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Hound
2016-01-01, 12:38 AM
So after watching episode 7 yesterday it's got me thinking where I should start my daughter off in the Star Wars movie saga. My little one is going to be 3 in about 4 months and has gotten to a point where she can almost handle the mild violence that you'd see in a Star Wars film and I know that by the time episode 8 rolls around it's going to be something that I'm going to want to take her to see.

So I'm just looking for opinions to maybe help me decide what movie to start her out with. My instinct is to start her with episode one just so she gets a linear experience of the story, mostly because of her age. If I show her the originals first and the prequels after then I'm not sure I could explain to her the timeline of it all in a way that she would understand.

I know that the prequels aren't good but to be honest I haven't been blown away by any of it as an adult. A lot of it is just kinda boring, but she might really enjoy all of it and it's something that I want her to see. I remember how magical it all was for me when I a kid and I want her to experience that too.

There's a poll if you want to vote, it won't really mean anything but I thought it might be fun.

Denyer
2016-01-01, 01:02 AM
There's no need to acknowledge or watch the prequels, any more than Enterprise is a plus in watching TOS and Next Gen?

inflatable dalek
2016-01-01, 01:05 AM
The quality of the different films doesn't matter, thr sensible option for the two full trilogies is:

Start with the original film. It has all the exposition about what a Jedi is and how the Force works (to pick an example: The opening scenes of Phantom Menace are "**** me, these are cool Jedi in their pomp" not "Who are these guys and what are those light sticks?"), and most of the prequel trilogy is filled with references that only work if you've seen the original films first: To pick a totally randomly inserted example: Greedo in The Phantom Menace.

Sades
2016-01-01, 01:19 AM
We were discussing this while waiting for our ride last night- I could care less for chronological order. Our child will be ruined forever* if her first Star Wars film is The Phantom Menace. :p

FWIW I could totally explain this shit to her if she gets confused, no probs.

*probably not, but why chance it?

Heinrad
2016-01-01, 03:26 AM
Start with A New Hope. It's the most kid friendly of all of them. Then Empire and Jedi.

Then, when the time comes, switch her to the good stuff. Doctor Who and Star Trek. :D

When she hits her rebellious teenage years, Battlestar Galactica. The Ron Moore version.

For current bedtime reading, I recommend the Lensman series by E.E. Smith. If she's showing signs of being a completionist by now, start with book 1. If not, start with book 3. Books 1 and 2 are good, but 1 threads a bunch of stand alone stories together, and 2 was created to connect book 1 to the rest of the series. Book 3, Galactic Patrol, is where the action really kicks off.

Hope this helps. :D

Warcry
2016-01-01, 06:38 AM
Yeah, I'm with Denyer on this one. The prequels are boring for adults. Do you really think a kid is going to be any more entranced by tedious senate debates and stilted romance scenes than we are? Start them with Phantom Menace and all you'll do is discourage them from watching the others.

When our little guy is big enough for Star Wars, I'm starting him off with the originals for sure. And probably one of the cartoons after that if he really takes an interest. Not going to show him the prequels at all unless he asks to see them.

Tetsuro
2016-01-01, 06:52 AM
And probably one of the cartoons after that if he really takes an interest.
Big question is, will that be Ewoks or Droids? :D

Also, "he" ;)

Hound
2016-01-01, 08:07 AM
Oh she's gonna watch the prequels. If I have to watch crybaby Anakin then so does she.

I think all of you might be overestimating what a toddler will find important in a science fiction action movie.

Skyquake87
2016-01-01, 09:36 AM
She'll probably love Jar Jar! (Personally, I found him less of a tool than C3PO). Watching the prequels before the originals did my nephew no harm and got him into Star Wars. I went to see Ep 7 with him and he still likes the prequels and enjoyed them for what they were. I don't think quality of acting and bad stories are so much of a bother when the things that stick with you are funny looking aliens, spaceships and cool lightsaber (sabre?) fights.

