Parents' Guide to

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

By Matt Springer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Sci-fi action classic perfect for sharing with kids.

Movie PG 1977 120 minutes
Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 93 parent reviews

age 11+

Rating completely off-base

This is the first CSM rating I've ever completely disagreed with. I understand there may be lots of parent Star Wars fans who can overlook the violence, but for most kids under 11, this is too much. There is a severed arm, burned bodies, a death by strangulation, and lots of warfare. My daughter (age 10) begged me to see it for the last two years and I finally relented based on CSM recommendations. Big mistake on my part.
age 11+

Not for young ones at all!

I am really shocked that the CSM and the majority think this movie is "perfect for sharing with the kids" and appropriate for 7 year olds. Usually CSM seems super cautious in their ratings and we mentally add a couple years onto their age recommendation, but absolutely regretted putting this on to watch with our kids. First up, Luke's aunt and uncle (his effect parents) are murdered in a horrible fire. There is constant gun shoot outs (albiet no blood or gore). Darth Vader is quite scary. One of the characters cuts a guy's arm off. The main characters are almost crushed in a pit. My 8yo left the room and stopped watching a quarter way in, and we barely toughed it out to the end with our second child. And when all that stuff isn't happening, the story line is incredibly slow and all political talk. I don't understand how younger kids can even follow the story line at all. I just dont see how this is a movie good for kids at all.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (93 ):
Kids say (274 ):

This is one of those films that has become sewn into the very fabric of our popular culture. And yet, every day new kids are born who have never seen it. Watched through the lens of a young child, some of the scarier moments of the film suddenly become more striking. Darth Vader is one of the great film villains for a reason -- he's a frightening figure who engages in some very real moments of violence. With the continued prominence of the Star Wars story through animated series, video games, and toys, it may be tempting to introduce the films to children when they are too young to handle these more intense moments.

But if kids are old enough or mature enough to handle these moments, then it's likely that Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope will blow their little minds. It remains an enduring classic for the same reasons it made such an explosive impression way back in 1977. It's full of pulse-pounding action lifted straight from the classic 1930s film serials, it's got humor and character to spare, and the story guides you effortlessly into a completely original universe full of strange creatures and amazing sights. It's easy to be cynical about Star Wars given the billions of dollars it's earned selling everything from DVDs to toothbrushes, but returning to the original film with fresh eyes will remind you just how remarkable Star Wars was -- and continues to be.

Movie Details

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