Roll your eyes right now if you wish. Get it out of the way.
This last month, my son turned four-years-old. And I was thinking as I've done before about how to properly introduce my favorite movie series to him. It's not exactly that he hasn't seen any of it before. In all honesty, I had the DVD of Episode IV playing within the first few weeks of his life once we'd brought him home from the hospital. But as he get's older, he's starting to become a fan of his own shows and movies. He's a bit spoiled because we have Netflix and he is familiar enough to navigate the menu himself and choose on his own. Some of his current favorites include Power Rangers, Pound Puppies, Lunar Jim, Bob the Builder, Wild Kratts, Curious George, Caillou, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Phineas & Ferb, Super WHY!, The Magic School Bus, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Pingu, Justin Time and Transformers. There are many others I could mention and I should name at least one movie he's been fond of in The Nightmare Before Christmas.
But in the past few years, I have not pushed Star Wars on Sammy as an idea. I just didn't want to overdo it, which perhaps is what I did with the girls as they were growing up. Now I've been thinking more recently that I'd like to test the waters a bit and see if he'd find it interesting. And in thinking this over, I realized there are several seasons of animated shows that are geared more towards younger audiences.
Star Wars: Clone Wars
There are two separate series in recent memory. In 2003, there was a special set of animated mini-episodes on Cartoon Network that included quick action and some interesting story lines that take place chronologically between Episode II and III. The character development for Anakin is arguably important for understanding where he ends up at the beginning of III. What's amazing to me is that despite the fact that you can't find anything on it on Cartoon Network's site, the whole series is available on YouTube:
In 2008, there was a different show with a similar name that was CGI. There have been five seasons so far and there is at least one more coming up. It used to be possible to watch every episode on Cartoon Network's site, but apparently they've cut that down to just the clips and previews.
So the past few days, I've sat with Samuel and watched just about the entire animated mini-series. He liked it! There were some dark points that were a bit scary for him, but I hugged him tight and reassured appropriately. It's been a blast.