The news was always a racket for my parents. Sure, I loved the idiot box as much as the next kid, but when the noise coming from it transformed from the violent slapstick of Looney Tunes to the not-so-loony violence of the news, my brain always convulsed inside my skull.

“Peter Jennings, go away. I’ll give you a Star Wars action figure of your very own if you will just step away from the television and allow Bugs Bunny and his compatriots to resume control of my mind.”

When you’re a child, things are confusing, and not just because they’re complex. They’re confusing because people are insane enough to use the same term to describe more than one thing. For example, like so many drool monkeys from my generation, I was (and still am) a Star Wars fanatic. George Lucas has an annex all of his own in my brain’s attic.

But when the news came on and Peter Jennings mentioned the Star Wars program, my ears always perked up.

Could it be?

No, it couldn’t be.

Yes. It could be.

Could it be that two worlds were converging? That childhood and adulthood were melding into one glorious union before my very eyes? No. It’s couldn’t be. It wasn’t to be. Because Star Wars – according to Peter Jennings – had something to do with Russia, and nothing to do with Darth Vader. Sure, the Soviet Union was every bit as threatening as the Empire in the ’80s, but they had no Darth. No light sabers. Just boring commentary.

“NASA sent a probe into blah, blah, blah …” Where’s the joy? Where is the love? Where is Luke Skywalker?

It took me years to untangle this Star Wars mess. The notion that Star Wars could be BOTH a beloved film franchise AND a “space race” with an opposing superpower confounded my little brain. Which brings me to a question for all of you: What confused you when you were a child? What took you years of life and/or therapy to unravel and decode? I would love to hear your stories.