It happened in the blink of an eye. A brief exchange, a meaningful look. An awakening in the force.
It was the inaugural Star Wars Day at Sea. Just like all guests who opted into character meet and greets, our family was given the opportunity to get up close and personal with our favourite Star Wars heroes and villains. My boys, dressed as Darth Vader (Ryder) and Kylo Ren (Reid), were brimming with anticipation at the chance to take a photo with history’s most famous Sith, Lord Vader.
We waited in a short queue and before long, it was our turn to approach the designated meet and greet area. Reaching into my beach bag for my camera, I suddenly realized that my mini Kylo Ren had approached Lord Vader and was now directly in front of him.
(Warning: Spoilers from Star Wars: The Force Awakens ahead.)
Lord Vader, in all his galactic glory, initiated a stand-off with Kylo Ren, his robotic breath the only potent sound in a now near-silent auditorium. And as the two evil forces squared off, suddenly, we heard the sweet sound of my 5-year old say, “Hi, Grandfather!”
For a moment, Darth Vader, seemingly thrown off guard, continued to stare down at his grandson, Kylo Ren. And then, with great care and even greater significance, he gently laid his hand on the head of his evil little protégé.
There was a collective gasp as we all felt the force flow between the two, reveling in a poignant moment that almost brought tears of joy to my eyes. After a long pause, Vader pulled his hand away and resumed his façade, all traces of vulnerability erased from his demeanor.
(But we know you’ve always been conflicted, right – Anakin?)
Kylo Ren pulled away from Lord Vader, a new confidence and air of pride in his stance. He had, after all, been christened by the dark side.
Star Wars Day at Sea is exclusive to the Disney Fantasy on select Western Caribbean sailings, January through April in 2016. Families will experience a day of intergalactic fun, including:
– A deck party featuring a Star Wars-themed show, plus music, dancing, lasers and fireworks
– A meet-and-greet with Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers and other characters from the Star Wars galaxy
– A shipboard version of the Jedi Training Academy
– Star Wars-themed games and activities at Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Disney’s Oceaneer Lab
– Screenings of the Star Wars films, including the only at-sea screening of Episode VII
Stay tuned for more exciting details about our adventure at sea!