Faris, is about to learn who Luke Skywalker's father is. His face should be in Wikipedia under the (nonexistent) entry for "mindblown." Kudos to young Faris's parents for capturing this moment for scientific scrutiny.

(via IO9)


  1. that’s exactly how I looked when I first saw :
    Jar Jar Binks

    MidiChlorians are the Force

    Etc Etc Etc

  2. That’s fantastic. BTW, that was my exact reaction when I found out that my father was Santa Claus, and that girls don’t have penises. Not at the same time, though.

    1. I’m pretty sure most girls don’t have penises all the time, even when your father is Santa Claus.

  3. The initial, almost subtle, reaction is authentic.  The rest is eclipsed with a contrived presence of the camera. 

  4. After I watched Star Wars for the first time when I was a kid, I told my dad that I watched it and liked it – and he just goes in a Darth Vader voice, “Luke I am your father”. I was all, what, he is? And then I knew it was coming before I watched the second movie. I’m still kind of pissed at him for spoiling that.

    1. I was in a mall just after the movie was released and the Radio Shack had a TRS-80 or a COCO or some such computer of the time set out at the front of the store, and some moron had made the screen saver scrolling text that said “DARTH VADER IS LUKE’S FATHER AND LEIA IS HIS SISTER!!!”

      I was crushed. 

      Curse you, early 80’s random mall computer store troll guy!!!

      1. IIRC the Luke-Leia siblinghood isn’t revealed until RotJ. There’s only the hint of ”There is… another” in ESB.

  5. Uh, am I the only person wondering if it’s okay for a 4-year old to be watching ‘The Empire Strikes Back’? (not judging, I am sincerely wondering. We try to keep death and adult themes to a minimum in our kids’ TV choices… )

    1. Potentially a good question, on the other hand i was raised on the original trilogy (literally they were almost a third of the small collection of VHS tapes we owned) and as far as i can tell it did not scar me in any permanent sense. Though i do not know when i first saw them.

      1. I had a dig around, and the internets provide ‘8 years old’ as a good age for most kids to watch the trilogy. Not every kid will react to hands being cut-off in a similar way. Most 4 year olds will still get scared and might not get the most out of the movies than if they wait a little longer. Like the internet, some movies cannot be ‘unseen’… so no, I don’t believe the trilogy was made for kids of ALL ages.

    2. No, I also went “um…”. You know your own kids best etc etc, but I really think 4yo is too young. Our daughter has been a Star Wars fan for a long time, but we only started her on the actual movies now that she turned 8 and only on the first episode (gag me with a spoon!).

    3. I was about four or five when I saw ESB with my parents in the theater a month or two before RotJ came out. One of the local theaters re-ran the first two films.

    4. Nope, definitely not the only one.

      I mean, there is lots of violent children’s TV around, so lots of parents presumably let their kids watch it, but I agree with you.

      And it’s not just new stuff – I don’t remember how old I was when my parents got a TV, but I was more shocked at the violence in Tom and Jerry than the much tamer stuff in the newer cartoons on Saturday mornings.

    5. There’s an awful lot of death and abandonment themes in Disney movies. I found Bambi to be far more traumatizing when I was little than the Star Wars movies.

  6. When did Boing Boing become “post my goofy kids video?”.com  Oh, right everyone grew up and became obsessed with their kids..

    1. It’s a wonderful thing to see *anyone* discover something awesome.  You seem to have forgotten that feeling. Look around for it, it’s worth it.

    2. Because most of them act like kids, but aren’t nearly as cute.

      I’ll agree to get rid of the kid videos if we can get rid of the cat videos as well. I think we should stick to puppies and cephalopods.

  7. I saw Empire in 1980 with my younger brother. He was five at the time. He fell asleep during the Yoda section. His reaction on waking was immense disappointment that he’d missed Luke getting his hand cut off by a light sabre. So there you go.

    1. Your BS detector goes off when a surprised kid looks for his Mommy/Daddy?  You might want to get that checked out.

      1. It does, particularly when it involves a theatrical reaction that is guaranteed to get the hit counter going on Next you’ll be telling me that balloon boy was real.

