I recently conducted a social experiment with my two sons.
My older son (code name Red) is 8 years old and my younger son (Dewy) is 5. Both have a strong interest in Star Wars. About a years ago, I showed Red the original trilogy (the latest version of the Extended / Special editions to be exact). He enjoyed them as any 6 or 7 year old kid would.
Then, earlier this month, I showed the newer prequel trilogy to both kids. By doing it this way, Red got to see the films in the order I watched them (4,5,6,1,2,3). Dewy, on the other hand, experienced Star Wars for the first time by watching Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
Now before any of you call Child Protective Services on me, let me emphasize that Dewy is 5 years old and he loved Episode 1. And guess what? His favorite character? Yup, you guessed it: Jar Jar Binks.
I plan to show them the original trilogy again soon. This will be Red’s second pass at it, and Dewy’s first. I won’t know for a while what sort of impact this has on each one of them, but I figured this was the easiest way to answer the question of “what order should you watch the movies in?”
And for those of you hating on the prequel trilogy… Look, they were’t great films. We can agree on that. But I’m not going to deny them the fun they can offer. At this young age my boys are just enjoying seeing aliens and Jedi and Sith running around the galaxy. At least Dewy will grow up without a hatred in his heart for Jar Jar like some fans seem to have. And hate, as we know, is a tool of the Dark Side.
Speaking of the Dark Side: here’s a photo of the boys dressed in their Sith Halloween costumes. Dewy as Vader, and Red as Darth Maul. (We’ve since acquired the double-bladed lightsaber)