Apr 302014

UPDATE: In honor of the announcement this week of the official cast of Star Wars Episode VII we’re reprinting a classic piece about one of the most important questions any father has to answer. Oh, and in case you somehow missed it original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and Peter Mayhew will be joined by newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. It’s got kind of an Inside Llewyn Davis meets The Seventh Seal vibe. Bonus points for spotting what the heck I’m talking about.

Right. Let’s get down to the really important stuff. Developmental milestones and college savings plans are all right for some but for a certain segment of the population the really important questions boil down to this:

What order do you show your kids the Star Wars movies?

Star Wars

The overture is going through your head right now – admit it.

My friends and I have had some serious discussions about this. For those of us born early enough to have seen all the movies as they came out in the theater, dealing with the “second” trilogy is a profound existential crisis.

Ok, maybe not profound seeing as how we all agree that the proper order is IV, V, VI, I, II, and III. That’s the order in which they were made. That’s the order they were released in theaters. That’s the order that God intended.

And by God, I don’t mean George Lucas. He has fallen in the eyes of true believers after Episodes I – III and the endless reissues and meddling with perfectly awesome old movies.

The trouble is the kids. Here they come, tra la la, thinking that the movies should be shown by episode number because there’s some kind of “mathematical logic” to counting from 1 to 6.

Now my son, who I love, not only has a fondness for Episode I he…I don’t think I can say it. He…thinks…Jar Jar Binks is kind of funny.

DON’T TELL George Lucas, if he gets wind of this he’ll never stop! First it’s Ewoks, then it’s frightening alien minstrel show stereotypes. How can I teach my son morality and the value of human dignity when Jar Jar’s slapstick eeso funny?

To my son’s credit he considers Yoda something of a comical green Dalai Lama and books like The Strange Case of Origami Yoda provide value to offset the horrors of Episode I. Still, there’s an even more disturbing trend. While my son thinks Star Wars is a perfectly fine entertainment it pales in comparison to – Harry Potter.

On one level I’m fine with it. I enjoyed the Harry Potter books and some of the movies sort of have some merit, maybe. Although Chris Columbus is Satan (and not in any kind of hipster ironic redeeming way – it’s all bad). But how is a Dad raised on Star Wars supposed to deal with a son who is seriously enjoying genres other than Space Opera?

You nod and smile, tousle his hair, and say, “Come on, let’s go read Ender’s Game.”

Appendix: For the record, best Star Wars movies in order: V, IV, VI, II, III, I.


  4 Responses to “Star Wars: The Important Question”

  1. […] in it immediately resonated with me. Perhaps it was the deep soul searching I did to figure out the best order to show Star Wars to my kids or immersing them in comic books because once upon a time it was my obsession. While I […]

  2. The proper proper order is Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. None of that “Episode IV” nonsense.

    Or you might consider Machete Order: IV, V, II, III, VI. Because (a) minimal Jar Jar Binks and (b) it’s called “Machete Order.”

  3. I’ve reviewed Machete Order and I highly approve. One of the strong arguments for it is the way it treats Episodes II and III as an extended flashback, streamlines the story arc, and improves on character development by the time you get to Return of the Jedi. Another good recommendation from the Machete Order, use Episode I as a bonus story from the extended universe of comic books, novelizations, video games, etc. That way you can find bits to enjoy and ignore the rest without bothering the main storyline.

    Also, at the end of Return of the Jedi be sure to stop right after the camera pans up from Vader’s funeral pyre and before the fireworks start. You do not want to leave it all with the Ewok song in your head.


  4. […] out my earlier post on The Important Question and the comments where a faithful reader points out an article describing in detail the Machete […]

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