Personally, I found Phantom no worse than New Hope, at least in terms of story, plotting and acting - which are pretty feeble in both. They both have shooty space stuff and lots going on so you kind of paper over bad acting, cornball dialogue and slightly dull plots.

Warcry
2016-01-01, 03:57 PM
Also, "he" ;)
As I said, this is what I'd do when my boy is a bit bigger, yeah.

I think all of you might be overestimating what a toddler will find important in a science fiction action movie.
Maybe. On the other hand, I think you're overestimating how long it'll hold a kid's attention. Eps 1 and 2 don't have as much action between the open and the final act, compared to the earlier movies that sprinkle it more evenly throughout. If you start with them you might be on the recieving end of "this is boring daddy!" for the long chunks where it's mostly talky bits in the desert/on Coruscant.

Though Skyquake's right about her being able to appreciate Jar-Jar at that age. I'd, uh, actually totally forgotten him. :o. He'll definitely help with the little ones.

I'm not just saying this to slate Phantom Menace...I'm pretty sure I enjoy it more than most. I just don't think it's a very good kids' movie compared to the first three, and probably not the best bet for starting a little one off.

Brendocon 2.0
2016-01-01, 04:27 PM
You definitely want to lead with Caravan of Courage.

Tetsuro
2016-01-01, 04:42 PM
You definitely want to lead with Caravan of Courage.
That was actually the first one I saw as a kid!

Brendocon 2.0
2016-01-01, 04:46 PM
Okay, so maybe you don't want to lead with Caravan of Courage.

Clay
2016-01-01, 05:56 PM
I think all of you might be overestimating what a toddler will find important in a science fiction action movie.

Then why show them to her when she's too young to enjoy them?

Also, educate yourselves and watch the Red Letter Media breakdowns on why the prequels fail as films. Just because they exist is no reason to watch them. Have some self respect, people. Here's the first part for you:

FxKtZmQgxrI

I mean, they're like miscarriages that survived.

Brendocon 2.0
2016-01-01, 06:17 PM
I think that, if you are going to watch the prequels, it's best to watch them after the original movies.

If only because they're prequels. Set before, but designed to be watched after, alongside the contextual knowledge of what happens later in the narrative.

Plus if you make her watch them in production order, she'll get the warm fuzzy "hey they've gone back to practical effects" glow from the newer one.

Assuming she cares. She might not care. That's always a possibility. She might get twenty minutes into whichever one you start with and decide that she'd rather be watching ice hockey.

Hound
2016-01-01, 06:39 PM
...or play with her toys.

Hound
2016-01-01, 07:13 PM
Maybe. On the other hand, I think you're overestimating how long it'll hold a kid's attention. Eps 1 and 2 don't have as much action between the open and the final act, compared to the earlier movies that sprinkle it more evenly throughout. If you start with them you might be on the recieving end of "this is boring daddy!" for the long chunks where it's mostly talky bits in the desert/on Coruscant.Ep1 starts with some lightsabre action almost immediately, then goes right to Jar Jar, leads into an underwater monster chase, driod attack on Naboo, escape from naboo, some boring stuff on Tatooine with a bit of a fight with Darth Maul, Podrace, boring stuff on Coruscant and then the final big battles on Naboo.

Ep4 starts with some very minor action, a whole lot of nothing interesting on Tatooine until they escape there, some more non-action on the Death Star with a bit of clumsy lightsabre action at the end, then the final battle, which is entirely spaceships flying in a trench.

For a 2 year old it's clear to me which is going to hold her attention more.

Tetsuro
2016-01-02, 06:10 AM
For a 2 year old it's clear to me which is going to hold her attention more.
Isn't she a bit young for a PG rated film? ;)

Hound
2016-01-02, 06:50 AM
I dunno. All she's really seen so far has been cartoon violence.

Sades
2016-01-02, 09:15 AM
Well, barely that.

