Firstly, this is actually a serious question -> What order should I watch the Star Wars (Saga) in, with my two children, when they watch it for the first time?
It's been chewing away at me for a number of years, especially after I had time to process Episode 1.
Personally, I love Episodes 4-6 so way way way more than Episodes 1-3. I'm sure part of that has to do with nostalgic bias, but I personally found some of the script in Ep1 and 2 far too childish and mundane, in comparison to Episodes 4-6.
I'm afraid that if I show them Episode 1, first, then that might scar them and/or put them off the saga completely! But, Episode 1 was targeted for George's kids, so they will be a pretty good target market and as such might warm to the Jar Jar Binks crap, etc .. and Episode 4 might be a bit too dark (hello -- some evil guy just nuked a planet. our hero's parents got charred, etc).
I hoping there might be some other parents here who have dealt with this dilemma and have decided on an order AND can report back their results.
eg. we started with 4 and the kid(s) loved it. Their ages are X and Y and they totally got it, etc.
We started with Episode 1 because we felt it would make more sense to watch the story in the time-line order. Our daughter found it ok (which means she was interested for most of it) so we're off to watch the next one, next week. etc.
On the flip side, imagine watching it from episode 1, then 2, then 3 .. and suddenly finding out darth vader was his father.. 2 episodes later. zomg. Like, when we watched 1, 2 and 3 .. we always knew what Anakin was going to turn into and his fate... but for new, fresh eyes.. maybe not?
So yeah .. please tell me what other parents have done, why and any results.
The one I've always thought about was:
4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 6
So the prequel trilogy is like a flashback after you find out that Vader is Anakin, it explains everything, then you get the empire overthrown at the end.
answered 12 Nov '09, 08:07
I really like Ned Lowe's suggestion (above). If I were going to do it again, I think that would be the best way.
Here's what I did introducing it to my six year old daughter. Not the best order, but it might be helpful.
1) The Clone Wars animated movie (that got her initial interest in it)
2) Episode 1 - Anakin from the Clone Wars movie when he was just a little boy / padawan. At 6, my daughter really loved Jar-Jar!
3) Episode 6 - With a preface about how after the clone wars Anakin turned bad, shows his son helping him become good again. Jabba/Rancor/Ewoks really help getting a little kid interested in the story.
4) The Clone Wars animated series on Cartoon Network
5) Re-watching 1 and then 2
6) The older Clone Wars animated series from Cartoon Network
7) 3, 4, 5, and 6 again. (there was no surprise at the reveal in 5, of course)
My daughter is now a huge Star Wars fan. We have a small collection of action figures that we play with together regularly. I think seeing the strong female character of Ahsoka Tano was pivotal for developing my daughter's interest. Leia was strong but in a more subtle, intelligent, diplomatic way that is completely lost on 6 year olds.
Hope that helps!
P.S., I could never get my 14 year old into Star Wars by any means. :-/
answered 28 Sep '09, 16:32
My kids (10, 7) were introduced in the same order I was: 4, 5, 6, 1, 2. This was mainly because when we did it, 3 wasn't out yet and they were dying to see the others.
We haven't let them watch Revenge of the Sith yet because it's pretty dark and more gruesome than the others and it would scare my kids too much. They love The Clone Wars as well (though I didn't), so maybe showing that instead of 3 would have worked well.
answered 29 Sep '09, 22:30
I started with Ep 4 when I was a child, but my husband and I introduced our daughter to Ep 6 (Return of the Jedi) first. She found the Ewok plushie someone gave me in high school and was asking about it.
answered 21 Sep '09, 04:20
I think Dooku's version is the very best: Episode 6 is a FAR better finale than Episode 3.
So watching them as 4, 5 (with the cliffhanger ending), 1, 2, 3, then 6 is the way to go, creating the most suspense and the most satisfying finish.
answered 23 Sep '09, 06:55
The original series, 4,5,6 - was written in an era where there was a lot of black and white, right and wrong... Darth Vader was so clearly evil, Luke was clearly good. This is easier for a younger child to understand. This is good training early in life. Shoot for all good. :)
As I have gotten older, I have discovered the truth that not all bad people started out that way, and while the evil actions may still be evil and represent poor choices, knowing someone's history mitigates your reaction to the person. This is what I see in the new series, 1,2,3. We see Anakin's background, how his hate grew, and how he was deceived.
Thus, when watching the original series again, we see his doubt, and how the good in him is coming back. It may not justify the wrong that he has done, but we can begin to pity him and understand how Luke can refuse to fight him. I don't think I understood that the first time around.
This may be a difficult concept for a younger child, and I cannot give a certain year when it is good to present.
answered 28 Sep '09, 02:27
Before I went in for my colectomy a year and a half ago we started watching Star Wars. We would watch one episode a week. We started with Episode 1 and went through. He's now 6 1/2 and still LOVES Star Wars, Star Wars The Clone Wars, The Last Starfighter, the video games, etc. After you watch them once then let them watch what order they want. It's so cute. Now if I can get him to watch Indiana Jones we'd be good.
answered 10 Nov '09, 06:14
Our four year old LOVES Star Wars. We showed them in chronological order. We answered EVERY question, which meant that we basically didn't hear any dialogue for the first few screenings of each movie. Empire Strikes Back became an early favourite, we saw that about 15 times before she switched over to loving #3. We talk about the various epistemology and metaphysics of the SW universe every. single. day.
answered 12 Nov '09, 06:33
This is a tough one.
My first instinct would be to answer as follows:
Let them watch Episode IV, Episode V then Episode VI. Leave it at that, life is short, time is precious.
However, as I think about the Vodafone UK commercials featuring a Yoda CONFUSED BY MOBILE PHONES (!!?) and how I get slightly sick in my mouth every time I see those ads I have to say, "On the whole, I don't think they are important movies any more"
They are interesting from a special effects point of view, they de marked a new era, were a fascinating study in merchandising but no more than that.
I could try to explain to my kids why the Star Wars movies were so very important to me as a child. I would have to explain the 70s in Ireland and how grim it was back then. How Episode IV had a single simple message for me that this life could end up being interesting and not total and utter rubbish and how after Episode IV it began to unravel a bit but we still loved it.
I could go on, but really; in a nutshell I think that today's film makers will make films that they will love and own for themselves and that I would be as likely to walk them through the impact of Cabbage Patch kids as walk them through heart breaking mire that Star Wars ended up being.
I can't believe nobody has referenced alpha-geek & awesome parent Scott Hanselman's article to this very question!
The article starts with how Scott & his wife decided to introduce Star Wars and the mythology around it to their boys, but expands in a very interesting discussion on if/when/how to show any movie to kids in a way they'll like, understand, and learn from this experience.
The Nerd Parent's Guide:
When and how to introduce your kids to Star Wars
This was the short version. Read the whole article!
answered 19 Aug '12, 16:41