The first three letters in “fanatic” are f-a-n and no one knows that better than the true believers here at Hero Complex. People confess their obsessions to us all the time. For example, take Aaron Curtiss, a seemingly normal adult employed here at the Los Angeles Times as a high-level editor. This is his story:
The Death Star has entered my orbit.
As I officially begin middle age, I plan to celebrate my 40th birthday next month not with a sordid extramarital affair, a hyper-compensating hot rod or some personal quest for cosmic meaning. I will celebrate with the ultimate power in the universe — as rendered in 3,803 interlocking Lego bricks.
If you think an adult dropping $400 on a kid’s toy is the pinnacle of irresponsible budgeting, you’re probably reading the wrong blog. But since you’re here, you’re more likely to be most upset to know that after my Lego Death Star arrives sometime next week, I’ll rip open the box and actually sit down to build the most expensive single Lego set I’ve ever bought. And, trust me on this, I have bought a lot of Lego over the years.
Two things that shaped my late childhood were “Star Wars” and Lego. For my generation, there are really only two types of people: There are the guys for whom “Star Wars” shaped their understanding of the world -– and then there are girls. In the decade or so since Lego began producing sets based on the classic trilogy –- and, oh, yes, those prequels –- I’ve combined two of my great loves and been able to pass both on to my own boys, one of whom is just as excited as I am to assemble the Death Star.
And who wouldn’t be? After all, it includes a minifig-scale trash compactor, the detention block, the tractor beam and the conference room where Lord Vader first demonstrates just how dangerous it can be to underestimate the power of the Force. Each of these vignettes provides learning opportunities that I, as I descend into gray hair and pot belly, can share with my boys. These tales will help them become responsible members of the republic. What kind of lessons? Well, for instance, the valuable knowledge that following a pretty girl with a gun into strange places can end badly. And that you should always, always, carry a grappling hook on your belt. Hey, wait: I wonder where I can buy one of those?
— Aaron Curtiss
Photo courtesy of the Lego Group.