It doesn't take long to find a conversation about when the appropriate time to watch the Star Wars movie for kids is. In fact, if you pop in the phrase "when should kids watch stars wars" into Google, you quickly come back with some results, and once you scroll past the Amazon and Walmart adds there is the question being asked by a Mommy Blog and a Dad-Blog (a perennial favorite entitled Geek Dad).
Now, I can admit that I held off the movies, despite my unending love for the things for my eldest child. He was 4 or so before he really sat down and watch one of the movie and around 6 before he watched episode 3 for the first time (and that was an "edited-for-TV" version at that).
My youngest though, well my youngest got to see the movies by virtue of being there while my eldest watched. There was no not letting him watch since Brother was there doing so.
Which leads me to responses to both of the blogs listed above:
GEEK DAD: Both of my boys are obsessed with Geek and Star Wars. If you raise a child to love the Geek he'll love the geek. If you raise a child to love sports he'll love sports. My boys, well, they get a geek dad and a sports-loving mom, as such they can be seen imagining a fight between Jimmy Johnson and Darth Vader.
The Mommy Files: Let your kid grow up. For centuries, children were raised with the specter of death and destruction. Classic fairy tales (not the Disney-fied wimp stuff seen today) featured scenes as gruesome (if not more so) than what is featured in the Star Wars series.
Well, now that I've got that out of the way, you may be wondering why on earth I'm bringing this up now? And it relates back to the fact that my youngest son (who's like two-weeks from turning 3) has watched the entire series multiple times, including Revenge of the Sith.
So, he's very familiar with the scenes and the dialog (and his favorite character to play-act as is Palpatine), as it has long been a tradition in my wife's family to quote movies.
Well last night, after bath time, I dropped the youngest on the couch next to my Beloved while dealing with getting the elder through the ritual. After the elder was settled and soaking, I returned to the living room and found my youngest standing on the couch over his mother (who was watching the Florida/Miss. State game at the time), and then he announced:
I have the high ground.
Which of course means that he wins the battle; and he let us know that as well.
After I recovered from my laughter, I dropped onto the couch beside the Beloved Wife and she glared at me for a moment before saying, "You've ruined our children you know. Ruined."
I wisely refrained from reminding her that it was actually her that allowed the youngest to watch that particular movie for the first time.
But fundamentally, she's right.
I set out to raise children who had the same passions and drives as I do, and a big part of that desire to learn, and build the future is tied up into SFF and other geek culture. I firmly believe that it's the geek in me that forces me to question things to the level that I do. Books such as Fahrenheit 451, Starship Troopers and Foundation formed a core of my intellectual development while things such as Star Wars and The Princess Bride and Tolkien's works built the framework upon which my imagination rides.
So I'm glad that my son has the high ground.
Here's to hoping that he keeps it.