Friday, May 20, 2005
  Parental Reviews of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

We are probably going to go ahead and take the kids to see SW:RotS. We're giving the last word to our buddy, The Write Jerry, that the PG-13 rating isn't really a big deal... and based on what we know of our kids, we're sure that they can seperate movies from reality. None of the three of them have ever had a nightmare based on a movie (that we know of), and all three of them "get it," that Star Wars isn't real. We think it will be OK. We'll see it tonight and post our own reviews (from a quality of film point of view, and also from a parental point of view) on Saturday.

Nonetheless, we're reading other Star Wars reviews that are written from a parental point of view, and have found a few worth sharing: Parent Previews: " Was it necessary to pull Star Wars into a level of violence similar to the intensity of Lord of the Rings? I'll take the easy way out and let you answer that question. One thing is for certain though-- fans will be glued to the screen for all 140 minutes."

Kids In Mind: "Although many limbs and heads are severed in several scenes, many of the injuries that are inflicted by light sabers show little visible blood or gore (presumably the light sabers cauterize wounds)."

CAP Movie Ministry: "The PG king has lost his crown. For years George Lucas has maintained his Star Wars phenomenon within the...PG (range)... But this time, the reported last time for Star Wars, Lucas went over the edge..."

Here's the thing... Spider-Man 2 definately deserved it's PG-13 rating... there were intense action scenes, blood, fighting, etc... but the movie had a strong moral message about doing the right thing. Ultimately, it is the kind of story that justifies Spidey as a hero. The movie had heart and a strong moral code, and we were glad that we took the kids to see it.

The Star Wars movies usually serve as clear metaphors for good and evil, right and wrong, etc. It's more important to us that the kids see that the "dark side" is bad, and as long as the movie doesn't glorify evil, that's the main thing.

Besides, we do this really weird thing that seems so odd by today's standards: we talk to our kids. We actually ask them what they think, how they feel, and express interest in their ideas and let them know that we want to hear what they have to say. We'll talk to the kids before and after the movie, and make sure that they got the right message and that they understood what they saw. If, by some small chance, the movie does fall short and does seem to glorify evil, we'll talk to the kids about that, too. Being raised by film geeks, they understand how movies work. Sometimes the director or screenwriter makes bad decisions, and our kids understand that.

So we'll post reviews tomorrow, and we might even let the kids write reviews and post them, too.
(I removed my original comment to better clarify)

Whoa, that's a heavy responsibility put on my shoulders. But it also makes me more confident in my decision to allow my son to see the film. I've come to trust Wendy and Darrell as concerned parents, who are involved in their children's development in a degree much higher than society's pitiable standard.

I'll be taking Ian Saturday morning. He's 10. There is one scene that does give me pause, but I think I can talk him through it. However, I do think that Ian's "mature" 10 is pushing the envelope for going to this film. I was actually on the fence for a while, but have weighed it and prayed it and feel like this will be something that he not only can handle, but that may allow us the opportunity to discuss the issues involved, not only with his going, but those within the movie itself.

But I would not recommend it for squemish kids.
Thanks for the clarification and the compliments... yeah, many parents today just don't seem to want to raise their kids... they rely on the MPAA and stickers on CDs and video games to make their decisions for them. I don't trust those bodies to do our parenting for us. I hope Ian enjoys the movie, let us know what he thinks.
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