Saturday, July 11, 2009

What is it about Star Wars?

It started with Legos. When my sister moved across the country her husband gave my boys a box of legos that he didn't want to pack up and take with them. These were a few Star Wars lego figures and some of the ships from the Star Wars movies. The kids have been playing with these legos for months now and slowly learning the names of the different figures that they found in this box. They kept mixing up the numbers and letters of the different "robots", I tired to correct them and say they were droids. They have been asking and asking me to let them see the Star Wars movies. I kept saying they needed to wait until they were older because they might be a bit scary and give them nightmares.

A few weeks ago I took the kids to one of the summer Wednesday morning dollar movies, Kung Fu Panda. Henry had yet to see a movie in a theater and loved watching this one on the big screen. As I was sitting there watching these different animals do Kung fu and battle it out I thought... This is just about a violent and scary as the original Star Wars movie. I went home and talked to my husband about it and ended up putting the First Star Wars movie (episode IV) on my Netfix queue.

My kids were in heaven when I told them that it had arrived in the mail. They quickly cleaned their rooms and put their toys away (this doesn't happen quickly, ever in our house) so they could watch it. I watched it with them, or tired to, I fell asleep through a bit of it, in case it got too scary. The kids loved it, watched it again the next day, and were clamoring for the next one. So again I put the Empire Strikes Back on my queue and the kids loved this one even more. Sophie especially loved Yoda. They boys just love the antics of C-3PO and R2-D2. And of course they knew there was more to the story and wanted to see the next movie too.

Here is Sophie's drawing of R2-D2 which has been given a place of honor in a frame and now sits in the boy's room

So again the mail man brought us a red envelope which Henry couldn't wait to open. Before I could even stop him he had ripped open the envelope and was looking at the disk. He said "Princess Leah doesn't have much clothes on". I had forgotten how scantily clad Leah is during one of the scenes in Return of the Jedi. I didn't go into detail about why Leah is almost naked but just said that they would find out when they watched the movie. I am glad that scene doesn't last too long and boys were more interested in Jaba and what animals he was eating than in Princess Leah. When the movie ended they talked about the little live teddy bears (Ewoks) and all the funny things they did.

Sophie has really enjoyed the library book we found that is all about the different droids. We have endless pictures of them scattered about the house.

So now the kids have watch these three Star Wars Movies. They know there are three more and that they explain how Anikan Skywalker becomes Darth Vadar. I personally have only seen each of the prequels only once and don't remember being that impressed with them. They seemed very flashy and full of computer generated characters and lots of special effects. A little light on story if I remember right. The kids are pretty happy with the three they have seen but most of the books and such that they find at the library talk about characters and events that happen in these first three movies. They even found Episode I on the shelf of children's movies. I don't know why I am so leary of these first three Star Wars movies. They are rated PG just like the 3 I have already shown the kids but.... maybe it is because I am not as familiar with them. What do you think? Are the first three any worse, violent and such, as the original three?

For now they are content to build lego ships, read books about Star Wars, and draw lots of pictures of their favorite characters. There are a few light saber battles too, Ian is always Luke Skywalker and Henry is always Darth Vader.

I have never been that excited about Star Wars. Growing up, I remember watching the movies but can't say they were ones that I needed to see over and over again. My brother did have a few of the Star Wars figures and if I remember right an Empire Strikes Back Beach towel (funny the things your remember!). I know when I went to college there were Star Wars parties where they would watch the original three movies back to back. For some reason they are a classic for us to share with our kids. My kids sure loved these and are a bit Star Wars crazy at the moment. But I know before long they will move onto something else. So far we haven't had any bad dreams and I don't see an increase in violence around the house. (My boys have always had battles, either they were vikings, knights or Kung Fu fighters).

So I gave in with Star Wars. I still wonder if almost 4 years old is a little young for such movies. But it is hard to let some kids watch and not let the others.

I am still holding off on Harry Potter movies and books though. I look forward to reading these with the kids and watching the movies. I told Sophie when she was 11 we would read the books. The early books would be fine I am sure but the later books are a lot more scary and I don't think she would understand them yet anyway.

I guess Star Wars will have to do for now.

1 comment:

Sonja said...

It's funny how that happens! =)

First, I should say that I have been keeping up with you! I'm excited about your new little one and your kids are growing so much! You guys do the funnest things and you are such an inspiration to me. Thanks!

Oh Star Wars.

It started with Legos for us too. Sam (my 10 year old) has never liked scary things. If he thought it was even a little bit too scary, he would NOT watch or listen. And that was fine with me. But in the last six months, he's suddenly "grown up" and now he is not so scared of things. He first played with star wars legos, then read about star wars, then did the lego stuff online, talked to friends his age about it, and then watched the original episodes. We've watched the first "new" one and have stopped there. Jar Jar Binks drives me NUTS! I think the others may be a little too intense for now, plus he likes the "original" ones better. BUT the whole concept of Star Wars occupies a lot of this thoughts nowadays.

Sam didn't want to have anything to do with Harry Potter until a few months ago, either. Then he read all the books and really liked them--except he skipped a lot of the last 2 books and just asked me about what happens. He's seen a few of the movies but isn't so excited about them. He says, "I think my imagination is better."--and probably not as scary. =)

Good luck and may the force be with you.