Happy Father’s Day, Darth Vader!

Darth Vader Luke Skywalker Friending

No Friending for Darth Vader on Luke Skywalker's Facebook Page

Still, Dad is the common denominator in most of my “Star Wars” memories. It’s because of him that I got entangled in this nerdiest of pursuits, after all.

It’s because of Dad that one of the first things I can remember reading — at age 3, to my parents’ great surprise — is that scrolling yellow text at the beginning of each movie, which we owned on already-weathered VHS tapes.

It was Dad who took my sister and me to see the special editions of the original trilogy — the ones at which purists sniff, “Han shot first” — so that we could experience the movies as he had before we were born, even though we already knew all of the movies’ secrets from him.

It was Dad who flipped on the two-day marathon on Spike TV last Christmas Eve, providing a backdrop, a tether back to him when my sister and I brought our respective significant others home.

It was Dad who watched three of the movies with me in one day in grad school, when I spent a week’s break flat on my back with the flu.

It was Dad who assured me that being a nerd was no sin when, in fifth grade, glorying in my nerdiness, I announced that I thought I was cool and the resident mean girl sharply told me otherwise.

By now, my sister and I — whose shared love of “Star Wars” is a little different, a little more playful and ironic — know to nurture Dad’s geekiness. I’ve bought him Darth Vader and Yoda Christmas stockings. She took him to see the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra perform the original movie’s score.

“Star Wars” may be about a parent-child relationship more complicated than ours — Darth Vader my father isn’t — but to me, it is still about ours. And so, as we celebrate fathers this month, I’ll be celebrating mine by celebrating the nerd he made me.

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