A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Typical for the Star Wars franchise, the main tension here is between good and evil, light and dark; characters must decide whether to choose the path they were brought up to believe in or the "other" side. Underlines the idea that everyone has a choice about which moral code to believe in and which mission to accept. Explores how transformative hope can be for people. The importance of friendship, courage, teamwork, loyalty, listening to others, and doing the right thing is demonstrated again and again.
Positive Role Models
Rey continues to be a strong, capable, and courageous character. In fact, all of the female characters -- including Leia, Vice Admiral Holdo, and Rose -- are front and center, making tough decisions, leading bravely, and more. Finn is determined to help Rey. Poe is often impulsive and brash, but he's also brave and intelligent, and he does learn to respect others' abilities/plans. While the clearly evil First Order is virtually all white (although there are a few women, like the helmeted Captain Phasma), the Resistance is notably diverse, with white, black, Latino, and Asian characters (as well as those from other intergalactic species), women in leadership positions, etc.
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of sci-fi action violence, mostly large-scale space battles and explosions, as well as one-on-one duels, shoot-outs, and pursuits. One death is particularly explicit -- the character is sliced in half -- but there isn't any blood. Dozens of Resistance ships are destroyed, with "good guys" killed. Many weapons are used in addition to the classic lightsabers, including bombs and fighter planes. A couple of people sacrifice themselves in suicide missions. An officer orders an entire fleet destroyed, and another leader gives the order that there will be no prisoners, no mercy. The Supreme Leader of the First Order could be scary to kids. Spoiler alert: Supporting characters are injured and killed. A couple of people are presumed dead, and there's one notable good-guy death, but it's not as sad as Han Solo's traumatizing murder in The Force Awakens.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters have an intense, supernatural bond that's nearly romantic at times. A character quickly kisses another character before passing out. Kylo Ren is shirtless in one scene. Characters in a casino wear revealing dresses and outfits.
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Infrequent use of words including "damn it," "hell," "ass," "stupid," "nothing," "scum," "murderer," "shut up," etc.
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Products & Purchases
On camera, nothing; but off camera, the Star Wars franchise is a merchandiser's dream, with branded/themed apparel, games, accessories, housewares, action figures, Lego sets, food, toys, and just about anything else you can imagine.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink cocktails at a luxury casino.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is part of the billion-dollar Star Wars saga, continuing the segment of the story that began in The Force Awakens. It takes place right after the events of that movie and is just as violent, with several battles, explosions, space chases, and close-up duels. There's one rather explicit death (though it's not bloody), and several people die in battle, in some cases sacrificing themselves for their mission. A few times it seems like characters are near death, but they recover. Romance-wise, expect to see one quick, chaste kiss, and some slightly uncomfortable tension between two other characters. Adam Driver's Kylo Ren appears shirtless in one scene for no apparent reason other than to fluster a female character, and there's an odd shot of a character milking a lactating creature and then drinking the milk. Characters also drink cocktails in a luxury casino. Language is tame, with a few uses of words including "damn," "what the hell," "shut up," and the like. Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie boasts several strong female characters, including both Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Leia (Carrie Fisher), as well as diversity within the Resistance and strong messages of courage, teamwork, hope, and loyalty. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Rian Johnson delivers a funny, emotional, suspenseful middle-of-the-trilogy installment that will delight fans as it elevates beloved heroes and moves the story forward. The Last Jedi's female characters, from Rey and Leia (Carrie Fisher) to new additions Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), are decisive, courageous, and fierce. War hero Holdo puts Poe in his place, commanding the Resistance with assurance and hope. Rose is a sweet addition, going from deferential to confident during her time with Finn. And of course, there's Rey, who learns more in this movie about her connection to the Force and puts everything on the line to give Kylo Ren an opportunity to become Ben again. The men are great, too, particularly Hamill, who portrays Luke with the nuance necessary for a deeply conflicted but wise man who's seen far more death and destruction than anyone should. There's even a cameo from one of his long-gone mentors that's likely to make viewers gasp -- and cheer.
Johnson ups the humor while keeping the action operatic in style. Gleeson's pompous General Hux is hilariously cowardly when dealing with Poe and Kylo Ren. Finn and Rose's adventure to find a master coder at a luxury casino has several buddy-comedy road trip elements, and Chewbacca's interaction with the adorable puffin-like porgs is awww-inducing. The fight scenes range from explosive to up close and personal. Among several standout lightsaber fights, one epic duel is more profound than expected. Despite a few minor missteps (like an odd scene in which Luke milks a large creature with four teats and immediately drinks its milk, or an unnecessary and unexpected quick kiss between two characters who've exhibited zero romantic tension), The Last Jedi beautifully sets up what needs to happen for the forces of good to win.
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.