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What parents should know about 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) - photo by John Clyde


A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY The wait is just about over. The masses are about to bombard theaters all over the country and finally see what is likely the biggest film of the year and possibly the decade: "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens."

While I'd love to get into the film itself the talented Travis Poppleton already did that for you. Long story short, Poppleton's thoughts on the film are spot on. If you want to get an honest and spoiler-free review of the film check out his post.

I'd like to echo his sentiments here that this parent's review is spoiler-free, so rest assured.

Many of us grew up watching the Star Wars sag, and I know we're excited about watching the new film with our kids, and I'm here to help out. All kids are different, so I can't say if "The Force Awakens" is appropriate or not for your kids, only you can answer that. But what I can do is give you an idea of what is in the movie to help you make an educated decision.

Language

Director J.J. Abrams did his best to create the vibe from the original Star Wars trilogy. From the amazing locations to the impressive practical effects Abrams really captures the feel of the original films. Something else he captured was the absence of language in the film. There's really no harsh language to speak of in the film. There are a couple of insults thrown here and there, but that's about as harsh as it gets.

When it comes to language "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is about as tame as it gets.

Sexiness

If watching two characters hug or even exchange a loving kiss makes you uncomfortable then I suppose you're likely offended by "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" and "The Force Awakens." What I'm trying to say is there's nothing in the film.

To each their own, but I couldn't possibly figure out what someone may find offensive in this movie. If "sexiness" is something that worries you when it comes to your kids then you should be fine with this movie.

Violence

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is rated PG-13, and it gets that designation because of the violence. It isn't constant, it isn't brutal and it isn't graphic, but it's most definitely there.

Again, I do not want to give any spoilers, so I won't go into any specifics, but I'll give you an idea.

I would say this is a fairly violent "Star Wars" film. Again, it's not gory per se, but a lot of people are killed and a couple of scenes in particular could be somewhat disturbing to younger audiences. To give a barometer without give any specifics I would say the violence is somewhere in between a Marvel movie and a James Bond film.

This is tough, because I'm trying to be helpful, but don't want to give a thing away. Suffice it to say that it's about as violent as the other Star Wars films. The violence may not be as disturbing as some specific scenes in "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith," but it could be a bit much for young kids.

Overall

From a content perspective "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is worthy of its PG-13 rating, but it's on the lower end of the PG-13 spectrum. If your kids can handle the Marvel movies then this movie shouldn't really be an issue. The villains may be a little scary for little ones, but if they love the other Star Wars installments then this shouldn't really be an issue.

"Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.