Parental Guidance

Here's What to Expect if You Take Your Kids to Star Wars: The Last Jedi

by | December 15, 2017 | Comments

While we would normally do a list of family-friendly recommendations based on the films opening this week, one of them happens to be a Star Wars movie. In other words, we know there’s a pretty strong chance that not only will your kids be interested in it, but you’ll probably want to see it with them, too. With that in mind, Christy breaks down what to expect if you’re taking the whole fam to see Luke, Leia, Rey, Kylo and the gang this weekend, and offers her take on another movie aimed squarely at younger audiences in case you can’t get tickets to The Last Jedi.


NOW IN THEATERS

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) 90%

Rating: PG-13, for sequences of sci-fi action and violence.

Episode VIII is one of the absolute best yet in the Star Wars saga: thrilling and moving with a surprisingly cheeky streak and a deep emotional resonance. It’s also the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous Star Wars film ever made. Writer-director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) managed to navigate the Lucasfilm machinery and come out the other side with a film that’s true to the revered series, yet bears his voice. If your kids have seen the previous films, they’ll enjoy the humor and the energy here as well as the many exciting action sequences. I brought my 8-year-old son, Nicolas – who’s been a huge Star Wars fan for years — to a screening with me. He said this was the best one yet – and he asked whether he could have a porg for Christmas. (The big-eyed puffins that populate the island where Luke Skywalker lives are indeed adorable.) But if you have very young kids, or if they they’re not familiar with these characters and this world, The Last Jedi may be too much for them. Aside from being two and a half hours long, the film has several intense battles. There’s a giant light-saber duel that’s one for the ages. Many characters perish in elaborate dogfights between the plucky Rebellion and the evil First Order. Their diabolical leader, Snoke (Andy Serkis), might be too creepy for kids. And several characters find themselves on the verge of execution, including the heroic Finn (John Boyega) and his new partner, a Resistance mechanic named Rose (Kelly Marie Tran). But it’s a complete blast and very much worth seeing in the theater to enjoy the visuals and the rousing sense of community. Great for viewers around 7 or 8 and older.


Ferdinand (2017) 70%

Rating: PG, for rude humor, action and some thematic elements.

If the new Star Wars movie is too much for your kids to handle (or if all the showings near you are sold out), there’s always Ferdinand, which truly is appropriate for the whole family. It’s based on the classic book about a giant bull who’d rather smell the flowers than step into the bullfighting ring. Here, he’s voiced by John Cena, a former wrestler himself who’s already proven his acting chops in movies like Trainwreck and Sisters. Despite the inherently violent nature of bullfighting, Ferdinand is a rather gentle movie. It alludes to the ugly fate that befalls these animals without actually showing it. But Ferdinand also suggests that the bulls who aren’t tough enough to make it in the ring get sent to the slaughterhouse, which might be a disturbing notion for your children. The movie doesn’t dwell on that fact, though, opting instead to focus on its ensemble of colorful creatures. The great Kate McKinnon provides the voice of a goat who becomes Ferdinand’s goofy sidekick. There’s also a trio of thieving hedgehogs and another trio of preening show ponies. (Ferdinand is awfully crowded with wacky supporting characters.) The gentle bull has been the target of bullying his whole life, but he endures it with grace and comes out stronger and happier in the end. It’s a nice story that’s suitable for all ages.

Tag Cloud

GIFs based on movie Hulu Logo Toys cinemax Adult Swim RT History Spike History TBS Freeform crime The CW Creative Arts Emmys OWN Tomatazos First Look Bravo MTV science fiction NYCC Super Bowl TCA 2017 Universal LGBTQ Watching Series Food Network 24 frames Valentine's Day vampires Thanksgiving Mystery ESPN FX Starz HBO GoT singing competition Syfy Marvel Star Wars 2015 Pixar dceu historical drama Certified Fresh Infographic Trailer Rocky Sci-Fi sitcom Martial Arts Disney Channel Mary Tyler Moore comiccon Red Carpet Tumblr Calendar Lionsgate social media MSNBC Summer aliens USA Mindy Kaling Winter TV BET Fall TV Rom-Com YA TNT Marathons docudrama Nominations Box Office 2016 Ellie Kemper Rock medical drama Comedy serial killer Fox News Awards President See It Skip It Showtime Emmys ABC Family technology CMT Extras 21st Century Fox Drama romance Dark Horse Comics PaleyFest ITV BBC E3 El Rey Sundance Now Set visit USA Network Comic Book TruTV Premiere Dates Opinion TIFF politics NBC Interview dramedy Musicals TV cops Horror Amazon period drama Lifetime FOX Kids & Family Christmas Nat Geo Year in Review Crackle crime thriller supernatural American Society of Cinematographers Sneak Peek DC Comics Biopics The Arrangement Acorn TV DC Universe 007 what to watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Character Guide Grammys Warner Bros. biography zombie E! DirecTV Western dc Video Games psycho Star Trek thriller Paramount AMC Britbox Country golden globes ABC SundanceTV boxoffice GLAAD Music WGN TCM 2017 Polls and Games CNN cooking Pop spy thriller Masterpiece Animation Schedule X-Men PBS transformers CBS All Access Podcast TLC Paramount Network war Sundance 45 BBC America diversity Reality Competition adventure Netflix crime drama ratings VH1 Teen Oscars talk show Fantasy Photos TV Land Action cats Cartoon Network APB Winners Best and Worst SDCC Holidays composers Esquire Disney Musical Spring TV justice league Cosplay FXX Ghostbusters police drama IFC political drama Countdown harry potter VICE Superheroes sports binge Comedy Central Reality Trivia CBS discovery Pirates Election A&E Nickelodeon Writers Guild of America TCA travel