My husband and I took our two children — ages 5 and 7 — to see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on Thursday, without previewing it first.
That’s a departure from 2015 and 2016, when we saw “The Force Awakens” and “Rogue One” on our own, before determining that our then 5- (and later 6-) year-old son would be able to handle it.
Do I have any regrets about letting my two children see “The Last Jedi” on opening night? Well…maybe a couple.
Our son was fine. But our daughter (who had really been looking forward to the movie) ended up in my lap. Afterward, she said she didn’t like it. I think some of the battle scenes were too intense for her.
Here’s what you need to know:
Seriously. This was the worst/scariest part of the whole experience. They attached the trailer for an upcoming horror film called “The Quiet Place” to the front of “The Last Jedi” and I could tell about five seconds in (thanks to a very “Children of the Corn”-like opening) that it was going to be too much for both my kids, so I immediately blocked my daughter’s eyes and buried her head in my sweater.
My husband tried to distract our son, but he kept pulling away and staring at the preview with very WIDE eyes. And then he had a LOT of questions. So I’d recommend taking a bathroom break during previews.
Previews, Part II
Even though there is no obnoxious 20-minute “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” at the start of “The Last Jedi,” there are a good 20 minutes of previews. So take that into consideration when considering movie times, lest you have super cranky kids in the morning or a child who falls asleep on your lap. Mine did. She took about a 20-minute nap smack dab in the middle of the movie.
Death and violence
The Star Wars franchise has always been designed to be relatively family-friendly — part of its appeal is that multiple generations can watch and enjoy it together. That said, characters have a tendency to lose limbs at various points in the movie and main characters frequently get sent into the beyond.
Such is the case here.
No spoilers, but: one character gets sliced (like in half) and many others die in spectacular explosions. Another new component to this film is that the lightsabers are used to essentially stab or plunge into people. This feels a bit more violent than the typical swiping off of an occasional limb here or there, like we’re used to seeing in previous galactic battle scenes. Star Wars movies are usually devoid of blood, and “The Last Jedi” is no different, but some of the scenes are intense.
I don’t recall there being any inappropriate language in the film. In fact, there was more humor in “The Last Jedi” than in previous films. The jokes are age-appropriate and elicited many a laugh from both children and adults.
Again, nothing of note. There are a couple of romantic overtones as the movie explores the connection between villain Kylo Ren and protagonist Rey. But they aren’t overt and raise more of a “I wonder if that will develop into something later?”-type question. I’d be willing to bet most kids won’t catch it at all.
Loud noises and explosions
Yes, yes and more yes. This is Star Wars after all. Things blow up and crash. Spectacularly.
Ships, planes, you name it. There are many booms, bangs and the like.
It’s loud and the graphics are amazing. But that also makes it intense for younger children.
Kids over the age of 10 will LOVE “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and their parents will, too. It’s a worthy addition to the famed franchise. Some scenes and themes may be too intense for certain children ages 7-9. It really depends on your kid. If your children are 5-6 years old, exercise caution. Under 5, not recommended.