        1. As the proud owner of a 3yo and a 6yo boy, I can attest to the authenticity of such a response.  I am speaking about the kid’s response…not yours, of course.  I can only assume that to have a familiarity with YOUR response, I will have to wait till they grow up, have their hearts crushed, and then watch them drag their cynicism to the internet.  I am working hard to make sure they never experience it, because the result, every time I see it, looks terribly sad.

          This, on the other hand, happens very frequently in my house and it is a joy to behold!

          Thanks for posting!

    1. Obviously for you, naming a child anything other than ‘Joe’ is subject of derision… you might want to get out a little more, and meet more people.

    2. and the opposite for naming their kid FARIS

      Sheesh, some people, using Arabic names for their kids.  You’d think everyone would be usign English by now.

  8. I think the issue some people have with letting 4-year olds watch Star Wars is that in most other parts of the world besides US nudity etc. is considered natural while murder and violence is not. I’d much rather show my kids movies with nude people cursing than the ones with any kind of violence and abuse. 

  9. @franko: yes, but there are “kids” who are 3 y.o. and there are “kids” who are 12 y.o. Pretty big range there franko. I agree they are made for kids but how old do you think a kids shuold be before s/he see someone getting killed or having an arm chopped off?

    1. i’m sure that by the time they see this movie, they will have already seen such things on prime time TV or the news. the type of scary, scary violence in TESB is nothing compared to what kids are used to now.

  10. I also call shenanigans on the kid’s “extreme” reaction.

    You can initially see his (probably) honest reaction, and then he looks at the camera, THEN has the more extreme reaction.  The kid’s hamming it up for the camera.

  11. If only I had recorded my daughter’s response at the end of Old Yeller. I have never seen such tears.

  12. I saw the original “Star Wars” in 1977 as a 9 year-old and later became an avid teen-age fan, collecting (and blowing up) all the action figures, etc… I LOVE the series.

    But by far the most enduring memory of the movie for me from those early years was of the dismembered hand in the cantina scene. It frightened and disturbed me a lot, not just during the movie but also and substantially afterwards. Did it harm me permanently? Probably not. But it upset me a lot when I was 9, and to the extent that I don’t like upsetting people in general, including 9 year-old people, I see no reason to upset an unprepared youngster by showing them any movie at too young of an age.

  13. Uh, did no one else notice that the kid’s first reaction was to look at the video camera?!

    Maybe kid didn’t know, but the reaction was totally to get the parent’s approval.

    Big reveal fail.

    1. Kid’s reaction was sincere. That was a total ‘hey, are you guys seeing this too??’ look. And then ‘Ah, dad’s filming again. Whatever. BUT OH MY GOD DARTH IS LUKE’S FATHER????’

  14. And next week, Lucas will release a director’s cut with Vader’s “NO!” added to the voiceover.

  15. Personally I think the kid’s too young, not because he’ll be emotionally scarred but because *my* son insisted on watching Star Wars when he was 4 and I can tell you that he 1) found it boring (too much exposition) and 2) could not really follow the story. 

    For some reason Star Wars is tremendously popular at his kindergarten (and I would guess at other kindergartens).  As a result the kids all like to talk about the characters and (what they imagine to be) the story.  They have Star Wars sneakers, and toys, and all kinds of stuff.  My son, who is now 5, plans to be Luke Skywalker this Halloween but he still says that he does not like the film, and has refused to watch it when it was on tv recently. 

    It kinda depresses me when I see how many kids get sucked into a franchise by all the rampant marketing, even when the subject matter is really a bit too old for them to actually enjoy.  They think that they should like it, so they try. 

    I wish if kids were going to try to like things that don’t really appeal to them, they chose things like Ethiopian cuisine or musical appreciation.  Ah well.

  16. I’ve actually watched Goonies and Jurassic Park with my 4 and 5 year olds… after editing out the bits that were not appropriate. (VirtualDub FTW!)  Yes, it may be ‘temporary censorship’ but I can’t wait for them to watch them when older, and notice scenes they don’t remember ever having seen before… hehehehe :D  But at least I’ve been able to share some afternoon movie fun in a way we’re all comfortable with. (and my kids LOVE dinosaurs and pirate stories)

    *Fun fact! Jurassic Park becomes a half-hour edit;  Jurassic II edits to 10 minutes… and Jurassic III was totally uneditable for kids!

