A Long Time Ago, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Friday, 19 November 2010

As of this evening, my son has now seen all three Star Wars movies. We watched the first one about two weeks ago, then we watched The Empire Strikes Back last weekend. Tonight, we watched Return of the Jedi. We watched the originals only – and I mean THE originals; I actually ordered the bonus disks from Netflix that have the original theatrical releases. I didn’t want my son’s first exposure to the Star Wars Universe to be muddied up with Greedo shooting first (or maybe this link is better), an embarrassing musical number at Jabba’s place, or an inexplicable cameo by Hayden Christensen.

I wasn’t sure Owen was ready for them. I mean, he likes space, space ships, and robots…so in that way Star Wars seems a perfect fit. But they’re also quite violent. I wasn’t sure if I should be showing a five year old scenes of people getting their arms cut off (man, that happens ALL THE TIME in Star Wars), or Jabba getting strangled by a chain, or Mark Hamill trying to act. I mean, that might just be too much for a kid.

But, I guess I figured he was going to see them eventually, especially since he’s such a fan of R2-D2 and C-3PO, and I even wear t-shirts with Star Wars iconography on them. So I think it’s better that I be there to watch them with him than that he just watch them at a friend’s house one day. I mean, if I wasn’t sitting there, who would be there to explain to Owen that it’s okay to be entertained by violence – when it’s in movies like this, we call it “fun,” and if we see it on the nightly news, we call it “staying informed.”

Turns out, it was good that I was there to answer questions. Owen pretty much talked throughout that entire three films, and he keeps asking questions about them (probably because he missed so much while talking during the viewing). His questions ranged from: “Where’s Luke right now?” (He’s with Yoday, remember?) to “If this new Death Star is more powerful than the original one, then why do they only blow up ships with this one and not whole planets?” (Um, I don’t know) to “Which Star Wars movie do you like best?” (The Empire Strikes Back) and, of course, “Why?” (I don’t know, I think because all the main characters spend some time inside an animal)

Actually, even though he talked the whole time, he still noticed some very minute details. When, before we started Return of the Jedi this evening, he asked me if the four-legged robots would appear in this one, I said no. But then, Owen managed to spot one in a quick shot of Endor as Vader’s ship comes to land. I had no idea.

For my part, I enjoyed watching them with him. They’re fun movies, and it was fun to read to him lines like “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,” when I knew it was the first time he’d heard them. I’ve read rumors that the trilogy will be brought to iMax sometime soon. If so, I’ll have to bring Owen. I’m just gonna hope it’s not the uprevved version.

Next up…I think I’m gonna show him Jurassic Park. There’s a scene where a lawyer get’s eaten by a t-rex, so that will give me a chance to explain to Owen that that is violence Daddy approves of.

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