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Rec’s and Reviews: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

TheForceAwakens_Poster

(Image source: www.starwars.com)

Everyone is talking about a certain movie this season, and that is “Star Wars: The  Force Awakens.” The seventh episode in the Star Wars universe, “The Force Awakens” is the long-awaited sequel to the three original films. Directed by J.J. Abrams of “LOST” and “Star Trek” fame, the film stays true to the original films not only in theme, but in content. With canonically low levels of graphic violence, language, and sexual content, this is an adventure the whole family can enjoy.

We will skip a major summary to avoid spoilers. Instead, we’ll say that, like the other Star Wars films, this one explores the conflict between good and bad. There are evil characters and group who do evil things, but there are also good characters who do what’s right “because it’s the right thing to do.” New characters mix with original characters, and many of the same themes are revisited and acknowledged.

One of the most lauded positive messages in this film is the cast diversity. The original films have been criticized for being too racially 1-D. This film is definitely a massive step in the right direction, with the main characters including a young woman and people of color.

The film also emphasizes that people can decide to do the right thing and make good choices, no matter what they have been taught. Themes of teamwork, courage, loyalty, and friendship also abound. Like the other “Star Wars” films, the plot centers on the balance between good and evil, with good being presented as the right (or “light”) way to go.

Because of the good vs. evil theme, there are acts of evil in the film. The characters are at war, and battles, lightsaber duels, and explosions are prevalent. Even with all the action, blood and gore are relatively absent, as are language and sexual content.

“The Force Awakens” is a “Star Wars” film. If you have seen the other films, it is likely you know what you are getting yourself into. Families can watch one of the previous films at home to see how kids handle it, but like its predecessors, this is likely a film the entire family can enjoy.

On Common Sense Media, parents and kids agree that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is suitable for ages 10 and older. The film is rated PG-13. For more detailed reviews, visit: