This article is brought to you by my friend Jeff, who has an aversion to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and can wax poetic about Chewbacca. Today’s topic- determining whether or not Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace really was written for infants.
My 2 year old kid, Doolin, loves movies. He used to call them moomies but they are movies now. He has particular favorites that he likes to watch back-to-back-to-back ad infinitum. He eventually moves on to new favorites that we will watch roughly 100 times and wash, rinse, repeat. Yesterday, I was pretty sick of Puss in Boots and It Takes Two. I actually like Puss in Boots, but I want to strangle my wife for bringing the Olsen twins into our house. Digging for new material, I tried a couple things before deciding on a specific movie I thought he may like. What follows is a line of text updates to our mutual friend John.
Editor’s note: Text messages are indicated with block quotes
I tried to watch Narnia with Doolin and he really liked it but it was soooo violent. I turned it off and tried to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That was violent too. So I said, “Fuck it. Let’s watch The Phantom Menace and see if 2 year olds really were Lucas’ target market after all.”
He already loves light sabers and thinks its funny when the driods get cut to ribbons.
And….Queen Amidala is an elf.
And he laughs at Jar Jar and calls him “A man”
We reached the part where they save Amidala and there’s more lightsaber action and spaceships. I can see he’s starting to think about toys already. But I encourage him to hang with it.
Dad: Can you say R2-D2?
Doolin: Achoo Dee Chu
Proud moments, dad’s eyes well up with tears.
Now I’m thinking he’s into it. You’ve got one of the galaxy’s most loveable robots on screen. But Doolin’s just not buying it. He starts to play with toys. I ask a couple of questions like, “Are those nice guys or are they mean?” and “Look at the little boy. Do you like him?” He answers but then goes back to his toys, which he knows are fun, as opposed to this movie which clearly is not.
Dad: Can you say C3-PO?
Doolin: Gee goo go.
Then he giggles and thinks 3PO talks funny. Another proud moment.
This movie is really bad. This was the point where I realized how terrible it was. Maybe it was the unnecessary farting, or the crappy dialogue, or everything about Jar Jar. Who knows? It is also worth noting that Doolin smashed himself on the hand with a toy hammer he was playing with. Should have been my first clue.
This movie would never have made any money if it weren’t for the original trilogy. Seriously, if it were released today with no previous Star Wars content, it would bomb at the theater. This is me coming to grips wth reality.
The pod race turned up to 11 couldn’t even keep the attention span of a 2 year old. This was my last ditch effort. I knew if I cranked the surround sound and cheered along with him, he would definitely get into it. Especially since the little boy was driving a racing spaceship. Um, no. He got the biggest kick out of the crowd cheering at the beginning of the race. After that, he couldn’t give a shit.
I turned the movie off and got no protest from Doolin. That’s when you know its bad. I was so mad about this, I finished my text convo with a rant which I will publish unedited.
Editor’s Note: “A Napkin” = “Anakin”
OK. I know I’ve talked about things before, but its so fresh…I just wish for once we got to see A Napkin Shoeshiner force choke the shit out of some kid in a back alley on Tatooine. How can you go from being the only Honey Badger in the galaxy, evicerating every nutsack that gets in your way, to that fucking kid? I have a theory that all kids growing up on Tatooine are pussies. Luke was the biggest vag in ep 4-6, Napkin was in 1-3.
I had to take a shower to get ready for work. It luckily calmed me down a bit.
This would be a good idea as a post for your blog. Top 10 reasons I’m glad Disney bought Star Wars….
John’s only response in this whole flurry of texts :
How about “Did George Lucas Really Target 2-Year Olds?”
We will never know cuz mine can’t make it past the 1/2 way point.
THATS WHEN YOU KNOW ITS REALLY BAD!
When your kid begs you to put Narnia back on instead of Star Wars, you have a problem.