I learned something really amazing this past week. My two little girls absolutely love Star Wars! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought their appreciation for great cinematic art would have developed so quickly. My wife hasn't even developed an appreciation for Star Wars yet. I must say I am impressed though that she no longer rolls her eyes whenever I mention Star Wars.....but I'm not holding my breath for her to actually watch any of the movies.
This all started last week when my wife (yes - the one who won't watch Star Wars) picked out a Star Wars story book for the girls at the library. It's one of those "5 minute stories" books for kids. They are great for bedtime story reading. This one in particular has 15-20 stories giving you 2-3 stories per Star Wars movie.
I only had to read a few of them before they were asking tons of questions about each of the characters and what will happen to them next. When I mentioned that I had all the movies (the original 6 anyway) down in the basement, they just about jumped off the couch. They were begging to watch them right that minute.
I wasn't really sure if they were ready for them yet or not....at least until I remembered that Star Wars was the first movie I saw in the theater around the age of five. Since my daughters are now five and seven, we're right on track. If nothing else, it would be a nice break from watching Barbie and My Little Ponies. To be honest, I kinda figured they'd be sick of the "grown-up movies" after about ten minutes, but it never happened.
Fast forward a week (and past the poor parenting decisions on my part) and they are starting their fifth movie today. My original plan was to let them watch them in chronological order until I realized I didn't have Episode 1 on DVD. After I finished crying about this dramatic realization and got past the shame of being a Star Wars fan who was somehow missing one of the DVD's from my collection, I came up with a new plan.
I decided they would watch the movies in the same order their old man saw them. We cruised right through Episodes 4 through 6. Fortunately, a friend from work was kind enough to loan me his copy of Episode 1, so there was no delay in our movie marathon week. Having just finished Episode 1 and seeing "Darth Vader" when he was a nice young boy really helped them to understand that Darth Vader isn't all bad.
My initial concern that some of it would be too scary for them was quickly put to rest when I realized how logically they thought about everything. Darth Vader, for example, didn't really scare them. They kept recalling how I had apparently told them at some point that he started out a good guy and "turned back into" a good guy by the end. That had them looking past all the evil in him and making comments about how "he's only bad for a while" and that he "starts and ends as a good guy."
I think we're going to slow down on the tv time that got a little out of hand this week and take our time watching episodes 2 and 3....but I don't want to completely lose momentum and possibly have them lose interest in Star Wars (as if that's even possible). It would be nice not to finish them this weekend though. That would just mean the month long wait until Episode 7 comes out on DVD would seem like an eternity.
I am slightly ashamed to admit that I still haven't seen the latest Star Wars movie. Thinking about it now though, I'm glad I didn't rush out to see it in the theater by myself right away. I will now have the opportunity to watch it with my girls and it will be new to all of us.
Gotta run for now. My youngest and I are supposed to be having a movie night together right now while my wife and other daughter are at a school play. Amazingly enough, with a Barbie movie playing, my daughter hasn't even realized that I've been typing away on the computer. Plus I had the advantage of not having to actually watch yet another Barbie movie. Until next time....