Story

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi follows on from the end of Episode VII. Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is leading the remnants of the rebel force to a new operations base. Unfortunately for the rebels, General Huk (Domhnall Gleeson) of the First Order has developed the ability to track ships through hyperspace and has set a trap. So when the rebels reach their new base, the First Order, including Supreme Commander Snoke (Andy Serkis), is right behind them. The First Order fires on the rebels, who manage to stay just out of range. This creates a temporary stand-off, with the rebels low on fuel.

Meanwhile Leia has sent Rey (Daisy Ridley) to track down Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and bring him back to help rebuild the resistance.

As both fuel and time run out, rebel Commander Poe (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega) and technician Rose Tico (Kelly Marientran) hatch a crazy and daring plan to raid the First Order’s communications ship. And before the movie ends there are violent showdowns between Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Rey, and Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker, both with unexpected outcomes.

 

Themes

Good versus evil; family relationships; rebellion; science fiction fantasy

Violence

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi contains intense, extended sequences of violence and peril throughout, including threats to young children, multiple deaths (some gruesome) and the mass destruction of property. For example:

  • The movie shows several space battles involving hundreds of ships of all shapes and sizes. Science fiction weapons and lasers fill the screen with flashes of light, explosions and balls of fire. In one scene enemy fire hits several massive rebel ships filled with thousands of bombs. The ships explode. The ships and some crew are engulfed in flames, and men are thrown through the air like rag dolls. Numerous small ships engage in battle and the screen is filled with warring ships. Dozens of ships explode in flames, and the occupants are killed instantly or hurled into space.
  • A massive rebel ship deliberately rams a First Order battle ship. The resulting explosion and devastation are shown in slow motion.
  • An injured woman deliberately triggers an explosive device that kills her and destroys her ship along with an enemy ship.
  • A young man throws a child-like tantrum, violently smashing his helmet against a wall several times until the helmet is completely broken and in pieces.
  • In one scene a man thinks about murdering his mother but stops before committing the act.
  • A massive explosion destroys the command station on a battleship. A woman is caught up in the explosion and sucked out into space; we see her motionless ice-covered body floating in space. Her fingers move slightly and then she begins to float back towards a battleship, where she’s rescued and eventually revived.
  • In one scene an alien man raises a whip as if to beat a child in a group of destitute-looking children. We don’t see the child whipped but the act is suggested.
  • There are references to animals being tormented and abused for the pleasure of others. Characters ride and whip horse-like animals.
  • An alien orders a man to kill a woman, but the man stabs the alien in the torso with a lightsabre. A thin line appears and the alien’s torso falls away from the lower half of his body. No blood and gore are shown.
  • In a fight, characters use lightsabres to slice and pierce armour, leaving black gaping cuts and holes. One man’s head is cut off, and another man is stabbed through the head.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • There are many alien creatures, including gigantic dinosaur-like creatures, rodent-like horses, owl-like penguins, crystal-haired foxes and humanoid aliens with tentacles protruding from their faces.
  • Younger children might be scared by images of armoured soldiers and warriors.
  • The main villain has a demonic face with numerous scars. He’s threatening and sinister.
  • A large, alien, dinosaur-like creature rests on its back with four large breasts visible on its torso. A man approaches the creature, pumps milk from its breast and drinks it.
  • A young woman falls into a hole in the ground and is trapped in a glass reflection of herself that repeats over and over again. 

From 5-8
Children in this age group are likely to be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

From 8-13
Children in this age group might be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Most children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie, but parental guidance is recommended for younger teenagers.

Sexual references

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi has some mild sexual references and innuendo. For example:

  • One man says to another, ‘Get your head out of your cockpit’.
  • There are references to the ‘seed’ of the Jedi. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi shows some use of substances. For example:

  • In a party scene, aliens and humans hold glasses filled with cocktails.
  • We hear how a man and woman sold their child for drinking money. 

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Product placement

There is no product placement in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, but the movie is part of the Star Wars franchise. This means there’s plenty of associated merchandise being marketed to children, including children who are too young to see the movie.

Coarse language

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi contains some occasional low-level coarse language and name-calling. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi is the latest in the Star Wars series. It’s a science fiction adventure that targets teenagers and adults with new and familiar heroes, a suspense-filled story and some clever humour.

Younger children are likely to be attracted to this movie by school holiday advertising, as well as toys and other merchandise, but the movie’s M rating is appropriate. The movie isn’t recommended for children under 13 years, and we recommend parental guidance for young teenagers.

The main message from The Last Jedi is that participating in war isn’t about fighting what we hate, but about defending and saving what we love.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include courage, independence and leadership. 

You might like to talk about the willingness of some of the movie’s main characters to sacrifice their lives to achieve their goals. What would be the consequences of their choices in real life?