5 Reasons Why I Think Star Wars Is For Children (And That's Okay)
Lots of things that adults enjoy are intended for kids, including Star Wars.
I don’t know why some people might consider this a controversial statement, but Star Wars is for children. And you know what? That’s okay, because adults can enjoy entertainment geared towards children. I literally have a shrine dedicated to Super Mario Bros. in my basement, and like Star Wars, Mario is also for children. But does that stop me from buying every water bottle, toy, and even cereal box that I see featuring the portly plumber? Heck no! I’m a 38-year-old man and I’m proud to have Super Mario Chess sitting right beside my Super Mario Bros. Power Up Card Game.
But if you tell certain Star Wars fans that their favorite franchise is for children, then watch out, because you’ll likely have to duck a toy lightsaber. And look, I’m not judging you! I had similar feelings when Hollywood “ruined” my beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with those godawful Michael Bay produced flicks.
That said, I can’t be too upset that the TMNT movies weren’t any good because the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are for children. So is Star Wars, and I have five reasons why I've come to this conclusion. And again, remember, it’s okay. You can like Star Wars at any age. Adults included.
Toys (Created For Children) Are A Massive Part Of Star Wars' Success
Do you think Star Wars would really be as big as it is if not for its myriad of toys? Now, granted, sort of like how I have a whole bunch of Super Mario toys all over my basement, I’m sure a lot of adults are scooping up Lego Death Stars or action figures to put up on their mantles.
I hate to break it to you, but it’s really only our generation that’s deemed it widely acceptable to collect toys and action figures as adults. Kind of like how watching cartoons was often deemed as something that only children did when we were growing up, collecting toys and video games used to be seen as kid’s stuff for the most part.
And while I know that’s now changed substantially (I mean, who do you think is buying all of these Pokemon cards these days?), toys are still essentially made for children, and Star Wars, as huge as the movies are, is also massive when it comes to its merchandise and toy lines. Go to any Target or Walmart and you’ll find plenty of toys featuring Rey wielding her lightsaber, or Baby Yoda next to the Hot Wheels and Barbie. Yes, it’s fine to collect (and even play with) toys if you’re an adult, but let’s not fool ourselves. Star Wars’ toys are, for the most part, marketed and produced for children. Batteries not included.
Many People Discover And Learn To Love Star Wars During Their Childhood Years
The whole “it ruined my childhood” argument only works if you acknowledge the fact that you fell in love with a property when you were a child. So, I find it odd when adults complain about the Disney Star Wars trilogy, or even the prequels. Neither the prequels nor the sequels were made with adults primarily in mind. Both were made for children, with action figures all lined up for when the kids came out of the theater.
I would argue that most people fell in love with Star Wars at a very young age. So, when the prequels were made, and then later the sequels, they were created for a new generation. Not your generation. Your kids’ generation. Yeah, the sequels leaned a little too hard into the nostalgia by bringing back Han, Luke, Leia, and Lando, but that was because Disney is savvy and aware of how fans reacted to the super kiddie prequels at the time.
But let me just tell you something. As much as adults disliked the prequels, kids who saw them at the time LOVED them. That’s their Star Wars, and for a whole generation, the Disney trilogy is their Star Wars. In short, Star Wars is for the young people. Which brings me to my next point.
None Of The Movies Or Programs Are Rated-R, Nor Will They (Likely) Ever Be
If you’re still waiting for that edgy, Rated-R Star Wars movie or TV show where a Jedi slices somebody’s head off, and blood gushes everywhere, stop, because it’s (likely) never going to happen. Star Wars has been around since 1977, and it took 28 years for a Star Wars film to even reach a PG-13 level with Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. And I remember that being a big deal at the time—a PG-13 Star Wars movie!? I mean, can you believe it?
True, all of the sequels were PG-13, but very few films these days are rated PG anyway. And if the trilogy had come out when the prequels did, I’m pretty sure they likely would have also been PG since they’re pretty tame. I let my children, who are only 6 and 4, watch the sequels. Star Wars is not Marvel, after all, which brings me to my next point.
Star Wars Would Not Be One Of The Pillars Of Disney+ If It Was For Adults
Disney+, up to this point anyway, has not put out anything that a 13-year-old teenager can’t watch. Their focus so far has been more family-oriented programs, and for Star Wars to be one of the five pillars of Disney+, I think that’s proof that it’s not really intended just for adults. Marvel, which drops some S words and has some violent content every now and then, is likely the most “mature” content on Disney+, and that I won’t let my children watch just yet. But I won’t have a problem with them watching it when they’re 13. And it’s safe enough for all of us to enjoy as a family by that point. A Clockwork Orange, it’s not.
And note how The Simpsons, which probably has an equally vast collection as Star Wars, is not one of the Disney+ pillars. Granted, it could just be because Disney acquired Fox after they launched Disney+, but it might also be because the show can get a little risqué at times, and Disney might not want it sitting next to Pixar and Star Wars. Just a theory.
Speaking of Fox, Disney now owns Deadpool, but you don’t see that on Disney+, which is decidedly for adults. I mean, you do see the PG-13 X-Men movies, but where’s the rated-R Logan? That’s not on Disney+. But they now own it. So, I think that’s just further proof that Star Wars is safe, and even intended for children. If it's on Disney+, then it's safe enough for children (What? Teenagers are still considered children).
The Plots Are Simple Enough So That Even A Child Could Understand Them
Lastly, Star Wars is beloved the world over because its stories are simple and easy to follow. So easy, that it appeals to kids. The themes are always good vs. evil, and the stories are straightforward enough that anybody around the globe can understand them. Star Wars is not The Expanse. It’s not Battlestar Galactica.
There are no real morally ambiguous characters in the recent movies (Except for maybe in the best Star Wars movie, Rogue One), and nobody is going to leave the theater wondering if the people who look like space Nazis are meant to be the good guys. Hell, even bad ass Han Solo was edited to make it look like he DIDN’T shoot first. I mean, damn, that’s what made Han Solo awesome, and now it’s gone.
All of this is intentional of course, though. Children should be able to enjoy Star Wars so adults can buy them toys and t-shirts, and Yoda Yoda Yoda. I’ve already made this point before. Again, it’s fine if you, a grown-ass adult, enjoy Star Wars. You can also love Toy Story, Moana, and Spider-Man just as much, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for children. Just think, would Disney have spent billions of dollars to acquire Star Wars if it WASN’T as broad as possible? Of course not. Disney bought Star Wars for the kids, and the kid inside of all of us. And really, is that such a bad thing?
So, yeah, Star Wars is for kids, and that’s okay. But what do you think? Is Star Wars actually for adults, and the kids just think it’s cool to like what adults like (Nah, but you’re free to think what you want)? Well, whatever you feel, make sure you stop by here often for any and all upcoming Star Wars information. May the force be with you. Always.
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Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.
By Nick Venable