Local family uses Star Wars to teach children life lessons and about hope

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- This weekend, solo: a Star Wars movie opened, it`s expected to rake more than $80 million at the box office.

Some of that came from the Rogers family, which has made Star Wars a family affair.

You could say the force is strong in the Rogers' house. Mother Karen has a Star Wars room in her home, and in a place of honor, a light saber. "How fun, huh?" she asked. "His is Rey's or would've been Anakin's."

Audrey, just 6, showed off her favorite character dolls. She pointed to one. "Padme," she explained. "I know she looks a little mean, but she's a good guy."

Her brother, 10-year-old Alex, preferred the LEGO kits. He pointed to one, "Millennium Falcon," he said, "I know took me four or five hours. I go through them pretty quick, and then I want another."

He builds them with his father, who loves not being on camera. "I like Star Wars because it's very advanced in a very complicated way," he said. "I like that it has very mechanical structure, because, to be honest, I am a builder."

The Rogers have a large collection. But eyes can deceive you; don't trust them.

"The reason it continues to be relevant for me is the stories of the human condition," Karen explained. "It is the story of ourselves, told in space."

She expanded on that theory. "We can see that our heroes don't stay, they're not perfect in our world. They are human, and they have hubris, and they fall. And that is what our human story is, and Star Wars is the modern myth."

With the backstory of one of the more beloved characters (that stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder) hitting big screens this weekend, the force awakened again in the family. Not like it ever really went to sleep.

Because the force runs strong in this family, and they're passing on what they have learned. Mainly, hope.

"To have courage in difficult times," Karen said. "To believe that even if you're small, you have an important part to play. To believe that when there are choices in life, you have to choose to help people and lift them up."

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