Personally I'm not talking showing her the films tomorrow... I figured a year, maybe two-three depending on her and what she understands by then. She wouldn't really understand it if we show her now, and if she gets scared, well, then we have another ninja squirrel incident on our hands and she definitely won't be interested.

Tetsuro
2016-01-02, 11:22 AM
I dunno. All she's really seen so far has been cartoon violence.
It's easy to forget the bit in the Mos Eisley cantina scene with the dismembered arm lying in a pool of blood.

That's honestly the one bit that I'm concerned about showing the movies to my nephew and he's like 7 already.

Dead Man Wade
2016-01-02, 01:01 PM
Honestly, even more than the random dismembering, stuff like the Dagobah scenes are pretty intense for younguns. The bit where Luke faces the image of Darth Vader was something I was freaked out by when I was a kid, but I had nightmares of raptors phasing through the walls post-Jurassic Park, so take that with a grain of salt.

On topic, start with the OG OT. Honestly, there's no reason to show her the prequels any time soon, if at all. Leaving aside the rampant trade disputes, they kind of **** the timeline. Ultimately, though, I think there's a tendency among parents of a geeky persuasion to introduce their kids to everything all at once, like you're not going to have them their entire lives. Calm down, show them the good bits, and save the rest for if they're interested. Cramming an entire series down their throats because it's something you love is the quickest way to turn them off, but showing them the highlights and letting them decide what they want to see more of will let them determine what they're into.

To quote James Van Der Beek, "Ah don't want yer lahf."

Tetsuro
2016-01-04, 11:09 AM
Of course I don't know how a small child might feel about this sort of thing, but ANH also has the benefit of working as a standalone story.

numbat
2016-01-04, 04:01 PM
She'll probably love Jar Jar! (Personally, I found him less of a tool than C3PO).
I don't understand the hate Jar Jar generates, to be honest. At least he provides comic relief to a film focussed on political machinations...

My 21 month old son is going around saying 'oh dear' a lot just now, in an English accent that sounds just like C-3PO. It's hilarious! I'm tempted to see if I can get him to add 'oh my' to the repertoire, but that could be viewed as child cruelty. (And, of course, he hasn't seen the films - in fact he saw his first TV show at all on Saturday [some Aardman thing on CBeebies] because we had to distract him in a hotel room while my wife and I had a conference call about something important...)

Personally, I found Phantom no worse than New Hope, at least in terms of story, plotting and acting - which are pretty feeble in both. They both have shooty space stuff and lots going on so you kind of paper over bad acting, cornball dialogue and slightly dull plots.
I totally agree on this. I think A New Hope is loved because it's the first / original, and showed the world something pretty spectacular in terms of cinema up to that point. However, it suffers from all the plot, pacing and acting issues of the prequels, which seems to be almost certainly due to Lucas's terrible ability as a director (by the Great Mongoose, have you seen THX-1138? That sapped my will to live!). I guess the cool practical effects at least gave A New Hope charm which the shiny CGI nonsense of The Phantom Menace lacks.

Anyway... ranting aside, I too have been pondering the correct order to show Star Wars to my son. But I have a while to work this out, as he's not meant to be exposed to guns until he's like six or something...

As an aside, I have quite a few friends with kids for who the prequels were their introduction to Star Wars, and they all seem to prefer those to the originals. They struggle with the poor effects I think (can you believe they also think Ghostbusters is crap?!?!?).

So I worry if I introduce my son to spangly CGI nonsense he may struggle to appreciate older films with smaller scope and practical effects... I mean, if the films you're used to are all epic CGI spectacles, how do you adjust to Christopher Lee turning in to a rubber bat on a string?

ganon578
2016-01-04, 04:34 PM
Start with A New Hope, as many have said on here. Then watch the remainder of the movies in Machete Order (http://www.nomachetejuggling.com/2011/11/11/the-star-wars-saga-suggested-viewing-order/). The order also eliminates watching The Phantom Menace, most of which is completely irrelevant to the entire saga.

numbat
2016-01-04, 04:45 PM
Wow - that Machete order makes so much sense! Brilliant!

inflatable dalek
2016-01-04, 09:05 PM
I don't understand the hate Jar Jar generates, to be honest. At least he provides comic relief to a film focussed on political machinations...

