Friday morning was overcast and gloomy but still humid enough to be yucky out. It just seemed like a “blah” day, and so I decided to let them indulge in some TV while I got dressed and fixed breakfast downstairs. I started to put on a Daniel Tiger but changed my mind.
“Do you girls want to watch Star Wars?”
RU exclaimed, “Yeah!”
“No,” MeToo grumbled.
“Hey, MeToo,” I said in that upbeat, falsely-enthusiastic tone of voice parents use to get a kid excited about eating green vegetables or visiting the dentist, “you wanna watch Star Wars?”
“Yeah! Yay, Star Wars!”
It’s been about six months since the girls watched Star Wars. The last time around, even RU had trouble focusing on what was going on. They seemed more involved and, I think, got more enjoyment out of it now. Being more mature by half a year certainly helped, as did watching the movie first thing in the morning rather than late at night.
A word of caution, though: even movies you fondly remember from your youth may be too intense for younger viewers, especially the first time or two they watch something. For a movie as mild as Star Wars, I’ve found that just sitting with or holding the kids through troublesome scenes is sufficient to get them through and maintain their interest.
As a guide, my girls used the word “scary” during the following scenes:
When R2-D2 is captured by the Jawas, from the time they begin watching him until he is reunited with C3PO.
The whole trash compactor scene was particularly scary.
Darth Vader is scary, especially at first. I think they got used to him a bit and by the time the heroes were running around on the Death Star, he was just menacing.
When the Tusken Raider pops up behind Luke and does an Arsenio Hall impersonation before beating him unconscious may have been scary but I had forgotten that moment was coming up and was downstairs at the time.
I had to juggle watching the film with my girls with making our food (nothing says “movie morning” like li’l smokies and coffee cake for breakfast) but I did manage to record some of the girls’ commentary. What follows is a brief transcript.
MeToo (every three minutes): “Where’s Shoebaca?”
MeToo (watching the Imperial Star Destroyer spin away in the distance as the droids’ escape pod falls to Tatooine): “Shoebaca gonna steal those people.”
The Dad: “What? Chewbacca will steal the people away from the bad guys?”
MeToo: “Yeah. Shoebaca gonna take his sword and knock that airplane away.”
(I went downstairs to get breakfast started. When I left, Luke had just met Obi-Wan, his aunt and uncle were still alive, and the word “Jedi” had not yet been spoken. I came back upstairs to find the characters standing in front of a blasted sand crawler, throwing Jawa corpses onto a pyre. Luke is saying he wants to learn to be a Jedi, like his father.)
The Dad: “Did I miss anything important?”
RU: “No, nothing really happened.”
MeToo (during the Cantina scene): “There’s Shoebaca!” (Then, anytime the film cuts to any other character) “Where’s Shoebaca go?”
RU (upon Han Solo’s first appearance): “Why is Chewbacca’s friend here?”
Once the action left Tatooine, they were either more fully absorbed by the story or getting bored; either way, their questions and exclamations died down. When I came up with the food, though, MeToo came running and met me at the stairs.
“Daddy, daddy! You miss it!”
“What happened? What’d I miss?”