By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens is the hugely popular sequel to George Lucas’ sci-fi blockbuster series. Adult fans love sharing this special series with kids of all ages and learning what Han, Chewie, Leia, and all their new friends are up to in that galaxy far, far away. While The Force Awakens is more about action than introspection, there’s plenty for families to talk about after the credits roll. Try these topics/questions to get started:
- What role does violence play in the story? Do scenes of explosions and space battles affect you differently from those of close-up, one-on-one duels and killings? Why do you think that is? And what makes more of an impact: violence or loss?
- Who are the movie’s heroes? What makes them heroes? Are Finn and Rey positive role models? How are they different from Han, Leia, Luke, Anakin, and other characters from the earlier films? What motivates them? How do they demonstrate courage? Teamwork?
- Talk about the themes from the previous movies that repeat themselves here. Why are issues of loneliness, good vs. evil, fatherhood, mentorship, and so on so important to this series? How do they play out on-screen?
- How does Kylo Ren deal with his anger? What are some other options for managing frustration and disappointment? How do the two sides of the Force represent feelings we all wrestle with?
- Have you noticed all the Star Wars merchandise in stores? Does seeing the characters on products make you want to buy them?
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