I think it's largely down to the fact that he may not be the worst thing about The Phantom Menace, but he's the perfect intersection on the ven diagram of all the things people don't like about the film. Poor performance, bad (the techs just not quite there yet, Gollum would do it much better a couple of years later, though I suppose to be fair unlike a lot of mo-cap--including The Force Awakens--the ears would be hard to do with traditional make up) CGI, overly childish and with the added bonus of being horribly racist as well (which is impressive for a film series that even today doesn't like to have more than one major role for a black actor in any one film). Oh lordy.

The difference with C3PO is the humour with him comes from how he annoys the other characters around him, which works best in Empire and his constant cock blocking of Han (he is of course awful in the prequels). Misthah Jar Jar is supposed to be lovable, but is in fact a twat.



So I worry if I introduce my son to spangly CGI nonsense he may struggle to appreciate older films with smaller scope and practical effects... I mean, if the films you're used to are all epic CGI spectacles, how do you adjust to Christopher Lee turning in to a rubber bat on a string?

Well I wouldn't worry about that, by the time he's six The Phantom Menace will be nearly 20 years old. If he's really going to have trouble with films with older less modern effects (which I don't think isn't much of a thing for small kids, how many have enjoyed and love The Wizard of Oz over the last century despite its antiquity? I think the children you know are just trying to be cool and controversial), he'll have no time for it.

The impressive thing with the prequels is how little a **** the original target audience actually give. 17 years later all those 8 years old are grown up now but there's still not been a revaluation of the popular opinion of them. The Force Awakens basically assumes none of the parents bringing kids with them to see it loved Attack of the Clones as a child. If you were a pre-teen in the mid to late 90's Independence Day 2 is the film that's going to speak to your childhood next year.

tahukanuva
2016-01-05, 09:36 AM
I grew up on and love the prequels, same as you guys with Old Timey Star Wars. I've just learned not to express fondness for them in polite company because it very quickly shifts from polite company to rather rude company.

And best I can tell from younger relatives and the like, between the prequels and the Clone Wars tv show, Anakin, Padme, and Grevious are just as much if not more Real Star Wars as far as the younger set's concerned.

numbat
2016-01-05, 11:25 AM
Yeah, that's what I have gathered from friends' kids.

I'm as happy to criticise either trilogy though (plus the new one...).

Despite any nay-saying, I do actually enjoy them all to some degree. Undoubtedly the design and light sabre fights in the prequels are awesome!

The Force Awakens made me appreciate that the prequels at least gave us something new, given Episode VII just plays like a greatest hits tape of the original trilogy (good fun though!).

Tetsuro
2016-01-05, 12:13 PM
I dunno, I'm not buying the claim that Episode I is somehow no worse than IV for a second.

Warcry
2016-01-05, 04:04 PM
I grew up on and love the prequels, same as you guys with Old Timey Star Wars. I've just learned not to express fondness for them in polite company because it very quickly shifts from polite company to rather rude company.
If I may ask, what exactly do you like about them? Not judging, just curious. :)

And best I can tell from younger relatives and the like, between the prequels and the Clone Wars tv show, Anakin, Padme, and Grevious are just as much if not more Real Star Wars as far as the younger set's concerned.
This part I can agree with, though I think it's the Clone Wars show that grabbed the attention of all the younger folk I know rather than the movies themselves. The prequel-era characters definitely have a lot of fans, and with good cause.

