Parenting is hard. There is no absolute right way to do it and it’s filled with all kinds of challenges and decisions that need to be made.
But there’s one particular decision I need to make for my children that has been weighing on me for quite some time now. It’s a tough one that we all have to make at some point and its outcome can have grave and long lasting effects on our children. Pat’s children are older than mine so most likely he has already had to make this decision so I thought I would seek his advice.
Pat, which order should I have my kids watch the Star Wars movies in? Should I go with the original three then the new three, like we did since they were released that way, or should they watch them in chronological order of how the story goes thus watching the news ones first then the originals?
Pat: My eyes are still kind of buggy from the title of this post, Christian. I thought I was doing an eye exam or something like it. Roman numerals? Really?
Umm...at the risk of offending Star Wars fans, do you even have to tell your kids that the three most recent films were even made? I mean, Iran almost got away with denying the Holocaust. I bet you could get away with a little historical revision. Besides, your kids are gonna’ have to find SOMETHING to hate you for. Why not this?
Christian: Hmmm... Not telling them about them you say? Interesting. I hadn’t thought about that. Is this what you did with your kids?
*dials first six digits of Child Protection Services, waits for Pat’s answer*
Pat: Nope, they saw all of them, multiple times, in multiple orders. Had nothing to do with film appreciation or cultural collateral or being “with it”. It had everything to do with me and their mom needing a good three hours of peace and quiet so we could sleep/drink/makesweetsweetlove while avoiding parenting responsibilities. What do you think the chances of being walked in on asleep/drunk/makingsweetsweetlove are when they’ve got Jawas, Droids or JarJar keeping ‘em happy?
Christian: So which order did you have them initially watch the movies while you and your wife were having drunken sex while sleeping?
Pat: Well, duh! That’s a no brainer! We went with the classic--and what should be mandated--IV, V, VI, I, II, III. Wait...I think. I’ve never been good with Roman numerals. We did “Star Wars”, and then went forward, and then I guess went backwards before going forwards again. Right? I mean, isn’t that how we all did it?
Just to be clear, I was talking about the movies, not about drunken sex. Re-reading the above, I realized that some of our readers might mistakenly think that my wife and I have some freaky sci-fi sexual fetishes.
I think I’m going to get in trouble for talking about this stuff here, ‘cause my wife reads our blog. Yep...pretty sure I’m gonna’ get busted.
Christian: Are those waffles your wife that woman is holding? That’s weird. I don’t remember any waffles in the Star Wars movies. There must be a waffle character in the newer movies that I’m not remembering.
Anyways, I’m glad to hear you went with the traditional viewing order of IV, V, VI, I, II, III. To be honest, that was going to be the order I have my kids watch them regardless of what you had to say.
I feel the main reason, amongst many, for watching them in this order is so that the surprise and shock of learning that Darth Vader is Luke’s father can still be experienced. SPOILER ALERT! Oh wait, the SPOILER ALERT was probably supposed to go before I revealed Vader is Luke’s father. Oh well.
If you watch them in chronological order, by the time Luke is introduced you already know Vader is his father. Lame. That would be like watching the Sixth Sense already knowing Bruce Willis is dead. SPOILER ALERT! Dammit. Missed it again. Sorry.
So at what age did you finally let your kids watch them? According to my wife 6 months was too early so I have been waiting for a few years now.
Pat: Geez, Christian...6 months is WAY too early. It has been scientifically tested and proven that kids’ brains at that age have no ability to even comprehend the power of a light saber over a blaster, so the whole premise is lost on them. Waste of time. Complete waste of time. You better start over.
We waited until our oldest was two and a half, and our youngest was just one half. Wait. That’s the same as 6 months, isn’t it. Shit. We do this ALL the time. I think she’s gonna’ be pretty screwed up. Oh well. Details.
Christian: Don’t worry. As long as she can discuss the nuances of the Empire’s governmental control strategies over the various planets throughout the galaxy in online chatrooms while living in your basement as an adult, she’ll be just fine.