A model of sea turtles sits on a notebook pad

Like Father, Like Son

 By Tiger Shi
Web Content Contributor

Last week was Father’s Day, a day to honor the achievements of fathers out there. I know that there are two types of relationships which are father-son and father-daughter. I will primarily focus on father-son relations because I see a correlation between one in real life and in fiction. 

Growing up, I was actually scared of my father. He used to work in an office and always come home grumpy. On a normal basis, I don’t have much in common with him. Whenever I get in trouble at school, my mother would step aside and had my father punish me. The punishment was honestly intimidating every time, but I learned my lesson. Therefore, as a son, I got along with my mother more because my father had that “mean” vibe.

A display of Father’s Day on an iPad calendar
Father’s Day is a global celebration. Image by Tiger Shi.

Whenever high school came along, I got more used to my dad’s temperament. It probably was because I matured and adapted to his style of parenting. Towards the end of my high school years, I actually improved relations with my dad, likely due to the fact that he is funding my college tuition.

This was confirmed after I started my degree at Texas State when he’d send me memes often to boost morale in college performance.

Nowadays, I’d debate with him about politics. Topics like the Chinese Communist Party, the Trump administration, the presidential election and international diplomacy would be brought up. We’ve had disagreements, but we are still cool.

A book cover for The Pursuit of Happiness displays
Fathers inspire their sons as role models. Image by Tiger Shi.

Fictionally, my relationship with my own dad would kind of mirror that of the relations between Anakin and Luke Skywalker. Both Skywalkers were Jedi, grew up on the same planet, great pilots, lost a hand in combat and knew Obi-Wan Kenobi. My dad and I can speak Mandarin, prefer to drive a specific type of car and are fans of history. In the Star Wars universe, the Skywalkers’ father-son relationship would come a long way.

Spoiler alert: Anakin technically wasn’t around in Luke’s life from birth and during childhood because Anakin became Darth Vader. Luke, along with his twin sister Leia, was separated and adopted by different families to keep them hidden from the Empire. The funny thing is, Luke kind of “bonded” with Vader during his lightsaber duel with him on Cloud City. From then on, the Star Wars original trilogy became Luke’s passion to turn Anakin back to the light.

This mirrors my own life with my dad since he wasn’t around in my life in a positive manner. He appeared to me then as the “executioner” whenever I got a time-out or something. Now, I get along with him just as I do with my mom, referencing like when Anakin did turn back to the light side of the force in Return of the Jedi. My father’s redemption was very much like Anakin’s redemption because he finally got a chance to branch out with the father-son relationship with me. 

Therefore, I increased, over the years, my positive review of my dad’s influence, even though he was sometimes a jerk. But by acting like a military drill instructor, he taught me the most valuable thing a human being should know: discipline. He is probably a better dad than Frank Heffley (Wimpy Kid series) and others in film. However, he is nevertheless just as great as being my family’s “Jedi Knight,” the real Anakin Skywalker.

Featured image by Tiger Shi.

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