Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Epic Star Wars sequel delivers great performances, action.

Movie PG-13 2015 136 minutes
Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 109 parent reviews

age 9+

The first PG-13 movie I let my kids watch, and they loved it

I let my 7 and 9 year old children watch this movie with me. They weren't troubled by the violence, and they are fairly sensitive has I carefully pick all their video content. The scene where Hans dies is emotionally sad, but not gory. Also, both my kids knew of this happening from the numerous SW books in their school library and the overall SW media deluge. It is clear a few minutes before this is about to happen, and as we talked about it beforehand my 7 year old chose not to watch that part. My 9 year old was fascinated but not upset. A light saber goes through Hans and that's it, no visible trauma. I have long resisted the "new" Star Wars movies, being a fan of the original trilogy from my childhood. Over the past year I finally let them watch the original trilogy, which they loved so much. Because of their love for Star Wars, they have been begging to watch The Force Awakens. I held off because it is PG-13 and I was worried about my youngest. But for kids who are big fans of Star Wars, I think it could be OK for the younger set depending on each child. My kids are more disturbed by realistic themes and action, but the "science fiction/space" action seems to be non-troubling. I loved the character Rey, and appreciated seeing such a badass female character introduced. There are also other positive themes about friendship and family. Seeing the main stars from the original trilogy aged is also powerful. Overall I recommend this movie for fans and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it, being the Star Wars traditionalist that I am.
age 11+

What a let down.

Was so excited for this movie to come out being fan for years and loved the books comics extra, so figured at least be based on those excellent works. Oh boy was I wrong didn't think could make such a mess as did unless actually tried not got one good thing to say about this at all.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (109 ):
Kids say (276 ):

Star Wars fans can rest easy; director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) clearly knows how to stay faithful to sci-fi classics. He focuses not just on fantastic action sequences, but on the heart of these stories: the characters, both new and old. Finn and Rey are, like Luke once was, appealingly naive -- but also a lot more proactive. They're both alone, Finn because he was brought up as a stormtrooper with only one skill (to kill), and Rey because she was torn away from her family as a young child and lives a lonely existence of scavenging for parts. Like Leia and Han, they banter and argue, but they're also refreshingly earnest and encouraging with each other. Boyega and Ridley have an immediate chemistry that's sweet, with just a hint of possible romance.

Finn and Rey (as well as swashbuckling fighter pilot Poe) may be the franchise's new main characters, but The Force Awakens ultimately belongs to Ford, reprising his role as Han Solo. Still smirking after all these years, Han is reunited with his original love, the Millennium Falcon. He and Chewie see in Finn and Rey the urgency they remember from their days with Luke and Leia. Despite considerable emotional baggage between Han and Leia, the couple's reunion will melt fans' hearts. Ford is utterly brilliant as what's arguably his most definitive character; he's the bridge between the new characters and the old. He's the one whose vulnerability and humor make you remember how much you missed these characters in George Lucas' misguided style-over-substance prequels. Featuring John Williams' forever enduring score and the universal themes of the original movies, the Force is back in Episode VII -- and stronger than ever.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate