December 18th can’t get here fast enough. Everyone around here is excited about the new Star Wars movies. Some friends love watching every piece of behind the scenes footage and reading all of the speculation. Others, including my husband, prefer to stay back so that they can experience the films without preconceived ideas. I’m not sure which camp I want to belong to, so I’ve limited myself to what my husband knows. I suppose it’s better that way so I don’t spill any spoilers.
The upcoming movies have also spawned some debate between us and our friends. One is introducing his daughter to Star Wars for the first time in preparation for the coming movie. The first question that came to everyone’s mind is an important one: in what order should someone be introduced to the Star Wars films?
I can see the argument for universe chronological order. After all, watching Episodes I-VI in that order seems like an easy answer. We do that with The Chronicles of Narnia (though when someone should be introduced to The Magician’s Nephew — the second to last book in publishing order but first book chronologically — deserves some serious consideration).
However, I lean towards release order. Even though it’s the most cliché line, I wouldn’t want to ruin that moment when Luke (and therefore the viewers) learns (*SPOILERS*) that Darth Vader is his father. Besides, I love Han Solo and Princess Leia. But especially Han Solo.
Fortunately, my husband and I are on the same side, which means that we’ll be unified in how we raise our future children.
I have heard that there are other ways of mixing the movies up as well, but I’m not very familiar with those.
As far as personal experience goes, my introduction to Star Wars was a little rough. My parents took us to a video rental store (you know, back when those things still existed), and my younger brother and I were terribly excited because it was shaping up to be a big movie night. However, the store only had Episodes VI. Someone already had Episode IV and V checked out. Undeterred, my brother and I insisted that we wanted to watch it that night, so we brought Episode VI home. Needless to say, neither of us could figure out who the green guy was or why he was dying, but we still loved it.
Soon after, we returned, but only Episode V was there. So we watched it next. Suddenly the green guy wasn’t a green guy anymore: he was Yoda, the coolest Jedi ever. And there had already been some spoiling about Darth Vader being Luke’s dad, but that was okay. It was still a big deal.
Last but not least, we watched Episode IV, and finally the whole story fell together. We were delighted and instantly transformed into unabashed Star Wars fans. Years of audio books and lightsaber duels in the backyard followed.
How were you introduced to Star Wars? Do you believe in chronological order or release order? Or have you found another way of watching the films?