GotG2: Best Father’s Day Movie in the Galaxy

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Father’s Day is hopefully a time when the culture says, ‘This is our moment to look at who our men and boys are.’

– Michael Gurian, Social Philosopher

 

According to the National Fatherhood Initiative (2017) we have a “Father Crisis” in America that amounts to 24 million children—one out of three—who live without their biological father at home and thus are more likely to have behavior problems, face abuse and neglect, use drugs, drop out of high school, go to prison and a host of other correlated life problems.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, since “99% of the fathers” assessed in a national study “agreed that being a father was a very important part of who they are, and 94 percent ‘strongly agreed.’ At a minimum,” the study declared “these findings indicate a strong social norm that being a [good] father should be a crucial aspect of a father’s identity” (Pop’s Culture, 2006, 2).

But what makes a good father?

The study found that the largest “insight into why some fathers perform their fatherhood role more effectively than others” as well as the “major obstacles to good fathering” was education. Not classic, school education but education about the importance of fatherhood, prevalence and detriment of father absence and most of all that while there are different kinds of fatherhood, presence is key (Pop’s Culture, 2006, 27).

Even though 65% of the fathers surveyed listed the media portraying fathers in a negative light as a barrier to good fatherhood we can also use the media portrayal of fatherhood as the means of positive education (Pop’s Culture, 2006, 7).

Of course, we’re speaking of the season’s hit Father’s Day movie, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

What, surprised?

Peter Quill, the infamous Starlord, is the product of an absent father and, as the statistics dictate, at the start of the first movie he had fallen into crime and had some definite behavior and authority problems. The second volume picks up where the first left off, going deeper into the fatherless aspect of Quill’s character, while also portraying other fatherhood types.

Find the Father

It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.

– Pope John XXIII

Though the movie has been out for a while, we’re spoiler-free here, so we won’t be exploring which characters portray what types—that’s where the Father’s Day fun comes in! Below are the father types and their descriptions, but it’s up to you to see if you can find which father they describe—Find the Father, it’s a Father’s Day movie scavenger hunt!

The Dictator

“This Dad…leads with control and enforces rules with an iron hand. This Dad says, ‘My way or the highway’” (Sanders, 2013). Again, no spoilers, but this one feels like a bad guy. Ahem, bad guy, right?

The Emperor

Picture Cesar presiding over the Coliseum. His children are review-guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-2the gladiators, they vie for attention and praise and hide from his wrath. He pits them against one another by comparing them to each other saying “why can’t you be more like…?” This Dad isn’t on screen in the movie but the results of his fathering style are splashed all over the screen by his daughters.

The King

Sanders (2013) says that “this Dad is strict and nurtures when needed. He leads by example. His children know what he doesn’t want them to do, as well as what he wants them to do. This Dad says, ‘Let me show you the way.’” In Guardians 2 this new character could also be seen as the father of a prodigal, casting out his “son” to go his own way, but yearning to welcome him back.

The Captain

This father sets the rules for his children while building on their strengths. He corrects their misbehavior while forgiving. He points the way and expects his children to follow in it, but will discuss the benefits of the path, not simply order. He is not perfect, but always gives of himself. In the film, this father gives it all.

***

This Father’s Day go and sit with your Dad, or your kids and watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Play “Find the Father” but most of all celebrate fathers of all types. The blockbuster movie, and the National Fatherhood initiative agree that no father is perfect, no style is best, but a father whose there to talk, play catch and listen brings a child more health and success than one whose not there at all.

 

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National Fatherhood Initiative (2006) POP’S CULTURE: A National Survey of Dads’ Attitudes on Fathering.

National Fatherhood Initiative www.fatherhood.org

Sanders, R. (2013) What Kind of Dad Are You? National Fatherhood Initiative. Retrieved From: http://www.fatherhood.org/bid/180322/What-Kind-of-Dad-Are-You

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