  17. 56 comments aboot letting a 4 y/o watch Star Wars, and 10 comments about Shell funding milita’s in the Niger Delta. I am embarassed.

  18. Why do you see the glance to the parent with the camera like some sort of “tell”? The kids are clearly having a “can you f–ing believe this” moment and of course they’ll look at their parent if they are right there. 

    Let me guess. You don’t have kids.

    1. Why do you see the glance to the parent with the camera like some sort of “tell”?

      Possibly because some people would never break off eye contact with their technology in order to initiate eye contact with a human.

  19. Just wait until the kid finds out that this scene will be followed by 8 hours of horrible, grinding, unrelenting, Ewok and Jar Jar-drenched suckitude. BOY WILL HE BE SURPRISED!

  20. Two weeks ago, I showed the original Star Wars movie (A new Hope) to my 4 year-old.  This was the moment I was waiting for since the day he was born.

    He loved it, but was scared and scarred when he saw Luke’s aunt and uncle die as well as Obi-Wan die.  Ever since then, he’s been asking about death and what will happen to him (or to me) when one of us dies.  Not a fun topic.I decided to wait to show him Empire Strikes Back.

  21. Kids can handle a hell of a lot more than parents give them credit for.  It’s often the parents who are uncomfortable discussing a given topic with their young children and not the children who are scarred.  

    By the time I was 5, I had access to both the public library and my school’s library.  I was precocious, and reading above my level, and bringing home novels with touchy subjects like violence and incest.  You name it.  I read about it while most kids were trying to puzzle their way through Dick and Jane.  I’ve long since talked to my parents about it, and they told me they felt they had 3 choices.  1) read everything I brought home before I did, which was impossible as I could read at almost the same speed as an adult. 3) they could stop bringing me to the library or confine me to the children section, both of which they felt would discourage me to read, since children’s books bored me and they couldn’t afford to buy books instead of bring me to the library.  3) they could talk to me about the topic regardless of how uncomfortable it made them.  
    They chose 3.  And I’m grateful.  My ability to learn & grow and actually understand the culture was more important to them than topics that some imagine are taboo.

  22. I’m looking forward to showing the movies to my kids in a couple of years–they’re 4 and 2 now, and the 4 year old is still very new at the whole sitting-still-through-a-feature-length-movie thing, and though SW isn’t exactly Ibsen, there are a couple of thematic concepts that would sail right over her head at the moment (though not for long; she’s awfully bright), and I think the overall experience will be more enjoyable for her if she understands what a rebellion against an empire is, for example, and why diplomatic missions aren’t supposed to be attacked, and what spies do, all that sort of thing.  I saw the first one when it came out and I was 7 1/2, which was just perfect for me.  I think 6 will be a good age for my kids, if I had to hazard a guess right now.

    And of course we’ll start with A New Hope, ’cause that’s where it starts.  I’m surprised any older SW fan would recommend that anyone watch the movies for the first time in episodic order, rather than chronologically by release date.  As others have mentioned, if you begin with Phantom Menace, you lose the drama of the Vader reveal shown in this post. Also, you risk souring your kid on the whole franchise (bad enough), or (worse) watching them become interested in SW for the nifty VFX and spaceships and toys and Gungans and crap but without having any actual story or characters to appreciate.  Again, A New Hope isn’t highbrow drama by any means, but IMHO it’s certainly a zillion times better than any of the prequels as a drama.  In fact, I own four different editions of the old trilogy (including Betamax bootlegs from long before any legitimate home video release), but I don’t own any of the prequels.  If my kids wanna follow Lucas down that particular drain, they’ll have to do it on their own time.  Plus, A New Hope is esoteric enough for small kids.  Explaining what a rebellion against an Empire is is one thing (the whole trilogy illustrates it perfectly well, after all), but I don’t feel like explaining trade embargoes and parliamentary procedure to my kids before they watch the prequels.  

