What’s the “right” way to introduce children to Star Wars? Obviously the answer (if there is one) to this question depends on how old the child is, how mature they are, and what your values are as a parent.
I assume that most parents of young kids today were brought up on the original trilogy, and are bullish about ensuring the same magical experience for their kids as they had through those three films. But what about showing them the story in linear fashion, starting with The Phantom Menace, and ending with Return of the Jedi? If you’re crazy about them, then you might be more inclined to go down that path, but might be gun shy about the dark material of Attack of the Clones (mom dying in son’s arms), and Revenge of the Sith (choking pregnant woman, dismemberment, burning a body). Or do you do it through the Force Awakens as a new start, and a way for them to experience Star Wars as a member of their generation?
Of course, it’s 2015 and Star Wars has grown in to the biggest of hollywood properties so there are gateways to the galaxy far, far away though animated series, books, comics, video games, and toys. Each of those could also be a way in.
In my case, my daughter’s first exposure to Star Wars was as a four year old to the Clone Wars animated movie. I figured she’d love Ahsoka, and I was right. She’s her favorite character and she adores her. Since then she’s turned five years old, and has latched on to Rebels, seen and enjoyed The Phantom Menace, as well as A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. She’s enjoyed all of them, but still, Star Wars to her is Clone Wars and Rebels. She’s aware of The Force Awakens and wants to see it, but I’ll have to determine first if it’s fit for a five year old. Your mileage may vary.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments, or @tumblingsaber.