Star Wars and Kids …

This video is pretty funny … but it raises an interesting question that Joy and I have discussed to some degree. When is the right time to introduce kids to the Star Wars series? We are not exactly concerned with the order, though I would probably lean toward the old movies I grew up with first. The bigger issue is whether the kids would understand what was going on. How would they react to the violence? Jaden has a tendency to become overly aggressive and walk around hitting his sisters with his toys (pretending they are swords) when he watches something too violent (think Incredibles level violence). If this is a problem with cartoons, we worry about how he’ll process live action violence, even if it is with weird alien beings. All of the kids have watched us play Lego Star Wars, and Jaden has Star Wars PJs and a Darth Vader costume (which he insisted on calling Dark Vader at first), so he knows what Star Wars is as a concept, but none of the kids have seen the movie.

Complicating things, of course, is that Naomi is three, and probably even less equipped to think critically about this. I’m curious what others have done. When did you introduce the movies (if you have)? What if anything would you change? Did you have a lot of questions to deal with, issues to talk through? How did you handle the religious undertones of “the force”? Are we just being overly cautious, and we should just lighten up and let them watch it? Let me/us know what you think. Please comment away below! I’ll be checking frequently to approve comments from those I haven’t approved before.

And if you haven’t clicked the link to watch the video … you really should. šŸ™‚

4 comments on “Star Wars and Kids …

  1. Our boys love Star Wars. We keep it simple – the force isn’t real… 4 and 6 is a bit young for the potential allegory in my opinion. As for the violence, that’s your call. Our boys hit and fight and wrestle, but we’ve chalked that up to typical kid-ness.

  2. That being said, neither of them like the Emperor character because he is too scary, so that’s another consideration.

  3. We highly scrutinize every movie decision. Even so, there are people who are just as strict with their children’s movie watching who have chosen movies that we have ditched and who look at some of our choices wondering why we could EVER allow our kids to see such a thing. Every family is different and every child is different. So, I share our story only as this is what worked for our family; not suggesting that it will work for you.

    For our oldest, we felt that he was ready as he approached age 8. Strongly into science fiction and fantasy, enjoying the intricacies of movie making, with an advanced understanding of many deep concepts, yet with little inclination toward violence in his own actions, we were ready to attempt a watching. Since this is John’s type of movie more than mine, following the much-anticipated 8th birthday, they watched it together (you’ll have to ask them which one they started with), pausing as necessary to discuss what was happening, talk about the religious undertones, etc. Somehow the other kids decided that 8 was the magic age because it worked for the first child. So, we continued with the same procedure, watching the movies with Dad and discussing it as they went along. All of the children knew that if any violent actions were attempted in real life after the viewing of Star Wars (or anything else for that matter), the trust would need to be re-established before attempting another movie of this type. We’ve never had any trouble in this area.

    Another family policy, which doesn’t work in this case, is that before watching any movie based on a book, the book must be read first. It does, however, mean that a movie such as Lord of the Rings cannot be watched until the child first made it through the book. Serves several purposes including very motivated readers!

    Side note: We are often reading the movie reviews on pluggedinonline. We love that they scrutinize every aspect of a movie, much farther than we ever would, so we know we can trust them. A good source if you have not already used it.

  4. In the third move Jabba the Hutt captures Leia. The first thing he does is grab her and start licking her. The next time we see her she’s in a costume that is not appropriate for anyone of any age to be looking at. What happened in between is left to the imagination with the obvious question being whether or not Leia was raped.

    My parents exposed me to a variety of media with abnormal sexual activity when I was a kid. It damaged my perception of sex and caused me a great deal of harm.

    Personally, I don’t like the Star Wars movies because of the force, the violence, and the sex, but if you have no problem with the former two then please be wary of the latter. Sex is a sensual thing and a discussion about why Jabba is licking Leia and why Leia is in that outfit is not sufficient to render harmless the act of watching and imagining sexual scenes.

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