    1. I don’t have kids, but I was going to make an almost identical comment! I think 5 or 6 is a great age to see Star Wars for the first time, and if/when I have kids, they won’t be seeing the prequels on my time.

      Actually, I hope my kids do see the prequels, but years later – maybe when they’re 10 or 11 (old enough to obtain such contraband without the help of parents) – and to be profoundly disappointed. I think there’s a good lesson there :)

      The problem with waiting much longer than age 5 or 6, I think, is that it seems very likely that they’ll hear important plot points from other sources past that age. Either some kid at school casually talking about Luke getting his hand chopped off or just doing the “I am your father” line in a Darth Vader voice, or from the Star Wars toy aisle, etc. There are other major surprise plot developments in all three films as well, besides the Darth Vader bit, that would be best left unspoilt.

  23. I, unfortunately, knew the truth about Luke’s father before I saw ESB in the theater as a kid. My cousin had the combination cassette tape / picture book of the story which was either somehow released prior to the movie coming out, or (perhaps more likely) released after the movie came out but before our small town mom-and-pop theaters played it. I even knew that Luke would get his hand severed during the process (a fact which made my older sister skip our family’s first screening of it..”that’s too gross. I don’t want to see him get his arm cut off!”). Darn cassette tapes.

  24. A four year old might just look at his parent (not the camera) during a phase of astonishment for confirmation, sharing, etc. purposes.
    Or, of course, Internet detectives prove that it was all a set up. They can tell by the pixels.

  25. LOL – my little girl had apprihensions and uncertainity about the whole thing. “Is he REALLY Luke’s father, daddy?”

    I did get all 3 of the original films viewed with her (original ~1994 laser disc ports). Thus far I have kept the prequels a dark secret.

    “So, there are 3 other Star Wars movies? Why didn’t you tell me?”

    “Those three films are Star Wars in name only. So in a sense, what I told you was true.”

  26. non-existent entry for ‘mindblown’?


  27. I watched Old Yeller when I was about 7, and I was crying so hard that I had to leave the movie theater…

  28. It was planned. Come on, I have kids. I know that look. They were prepped before dad started filming. He probably said, when you hear “NO! I AM YOUR FATHER” make a really really surprised face. Voila. The boy even looked at the dad once he heard the trigger line, then hammmmmed it up! Sister did too.

  29. It’s possible that this was staged, but I don’t think it was. Either way, I think we’re all missing the bigger point here, which is WATCHING STAR WARS WITH A KID FOR THE FIRST TIME IS SO SO AWESOME.

    About a year and a half ago, my nephew saw A New Hope for the first time. He was just about 5 at the time. He knew all about Star Wars before that, though he had created his own little mythos. Darth Vader was a good guy, and the commander of all the other “Star Wars.” It was pretty awesome seeing how his imagination worked, and my biggest concern when his parents, my wife and I sat down and watched it with him was that he was going to be really upset when he found out that Vader was, in fact, a bad guy. We tried to tell him beforehand, but he wouldn’t hear it.

    Anyway, right after Vader chokes the rebel officer and says “If this is a consular ship, then where is the ambassador??” my nephew said softly, “Darth Vader isn’t being very nice. I guess he is a bad guy.” I was watching his face during this scene and could see the realization of this processing in his mind. After that, he was fine with Vader being a bad guy.

    A few months later, I got to watch Empire with him–just the two of us. (I asked my brother-in-law if he was sure…I felt like I was stealing a vital father-son moment from him. He was fine with it.) When we got to the Grand Revelation scene, my nephew pretty much reacted the same way as the boy in the video. His mouth dropped open, his eyes bulged out, and he looked right at me. “Did you hear that?” I asked him, “He just told Luke that he was his Father! Can you believe that?” It took him a little while to accept this, and he asked me about a million questions. I’ve never seen a kid so excited. When his dad got back from his errands, my nephew ran over to him and said “DAD DAD GUESS WHAT! Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s DAD!!!”

    It was definitely a pretty awesome moment.

  30. This sums up my opinion on Lucus:

    (PG-13, mildly NSF for brief implied nudity and masturbation jokes)

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