MORE POSTS 
 

In praise of Star Wars Rebels

I'm changing the name of this blog, and #WeWantLeia is why

I spoil it for Siri

Guest Post: How I came back to Star Wars action figures by YASWB

Beatrice and I watch Star Wars together

[Review] William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher 

Star Wars oil painting exhibit "Sandstorm" opens

Breakneck boredom: an old time Star Wars fan's thoughts on Star Trek Into Darkness

They put me on the news to talk about Star Wars

More from Steve Sansweet on Star Wars and gay marriage

Carmine Infantio has died

I can die happy: I've been interviewed by Dungeons & Dragons

Star Wars Episode 7: All My Children?

What JJ Abrams needs to really succeed with Star Wars 7

Star Wars: The Old Republic is gay--on one planet at least

Tongal and Pringles bring us DYI desecration of Star Wars

Reminiscences about West End Games' Star Wars Roleplaying Game

Here's the biggest Star Wars news of 2012

Stephen Quinn interviews me about Star Wars on CBC Vancouver

Star Wars: modern myth or global franchise?

Parents turn child's 1st birthday into extended Lucasfilm/Hasbro advert

Me reading from A Long Time Ago

Highlights and lowlights of the upcoming Star Wars Celebration VI

Grown men (mostly) dressed up as Lando Calrissian

Beggar's Canyon Toys offer Star Wars toy "restoration" service

Blog's t-shirts banned by Zazzle

Will the real David Prowse please stand up?

LaserSaber: Unlicensed, dangerous and yours for only $99

Is this the future of Star Wars?

Is Star Wars link bait?

Dissent not tolerated at the Prequel Appreciation Society

TSOT discovers its nemesis

Comme des idiots: Star Wars teams up with poncy fashion house

US Christian activist attacks SWTOR for being gay

Yodaphone--the latest product pitch from Star Wars Inc.

Attention tortoise-fanciers: do you like Star Wars?

History of Star Wars as related by a bot

Is Star Wars a travesty of science fiction?

Luke Skywalker and company on the Muppet Show

Yoda now shilling instant soup in Japan

Commander who?

$6000 for a toy you can't even play with

Star Wars underwear

Retro Star Wars decor in my son's bedroom

Phantom Menace 3D: Now With Plot

Star Wars and disco: the forgotten love affair

Will Muschamp: What a guy!

Oi, fanboy: grow up! A reply to Darren Franich

 

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Entries in Beatrice (2)

Monday
Dec082014

Beatrice on Empire and Jedi

I finally showed Beatrice The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. If you've read my book you'll know a little about Beatrice, and about my anxiety that she not be exposed to the World's Biggest Spoiler. Despite the odds (which worsened considerably after her cousin Rory learned about Darth Vader without ever having seen ESB), I somehow managed to keep the secret from her and her brother Zachary. But I felt I was pushing my luck. Now was the time for the big reveal.

Once "I am your father" is out of the bag, there's no reason not to go on and see ROTJ. We watched it together a week later. Above is a video of Beatrice's thoughts on the two films.

Saturday
Sep142013

Beatrice and I watch Star Wars

Me and Beatrice just before firing up the DVDBeatrice hatched the plan weeks ago. Upon learning that my wife would be going to Montreal on a business trip and leaving me alone with both kids for four nights, my little girl whispered in my ear, "Can we watch Star Wars when mum is away?" As Beatrice well knows, Stephanie has been the main obstacle to me showing her Star Wars. My wife worried the film was too violent for our five-and-a-half-year-old and would scare her. "I saw it when I was four," I told her. A raised eyebrow was Steph's only reply. 

With mum out of the way, the next challenge was to find something to do with Zach. Even I had to admit that, at barely a week beyond his third birthday, Zach really was too young for Star Wars. So I arranged to have him spend the night with his cousin Rory--his first sleepover. We were all set. 

So after a dinner of macaroni and smores (Beatrice's choices both), I put the blinds down, inserted my copy of the Star Wars Special Edition DVD (Greedo shoots first but Obi-Wan's Krayt dragon call is unchanged) and settled down on the couch with my excited little girl. 

As Beatrice and I watched the film, I found myself half agreeing with my wife. Beatrice probably is too young for Star Wars--not because of the violence, which Beatrice compared at one point to the old Bugs Bunny cartoons I introduced her to over the summer ("Everyone has guns"), but because of the complexity of the story. Just like when I told her Star Wars as a bedtime story a couple years back (see the epilogue to A Long Time Ago), Bea kept confusing the characters. As late into the movie as the trench run, she had to ask me which one was Darth Vader. Han's habit of calling Leia "sister" also confused Bea, who exclaimed at one point, "She's his sister?" The irony...

Two scenes made a clear impression on Beatrice. Our first sight of Princess Leia caused her to gasp and exclaim, "Oh she's beautiful!" Later, when our heroes flee the detention block through the garbage shoot, Han's rebuke of Chewbacca--"I don't care what you smell!" followed by a kick in the bum--had her howling with pleasure. Beatrice repeated the line several times for the next 30 minutes, mostly with the addition, "mister!" at the end of it. 

Watching Star Wars with a five-year-old got me thinking about what I must have taken from Star Wars--and, more to the point, what I missed--when I saw it so long ago. There is simply no way I could have understood the film except in the broadest of outlines. It's just not a kids' movie. Beatrice wanted to know why Han shot Greedo. How was I supposed to explain smuggling and indebtedness to a five-year-old? 

When the film was over, I told Beatrice that there were two more Star Wars movies we could watch together. (I wasn't going to say five, was I?) She wants to see them, but so far there are no signs of obsession. She enjoyed the film, and the movie night with dad, and the smores for desert. Not necessarily in that order. Time will tell, but for the moment there are no signs of those "little star-shells of madness" that Alec Guinness once claimed to have seen in the eyes of a young Star Wars addict.

The main reason I wanted to show Beatrice Star Wars sooner rather than later was my fear that, if I didn't cram the whole original trilogy down her throat before she got to kindergarten, she would find out about the Vader/Skywalker thing on the playground, and The Empire Strikes Back would be spoiled for her. Having shown her Star Wars, I realize that fear is silly. Even if someone does spill the beans, I don't think she'll really get it. Not yet. I was seven when I saw Empire. Maybe Beatrice will be, too.

PS yes that is me in my Tarkin t-shirt. What else would I wear on such an occasion?