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Star Wars Through the Eyes of a Toddler

I did not intend to show Abby "Star Wars." It happened like this: I own a t-shirt from the time when the Smithsonian did a Star Wars exibit. Sometimes I still wear it. It's a durable shirt. On one of these occasions, Abby asked me about it. By ask I mean she pointed to a tie fighter and said, "What's that?" (or perhaps it was "What dat?").

Sometime after that I decided it would be amusing to pull out the video and see what she thought. She was two at that time and didn't seem impressed--though she did seem a little scared at points. She ran around and played through a significant chunk of the movie, leading me to conclude that it was probably over her head and would likely continue to be for a few years.

I was wrong.

Somewhere between now and then she's decided that the Star Wars movies are the best movies ever. It seems like she's always asking to watch them. I don't always say yes. Watching any of the Star Wars movies requires a two hour time committment and I think her time could be better spent. Also, though I'm not someone who believes that watching violence does incredible damage to young psyches, I don't really want to give her a constant diet of it either.

Bearing that in mind, it's interesting to note her preferences in movies. She seems to like "Empire Strikes Back" best and the original series in general. She's much less likely ask to watch the prequels and seems decidedly antsy during certain scenes in "The Phantom Menace."

In short, her preferences probably match your average film critic except that she thinks Jar Jar Binks is pretty funny.

Owing to the fact that she's old enough to recognize letters, she knows that something's happening during the crawl at the beginning of the movie. She demands that I read it to her--which I do in more or less the same tone as I use when reading "The Cat in the Hat."

Abby's enthusiasm seems to be shared by Rebecca, who (though she doesn't ask to watch a Star Wars movie without Abby asking first) does ask to "watch Yoda."

The fact that she clearly enjoys the movies helps me justify allowing her to watch them. That being said, if she gets curious about "The Godfather," she's definitely got a long wait in store. Ditto the movies of Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy...).

It'll be interesting to see if she ever watches Babylon 5.