January 13, 2016

Introducing the Star Wars Movies

My six-year-old boy is a budding Star Wars fan. Star Wars had little effect on his pop culture worldview before this year, until his favorite animated show featured a spaceship nearly swallowed by a space worm in a cave. I took this opportunity to introduce my boy to the first 20 minutes of The Empire Strikes Back -minus Darth Vader and the Wampa. Over the last few months, we've shown him the Sail Barge / Sarlacc Pit battle and the Endor speeder chase scenes from Return of the Jedi too. In December one of his kindergarten friends (Cole the Mole) spoiled the whole plot of The Force Awakens to anyone who would listen, and this Christmas the Star Wars toys started pouring into our house. It turns out a six-year-old with a pile of Force Awakens sticker books learns the names of all the characters pretty quick!
So here's my conundrum: Episode Eight comes out in May 2017, 16 months from now. When my boy enters second grade in September 2017, he'll be almost eight. Practically speaking, it's only fair that he get to see at least The Force Awakens and Episode Eight by then. I don't want my son to be exposed to scary scenes, peril, and violence before he's ready, but I also don't want him to be the weirdo second grader who hasn't seen the Star Wars movies!
SO I have 16 months: do I show my son all the Star Wars movies? Do I skip the prequel trilogy, at least for now, and show him the original 4-5-6 this year? Here's my tentative plan:

  1. Spring 2016: A New Hope
  2. Summer 2016: The Empire Strikes Back
  3. Fall 2016: Return of the Jedi
  4. Winter 2017: The Force Awakens
  5. May 2017: Episode Eight