Star Wars MMXII: A New Hope

For New Year’s this year we rented a house in the Catskills with our good friends and their son. He and my daughter have been best friends since birth, and they’re now six years old. Our plans for the weekend were simple: eat delicious food, drink delicious drinks, and introduce our children to Star Wars.

As every good parent knows, Episode IV comes first.

I was a little nervous. The first time we introduced our kids to a classic was a couple months ago with The Goonies. Boy, that has a lot more swearing than you might remember. But it went OK. My daughter thought that Chunk and Sloth were awesome just as I did as a kid. But Star Wars is bigger. There’s a real pressure to introduce it at the right time. Her best friend is well primed with Star Wars books and card games and a general sense of who Chewbacca is. My daughter prepared herself last week with something she found streaming on Netflix – an episode of Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater entitled “Cat Wars”. Yes, that’s what it sounds like.

Screen capture of Hello Kitty on Leia duty in “Cat Wars”

The moment arrives. We pick a quiet, chilly afternoon while our toddler is napping. Our friend does a dramatic reading of the opening text, trying to convey the importance of this moment. The kids settle in and start watching. I think it’s going well. My daughter moves to the floor, and I can sense her being drawn in by The Force.

The two 6-year-olds settle into watch Star Wars. Photo: Amy Kraft

20 minutes later…

The long stretch of Luke whining puts my daughter to sleep. Photo: Amy Kraft

Well, maybe the timing wasn’t perfect. I don’t blame Star Wars for this rare nap. She was sharing a room with her early bird friend, and I think they were up before 5 a.m. That evening she asked to watch it again and she and her friend cozied up into an armchair and spread the iPad across their laps. They made it about 75% of the way through, enough for this reenactment the next day:

Catskill light saber battle. (Thanks to Hasbro for sending my the light sabers on last year’s May the 4th. Knew they’d come in handy.) Photo: Amy Kraft

Tonight we’re back home and she asked to watch it again, watching it all the way through. I told her my favorite part is when they go into the bar to meet Han Solo, to which she replied, “Mom! I like that part, too! It’s just like in Cat Wars when they go into the ice cream bar and the one guy doesn’t like how the penguin guy is eating his ice cream and they all throw ice cream at each other.” Yeah, like that. I wonder if penguin guy shot first.

Overall I’d rate the introduction a success. The coming winter weekends will surely bring The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Then comes the even bigger question of when to introduce Harry Potter.

How old were your kids when they watched Star Wars? How did it go? Did they react like this kid?

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