I know I can be pretty vocally critical of the prequels themselves, but I'm actually quite fond of a lot of the other storytelling from that timeframe. Some of the prequel-era video games in particular really grabbed my attention, as did a few of the novels and comics (Shatterpoint in particular remains one of my favourite books of all time -- not just Star Wars, but books in general). When we're a couple decades on from now and the prequel era is as far in the past as the original trilogy is now, I suspect that the nostalgia is going to be very heavily weighted towards the secondary media rather than the flicks themselves.

tahukanuva
2016-01-05, 05:23 PM
I dunno, I'm not buying the claim that Episode I is somehow no worse than IV for a second.

I.. don't think anyone said that?

If I may ask, what exactly do you like about them? Not judging, just curious. :)


I mean, the storytelling itself is quite bad, but there's a lot of neat stuff mixed in with it. Darth Maul, Qui-Gon, Ewan, a Fett who does stuff on screen, Sith Lord Christopher Lee, the entire colosseum fight in II..

As far as Episode III's concerned, I think there's a lot of good stuff in there, buried under a few severe mistakes that taint the whole thing. Anakin's desperation and anger as he tries to save Padme while those he thought were friends just use him as a spy, eroding all of his relationships despite all of the effort he puts into trying to keep everything thing together is a great way to handle his fall to the dark side, but it's undone by A) Natalie Portman not giving one hoot, and B) the fact that II was so focused on foreshadowing Vader that we never got a chance to see Anakin as a hero. He spends all of II being a creep-o and then slaughters a village. We never get to see his close relationship with Obi-Wan, because they spend all of II bickering about Padme and lightsabers.

So despite some great scenes like Palpatine's Sith legend in the theater, or (despite some questionable dialogue) the Obi-Wan/Anakin fight, there's simply no way for the movie to satisfyingly convey a fall from grace, because as far as the movies show, Anakin's always been whiny, angry, and willing to kill on a whim. Episode III's biggest problem is Episode II.

Skyquake87
2016-01-05, 08:01 PM
I.. don't think anyone said that?

Me! Or at least implied it. Objectively, I and IV are equally dire with their childish plots and some grown-up nonsense about federations and empires and other such toot that people think makes a BIG STATEMENT about something something.

I dunno, once you get past the 'WOW' of the special effects (and I LOVE the model work and physical effects on the originals), there's as equally a wafer thin film in IV as there is in I.

I'm probably the least qualified to be spouting off in this thread, having none of the emotional attachment to these films that as, someone of my generation*, I'm supposed to have. I think its a bye-law or something.


*silly old fart who was there the first time around and didn't understand what the fuss was about.

Warcry
2016-01-05, 10:20 PM
I mean, the storytelling itself is quite bad, but there's a lot of neat stuff mixed in with it. Darth Maul, Qui-Gon, Ewan, a Fett who does stuff on screen, Sith Lord Christopher Lee, the entire colosseum fight in II..
And here I thought I was the only one who vastly preferred Jango over Boba! The Jango vs. Obi-Wan bits of Episode II are in fact my favourite bit of all three prequel movies. And I'd toss in Mace Windu, the battle droids and all the cool ship designs onto the "neat stuff" pile as well.

As far as Episode III's concerned, I think there's a lot of good stuff in there, buried under a few severe mistakes that taint the whole thing. Anakin's desperation and anger as he tries to save Padme while those he thought were friends just use him as a spy,
It looks like you and I might have similar thoughts about this.

That's definitely how Anakin sees it, but had he owned up to exactly what was going on (i.e. that he was desperate to save the woman he'd secretly married and impregnated) I'd imagine the other Jedi would have rightly put him in his place by point out that this exact scenario is why Jedi aren't allowed to marry, and that he should have resigned if his love for Padme was more important to him than his highly demanding duties as a Jedi.

Which leads directly to...

