February 21, 2012

Introducing Star Wars to the Kidlets

Oh dear. Everything seems to be happening on St Patrick’s Day. I’ll be at Wondercon that day, and already I’ve been invited to a baby shower and a birthday party. Not to mention that I’m missing Sportive Tricks in Long Beach. (Go, Southern California people, go!)

But I’m going to Wondercon. I’m going to make myself a Sith costume and I’m debating whether to go with a classic cloak or something a little less traditional.

Though that reminds me- I need to make a Vader costume for someone. Because this (as my friends pointed out) screams Casual Day on the Death Star.

Little Kidlet's version of Darth Vader

It is official. The Little Kidlet has seen all of the original Star Wars trilogy. I’m still not entirely sure that he heard that Vader is Luke’s father… he might have been too busy lightsaber dueling with an invisible opponent.

He really did enjoy Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, though. He cheered when Palpatine was thrown into the reactor shaft. He had no real reaction to the Ewoks, but he did grab just about any toy and pretend they were speeder bikes.

His big brother was more interested in getting some computer time, since he knew he wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to play his roller coaster building program this week. Though he did manage to come into the end of Return of the Jedi (after missing all of ESB) and still miss that Vader was Luke’s father. He did know that Vader turned good at the end, but missed the rest. We’ll try again this week, I think.

I don’t think I ever really explained why I’ve been so eager to make sure both boys saw the original trilogy. Aside from the fact that I’m a big Star Wars fan, I had a feeling that they’d enjoy the movies as well as Episode One (TheBoy and I agreed that Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith are just too dark for the boys). And come on- lightsabers are just fun.

But really, I wanted my boys to have the chance to experience one of the great surprise twists of the movie world. They’re still young enough that they didn’t actually know who Darth Vader is, especially since they mostly played with each other and I’ve sworn my family and the in-laws not to spoil them.

Why? It was something that I didn’t get to have. Empire Strikes Back was released the year I was born. I literally grew up with kids who had older siblings who just told them that Vader was Luke’s father. I hadn’t even seen the movie yet and exactly how James Earl Jones said it.

I know lots of people who started their kids watching the Star Wars movies with The Phantom Menace, since it’s now the starting point of the Star Wars trilogy. But I would argue that the prequels are only effective if you’ve already seen the original trilogy. You get the added dimension of knowing that this is a tragic tale from the start. You know that Anakin is going to turn to the Dark Side and that Obi-Wan didn’t see it coming. You know that the Republic will fail. And you get to see the hints of what’s to come.

I did go see The Phantom Menace in 3D with TheBoy weekend before last. I know, many people will say that I’m simply enabling George Lucas- but really, the Star Wars movies are meant to be seen on the big screen. And Phantom Menace was a lovely 3D conversion. It was done to be immersive (more so than say Alice in Wonderland, which was also a nicely done 3D conversion… but pretty pointless in the end), and the podrace and lightsaber duel/triad was pretty dang spectacular.

No, Jar Jar doesn’t improve with age. There were a lot of twenty-somethings in the theater with us, and I was practically appalled by how much they laughed at Jar Jar. But then, I see people my age and how fond they are of Ewoks… and it’s basically the same thing. When you see it as a kid, it grows on you. (Unless you’re me. I never liked Ewoks. They had these terrifyingly large soulless eyes. I was more a droid girl from the start)

For goodness sake, they wanted to EAT Luke & Han.

I’ve gotten a little off track, but I’m looking forward to when the original trilogy is back in theaters, so I can take the kidlets to see Star Wars as it was meant to be seen. On a giant screen.

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