The 4 Things to Know Before Taking Your Kids to See Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Thinking about taking your kids to see the much-anticipated last installment of the nine-episode Star Wars saga, The Rise of Skywalker? There are a few things you should know going into it. Although Star Wars movies are filled with messages of hope and beloved characters that make us laugh, it's not necessarily a franchise for young kids on the whole. And even though I haven't met a person — young or old — yet who doesn't love the stories of Luke, Leia, Han, Finn, Rey, Chewie, and the rest of the crew, as with the Star Wars films before it, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is full of intense action, dark scenes — both literally and metaphorically — and emotional moments that may be too much for your littlest kids.
Keep scrolling to find out what you should know going into this PG-13 flick if you're bringing Star Wars-loving kids younger than that along with you when it hits theaters on Dec. 20.
Warning: a few mild spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker appear ahead!
From the First Scene, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is Intense
As with all Star Wars films, Episode IX is intense from the get-go and filled with scenes that make your muscles tense up, moments that make you want to watch through your fingers, and reveals that cause you to jump out of your seat. And because the film is so dark — in terms of lighting, though the dark side's influence is ever-present, of course — all of the action tends to feel like it sneaks up on you. If your kids have seen a Star Wars movie and handled it well, all should be fine, but if you have a child who tends to get stressed or anxious when characters are in peril or giant fight scenes are occurring, know that there's more of that in this film than there are calm moments that give you a chance to breathe.
Spoiler alert: some of the most tense scenes are when Kylo Ren and Rey battle (like in the photo above), when Emperor Palpatine, back from the dead, is on the screen, and just the general fighting scenes (of which there are too many to count). A particularly jumpy scene comes right after Rey finds the second Wayfinder.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is a Complete Sensory Overload, Especially in a Theater
If you're taking your kids to see The Rise of Skywalker in theaters, know that from the text intro disappears into the starry sky there's loud noises and music, as well as flashing lights — and it all moves at (pun intended) light speed. If you have children who don't fare well with sensory overload, taking them to see Episode IX in theaters could be a lot for them to handle. As mentioned above, this movie is 90 percent go, go, go action, so let's just say that there aren't a lot of moments where it lets up and the characters are able to sit and have a slow tea break together.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is an Emotional Film
As expected, this last episode of the nine-part Skywalker saga has an air of finality to it that brings on tons of emotion. We say goodbye to a few beloved characters, some whom we've already said goodbye to appear for touching cameos, our heroes make brave sacrifices, and that C3PO moment from the trailer is a real doozy.
It's definitely a more intense film than it is an emotional one, but as with all of the episodes before it, the feeling that there's still hope in the resistance is enough to make anyone's heart swell. If you have particularly sensitive kiddos, there might be a couple of instances in which they get emotional, but you can definitely tell them that everything is going to be OK despite the sad moments, as it always manages to be!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Is a Loooong Movie — but There's a Good Time For a Bathroom Break
With a running time of two hours and 22 minutes, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be a long movie for younger kids and those with small bladders (ahem, like me) to sit through. If you know that two plus hours is a while for your little one to sit, make sure you're equipped with snacks and quiet things to keep them going (though honestly, there's so much action in this movie, they might stay gripped until the very end with no trouble).
If you or your kids have to go to the bathroom, there's a good time right smack in the middle of the movie: after being aboard Kylo Ren's ship, Rey escapes on the Millennium Falcon. This is your moment! As for what you'll miss? Minor spoiler alert incoming: Rey will seethe with the desire for revenge against Emperor Palpatine for a minute or so, then Kylo Ren will communicate with the emperor, who is hellbent on finding Rey.