The Millennium Falcon
by Sean O'Connell
My parents aren’t movie people. Their Christmas gifts were practical choices for a normal kid: A bicycle and a baseball glove one year, a skateboard and a pile of new books the next. But I always asked for movie-related gifts … without even really knowing the importance of their pop-culture value. Rarely did I find a gift of that ilk under the tree. Except one memorable year, when I tore open the wrapping on a Millennium Falcon. Now, the odds were in my favor. It was 1980. Empire Strikes Back made Star Wars unavoidable. It’s likely my parents stumbled into the neighborhood Toys ‘R’ Us and grabbed the first item off of the shelves. Back then, they would have a 9-in-10 chance of dropping a Star Wars toy in the cart.

But I viewed it as something different at the time, and I still think of it in this way today: The Millennium Falcon was the first movie-related gift given to my by my parents because they finally realized that they were raising a die-hard movie fanatic. It was the first in a longer line of movie-related presents that continue to this day. And the Falcon remains a gift that keeps on giving, as my sons play with it to this day. Merry Christmas, boys, and thanks, mom and dad.

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