When Tom Burns' daughter asked if she could be Han Solo for Halloween, he responded with an enthusiastic "Of course!"
So when she next suggested that he dress as Princess Leia, what else could he say?
"That would be FANTASTIC," Burns told his daughter, later explaining in a blog post: "Because that's what dads do."
Burns recently showed his 7-year-old daughter "Star Wars" for the first time, which put an interesting twist on their yearly tradition of dressing in coordinating Halloween costumes.
“Oh, I was so proud of her for choosing Han. She chose the scoundrel — the guy who shoots first! There aren't very many women in 'Star Wars,' so I’m glad that she picked who she saw as the coolest character and didn't limit herself to the available girl choices,” Burns told TODAY after images of the duo in costume went viral.
In a recent post for "The Good Men Project," Burns wrote about how his daughter asked him whether or not it would be appropriate for her to dress as Han Solo for Halloween, being that Solo is a male character.
“Since she was really young, the whole ‘what are girls things?’ and ‘what are boys things?’ question has always attracted my daughter’s attention. She’d ask me if it was OK to play with superheroes because ‘other girls don’t really do that.’ I’d explain to her — ‘Yes, they do. There are amazing girl superheroes and there are girls who create superheroes, and there are boys who make and design and love Barbies as well,'” said Burns.
Burns says that, in spite of having these conversations, his daughter seemed a little wary when she came up with the idea for this year's costume.
“She definitely asked for permission to go as Han Solo rather than telling me that’s what she wanted to be — which is what she’s done every other year. I just wanted to make sure she knew that it was, of course, 100 percent OK,” said Burns.
Burns said that because he was telling her it was OK for a girl to dress as a boy character, he thought the only appropriate response when his daughter requested that he dress up as Princess Leia was an emphatic "yes."
And so, while Burns’ wife created a Han Solo costume for their daughter, the writer and founder of the blog Building a Library got to work on his Leia costume, ordering a hoodie with the Princess’ signature buns and finishing the look with a white nurse’s skirt he found at a uniform store.
The pair debuted their costumes at an event at their local zoo, and plan to reprise their roles later this week on Halloween, where they’ll trick-or-treat with a third member of the Star Wars cast, Chewbacca.
“I’ve seen comments asking ‘Why didn’t the dad just dress as Chewbacca?’ I have two answers to that. First, my daughter didn’t ask me to be Chewie, she asked me to be Leia — she was aware of the gender-flip in her costume and thought having me do the same thing would be fun," Burns said. "Second, she really wanted our dog to dress up as Chewbacca, and he looks fantastic.