Just a brief record of our first attempt showing our 2-year-old Star Wars: A New Hope. He was attentive but unengaged. It has gotten less discussion than Space Jam.
First, let me assuage any concerns you might have about the situation and version presented. We have the Original Theatrical Release, made through digital transfer from the laserdisc printing and appearing as a special feature on an early DVD limited edition set. So Han shot first. There’s no stupid digital Jabba scene. And there’s no explodey ring coming from either Alderaan or the Death Star. But the color is more subdued than the special editions, and there are fewer bells and whistles (and stupid, throw-away dewbacks) that might appeal to a very young child.
Watching it with a toddler, I was struck by how talky and languid the film is. I don’t see that as a bad thing–I think the prequels are a chaotic mess and could take some good cues from the slower pacing of the original films. But it was clear that it wasn’t action oriented enough, and the dialogue was largely over the toddler’s head.
He did get excited when Chewbacca showed up, calling out for his Chewbacca action figure and repeating: “My Chewbacca!” And he was pulled in by the lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. But that was the most response we got out of him.
Clearly Star Wars needs more musical numbers. Are you listening, Disney?
We’ll try again next year. It’ll capture his imagination and passion next year, right?… Right?