A Thorn in My Side

This blog/article made me angry: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/09/16/when-kids-strike-back-against-star-wars/

Besides the obvious fact that it was not written cohesively (I expected a piece on Star Wars with valid points, but instead I prequel trilogyfeel like I got a trip down memory lane), it also shows a lack of encouragement on having a child form her own opinion.

Her daughter most likely does not want to see the Prequels based on what her mother (and others) are saying.  But her mother probably explained the backstory of Anakin, his relationship to Obi-Wan, his secret wife, Padmé, how he turned to the dark side, etc. etc.  And guess where all that information came from?  Ohhhh yeahhhhh, those films that so many fans try to ignore: The Prequels.  Otherwise, we’d all still be questioning and guessing on the back story of our favorite movies.

I don’t think the Prequels were bad.  At all.  However, if you think they were horrible, then that’s your free choice.

When I was younger, my family always encouraged me to make decisions for myself by looking at all the different angles when it came to novels, movies, music, food.  If I didn’t like something because everyone else didn’t like something, I was always quickly shut up when my mother or sister always asked, “Did you read/eat/see it?”  And I would sheepishly reply that actually, no, I hadn’t done that.  In which they would promptly dismiss what I said because it had no validity.

Here’s a sampling of books/movies/music I swore to hate because “everyone else” hated them, and then was encouraged to read them by my family and make my own opinion:

  1. Pride and Prejudice
  2. Harry Potter
  3. The Clone Wars
  4. Country music
  5. The Hobbit
  6. Any and all documentaries (some of them are quite good, I’ve come to learn)
  7. Brussels Sprouts

Here’s a sampling of books/movies/music I thought I’d like because “everyone else” did, but found that I actually hated them:

  1. The Twilight Series
  2. Rap music (for the most part)
  3. Anne Rice novels
  4. Coffee (okay, not really in the same category but I cannot get the appeal)
  5. The Mists of Avalon

Do you see my point?  Even just a little?  “My daughter says she doesn’t even know who Jar Jar Binks is, but she doesn’t want to watch him on screen.”  If your daughter doesn’t know who Jar Jar is, then why does she have a problem watching him?

I’m not perfect by any means, but what I’m trying to say is that we should be encouraged to form opinions after we’ve actually experienced something ourselves.  I can’t imagine all the happiness I would have lost in my life had I never read Pride & Prejudice with the sole purpose to prove to my mom and sister how horrible it was.  What a good book!

Suppose my argument is not good enough.  Okay, fine.  The daughter does not want to watch the Prequels and she made her own opinion that they were horrible.  By herself.  Without seeing them.  Fine.

What makes me further ticked off with this article is that the author did not use this as an exploratory lesson for her child on star wars prequelsstorytelling and the different aspects of it.  She did not bring up that the Prequels are part of the history of Star Wars and you can’t just ignore them. They may not seem to have a huge relevance to Star Wars right now with the upcoming movie, but I know they will be referenced in future films (did you see the photo of Rogue One? Doesn’t that look like podracer parts in the background?).  Or how about the reason George Lucas focused on releasing the Original Trilogy first is because he knew that it was a stronger story than Anakin’s backstory.  Or how about the fact that the Prequels broke new ground with their CGI?  Or that the Prequels are actually a very interesting, tragic love story between someone who is forbidden to be in love and a story about best friends who end up almost killing each other.  Or that the PT show one man’s journey from boy to man and from light to dark – and that after watching them, it highlights the flavors of the Original Trilogy so much more.

I do not have kids, so maybe I’m making too hasty of a judgement.  But I am a Star Wars fan and I think this Prequel bashing has got to stop.  It’s one thing if you were brought up on the OT and were seriously disappointed by the PT.  It’s another when you, as a Star Wars fan, transfer that disgruntlement to your children.

I hated The Clone Wars when it first came out on TV.  But I eventually watched it to and I ended up loving it.  #AhsokaLives

Who can say that won’t happen to this 13 year old girl?

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10 thoughts on “A Thorn in My Side

  1. “Fear is the path to the dark side…fear leads to anger…anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering” I don’t really think its right to say you hate something. Id rather say i dislike something for its properties, because hate gives it a more evil approach, if you know what i mean? But i agree that you can’t simply have biased opinions about something, until you’ve experienced, known and understood it. what i am saying is: more positivity, and don’t let the things you don’t like hold you back! But cool post, really made me think.

    • Guess where that quote came from?? THE PREQUELS. Bam. You kind of validated my argument with that line.

      And agree with the anti-hate wording. I am normally more careful but wrote this in an angry rush. How dark side of me. Guess the anger led to the hateful wording, with the word hate. Ha.

  2. Star Wars for me has always been such a positive thing in my life, and I try to keep it that way. I don’t rewatch the prequels frequently, but when I do I try to appreciate the thing I enjoy there. I’ve had a lot of fun reading EU books; some of them are terrible, but the ones I loved have stayed with me over the years. And they will stay with me, canon or no. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the next steps, too.

    I wouldn’t want to force someone (especially a child) to watch a movie they don’t want to, but I do think it’s important to keep an open mind about experiences. You never know until you try!

    • You know I will force my kids to watch every Star Wars movies…but it won’t be forcing because they will be brought up with it and part of their life. 🙂

      I guess my main concern here is that the daughter seemed to like Star Wars, yet refused to watch the Prequels. Why? It was just so confusing and the mom was trying to act like she had nothing to do with that decision. Maybe she didn’t, maybe it was her daughter’s friends. I’m not as peeved as I was yesterday so I’ve definitely calmed down, but it just seemed like a biased article with subtle and not so subtly Prequel bashing which has slowly grated on me over the years.

      This blog wouldn’t exist without the Prequels and my life would be a lot different so I guess I just get super defensive when I know that my life was changed with TPM when I was 11. Almost the same age as her daughter.

  3. commenting take two: whenever I read a piece like this the editor in me asks what the initial drafts look like. Because it would have been a great teaching moment for the parent to show the child not to judge a book by its cover or let others influence without checking facts out for oneself.

  4. Pingback: A Thorn in My Side | ctch110michaelqing

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