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Subject: What age can kids watch Star Wars? rss

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Tony Ackroyd
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I was unexpectedly asking myself this question yesterday.
I should have realised what was going to happen as there was a confluence of events building towards an inescapeable conclusion.
Firstly my girls (aged 3 and 5, who hadn't seen the film) had been playing "Star Wars" with their cousin (aged 3) who had watched it. They all wanted to be "The Princess who has donuts on her ears".
Then they were chatting with one of Ella's schoolfriends and somehow ended up talking about Star Wars, which she had watched and "wasn't scary".
Then we took them to an outdoor event "the burning of the clocks" - a parade with lots of inventive lanterns for the winter soltice - and we bought them little light toys and they both selected light sabres (cheap, but actually very cool and effective, well effective in the way they look, not in a cutting through limbs way).
Conversation didn't seem to get off the topic of Star Wars after this so the next day for their 'quiet time' they were scheduled in to watch Star Wars. I was pretty excited myself - its been a good few years since I've seen it and I was interested to see their reactions.
I was going to watch it with them because they can be unexpectedly scared/unnerved by some elements in films.

In case you aren't aware, Star Wars is now classified as a "U".

So the girls sat down to watch it. Ella has been doing a lot of stuff about space at school so she was very excited by the beginning with the planets, moons and space ships.

Then the shooting started. Once it got to the shoot-out on the rebel spaceship Ella was saying "I don't want to watch this.".
Then Darth Vader strangles a rebel to death! "I don't want to watch this." "Is he the baddy?"

Hmmm..... but then the robots appeared. "Why is he gold?" "Why does the little one talk in beeps?", etc. Much safer territory.
And here comes the Princess with the donuts on her ears.

Jawas. "What are they?"
Sandpeople. "What are they?"
Banthas. "What are they?"

By now they were calling Darth Vader "Poo-poo head". Not so scared of him any more then.

Threepio's arm comes off. "What happened to him?"

Luke's aunt and uncle get killed. In my edition you can see the smoking skeleton. The kids don't seem to notice.
My wife: "That fire was so hot it burnt all the skin and muscle off that person so that there is only a skeleton left. Thats why you don't go near fire."
Me: "!!!!????"

Ben Kenobi chops off a guys arm in the bar.
"Did he kill him?"

Han Solo shoots Gweedo. "Did he kill him?"

This goes on and on. Then:
"Who's your favourite, Daddy? Mine is Princess Leia." Shock.

And predictably: "I like the tiny robot. He's cute."

Then at the end about Darth Vader: "He spun around in his spaceship and got all sick and dizzy."

All these comments were Ella (aged 5). Amber (aged 3) said nothing at all. When prompted for an answer about her favourite thing:
"He spun around and around and got dizzy!"

I was worried about nightmares. But they didn't have any. This morning when asked about the film: "It wasn't scary at all."

Mummy: "In the next film Darth Vader comes back."
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Boo
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1000rpm wrote:
Mummy: "In the next film Darth Vader comes back."


LOL!

My niece and nephew are 5 and 3 as well and they have seen Star Wars. It happens to be my nephew's favourite movie and he has asked everyone for Stormtroopers for Christmas. (I am so proud!)

They also asked a lot of questions and were a little scared the first time through but have asked to see it several more times since.

For some reason they find the beginning of Monsters Inc. scarier.
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Jim Cote
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Mad Scientist Philip von Doomula
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Steve Bauer
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I was 6 when it first came out. I remember loving it.

It is certainly less scare than a lot of kids movies out their. 3 seems young to me. I would say 6 or 7 would be about right but it really depends on the kid.

What is a rating of 'U'? I was pretty sure hey are all rated PG except episode III which was rated PG-13. I have not let my 7 year old see episode III but his 9 and 13 year old brothers have seen it.
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Randy Cox
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Interesting. (By the way, I'm wondering what a "U" rating is, too)

My kids are 6 and 7.5 and haven't seen Star Wars. For that matter, they haven't seen much of anything, as they just aren't all that interested. They got bored with Wall-E and wanted to leave early for that Fabulous Mr. Fox (which was not good for kids, by the way).

