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) 91%

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) 72%

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

E3 Teen Spring TV Ellie Kemper Schedule GIFs discovery DC Comics Emmys crime CBS All Access Grammys streaming Reality USA Network historical drama Kids & Family Super Bowl President A&E Nickelodeon social media spy thriller 2019 Starz PBS Creative Arts Emmys CNN GoT vampires blaxploitation Masterpiece ABC VH1 2016 FX Nat Geo boxoffice cults OWN Sci-Fi facebook Valentine's Day Writers Guild of America crime drama cinemax spider-man cooking Polls and Games TCA 2017 Warner Bros. Mary Poppins Returns Song of Ice and Fire Country Music Toys Certified Fresh The CW Box Office Lucasfilm Star Trek ratings science fiction Pirates CW Seed Fantasy SundanceTV Sundance Now 2015 YA Paramount Network LGBTQ Freeform Chilling Adventures of Sabrina war TruTV Awards The Arrangement Bravo Western See It Skip It Pixar NYCC Action 24 frames what to watch Food Network Premiere Dates Mary Tyler Moore Ghostbusters APB hist Apple TCM Hulu Sony Pictures binge Ovation IFC 2017 Red Carpet crossover Esquire SXSW Christmas TV Land Extras medical drama Black Mirror mutant Winter TV crime thriller 2018 television First Look Drama Interview X-Men Horror Quiz Disney Channel Amazon Rocky Podcast Pop comiccon green book GLAAD sitcom AMC 007 cats justice league Superheroe VICE Fall TV Mary poppins History ABC Family Cosplay YouTube Red Fox News Reality Competition CMT Comics on TV WGN Winners Opinion composers Sundance singing competition Comedy Central E! Awards Tour Showtime Musical award winner Infographic Trophy Talk Logo dc Comedy Biopics ITV New York Comic Con politics Sneak Peek TNT Cartoon Network dramedy TBS doctor who diversity aliens miniseries Year in Review TIFF Disney Britbox MSNBC period drama Best and Worst USA 21st Century Fox San Diego Comic-Con harry potter Spike DirecTV SDCC based on movie HBO technology Mindy Kaling Nominations robots Rom-Com Acorn TV dceu Universal BET Tomatazos MTV Watching Series Video Games thriller Comic Book anime Musicals American Society of Cinematographers ESPN Marvel Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trivia Lionsgate DC streaming service finale Holidays adventure golden globes BBC America Set visit jamie lee curtis TLC Rock Mystery PaleyFest RT History National Geographic 20th Century Fox YouTube Premium Thanksgiving transformers Photos Oscars travel unscripted TCA biography comic DC Universe FOX Shondaland Dark Horse Comics Adult Swim Superheroes El Rey CBS Syfy zombie romance Countdown zombies Crackle 45 Netflix Marathons Lifetime Animation Trailer NBC Martial Arts Calendar psycho talk show Columbia Pictures Paramount Walt Disney Pictures docudrama police drama Election BBC Shudder cops TV FXX festivals Star Wars supernatural serial killer Epix Tumblr sports Character Guide Summer IFC Films political drama