We should’ve seen it coming. After the #WheresNatasha and #WheresGamora campaigns – hashtags that called out the lack of female representation in the merchandise for Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy – WHY did anyone assume that Disney, toy manufacturers, or retailers would’ve learned their lesson for Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Were we that naïve? Did we just not want to admit what we all KNEW was going to happen? That, even though Daisy Ridley’s Rey was the LEAD CHARACTER in the whole damn film, she would be almost impossible to find on Force Awakens merchandise. Because that’s EXACTLY what happened. Hence the inevitable hashtag #WheresRey.
Throughout my life, I’ve watched a ton of wonderfully nerdy movies that really stayed with me. They’re the movies that I’ll watch whenever I see them on TV, and they’re the first movies I search for on streaming services when I’m bored.
Sometimes, it breaks my nerd heart to not be able to share everything with my son all at once. But he simply won’t understand some of my nerd nostalgia movies. He was born into an era of iPhones and digital downloads. I came from the days of the diskette.
Fathers pull their inspiration from weird places. Some of them pull it out of their own father’s teachings. Some of them pull it out of necessity and learn on the fly. But what indisputably prepares you for fatherhood the most is video games.
Old NES games, specifically. Look, that console had two buttons. TWO. There was no dual-stick move-and-look. There was no rocket-jumping. You didn’t get a gun and a melee attack. You got JUMP and SHOOT. If you were incredibly lucky, and you usually weren’t, you could use a second weapon or skill by holding B while pressing A.
The games were brutally tough, unfair, and unrewarding. And all of that hardship prepared a generation of boys for fatherhood.