As parents, we like to educate our kids about the good movies out there. With three boys in our household (my husband included) the Star Wars saga is the obvious choice when it comes to education in great movies. And with the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the first showing of the first Star Wars movie on the 25th of May, I really wanted to do a blog post about Star Wars, and the value it has brought to me as a mom.
And so, as I thought about it, there are a few reasons why I think Star Wars is great for my kids to watch (besides the fact that they keep nagging me to put it on for them). That is, Star Wars is great with some parental guidance of course, depending on how young they are.
Note: If you have not watched the Star Wars movies, there are a few spoilers contained in this article.
Star Wars Teaches Morals
We all know the iconic struggle between the Light Side and the Dark Side. Humankind has a fascination regarding this concept of good versus evil. It obviously rings true to us as moral beings. And so to include it in a space fantasy story creates a credible quality. And this teaches children good versus bad. Take Anakin Skywalker, for example. Because he gave in to his fear, he became bad and succumbed to the Dark Side. And he became a half-robotic Sith Lord we all know as Darth Vader. The lesson: Choose the right, even if you are afraid.
Also, one of the main themes that run throughout the movie is Friendship. Han and Chewbacca, Luke and Han, Finn and Rey; these friendships all stood the test of the hardships they faced. Star Wars teaches loyalty and bravery to help your friends when in need. Like on the ice Planet Hoth, Han risked his life to go out into the freezing blizzard to find and rescue Luke. If it weren’t for brave Han, Luke would have become part of the frozen foods section for roaming carnivorous Hoth critters.
Another valuable theme is that of Respecting Your Elders. And what an important lesson this is. We see an instance of this when Yoda advises Luke not to go to Bespin to save Han and Leia. But because of his loyalty, he ignores Yoda, confronts Vader and as a result loses his hand. Hey, at least their prosthetic technology was awesome enough. But still – If Luke just listened to Yoda, he could have saved his hand from the chopping board. Another example is when Qui-Gon Jin ignores the Jedi Councils advice not to train up young Annakin. . . He ignores them and Annakin is trained up and becomes Darth Vader, servant to the Sith and Empire. Just listen to your elders, people!
Other useful themes in the movies includes Freedom, Politics and Battle Strategies. Sure, only older children will understand what’s going on, but I learnt a little myself about different governments in the movies with The Republic versus The Empire.
Star Wars Movie Music Is Beautifully Emotive
Ah, John Williams, what a singular, talented composer he is! For those of you who do not know John Williams the composer, he has composed much of the beautiful movie music of our day: Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, E.T. and Hook, just to name a few. He is a great example of taking classical composition concepts and modernizing them. The music in Star Wars is so emotive because of how beautifully the music has been written and so it conveys the mood of each scene so well. His style is really fantastic and may I even go so far as to say that Star Wars would not be the great movie it is today without John Williams. My son can recognize the main themes of Star Wars, like Yoda’s theme and Darth Vader’s and so it has developed his ear for different melodies. I may even like to throw a score in one of my music and movement lesson plans somewhere. At the bottom of this post, you can listen to Rey’s Theme from Episode VII – The Force Awakens. I love the sweet simplicity of the melody and the choice of instruments, it’s really a lovely theme.
Star Wars Is About Exciting Stuff Kids Love
Space ships, light sabers, aliens, robots, princesses, galaxies far away . . . it’s the making of a great story that kids (of all ages) will enjoy. It’s fun, yet mysterious and captivating. It is the answer to the yearning of a childs imagination. Although, with that being said, there is actually a couple of boring conversations about politics and battle strategies for children. But it never lasts too long until the next scene comes on with some kind of excitement.
And so, with all the lessons to be learned and beautiful music to be listened to and learned in the Star Wars movies, there’s a lot of value for kids. But if you feel your kids are too young for Star Wars, there are also the animated series of the Star Wars Rebels and Clones Wars. They follow on with the official Star Wars stories that are also great alternatives to the live-action movies.
So whichever movies you as a parent decide to show your kids — May the Force be with you!