Star Wars and Kids

I saw Star Wars when I was a kid. It was a mounumental event in my young psyche. I remember seeing nearly a dozen times in a year. I remember watching it in Spanish once in Puerto Rico. It was an exciting kids' movie.

When the new epsiodes came out, I remember being somewhat disappointed because they didn't evoke the same exitement in me. They were spectacular, sure, but they weren't visceral anymore. I remember being similarly disappointmed with Return of the Jedi. I remember, also, being appreciate of the “all grown up” mentality of Empire Strikes Back.

I was crushed when my 7-year-old girl said Star Wars was boring and too violent. Even the boy didn't want to go on to see Empire and the rest.

Now we hear that later this month the last installment, Revenge of the Sith will be the first film in the Star Wars franchise to be rated PG-13:

Episode III—Revenge of the Sith is the first Star Wars tale to receive a PG-13 rating. The movie was screened for reporters Tuesday night at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, and the PG-13 rating—“for sci-fi violence and some intense images”—is well-deserved.

Is the franchise in search of a customer base? Jedi, Menace and Clones were a little facile, puerile, juvenile, whatever. Now Lucas runs to the other side of the path with a movie unsuitable for his target audience?

“We're getting a lot of flak from parents, a lot of people saying how can you do this? My children love these movies. Why can you not let them go see it?” Lucas told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “But I have to tell a story. I'm not making these, oddly enough, to be giant, successful blockbusters. I'm making them because I'm telling a story, and I have to tell the story I intended.”

Maybe we liked the story to be more fantasy and less Passion, Mr. Lucas. The original movie was swords and sorcery writ large with stunning special effects and sci-fi action. It was how some of us wanted the pulp science fiction we read to be visualized on the big screen. The story is no longer as compelling as the original vision was.

I'm reminded of the downfall of the Matrix. They should have left well-enough alone… and Greedo really didn't need to shoot first. links:

Josh Poulson

Posted Wednesday, May 4 2005 01:54 PM

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