George Lucas…I loved him when I was a kid. When I was 10 there was no genius more creative. There was no one in my universe who did what George Lucas could do. He made myths come alive in new ways that I’d never even thought of. I spent five years obsessed with all things Lucas and Lucasfilm. I could tell you pretty much any fact about any of the players behind the scenes in Star Wars.
I’m older now; three decades have passed since Return Of The Jedi’s opening day. In that time I’ve had a good long look at George’s crumbling clay feet and tarnishing bronze. I still admire him on the one hand, while harbouring a sad loss of innocence in the other. But hang on a second. Where does all this fit in with the topic at hand?
Well, one of the things I knew about George Lucas was that his diabetes seemed to be a roadblock that kept him from biologically fathering a child. After initially adopting Amanda with his wife Marcia (before their marriage went tets up) he then adopted more children during the years he was single. Now he’s seventy years old, ridiculously wealthy and married to a woman who is my age and is wealthy in her own right.
So what do you buy when you already have more everything than anyone previously knew existed?
Don’t misunderstand, please. I’m happy for them, and happy for the new life they’ve brought into the world. Life is always good and it’s especially celebrated when it arrives after the time one thought one’s reproductive days were over.
But I can’t help looking at the picture released yesterday, with them both standing and smiling in business attire, talking about how their biological child was born via surrogate and thinking “wow, this is kind of weird.”
Weird doesn’t mean wrong. (Land! If it did can you imagine how much trouble I’d be in?) It just means that something is so far out of my scope I just can’t look at it without thinking “I have got to sit here and wrap my mind around this.”
In trying to wrap, I’ve come up with a few questions. If you feel like answering, hop right on in.
1. How did they conceive the child? It clearly involved some measure of scientific assistance. I’d be a bald liar if I didn’t say I wondered what that was. How does a theoretically fertility-challenged man contribute material? (As an infertile person myself I’m always fascinated by the new reprotechs.)
2. Did they do any fiddly things with the genetics? For instance, did they screen for diabetes? Obviously this kid is streets ahead in the scientific creation aspect. I wonder how far.
3. This is the worst and most shallow question I have–which is saying something. How wise is it to bring a child into the world when you’re nearing the finish line? As I told someone yesterday, I imagine he has enough money to prolong his life further than the average person. He has access to top flight medical care, and that’s the best way to stave off the inevitable. But still, even if he lives to 90, he’ll only see 20 years of his daughter’s life. Granted, we are none of us guaranteed a tomorrow so I suppose anyone having a child could be cut short before spending much of the child’s life along side her. Still and all, the odds are greater in his case that he’ll run out the clock sooner than a thirty-four year old father.
4. Everest. Her name is Everest. DID THESE TWO PEOPLE NOT GO TO JUNIOR HIGH?!? How many “Climb Everest” sex jokes are going to bandied around that girl? Honestly. The only thing worse would have been naming her Town Bicycle. I swear.
5. Would I have a designer baby if I had the chance? If I could pay people to be pregnant for me, to stay up the infant nights for me? I honestly don’t know. Ten years ago I would have said yes. Now it’s a solid “maybe”.