The Violence in Star Wars – A Parent’s Guide

Spoiler Free:


It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here!! Yes, I fell into the marketing and consumerism hook, line, and sinker. Some things are just too mind blowingly exciting to resist. I saw Star Wars the Force Awakens, and here are my thoughts as a geek and as a dad.

1. How was the movie?

I. Have. No. Words. In an attempt to make this post spoiler free, I’ll just say that I haven’t been this satisfied by a movie in a long time. I had a fear that I was keeping hidden deep inside as the release date approached. It was the fear that I’d feel like I had seen a tribute to Star Wars, but instead I left with that “THIS IS STAR WARS” geek feeling. Couldn’t have been happier.

2. What about the violence?

There was, as there is in all Star Wars movies, quite a bit of laser firing, stormtrooper blasting, lightsaber wielding action. This is one of the things that makes me love the films because they are, in essence, about a war. They’re about a revolution against a tyrannical empire. There is always violence in war. These films (save Phantom Menace) are set in a time of war, so people are going to get blasters shot at them.

kylorenIs the violence over the top? No. I have seen movies that have gratuitous violence that only seems to be in the movie as a way to push the proverbial envelope. I don’t see this in Star Wars. Instead I only see violent acts carried out that move the story along–action required to set up who is good, who is evil, and what is going to happen next. There is fighting and shooting, but we are talking about a good vs evil situation. Not that fighting is always the best way, but when a lightsaber is being swung at someone’s face, they will probably ignite their lightsaber and defend themselves. At least in the Star Wars Universe.

3. Will my kids see it?

YES. The big issue here isn’t whether it’s violent or nonviolent. It’s an issue of knowing the difference between fantasy and reality. Not only do my children understand that there are no such thing as lightsabers or laser blasters, but they know that violence is not the recommended response in everyday situations. They know that real life violence has real life consequences. They aren’t allowed to be violent toward each-other, and they’re taught to resist their anger or let it out in a healthy way. They know what fantasy is and what reality is.

Another big part of this is that we will see this movie together. I will be right there with them so that questions can be answered and potential fears can be resolved. Let me also say that the amount of violence in the movie is not overwhelming. While fighting plays a role in the story, the story isn’t about the fighting. It’s about people. It’s about relationships and doing what’s right. Star Wars is about what it’s always been about, finding the “light” inside yourself to resist the “dark.”


If you want some more parent reviews on the movies check out the links below.


Common Sense Media

IMDB Parents Guide

Plugged In Media