Star Wars Age-by-Age Guide

Find out which Star Wars movies, TV shows, games, and apps are appropriate for every age. By Betsy Bozdech
Topics: We Recommend
Star Wars Age-by-Age Guide

Ever since that first menacing star destroyer loomed across movie screens in 1977, kids of all ages have been enamored with the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and all their friends (and enemies!). Even kids as young as 2 and 3 can name all the franchise's major characters -- which often tempts parents who also grew up loving the movies to plan a Star Wars movie night, especially with Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi at the top of everyone's must-see list.

But not all Star Wars movies, TV shows, games, and apps are the same when it comes to intensity and impact. The silly fun of Lego Star Wars is a lot easier for younger elementary schoolers to handle than the sight of Anakin Skywalker crawling out of a bubbling pit of lava in Revenge of the Sith, for example.

If your family is ready for lightsabers and the Force, here's a quick age guide for enjoying Star Wars with your kids. Keep in mind that all kids are different, so assess your child's ability to handle peril and conflict before you make the jump to hyperspace.

Age 6: Your padawan is ready to begin with the basics; nothing too scary.

Age 7: Training continues: Kids are ready for the first (original trilogy) movie -- plenty of action, but it all works out OK -- and some fun apps.

Age 8–9: The original saga concludes, the prequels begin, and the story expands in more new directions. Action and peril get more intense; characters are more conflicted.

Age 10–11: Get in on the action: Games and the Internet bridge the gap between the kid-friendly movies and the edgier Revenge of the Sith.

Age 12–13: Beware the Dark Side: The final movie of the prequel trilogy is extremely intense.

Check out our complete list of all things Star Wars.

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About Betsy Bozdech

Betsy's experiences working in online parenting and entertainment content were the perfect preparation for her role as Common Sense's executive editor of ratings and reviews. After earning bachelor's and master's... Read more

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Comments (17)

Adult written by Nessa F.

This is insane! I watched the original trilogy when I was five, and then the prequels as they came out (I was eleven or twelve when episode three came out). Some of the best film-related memories I have from when I was little are of movies that were scary for a younger child; things like Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and, yes, Star Wars (which, by the way, is not that scary compared to things like Jurassic Park, to a six year old). The only films in the series I'd be wary of are Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One. Also, given how popular the franchise is, I highly doubt it'd even be possible to keep kids from watching all of the films before they're ten.
Kid, 8 years old

I watched some of them when I was SEVEN YEARS OLD including Revenge of the Sith and they are NOT scary.
Teen, 16 years old written by Just1whale

This is ridiculous. I watched all the original trilogy when I was 7, and I thought it was awesome.
Teen, 13 years old written by Malkie11

How do you have to be 12-13 to watch Star Wars Revenge of the Sith? I watched it when I was probaly 4, 5 or 6.
Parent written by tommyp1

I've been watching every starwars movie for as long as I can remember! The only movie I was scared of when I was little was episode 3. Also, where is battlefront on this list!?!?!? I do no agree with a lot of this guide.
Kid, 11 years old

I saw all the films (so far) Star Wars from when I was about 6 years, starting with Episode IV. When it comes down to the prequels (especially Revenge of the Sith) is becoming darker. I think 12 years old can handle. My parents would not let me see the trilogy of Star Wars prequels until I was 10 years. I saw Star Wars: A New Hope at 6 years, after I saw The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi at age 9. Episodes IV, V and VI are not as severe, from Episode I to III are intense. I've seen The Phantom Menace when I was about 10 years, at last I saw Revenge of the Sith and The Attack of the Clones at age 11. I agree and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the most intense, suitable for over 12 years (but I saw it at age 11). This article is very useful. Just out on DVD, I'll see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Kid, 11 years old

Seriously? Revenge of the sith isn't all that bad . I watched it when I was 9, and I was fine. I personally do not like th guide
Parent written by mowensmd

I think it's important to consider Machete order for the trilogy actually, and I think it fits childhood development too. What age you start and how fast you go to the next movie will vary. We started first grade, but didn't get to episode III until 4th with careful editing out of 2 of the worst parts even though he knew what happened from Lego Star Wars on Wii. But the Machete preserves the story and secrets the best, with the prequels becoming a flashback. And I agree, just skip Episode I really. Order: IV, V, II, III, VI and now VII! http://www.nomachetejuggling.com/2011/11/11/the-star-wars-saga-suggested...
Parent of a 6 year old written by Sherri R.

Agree completely. Episode 1 a complete waste of time, some would argue makes the story even more confusing. Machete all the way!
Adult written by rebma97

I watched all the (so far) Star Wars films when I was about 8, but of course everyone's maturity level is different. The OT is definitely okay for first graders; when you get down to the prequels - especially Revenge of The Sith - it starts to get darker. With that being said, I think 11-12 year olds can handle them.
Educator and Parent written by Teacher-coach-f...

The knowledge of the different aspects of the Star Wars franchise is admirable and appreciated, but this article looks like a prescription without any "why" such as child development science it reads like a command not a guideline. Different kids are at different places developmentally at different chronological ages. Her credentials alone aren't enough to carry this article. Not helpful.
Educator and Parent of a 16 year old written by Caroline Knorr

Thanks for your comment. Common Sense's ratings and reviews are all based on childhood development guidelines. We believe that when parents have objective information about the content of media, they are in the best position to make decisions about what's OK for their kids to watch, play, read, and do. You're absolutely right that different kids are at different places. We take that very seriously. That's why we state in the article, "Keep in mind that all kids are different, so assess your child's ability to handle peril and conflict before you make the jump to hyperspace." You can read more about how we rate and review here: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/about-us/our-mission/about-our-ratings.
Teen, 14 years old written by obiwan3301

I watched like all of them before I turned 10. The only disturbing one is episode 3 which can be easily edited for young kids. And there leia in a slave getup in episode 6 which I just skip.
Adult written by paulpazymiño

The problem I see with this is that you can't show the kids ANYTHING ELSE before Episodes IV and V if you want to preserve the surprise about Luke and Vader. That's essential. My son was talking to a kid in his preschool and that kid almost blew it, so I accelerated the process and showed my son Ep IV and V when he was still 5. WATCH THIS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCjMGOvMghY
Parent of a 4 and 6 year old written by ionFreeman

The only actual star wars media my 6-1/2-year-old son has seen is a couple of episodes of Star Wars Rebels and maybe some short Lego videos, but he's known about "the surprise" since he was four, and has told his (now) four-year-old brother. You can't really hold preschoolers to account for spoilers.

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