Should I take my six-year-old to see Star Wars: Episode I on the big screen?

This topic contains 15 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Ezra 5 years, 11 months ago.

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  • January 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm #23227

    Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff

    They’re re-releasing it in 3D. On the one hand, Star Wars: Episode I is all kinds of weak sauce. On the other hand, he’s totally the target audience, and he’s never seen it before. My head says I should just take him, because he’ll probably love it. But my heart says mesa no wantsa see bombad Jar-Jar.

    Broader question: as a parent, do I censor things because of artistic quality? Or do I let him see whatever crap he happens to love?

    January 26, 2012 at 1:59 pm #23229
    January 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm #23231

    i’ll take my seven-year-old son if he wants to go (i’ve turned him into a grand “star wars” geek). he’s seen the movie several times already, so i’m not sure if he’ll want to see it on the big screen or not.

    i don’t want to take him because i hate 3-d that much.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:20 pm #23232

    Yes! A resounding yes. Your son should probably watch the entire Brian Blessed filmography. Plus, it’s far and away the most harmless of the three.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:22 pm #23233

    Regular parent: Scared video game will turn his son into a sociopath and pop-singer turn her daughter into a slut

    Geeky Parents: scared his son will love the prequels and her daughter really get into twilight


    January 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm #23248

    I was thinking about going to see it myself, and I dislike Jar-Jar just as much as the next guy. But I abhor 3D.

    January 27, 2012 at 11:31 am #23269

    Matt, I don’t think exposing your child to art that you think is quality and avoiding ones that aren’t is necessarily “artistic censorship.” These are formative years, and you get an excellent chance to give a young man a head start on cool stuff. Unless he’s expressly asked to go, I don’t see any reason why you have to.

    I look forward to a future in which the prequels are referred to as “those other three, that we dare not speak of.” I’m fine with planting the seed for that sentiment now, in our children.

    That said, if he’s asking to go, take the little guy.

    January 27, 2012 at 11:31 am #23270

    Matthew Belinkie OTI Staff

    I really want to buy a pair of these:

    They allow you to watch a 3D movie in 2D! Brilliant!

    January 27, 2012 at 11:56 am #23272

    Let us not forget that kids always end up liking what their parent denies them to look

    January 28, 2012 at 10:28 am #23300

    Holy crap, those 2D glasses are fan-fucking-tastic!! I have a friend who can’t watch 3D movies, and having those will probably make him a LOT cooler to his daughter, who undoubtedly wants to see such things.

    As to the other topics: I struggle with this question a LOT, moreso with books than with movies (b/c I can seldom afford to take my kids to movies anyway). My daughter is utterly obsessed with these stupid Puppy Place books, which are far too young for her (she’s almost 10! She’s been reading them since she was 6!) and are also of *highly* questionable artistic value. I have fought back by doing my best to introduce her to other books about dogs that are more challenging and of higher quality, but what it boils down to is what Redem said, above: she’s going to love whatever I deny her, no matter how many alternatives I give. So, I just suck it up and hope that one day she’ll look back on them and laugh.

    As for your specific dilemma, the question that springs to my mind is, has your son seen the original trilogy? If he has (and I can’t imagine he hasn’t!) then big screen or not, 3D or not, there is only minimal damage that seeing Ep 1 can do. You’re absolutely right that he’s the target audience. One way you can undercut it a bit is to treat it lightly, maybe even mock Jar-jar “good-naturedly,” as in “Meesa such a dork!”

    The best thing *I* think a parent can do, in any context, is to make certain to ask the child’s opinion, listen to it genuinely, and offer your own in return. It’s be good practice for them, to learn how to express and defend their likes and dislikes in a non-threatening situation, and it’s good practice for us, for when they get older and hold strong, vehement even, opinions that differ drastically from our own. We have a responsibility, as parents, as overthinkers, and as human beings, to make sure that children grow up being able to articulate WHY they like the things they do, even if (at his age) all it boils down to is “it’s funny.”

    February 4, 2012 at 10:14 am #23493

    I wonder how cynically George Lucas planned this (“Yes, I will have Star Wars on the big screen again, in 3-D, but first you have to sit thru the prequels! Evil laugh!”, though of course he wouldn’t say “evil laugh” but just laugh evil-ly). I remember the feeling of trying to talk ourselves into thinking the movie was better than it was, nevermind that it didn’t really deliver on the pre-premiere hype (what movie does, though?) and the uncomfortable presence of Jar-Jar called to mind questions of racial sensitivity. I suppose I would say to take the child, if only because it might be his introduction to the ways in which 3-D cannot overcome storytelling problems and a lack of connection with a human protagonist.

    February 11, 2012 at 11:46 am #23650


    I’d also say let him see it. If he’s young enough to just have a good time, and it’s something you two could bond over, do it. And then, years later, when he’s old enough to understand quality, watch it with him again and ask him what he thinks of it on the artistic level. If he ends up realizing how terrible it is, that’s a second bonding experience over the same film.

    February 11, 2012 at 5:03 pm #23659

    Honestly, of all the horrible ideas that get beamed into a child’s head, “the Star Wars prequels are good” is one of the more harmless ones.

    February 14, 2012 at 10:23 am #23714

    Seeing A New Hope Special Edition aged 8 made me the Star Wars fan I am today. Consider that fair warning.

    February 16, 2012 at 11:10 am #23835

    i went to see it with my two kids (ages 7 and 3) and enjoyed it more this time than i did when i saw it 13 years ago (or however many it was).

    my three-year-old was a riot! “they made a girl robot? really???”

    February 21, 2012 at 8:19 am #23929

    I think if you do (or did) end up going, you should let the kid watch the Red Letter Media review of it afterwards.

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