The Force Awakens With Kids (And a Non-Spoilery Reaction to the Movie)

I had planned to go see The Force Awakens next week with my kids. No need to go opening night, since it was a school night and I didn’t want them staying out too late. Had to be a good father and all that. Children need their rest, and school is very important. Have to set a good example to them about priorities, right?

Then I found out there were people out there who were actively trying to spoil plot elements for the movie, hiding them in comments sections, or just posting them to newsgroups. I read a lot of online news, and I realized there was a fair chance I’d hear these spoilers before Wednesday.

At that point, all bets were off. I rushed to the theater, bought tickets for me and my two oldest (11 and 7), and went opening night. It’s a once in a lifetime sort of thing. That trumps school, right?


It was only once I was at the theater that I realized this was a PG-13 movie I knew nothing about, other than that it was Star Wars. And I was there with my 7 year old daughter (dressed as Lady Vader). Was it going to be too intense for her? Was I making yet another parenting mistake? She’s seen the cartoons, but hadn’t seen the movies yet. I’d brought her because my gut said it was okay. You have to trust your feelings with a film like this, right?


We watched the movie, and I’m so glad we went opening night. There will be years and years available for us to watch it in the comfort of our home, but there’s really only once chance to see it with a crowd of fans on opening night. With all the excitement. The cheers. The gasps.

The applause at the end.

People: there was applause at the end! That sums up the movie for me. It was a return to form. I loved it, and the more I think about it, the more I loved it. The prequels show us how many ways a Star Wars movie can go wrong. (I enjoy the prequels. They’re okay. But they’re nowhere near as good as they could be.)

As an aside, think about poor George Lucas for a moment. Imagine you’re a person who came up with an innovative, wonderful way to make a chocolate cake. Everyone raves about it. A few friends make a second and third cake with his guidance, and the love only grows. Then he doesn’t make cake for a while. When he finally is coaxed into making it, he makes it the way he liked it. Focusing on the things he loved.

And it turns out what he loved is different than what everyone else loved. He loved the way the baking soda interacted with the rest of the ingredients. It was all about baking soda for him.

For everyone else, it was about the chocolate. And so he finally steps away and turns it over to people who love chocolate, and they make a great chocolate cake again.

That analogy has run its course by now, but hopefully you get the picture. This movie is a return to chocolate.

Beware of spoilers. There are significant ways the movie could be spoiled. Don’t read comments. Don’t read reviews. Just see the movie and read the rest afterward. I loved it.

And DC, my seven year old? She loved it too. You can easily decide if this movie is right for your child or not. If they’ve seen the cartoons (Clone Wars or Star Wars Rebels) and you’re okay with them seeing a live action version of that level of violence, then you’re fine. There is no bad language. No sex. Just sci-fi violence. Some intense scenes, but not a lot of blood. Just blasters and Star Wars action.

See it, people!

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