If I had to describe George RR Martin, I would say something like "HIV-Positive Santa Claus" or "Gandalf After Getting Kicked Off 'The Biggest Loser' For Trying To Eat His Own Beard." Neither of those things are sterling pictures of good health exactly, but they do more or less accurately describe the overweight, rapidly-aging fantasy author who still has two books left to complete his epic A Song of Ice and Fire saga. Not that he's going to die tomorrow or anything, but time is not on George's side here and that's the one thing he really needs. Maybe if he didn't take 5 years apiece to write the previous two books in the series, we could be a little more optimistic. But since the series has expanded from a trilogy to a heptalogy (seven book series), who knows how much more George could stretch it out? He even recently announced he's not going to even START writing the sixth entry The Winds of Winter until January 2012. George RR Martin is 63 years old if he takes 5 years per book, that would put him at 73 by the end of the series. I don't want to bring up statistics about the median lifespan of males, but
let's just say Winter is coming, George. The way things are looking, he may only have time to write "And then everyone died." for the last book. Hopefully from at least 6 perspectives.
Parents, generally, want the best for their children. They want them to have all of the best experiences possible while minimizing the amount of negative ones. Unfortunately, George Lucas has created a tough world for any prospective nerd parent. On the one hand, he's given us some of the greatest films of all time films that captured the imagination of nearly every child who saw them. Who wouldn't want their kids to have that same experience?
Well, there was another group of films George Lucas made these were wholly lacking in imagination, any sense of adventure, and instead of being set off by a ruthless empire trying to quash a fledgling rebellion of scrappy fighters was set off by a tariff dispute. This is not the thing that will inspire the hearts and minds of children everywhere. This is the kind of empty spectacle that will bore the sh*t out of a kid and make him or her never want to see another Star Wars again. You can't control every aspect of your kid's life they could see the prequel trilogy first. Maybe a friend (with cruel, ungodly parents) have the movies sitting out. Maybe it's on TV one day and you're not around to slap the remote out of your child's hands. And then it'll be too late Star Wars will never be that amazing, perfect trilogy. It'll be a mediocre sci-fi franchise.
If the first Star Wars film you saw was The Phantom Menace, you probably wouldn't be quite so psyched for 5 more installments, right? Plus, the prequel trilogy completely ruins one of the greatest reveals in cinematic history: that Anakin Skywalker is Darth Vader! Also, he built C-3PO. Can't spoil that for the kiddies.
The only nightmare worse than kids seeing the prequel trilogy first is them liking the prequel trilogy more than the original trilogy. How are you supposed to deal with that? The fact is that kids are dumb. They like bright lights, explosions, and farts (all of which are, admittedly, pretty great things) they like them a lot, and the PT has them in spades. Sure, the Obi-Wan/Vader lightsaber battle in A New Hope looks like two Alzheimer's patients poking each other with umbrellas, but there's real struggle, history, and meaning behind the fight. There's actual weight behind the jabs. But kids might well be more excited by Yoda and Count Dooku doing goofy flips back and forth and wildly flinging around lightsabers (even though the two have no real history and neither is harmed at all as a result of their dumb, long fight). What if they do like the prequel trilogy more? It's certainly more colorful and involves more usages of the word "poo-doo."
Maybe the real thing to fear is that their innocent, unbiased preference may make you think that the Prequel Trilogy is superior. Who knows? Maybe we're all so blinded by our love for the OT that we can't appreciate the PT for what it is: a great series about a guy who really, really hates sand. Or maybe you just need to accept that the opinion of the Internet isn't gospel and is purely subjective, and that others are allowed to have their own opinion
Just kidding, disown your children if they like the PT more.
First of all let's realize how crazy it is that The Avengers is a real thing in the first place. Marvel had to launch 4 individual characters in 4 films (5 if you count the Eric Bana Hulk, which no one ever would for any reason), weave SHIELD into the story (even if they didn't do too great of a job), and make sure all of the films felt as though they could exist in the same universe. That's a hell of a lot of groundwork to lay and given how much trouble WB's had launching non-Batman films (Green Lantern, Superman Returns), we know how easily it could've been messed up.
That being said
I'm terrified, and we all should be terrified. Trying to take 4 characters that have only been used as leads and forcing them to be supporting actors in a larger story is not an easy thing to do (especially since they also need to share screen-time with Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Samuel L. Fury). Trying to find the right epic, satisfying story is not an easy thing to do (luckily Joss Whedon is pretty great at taking large groups and working them into teams with great stories). And even though Joss Whedon is helming this thing, he's going to be hamstrung at every point by studio executives. Especially because this is the only movie Joss Whedon's ever done that wasn't a movie based on his own canceled TV show. But most importantly, the hype around this thing will be almost impossible to live up to at this point. Then again, all it needs to really be is The Single Greatest Movie Of All-Time, how hard should that be?
Months before Dollhouse premiered, fans were starting petitions to save the show (a reasonable fear, since it was canceled after two short seasons). After being burned with Firefly (the original pilot was never aired, the episodes that did air were out of order, and not even all the episodes were aired), fans knew what to expect. That being said, despite the cancellation after year two, Fox was actually pretty generous with Dollhouse: it was low-rated, not all that good (comparatively), and they still gave it two years. The real problem is Joss Whedon doesn't belong on network TV. Even his most popular shows (Buffy and Angel) were never too highly-rated, but at least they were on 2nd tier networks that weren't expecting much and let him do pretty much whatever he wanted (imagine the 1st season of Buffy airing today I have a feeling the "teens get possessed by evil hyena spirits and eat the principal" episode probably would have been the last). Where Joss Whedon's next show (god-willing) belongs is on cable. That would free him up creatively, as cable shows tend to not have to deal with as much network meddling, and could survive less-than-great ratings. Plus, I'm pretty sure FOX's schedule can only accommodate shows created by Seth MacFarlane or about teens singing.