Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Proper Education

Education is important to me. Choosing the proper education for your children is a daunting task.

Thus, it was after a great deal of thought and deliberation that I decided to show my sons the Star Wars movies in the order that they were originally released, starting with Episode IV and completing the original trilogy before exposing them to Episodes I, II, & III.

It’s my choice and I stand by it. I know there are conflicting schools of thought on this. Some would suggest that the Episodes are numbered for a reason. Just because the first three Episodes were not around when I was young, why deny my children the opportunity to see them in order?

I thought of all this. I wondered if I was being selfish. Forcing my opinions and childhood memories upon my boys. Would they resent me and rebel against this way of thinking later in life?

I nearly started with Episode I. I remembered being left with the following questions after watching Episodes IV – VI as a child:

- Why were Luke and Leia separated?
- Who was Obi-Wan Kenobi, really?
- Why don’t the Stormtroopers ever take their helmets off?
- Boba Fett is cool and all, but what the hell does he have to do with this story?
- What happened during the Clone Wars?

I would be haunted by such questions for most of my young life. Did I want to leave my children wondering the same things? Did I want to inflict on them the zombie-like daydream spells that I was subject to when one of these questions popped into my mind in the middle of math class, my teacher asking me why I wasn’t paying attention, and me having to gather myself and wipe the puddle of drool from my textbook?

That’s when it hit me. Are there questions from the original trilogy that are left unanswered? Sure there are, but that’s half the fun. There is a mystery surrounding the background of the characters and their plight. This is, after all, why the movies were released in the order they were.

Let’s face it, Episodes I-III only exist to give the background for the characters in Episodes IV-VI. Episodes I-III were made for the sole purpose of answering these very questions.

Episode I sets up Obi Wan Kenobi and the Jedi vs. the Sith. Episode II explains the Stromtroopers and Boba Fett. Episode III shows you the aftermath of the Clone Wars and, of course, gives you that moment that Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader (hope that didn’t ruin anything for you). These movies are appreciated most when viewed in this order.

So call me a dinosaur if you will. Criticize me all you want. Label me a slave to tradition. Draw a caricature of me with a ball and chain around my ankle, with the words “Original Trilogy” etched into the ball. Actually, that would probably be taking it a bit far, but you get my point.

I call myself a Star Wars purest. I want my sons to have questions. I want there to be a period of wonder and thought before they get their answers. I want them to truly understand the story of the Star Wars movies. It’s my children’s education. It’s my right.

When I count, I start with 4.

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