General Leia from the Force Awakens teaser

As we inch closer to the fall months, anticipation is getting serious for the generations of Star Wars fans. Because Disney's recent tradition has been to release a new film every December, and this year's is Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The highly anticipated sequel will continue the epic space opera set in a galaxy far, far away. Fans are eager to see Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker make a more legitimate return to the franchise, as well as returning to current battle against The First Order. And while box office performance is all but guaranteed for Episode VIII, will the film's contents be ok for kids to watch?

A fan asked that very question to director Rian Johnson via Twitter, specifically regarding whether they should take their seven year old child to the film. He tweeted back, saying:

It really depends on the 7 year old. There are intense things in the movie, but I don't think anything worse than in the OT or prequels.

This sounds like a pretty smart way to cover your bases. But while the Star Wars franchise has always contained some dark themes, they are meant to be family friendly films.

The concern for whether or not Star Wars: The Last Jedi is going to be ok for kids seems very valid, as the film's contents have been teased to be challenging and somewhat dark. Luke is in a very dark and isolated place, the Resistance is in shambles, and even Finn is doubting whether or not he wants to continue fighting against the forces of darkness. But while this may seem like the film is darker than the previous entries, Rian Johnson has assessed just the opposite. It is no worse than the prequels or original trilogy, which should be a relief to Star Wars parents who want to share the next film with their kids.

All of the classic installments of Star Wars have their fair amount of dark themes and even moments of horror. The franchise has always been fond of chopping off people's limbs during lightsaber battles, which is pretty damn morbid. And I'm not sure that any scenes in the franchise would be as typically gory as Anakin slowly burning alive on Mustafar in Revenge of the Sith. So if your kid has already been introduced to the imagery in the previous seven films, The Last Jedi should be par for the course.

This stamp of approval should only help to continue the sky high anticipation for The Last Jedi. The stakes look fantastically high, and once again the franchise has been great about keeping the details of its plot under wraps. Furthermore, it'll be Carrie Fisher's final run as General Leia, attaching an extra aspect of emotion to the film.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will arrive in theaters on December 15th. In the meantime, check out our 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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