Our conversation on when younglings should be introduced to a galaxy far, far away…
George Lucas once said that Star Wars is a universe created for the younger generation in mind. However, the majority of fans in our demographic are over the age of thirty. How does one bring balance to the Force, so to speak, when making that crucial decision of where to start within the Star Wars universe?
StarWars.com started the conversation, with two of its contributors Jamie Greene and Michael Moreci chiming in on their experience with introducing their children to the various outlets of Star Wars. We would like to add our thoughts as well, as this is a very important topic, with the well being of some future “Jedi hopefuls” at stake, by responding to the questions and statements presented.
Jamie Greene on her oldest child’s first experience with Star Wars:
"The first time my daughter ever saw Star Wars, the original, was on the big screen… She was probably three at the time? I took her, realizing she was three, but thinking she’d be blown away — I mean, it’s Star Wars. And she was blown away… She loved it. Afterward, we didn’t race home and watch the other films. I spread it out a little bit. Her initial exposure was on the big screen, the way it should have been, the way most of us were introduced to Star Wars."
Bravo, Jamie, bravo. Having A New Hope on the big screen is the best way to kick things off. My first exposure to Star Wars was with The Phantom Menace when I was 14. My love for Pod-racing, and of course that bad ass duel between Darth Maul vs. Obi-Wan/Qui-Gon had me hooked for life! Having that exposure to Star Wars on the big screen and with a packed house in the theater enhanced that experience for me ten-fold.
Michael Moreci took a different approach with his kiddo’s first Star Wars viewing:
"My older boy, who’s five, has seen A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and bits and pieces of The Force Awakens. I remember when The Force Awakens was announced, and I immediately did the math in my head to see how old he’d be when it came out. I wanted him to experience it, and with me, so bad. I knew, though, at four years old he’d be too young… He wanted to watch it again and again, and it shows the magic that trailer captured, and the magic."
That is the ultimate struggle, wanting to have your children experience new releases with you, but at the same time, having the patience to wait if it’s necessary, like in this case:
"I tried introducing him to The Clone Wars, but I was reminded of how dark and violent The Clone Wars is."
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It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking just because a show is animated, that it’s safe for children. Take South Park, Robot Chicken, Beavis & Butthead, and Ren & Stimpy as prime examples. Those are animated features, but some adults aren’t even mature enough to handle that content.
With The Clone Wars, even though it’s rated as a “TV-14” audience, there are some very dark and violent episodes. So where do you start if you want your child to start consuming the Star Wars canon content? Greene offers her two-sense:
"I knew once she watched the movies they’d become the ultimate vision; they’d replace what was in her head. It was a magical place, alive in her imagination, so I held off showing her the films. But, getting to Rebels — I think it did work. My daughter connected to it, she connected with the characters, and she really wanted to watch the movies then."
There is also a newer option with the latest 2-D animated series Forces of Destiny (watch them all in one place here) with animated shorts nearly three minutes in length. These are perfect for younglings even as young as two or three to dive into.
What do you think? What is the appropriate age to introduce younglings to Star Wars? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and on our social media outlets.