I also have thought about the day when I finally get to show my boys the movies and we start with 1 and 2 and then we have to skip 3 for 4,5 and 6. Its sort of dumb on one hand that they decided to do PG for 1 and 2 but decided to go all out for 3. It should have been all or none. Maybe its a sign that they realize this is an adult based franchise after all
I do agree Scott, there's going to be some backlash. But your above quote does a nice job summarizing of what all of us fanboys have been thinking for a long time, just saying it differently. The "first" two movies weren't what they should be and that's part of my rant above about the Ewoks. I think the movies' focus shifted once someone (i.e. Lucas, Hasbro, etc.) realized that something cute sells well. All of a sudden we've got all sorts of sidelines going on in the stories (and to me, detracting from) that really are not necessary aside from perhaps broadening the interest to keep the whole family from the 4 year old, to mom, to dad, to the teenager happy. I think you're right that they realized what they should have previously and the box office returns and critical reviews perhaps finally got through.
I remember the first copy I picked up of Leonard Maltin's (sp?) movie review book. All three Star Wars movies were very highly rated, only ROTJ not having four stars I believe. Take a look at a more recent copy that includes the prequels. They didn't do so well. We've all discussed it previously. It's just not a happy go lucky movie franchise. There's all manner of Nazi-esque overtones to it.
I'm in the same boat, how do you show your kids this? My daughter loves certain aspects of AOTC. She's largely bored of TPM right from the start. But the strangest thing was the first time we watched ANH - immediately upon seeing Vader she was scared. She did not like him at all. She'd seen Maul with his grotesque face and it didn't bother her at all. Vader was the embodiment of evil and she picked it up right away. The only other time she reacted in that way was to the witch in Snow White, pretty much a terrifying caricature when looked at objectively as well. Quite possibly more evil than Vader when you think about your own stepmother ordering your murder
I was 13 when I saw Star Wars so there wasn't much fear involved. Mind you this was about a year or so after we sneaked into the theater through the back door to watch the Exorcist. Wanna talk about ******* with a kids mind? I still can't watch that movie.
How do you feel about showing the boys ANH and ESB? I'll certainly agree that what you listed for ROTS is beyond what they should be watching, but what about serving up some smoked Beru and Owen? How will you handle that.