I can't see showing them Star Wars yet, because of the shooting and strangulation thing. Otherwise, I think they would be fine. But with that in it, I just know it will breed a bit of aggression. In fact, that is already happening with our younger and he just hears violent phrases at school. No telling how hopped up he'd get if he actually saw that stuff.

It's funny, because I used to figure kids could handle anything. The first kid I raised watched Star Wars from about age 5 on, back in the day when I didn't worry about the effects of excess violent content and, significantly, before the days when violence was the norm in video games and even TV. But times have changed and I now see why so many parents are completely avoiding movies and TV with their kids until they're quite a bit older (like, say, 10).
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Andrew Simpson
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'U' is unlimited or some similar wording It's the bottom rating for films... anyone can watch.

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Paul DeStefano
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My daughter is 8. Her favorite films are John Carpenter's The Thing and Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow.

Shes not a Star Wars fan at all though.

I think you need to judge by the person, not the age.
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What age? Married couples without kids should be rubbing their naughty bits up against the TV running the Holy Trilogy. That young!
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Sean Ahern
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Randy Cox wrote:
Interesting. (By the way, I'm wondering what a "U" rating is, too)

My kids are 6 and 7.5 and haven't seen Star Wars. For that matter, they haven't seen much of anything, as they just aren't all that interested. They got bored with Wall-E and wanted to leave early for that Fabulous Mr. Fox (which was not good for kids, by the way).

I can't see showing them Star Wars yet, because of the shooting and strangulation thing. Otherwise, I think they would be fine. But with that in it, I just know it will breed a bit of aggression. In fact, that is already happening with our younger and he just hears violent phrases at school. No telling how hopped up he'd get if he actually saw that stuff.

It's funny, because I used to figure kids could handle anything. The first kid I raised watched Star Wars from about age 5 on, back in the day when I didn't worry about the effects of excess violent content and, significantly, before the days when violence was the norm in video games and even TV. But times have changed and I now see why so many parents are completely avoiding movies and TV with their kids until they're quite a bit older (like, say, 10).


My son was three when he watched it and I kind of regret it. Now four, he really, really loves it and talks about it all the time. Somewhat surprisingly, the "rough parts" didn't bother him since a fight in "Hello Dolly" bothers him. However, like Randy worries, when he plays Star Wars he does play rather aggressively and we have to really work to have him tone it down. We limit him to playing Lego Star Wars with daddy for an hour or two on Saturdays and we don't watch the movies (he's mostly about the pretend now).

That being said, I only kind of regret it. He really does love it and it gives us something to bond over. He could be really into some stupid Disney show. As a four year old, he's going to be naturally aggressive and Star Wars play time might just be how it's manifesting itself. The "Jedi Code" also allows us to talk him about controlling his emotions and we use "Yodaism"s all the time. Like, "War made no man great" and "Do or do not, there is no try".

So, as always, it depends on the kid and you know best. But if you're looking for recommendations, I highly recommend you check out old musicals like Singing in the Rain, Easter Parade, and Hello Dolly. My 2 and 4 year both really love them and it mostly encourages them to sing and dance, not fight.
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J.L. Robert
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What age?

How old do you need to be to dream?
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1000rpm wrote:
My wife: "That fire was so hot it burnt all the skin and muscle off that person so that there is only a skeleton left. Thats why you don't go near fire."
Me: "!!!!????"


laughlaughlaugh
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Sean Ahern
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"Daddy, why doesn't Han shoot Greedo first?"
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Ookami Snow
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My niece is 4-5 years old and watching Star Wars with her for the first has been my favorite part of being an uncle. She normally is a very hyper kid but she watched all of the movie, and then wanted to watch it again - but this time explaining every single part as it happened.

Her favorite character is Chewie and now whenever she sees me she asks to watch the movie.

I would wait to watch it with your children until they can "get it" so that they can enjoy the movie their first time.
 
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Steve Bauer
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Randy Cox wrote:
Interesting. (By the way, I'm wondering what a "U" rating is, too)


Wikipedia to the rescue, U(for Universal) is the UK's equivalent of G.

