I know as a parent how frustrating it can be to look for a review when you are trying to decide if you should take your child to see a movie. We all want to make informed decisions. There is nothing worse than reading a review that says, “This movie was great. Your children will love it,” and then dealing with the aftermath of a movie that your child was not prepared to see.
That is why I will attempt to ask and answer some questions that you may have regarding Star Wars Rogue One. As a mom of five children, I know that through the years I’ve made some mistakes in regards to movies. I also know that since having my last child (who is now 12 and autistic), I began to see movies through a very different lens. Jack-Jack reacts to movies in a very simple way. If he loves a movie, we know it! If he thinks the movie was scary, we know it. But it is his expressions that allow me to connect with other children.
Most children want to please their parents so they tell us what we want to hear. We often hear what they are saying without seeing how they are saying it. They want to be “grown up” and connect with us, so they use the things we like to make those connections. Kids will say they like a movie because they want to spend time with us. Watch for the visual cues and not what they are saying.
WAS THE MOVIE GOOD? Star Wars Rogue One was an excellent movie in regards to storyline, movie making, acting, and visuals. This movie had you believing the characters were authentic. There was not a moment in the film that I thought the casting was bad. In addition, there were some comedic parts. The movie jumped around a lot in the beginning to introduce you to everyone that would be involved as a method of character development, and some children may be confused by this.
WHAT WERE THE POSITIVE ELEMENTS OF THE FILM? The overarching theme of this movie is one of hope. This film is set between Episode III and Episode IV. It sets the stage for A New Hope, and the theme of hope is delivered throughout the film. Also we see characters willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Fighting for the cause is a constant throughout the movie.
DID THE MOVIE DESERVE A PG-13 RATING? Absolutely. This movie is intense. By far, it is the most intense Star Wars movie. “Make no mistake, This is War.” And war is depicted throughout the entire movie. It is not just intense air battles, but also intense battle scenes on the ground. Surprisingly there is not blood shown and no swearing, but at one point, I thought, “this is war.” Do you want your child watching intense battle scenes? Are you ready to discuss some of the tragedies of war?
WHERE THERE ANY SCENES THAT BOTHERED ME AS AN ADULT? Absolutely! I know that I am more sensitive when it comes to war, fighting, and intense action than the average adult. I also know that as a parent there are things I want to shield my children from. We made the decision to keep our 12 year old son home. He reacts much more to fighting and negative situations than many children, and after watching this movie, we feel we made a good decision.
One scene that bothered me was where a creature (octopus) wraps itself around a person. Another scene that brings the reality of war to life was when a child was in the streets between crossfire. There are also moments that I think may be disturbing to children – watching a parent get killed. This is not a Bambi scene. If your child gets upset about Bambi’s mom being killed, how much more upsetting would a scene with a human child be?
WHO SHOULD NOT SEE THIS MOVIE? I fully think it deserved a PG-13 rating. To me this means a child 12 or 13 and up! I know that I am a little more conservative with movies than many families. There were some young children in the theater. One boy, maybe 6 or 7, left with his father about half-way through the movie.
Only you can decide if your child should see this movie, but as I sat in the theater I thought some of these scenes are reminiscent of what I saw on the news from Vietnam. It didn’t surprise me to read that according to “Rogue One” director Gareth Edwards, he based the battles on actual past war scenes. “One of the little things we did as an experiment was, we took war photography from Vietnam and South Pacific, and you know, the Middle East, and photoshopped rebel helmets on the soldiers, and replaced some things with Stormtroopers in the background. And instead of Hueys, it was like, U-Wings or X-Wings.”
FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Great movie. Worth Seeing. PG-13 for a reason.