Thursday, 12 May 2016

Imperial March: Watching Star Wars for the very first time

The Star Wars franchise has always been a pretty big deal in our house (not including the prequels, cause you know, Jar Jar and cry baby Anakin are the worst).  As children who were both born in the 1970's and at peak Star Wars appreciating ages during the 1980s, it has become a foundation in our personal popular culture appreciation, I mean it's freaking Star Wars!

*If you have never seen Star Wars, you should, but be warned this post is riddled with spoilers for the good trilogy.

When we found out we were having girl/boy twins one of the ongoing jokes was us potentially naming them after famous twins Leia and Luke.  The photo frame containing the most recent photo of Molly and Jack displayed in Chris's office says, "The force runs strong in my family".   Chris named our car Rondo Calrissian, and almost every year we have a May the 4th Star Wars viewing where we watch one or more of the movies.

It's really no surprise that there was heated discussion in our house about when the perfect time was to have the minions enjoy Star Wars for the very first time.

Various media guides recommend not letting your children watch Star Wars related content until they are anywhere from six to 11 years old depending on your child and the movie in the franchise, but I usually disagree with these guides to some extent, I think I have a higher tolerance for swearing and nudity than most parents, not that this is the case with Star Wars.  There have even been white papers written about the topic where fanboy, Star Wars loving blogging father's debated the important question parenting question, What is the right age to expose your children to Star Wars?  The white paper had an average suggesting somewhere between ages five and six.

The week leading up to May the 4th, Jack came home from school talking about Star Wars every, single, day.  After he told us he'd spent the day playing with Chewbacca, C3P0 and R2D2 we decided it was probably time to give the movie a shot and see what would happen.

Molly & Me Circa May the 4th 2013 (This is not the shirt you are looking for)

7 things that happened during the premiere Star Wars viewing 

  • Molly cried when the Jawas stole R2D2 (but really quickly got over it)
  • The minions had absolutely no reaction or fear towards the Tusken Raiders (AKA Sand People), we both thought they'd be really scared
  • Jack felt a strong sense of empathy for the red and white R2 unit, the one with the broken motivator, and has since named this R2 unit, A2TNT, because he wants to fix it and make it his own
  • Jack found it hysterical when everyone had to climb into the garbage shoot to escape the Storm Troopers
  • Jack's laughter was taken to the next level when Luke was pulled underwater, and his face turned red because he was "nearly squished" in the trash compactor 
  • When Darth Vader struck Obi-Wan Kenobi with the light sabre, Molly was hopeful that he had turned invisible, but then cried when she realized what had really happened
  • Molly who loves emotional reunions and warm fuzzy moments nearly lost her mind in happiness when Princess Leia gave all of the heroes awards for their role in her rescue and destroying Death Star One
Since we watched the film Jack has been humming Star Wars theme music non-stop, and both kids have declared their emphatic hatred towards the Empire, and Darth Vader.  I am confident that four and a half was the correct age for our kids to watch this film.  They have already asked to see the next movie soon and we will gladly oblige, likely in another month or two (we need to savour these things).

Stay tuned for my next post for 6 essential tips to make your child's first Star Wars experience a success, complete with some great discussion topics for kids and parents.

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