582: Star Kids

A Thousand Things to Talk About
582: Star Kids

How old were you when you first saw Star Wars?

Full episode script

In the book The Princess Diarist, actress Carrie Fisher wrote extensively about the importance to parents of introducing their children to Star Wars. Quote:

It’s like they’re introducing the child to a tribe,” she wrote. “There’s a ritual — you … place them down as an offering, and say, ‘Watch this.’ Then you watch him watching ‘Star Wars,’ trying to find out how much you have in common with your kid. It’s as if (parents) know they have this great gift to bestow, and they want to bestow it as perfectly as possible — the perfect time, the perfect place, the perfect situation for passing on this life-defining experience. And the kids will always remember for their entire lives how they first felt when they first saw their now favorite movie. And they were given this gift from their parents, and now can share it together. Truly a family affair.


In 2015, Wired Magazine tried to answer this question as well, talking to Amanda Lucas, who said, quote:

Amanda doesn’t remember when, exactly, she first saw Star Wars. “I just grew up with it,” she said—which is what all of us say, of course, but she means it in a very different way. She was hesitant, or maybe just unable, to pinpoint a foolproof method of determining an ideal age for another child. She went back and forth on the question for a while, talking extremely fast. “I’m not sure,” she said, and—like others I canvassed—she seemed to keep returning to “I think it depends on the kid.” At one point, she ventured: “Four years old?” But then again, she said, maybe that’s a little young. Then again, “it’s not like Star Wars is so bloody or gory.” Then again, again, “there is the part when Vader takes off his helmet.” And then again, again, again, maybe we coddle our children too much.


And after interviewing 19 separate fathers about this same question, blog DorkDaddy concluded that, quote:

Fathers answers ranged from “in the womb” to “never”, with an average suggested age of somewhere between 5 and 6. Fathers also cited innumerable variables to take into consideration which were not consistent from child to child, or from family to family. There was concensus among the sampled fathers that exposure should be determined on a child-by-child basis, taking into account that child’s emotional, intillectual and social development, and always under parental supervision.

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.