I was born in 1976 just a few months before the 1977 release of the original Star Wars. The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980 and it was the first film I remember seeing in the theater. By the time Return of the Jedi was released in 1983 I was fully immersed in the holy Star Wars trinity. I had more than my fair share of action figures and would play with them alongside my brother Carlton (now a respected business manager) and my cousin Jon (now a respected attorney).
Two decades later I eagerly awaited the prequels when they were rereleased beginning in 1999. Like most other members of my generation I was sorely disappointed.
To be perfectly honest I didn't think much about the franchise in the decade that followed the unfortunate Revenge of the Sith in 2005. Still I dutifully went to see The Force Awakens when it was released in 2015 and thought that even though it was a bit derivative, it was a welcomed return to the spirit of the first three films. And this year when Sammy started expressing interest in the movies we together watched the original trilogy over the course of several weekends. When pressed if there were more Star Wars movies, we watched The Force Awakens and as a result we are now scrambling to put together a Rey costume in time for Halloween.
But Sammy has heard rumors of other characters and other movies. And so now I must make that most difficult decision as a parent: what to do about the Star Wars prequels? We're already struggling over nomenclature. When she asks about something in the "second movie" are we talking about The Empire Strikes Back (the second movie we watched) or Attack of the Clones (episode II)? It's so confusing.
I suppose I could use my skills as a designer to make some sort of diagram that illustrates the films in such a way that rectifies the order we watched them with their actual episode number. I suppose I could continue to be vague about the existence of emails just as I remain vague about the existence of the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and Taylor Swift.
Or I could just recognize all this as a truly first-world problem and simply move on.