Star Wars is Just for Kids

Every time there is a discussion about Star Wars, and in particular the prequels, the point is usually made that Star Wars was made for kids, and that people who are disappointed in the movies are just projecting their need for nostalgia.

I have two problems with this.

One, it ignores the greater history of Star Wars and its influences, which include Buck Rogers serials, Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, and war movies with cleverly edited airplane dogfights. All of these had broad cultural appeal before George Lucas got his hands on them.

And two, since when does “being made for kids” satisfy as an excuse for “poorly-executed and goofy?” You only have to look at the majority of Pixar’s corpus to see how ridiculous that excuse is. While obviously aimed at children, they follow such solid principles of character and storytelling that they can be enjoyed, on multiple levels, by all ages.

The examples are numerous, but Wall-E in particular is one of the masterpieces of the 21st century. It can be enjoyed by the child who can’t even pronounce the title, all the way up to their grandparents.

The original Star Wars trilogy holds up so well precisely because it wasn’t made “just for kids.” They aren’t just movies about space wizards fighting with laser swords. Just like Toy Story isn’t just a movie about talking toys.

So please, just stop making this excuse. It makes no sense.

And it shouldn’t be used as an insult, either.


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