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Thursday, May 19, 2005

May the Farce Be With You: Star Wars

I am a big Star Wars movie fan, I really am. I am also really, really, glad that the new episode is too intense for the younger viewer. It's hard enough trying to fend off the inevitable "I want..." syndrome without the popular children's movies adding emphasis to enticement. I know they can't miss seeing all those Star Wars themed t-shirts, plastic figurines, and other toys the stores are inundated with now, but their young demands seem to have much less intensity without the movie viewing connection behind them.

It's not just product placement that motivates children. It's the theme. Its the fact that the 'older' kids all have the theme stuff- lunchbags, clothes- now they're selling movie themed candy. By the way, kudos for the recent film Robots, which had far less product placement than normal.

In a recent film force article "The Revenge of the Sith Rating Hubbub" Paul Davidson wrote that, "Others are taking Lucas to task not for the film itself, but for the marketing of toys, candy and other merchandise to children who might not even be allowed to see the movie. Bruce Stein, former president of both Mattel and Kenner, told the media "I don't think the mistake here is putting the movie out with a PG-13 rating, I think the mistake if any is in putting out a preschool line of toys." "

Just when you think it will be safe to your kids to the superstore again- here comes the television series on the cartoon network - now I know why my sister only lets her son watch PBS... "Star Wars Television Series Coming."

Note: I won't even go into the influence of movie marketing alcohol and war games advertising to children, but for more information, check out this academic article on "Marketing to Children."

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