The holiday season can be one of the best times to see a movie with the fam. Your kids are out of school, it's cold outside, and sometimes there's just nothing better do. The good news is there are a lot of films to partake in this month, like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which hits theaters on Friday. Of course, a lot of parents want to get the scoop on how violent the highly-anticipated movie is before they spend the cash on tickets. So, how violent is The Last Jedi? It's likely the film is just as violent as any other Stars Wars installment, so if your kid handled those OK, they'll probably be fine seeing The Last Jedi.
Admittedly, I've only seen one Stars Wars movie in my lifetime, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. I don't remember much about the film, but I bet there were a lot of lightsabers waved around and tense fight scenes. I don't want to ruffle any feathers here, but doesn't every Stars Wars installment follow a similar format? If so, your kid can probably stomach the violence in The Last Jedi, and, honestly, the lightsabers are one of the best parts for most kids.
That being said, it's best to consider the specific acts of violence in this film before you commit to anything, especially if you have younger children. Common Sense Media's "Kids' Holiday Movie Guide 2017," says parents can "expect a lot of violence that may be too intense for younger kids," and that the movie is more recommended for "tweens and teens."
And that makes sense given the movie's PG-13 rating. The Motion Picture Association of America categorized it as PG-13 for its "sequences of sci-fi action and violence," according to Screen Rant. So, what specific acts of violence can you expect? Warning: some Last Jedi spoilers ahead.
According to IMDb, a man "gets crushed by rocks" and a beloved main character dies at some point during the movie. It's important to note that the guy who gets crushed by rocks ends up being "fine."
And under the "Violence and Gore" category of the film's IMDb page, four out of eight users gave it a "moderate" rating while the other four rated it as "mild."
When it comes to weapons and battle scenes, Alessia Santoro, the Moms Editor at POPSUGAR, wrote:
... know that characters carry weapons such as guns and lightsabers, all of the ships shoot guns, blasters, and cannons, and all of these weapons go off basically simultaneously during epic battle scenes.
For a lot of kids, battle scenes can be thrilling and electrifying. If your kid loves battle fights but really gets upset by death scenes, consider shielding their eyes during that portion of the film. I wish I had more intel for you on how the main character dies, but I bet it has something to do with a lightsaber.
As for what the director of the film, Rian Johnson, thinks about kids seeing the film, he said, according to CNET:
I have always known and been well aware of (creator George) Lucas' vision and constant maintaining that these are kids' films. But with the war themes, mass murder and genocide with the basic concept of the Death Star, I see material that is highly inappropriate for most children.
Although Johnson didn't specifically address violence here, his take on the series' dark concepts might be worth considering, even if your child is a tad older. On the other hand, you could address the heavier topics with your child before the movie if you're concerned the themes might be too much for them.
So, the main takeaway here is that the violence may be too much for your little ones, but it really depends on the kid. If you have a huge Star Wars fan at home that is on the older side, they'll probably be fine during the movie. And a conversation beforehand about how the movie is fictional and battles and wars are actually not good things might take care of any worries you have regarding your young kid's reaction.
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