Debate on the order to introduce Star Wars to a child: Now with a twist!

So last year I introduced my son to the Star Wars universe. I did it in the order of release, leading up to taking him to see his first movie in the theater: The Force Awakens. He’s loved every minute.

Now we’re working our way through The Clone Wars. Again, he’s loved every minute. But here’s where we have a tricky situation: My daughter, who is two years younger than my son, has desperately wanted to be part of our Star Wars watching. The movies are still a bit much, but we’ve (reluctantly) decided she can watch Clone Wars with us.

She has fallen in love with Anakin and Ahsoka, and she has seen the character of Darth Vader in books and knows he’s a bad, bad dude. But our household has vowed to not spoil anything for her. She has no idea Anakin *is *Vader.

The question I have is how do I introduce the movies to her now, and get the biggest “WOW” from her? (Any of you who say to ignore the prequels can kindly take your argument somewhere else. We’re already fully entrenched in the prequel world, and my son loves them, so will my daughter.)

When the time comes, I’m half tempted to introduce them: Clone Wars, I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII. So let her come to really love Anakin from watching Clone Wars, then go back to the beginning so she can see how he was discovered, trained, and then watch her mind be blown as he falls to the Dark Side. Then move on the the originals.

OR…We finish the Clone Wars, and continue with IV, V, VI, and let her little mind be blown when Vader says “I am your father.”

I’m thinking it might be more mind-blowing for her at this point to watch Anakin descend to the Dark Side, so am leaning toward watching them in episode order. Thoughts?

She might know on some level that Vader’s a bad dude, but it can’t have sunk in as thoroughly as it would from seeing the movies. Watch them in release order, so she can really appreciate just how bad he is, before the big reveal.

I think I would stick to the release order. She’ll know (or quickly find out) that Luke is Anakin’s son, and Obi-Wan’s news that “Vader killed your father” will cement for her how evil Vader is, because she has more of an emotional investment in Anakin than most first-time viewers.

Then when she learns the truth, it will be even more of a shock! Her poor little mind will be blown.

I agree, though you might be able to let her see the Episode I first, since there’s not really much about him being a bad guy.

I could also see doing I and II before showing her IV V. Give her a hint that Anakin might be going bad, then let her see Vader, then finish off III, then show VI for his redemption.

Oh man, I think I would totally do 4,5,6 then 1,2,3. I mean, that’s how I would do it anyway but I really think that 5 would hit way harder if she’s not familiar with 1,2,3 than if she is.

I’m a fan of release order, but I don’t see any problem with letting Clone Wars cartoon be first.

I really think it’s important to understand Darth Vader as the ultimate bad ass villain (Star Wars and Empire) before you equate him with Anakin from the prequels. The Anakin from Clone Wars is tolerable, but the Anakin from the prequels is a whiny little bitch who accidentally commits genocide, and I don’t see how anyone can watch the prequels first and then take Vader seriously later.

Even after Clone Wars, I’d think you could go IV, V, then I, II, III, then VI.

And then VII, because Rey is awesome.

I followed the Machete Order for my kids. It worked quite well: IV, V, II, III, VI. I think the big question for today is where does one insert the new Star Wars 3.5.0?

They and I have never done the Clone Wars and I only saw number 1 in the theater way back in the day. I’m in no way a Star Wars fan, but I do like a good movie.

there’s only one proper way for anyone, adult or child, to watch the series

Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
Return of the Jedi

I think there are reasonable arguments for the following orders, listed in the order I’d suggest them:

4,5,6,7 (the good ones)
4,5,2,3,6,7 (machete order)
4,5,6,1,2,3,7 (release order)
4,5,1,2,3,6,7 (machete order, plus episode I)
1,2,3,4,5,6,7 (chronological order)

The Clone Wars need to come after Episode 2. So my suggested viewing order would be 4, 2, Clone Wars, 3, 5, 6, 7.

If you’re feeling adventurous, start with Episode 4, then when they’re aboard the Falcon and Obi Wan starts reminiscing, stop the film there and switch to the Clone Wars, then switch back to Episode 4 afterwards.

Didn’t read the OP, huh.

You guys are giving me some good food for thought. Once the CW series is done, and she’s a little older, I’m leaning toward IV, V, I, II, III, VI, VII.

Talk me out of it, or give me some more ideas, like where I should put Rebels and Rogue One.

FWIW, that’s the exact order my daughter saw them in, and she loved 'em.

That would be my suggestion. That’s how I did it with my son, leading up to watching 7 in the theater together.

For my sons, I’m thinking release order for the films, but Clone Wars stuck in between 2 and 3.

I figure that watching the prequels first would be weird; they (esp III) give away too much about eps. 4, 5 and 6 for them to have nearly so much impact.

I mean, if you know that Vader is Anakin, and that Luke is Anakin’s child, and that Luke & Leia are siblings, and that Chewbacca is not just some “walking carpet”, and is actually a renowned Wookiee, and so on and so forth, then when you watch Ep IV, it would seem really strange, as the movie’s treating the viewer like you don’t already know who they are, and it takes a lot away from the movie’s narrative if you know who Ben Kenobi is, who Darth Vader is, who Chewbacca is, and even who Luke is. It’s not the story of a naive moisture farm boy who gets wrapped up in Galactic events, it’s just another piece in the puzzle started by the other 3 movies. You lose all the mystery and render the exposition in episodes 4 5 and 6 moot if you watch the prequels first.

You forgot The Ewok Adventure and Ewoks:Battle of Endor.