My son enjoys them, although we have held off in having seen the first trilogy since we want him to understand it in the first go….think Space Odyssey seen by a 7 year old, they will quite not get it.” — immv, Slate.com commenter
A few weeks back, I began to search for informational/expository pieces that would make good supplemental material for my students to read while we work through the informational reading standards. I found this article on the TV series The Clone Wars (where I found the above advice…) Thinking I had a winner, I printed the article and prepared it for distribution to my class. But while I had scanned it, it wasn’t as carefully as I should have been; while prepping some sub plans, I went back over the story, and finally caught some phrasing about Wookies that were less than appropriate for use in school.
So, back to square one, and we spent time looking at the animal massacre in Zanesville Ohio instead.
But Star Wars wasn’t necessarily going away. It followed me home.
Some time back, when Katelyn was first starting her little obsession with the Disney Princesses, she began to bug everyone within ear shot as to who her favorite Disney Princess was and inevitably, she decided to ask her daddy.
I thought for a moment, then replied, “Princess Leia”…
For a while now, Katelyn, when discussing Princesses, was always sure to point out that I like Princess Leia. Beyond that however, I didn’t detect any real interest in watching Star Wars. At her preschool though, a playmate had got her hooked on pretend play using the movie, and Katelyn, from what her instructor told me, immediately seized upon the idea that she could be Princess Leia. Amber, who has never really seen the films, was mortified to find out that Katelyn was pretending to shoot a pretend phaser, not realizing that Carrie Fisher packs heat in the movies at various points.
Then, on Halloween night, at Disneyland’s Mickey’s Halloween Party, Katelyn was not only asking to take photos with the famous Disney villains, out that night but also asking (asking?) to take photos with the stormtroopers at one of the photo spots! I knew, at this point, that my daughter was crossing over…
But as for the original movie itself, I had tried it once, but as the above commenter noted at the start of this post, I gathered that she lost interest pretty much by the time the movie was really getting started and have moved into Luke Skywalker’s early scenes with his aunt and uncle. The positive about that early experience was that she lasted longer into Star Wars than she had something like Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 (good) or The Incredibles (sad). On the other hand, I have begun to notice that my daughter was already starting to show an ability to handle slightly heavier themed films, so when she asked today to watch Star Wars, I asked her a couple of times to make sure she knew what she was asking to see.
“You want to see Star Wars?”
“Yes, I am playing it with D. outside today.”
“You want to watch it?”
“Daddy, do you know that Queen Amidala is Luke’s mother?”
I’m stunned. “Who told you that?”
“I. my friend.” Kate’s friend’s father, whom I met, is a comic geek. Considering the source of her little friend’s introduction, I’m no longer shocked, thinking, at this point, if another 4-year-old is able to retain that much info from the inferior second trilogy of films, maybe Kate is ready to watch the better quality original.
(In the interest of full disclosure, Kate’s godfather recently decided to introduce Kate’s godmother to Star Wars by starting with Episode I. Big mistake, and no shock that her godmother is now even more determined not to watch any more of the other films. Hayden Christensen seems to have that affect on people.)
So, out of the DVD case Star Wars came and into the player. As I type this, she’s made all the way through the scene in the Death Star’s trash compactor before bedtime interrupted her viewing. As I tucked her in, she wants to watch the rest while she gets ready for school in the morning…