My son’s birthday party is tomorrow. He’s turning five. I’m supposed to dress like Darth Vader and surprise all the kids, because “Darth Vader likes birthdays, and is nice to people when it’s their birthday.” As you can see, we bought a mask and a cape and a shirt and a lightsaber and everything; this party has gotten expensive, so Amazon referral links for those products can be found here, here, here, and here. Thank you for your support.

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I look okay, I think. (Yes, I know that’s Kylo Ren’s lightsaber, but I’m not convinced my sons are aware that Star Wars is even a movie, let alone a franchise, so keep it to yourself.) My concern is that I’m gonna scare the shit out of everyone.

Seriously, though, this party’s gonna be dope. We made “Wookie Cookies” last night. (My wife’s way better at this stuff than I am.) Look at this shit.

Amazing. Plus she did Marshmallow Stormtroopers! Look at these li’l dudes!

Anyway, my concern is that Darth Vader’s gonna walk into the thing, and a dozen 5-year-olds are going to immediately run out, screaming. The mask has a button and a speaker and a bunch of prerecorded Darth Vader quotes, I am your father and whatnot, though the second one is Don’t make me destroy you, which I don’t remember Darth ever saying, and that’s not really appropriate for this. Maybe none of this is appropriate for this, though.

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Is this a good idea? Is there any way to guarantee that I won’t scare everyone? Should I come in on my knees or something? Due to the mask, I can’t do much to convey friendliness other than arrange my hands in a non-threatening manner. We also got mini-lightsabers made out of cut-up pool noodles that the kids can use to whack the crap outta me, which hopefully will be cathartic.

Other than that, I’m not sure what to do to guarantee nobody is traumatized. Any advice? Should I call the whole thing off just to be safe? I suppose we could return all the stuff. (Not you, though: Please buy it through those links and use it. This party cost a fortune.)

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Thank you for your counsel.