What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this classic 1977 sci-fi action blockbuster may be more frightening than you recall. The central villain, Darth Vader, creates a menacing presence and engages in several acts of violence (threatening, choking). Another central character dies, though he just seems to disappear, and several minor characters die or are injured, though the images are brief or non-graphic. There are also a few instances of mild language, specifically "damn" and "hell," plus plenty of insults. Some families may take issue with the film's spiritual philosophies built around "the Force" as the central tenet of existence in the universe. For kids of the right age, this movie is an unforgettable ride through a vast galaxy of imaginative concepts and characters. Of the six films in the Star Wars series, this one offers the best and mildest balance of drama and action for younger viewers.
  • Families can talk about the heavy merchandising of the film in the decades since its release. Kids: Did watching the movie make you want to buy toys or games related to the movie? What's the appeal of owning something you've seen in a movie?
  • Movies have changed so much since the late 1970s, when this film was released. Does it still seem exciting, or did you realize you were watching an older film at times?
  • What's the impact of the violence in this movie? Does the fact that the special effects look old fashioned change the way the violence comes across?
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