Reading the Star Wars 1970s trilogy to my young kids, should I spoil it? (There is a spoiler inside if you haven't see The Empire Strikes Back.)
I have two children, 4 and 6 years old. They have both been exposed to the culture of Star Wars fandom, through SW-themed friends' clothing, lego sets, stickers, and other incidental merch. Because they are pretty easily frightened when it comes to movies (the younger one can barely tolerate Finding Nemo, Cars, or Toy Story and we have to fast forward a lot of them all), it will be a long time before I'd think they could handle the (original) Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. However, they both ask a lot of questions about Luke, Obi Wan, Yoda, and Vader, and the younger one recently selected a Larry Weinberg book
from the library, a children's book that is basically an 80-page overview of the movie with movie stills. I read it to them and they both really enjoyed it, fell in love with R2D2, and we soon returned to the library to get The Empire Strikes Back.
My husband, however, thinks I shouldn't spoil the "Luke, I Am Your Father" moment and suggested I skip over it. I wondered if someone else might tell them anyway but he claims it's a kind of as-sacred-as-Santa secret that other kids will respect. His idea is that they should wait until they see the movie for that classic reveal.
So now I'm hesitating - should I skip over it? Is reading about that moment in a book just too lame for words? Should we read the book up to that part and then show them a clip of that part of the movie? (But the hand-chopping off part in that scene makes that dicey.) Seriously, they will have nightmares just by seeing some of the characters from that movie, so viewing the movie in its entirety is really not an option.
Though I welcome any opinions (respecting that many opinions will be "who cares" or "you're overthinking this"), I'm especially interested in hearing from parents of 6-, 7-, 8year olds and their reaction to the Big Reveal - it is not such a big deal as it was back in the 70s? Or is it?