Culture & Entertainment

What's the right order in which to show your kids the Star Wars movies?

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Culture & Entertainment

What's the right order in which to show your kids the Star Wars movies?

I'll admit it: I loved Star Wars as a youth. I spent way too many afternoons playing with lightsabers and trying to move objects using The Force. But it's surprised even me how ubiquitous the films have remained. My son came home talking about lightsabers and Jedis way before I thought he would be ready to watch the movies. Star Wars is just a part of kid culture, like the Disney Princesses. Even Pottery Barn has a whole line of accessories for your perfect Star Wars room. Star wars logo Still, my fine Rebel leaders, there is one question that every parent must confront and that is: Do you show your children the arguably more child-friendly Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace first? Or do you start with the film we all started with growing up, A New Hope? We tried to start with A New Hope when my son was almost six, but it really bothered him, even on DVD. I hadn't remembered, despite having seen it so many times, how violent the original movie is. It's funny how as parents we often tolerate sword play where gun play might not be so all right (but that's another post....) Definitely something to keep in mind if you are making this decision: Re-watch them first! Our compromise was the original animated Clone Wars series, and I have to say...it was surprisingly watchable for grown ups as well. Which was good, because he immediately became obsessed and all our family movie nights for the next six months were focused on Anakin's struggle to become a full-fledged Jedi Master. There is violence and warfare in the animated series, but for my son the cartoon element helped. For us parents, of course, we still had to discuss it with him. I was also pleased that the series had several female characters, including the complex and powerful Asajj Ventress. Unfortunately it looks like the latest film, to be released in 2015, hasn't caught up with the idea that you can have more than one token female in a cast.  (But I will wait and see.) Now my son's eight, and we still haven't introduced the rest of the films. It's funny because I am sure I saw  The Empire Strikes Back as soon as it was released, so I was nine, and my parents were fine with that. Of course I probably rode there in the "far back" of a station wagon. Regardless, I don't think my child needs to watch the battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Not yet, anyway. Do you care how your kids come to watch the Star Wars movies? Which order have you presented them in and at which ages?
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What's the right order in which to show your kids the Star Wars movies?

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