Why it gets a G in the UK but a PG in the US, who knows.
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philomars wrote:
Geosphere wrote:
My daughter is 8. Her favorite films are John Carpenter's The Thing and Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow.

Shes not a Star Wars fan at all though.

I think you need to judge by the person, not the age.



Surely this is a joke....


Nope.
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howl hollow howl
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Randy Cox wrote:
My kids are 6 and 7.5 and haven't seen Star Wars. For that matter, they haven't seen much of anything, as they just aren't all that interested.

My daughter is just about to turn 7. Her total movie experience is Monsters Inc and Finding Nemo when visiting a cousin 3.5 years ago, and Charlotte's Web at church daycare last month. We are thinking about the likes of The Sound of Music for next year.

So, Star Wars is way, way out for me. It's not really a violence thing, as we are not afraid to expose her to NFL or war footage (not to mention death metal). It's more of an imagination thing, in addition to not losing her edge of excitement for everday thrills.

Our current night-time read is The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, for which the library is hosting a free viewing next week. For the above reasons, I'm torn whether to take her.

 
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Personally, I'd have said around 4 would be a reasonable age. My youngest was 3 when he watched it and (to my disappointment) didn't appear to take much interest, however, months later it seemed to have permeated and he wanted to watch it over and over and OVER again.

The funniest encounter we had with him was The Princess Bride. He was 4, and every time the ROUS' came on, he'd hide behind the couch until there were gone. He's 18 and we still laugh about it now.

By today's standards, Star Wars is tame. Even your average kids cartoon or TV show has far more graphic imagery than Star Wars. And as for movies nowadays, some of them shock me.
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My 3 & 5 yr olds have seen all of them, except episode 3.
 
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Peter Ferguson
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My Daughgter is 3.5 and I have thought long and hard about Star Wars.

Personally, I am waiting until she is 7 to watch them. For various reasons.

1). When Empire Strikes back came out, I was 5, my brothers took me to see it (I'm surprised I could get in.) And I clearly remember being bored by all the "talking" and often asking my oldest brother "when is the good part coming, when is the good part coming" with him shushing me and telling me to be quiet. (I can just imagine the eye-rolling from behind me).

Then the battle on Hoth, and I was hooked. I didn't get 95% of the movie, people were doing stuff, lasers were flying, spaceships and wookiee's. It was all cool, but all way over my head.

I don't want that for my daughter. I want her first viewing to be able to follow most of the movie.

Then when I was 8, ROTJ came out, and I deffinately could follow that. In between 1980 and 1983, I saw the first two movies numerous times (renting VCR's and the tapes, watching on tv etc.).

I can't remember the first time I saw the first Star Wars movie, but it was around the same time that ESB came out. I know because going into ESB, I knew who Darth Vader was, Luke etc.

My biggest dilemma is when to show her revenge of the sith. The final battle can be pretty intense with Anakin buring like a piece of human charcoal.

At the same time I would like to show all the movies to her.

Another problem is that we have #2 on the way, so showing my daughter at 7, means having to preoccupy a 3 year old somewhere else.

My own brother had this problem when showing his eldest Back to the Future, the younger one decided to watch as well, and their parents cringed through the amount of swearing that they didn't realise was in those movies.
 
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Tara Roy
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My son became an addict at age 3, when a friend acquired The Trilogy on VHS. By 4, he had memorized every line and all of the fight choreography. (Yes, it was just about the only thing he watched on television. Over, and over, and over... Not all day or nothin', just...that was his only choice!)

It is a source of pride and humor for our family that, at age 3.2, he came running to me after the Lounge scene and declared, "He cut off his arm wif a fyashyight!" Rightly or wrongly, you could almost see the neurons connecting.

My only regret is that until he was about 15, *everything* was a light saber. Broom handles, tomato stakes, lengths of PVC, yardsticks... all died violent deaths against the basketball post, the couch, the bus stop sign. I cannot tell you the number of rolls of gift wrap that were creased in the center.

Later, he became a big reader and enjoys gaming, too - video, board, and RPG. Star Wars is still his favorite; nobody can compete in Trivial Pursuit SW.

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