So despite some great scenes like Palpatine's Sith legend in the theater, or (despite some questionable dialogue) the Obi-Wan/Anakin fight, there's simply no way for the movie to satisfyingly convey a fall from grace, because as far as the movies show, Anakin's always been whiny, angry, and willing to kill on a whim. Episode III's biggest problem is Episode II.
This right here is the biggest problem. The original trilogy tells it as if Anakin is this epic fallen hero, and the prequels treat him as if he is, but he's so, so not. The closest he came to heroism was when he accidentally saved the day as a little kid. By the time II and III roll around he's already transparently evil, which I'd imagine isn't entirely uncommon when you give a typically moody, selfish teenager godlike powers and let him use them with near-zero supervision. And all of his problems are solely of his own creation, because he thinks he's super-important, the rules don't apply to him and he can have whatever he wants as soon as he wants it without working for it.

Unfortunately he's the central character of the whole thing, and when the central character doesn't work then it doesn't matter how good or bad everything around him is. If Anakin was written to be likeable the movies probably would have risen above the gaping logic holes and poor scripting (which, let's be honest, all the movies bar ESB have in spades) to be respectably enjoyable action flicks.

Actually, that's probably why I enjoy III the least out of all the prequels. There's still a lot for me to enjoy in the first two because Anakin is just one character out of many, and I can fast-forward through his scenes if they really start to get to me. But III is entirely about him and I just don't care, no matter how pretty it is.

Me! Or at least implied it. Objectively, I and IV are equally dire with their childish plots and some grown-up nonsense about federations and empires and other such toot that people think makes a BIG STATEMENT about something something.
I'd rank them pretty close to one another as well, though I think ANH has one big advantage over TPM. The former is an unabashedly silly romp, while the latter takes itself (Gungan scenes aside) way, way too seriously.

Also, as dalek alluded to earlier Phantom Menace is also alarmingly racist when you get right down to it. Not just old timey minstrel show caricature with an exaggerated Caribbean accent Jar Jar, but also the greedy, amoral, hook-nosed space-Jew Watto and the Nemoidians filling in as (literally) cold-blooded, stereotypically-accented Asians. All of which I find kind of hilarious if for no other reason than I can't believe Lucas managed to get them all past Fox's censors, but I won't blame anyone who takes offense to it either.

On the other hand, I think the acting in TPM is miles ahead of what the first film offered. Hamill, Fisher and even Ford were all clearly pretty green the first go-around, and even James Earl Jones didn't quite have Vader down the way he would in the later two movies.

ganon578
2016-01-05, 10:59 PM
Wow - that Machete order makes so much sense! Brilliant!

Isn't it? I came across that link a few weeks back. I have yet to truly watch them in that order (since I've watched them far too many times already and time is of the essence) but the writer of that order has some fantastically good points. He also points out that the order is not without its flaws, which is truly amazing for the internet.

Cyberstrike nTo
2016-01-06, 01:37 PM
Either Revenge of the Sith or Return of the Jedi they're the only 2 worth watching because they are the end of their respective trilogies. :p

ganon578
2016-01-06, 04:28 PM
This right here is the biggest problem. The original trilogy tells it as if Anakin is this epic fallen hero, and the prequels treat him as if he is, but he's so, so not. The closest he came to heroism was when he accidentally saved the day as a little kid. By the time II and III roll around he's already transparently evil, which I'd imagine isn't entirely uncommon when you give a typically moody, selfish teenager godlike powers and let him use them with near-zero supervision. And all of his problems are solely of his own creation, because he thinks he's super-important, the rules don't apply to him and he can have whatever he wants as soon as he wants it without working for it.

For me, this is where The Clone Wars succeeded masterfully. The Clone Wars Anakin doesn't have that air of self-importance. He's cocky and confident, without the whine. Watching the series, Anakin is clearly gifted and yet conflicted by his anger. He achieves great feats during the war, but it doesn't make him pompous.

There's also a couple scenes with one of Padme's former love interests, where Anakin ultimately resorts to fistfights, then immediately regrets his actions when he comes to. But not the Attack of the Clones crying and whining regret, just the "Oh shit, I'm really sorry but still angry" moments.

It's all done pretty well and is light-years ahead of movie Anakin. Unfortunately, none of this is conveyed in the movies, leaving most people with a bad taste in their mouth for the character.