Dear Dr. Renee,
We are huge Star War fans. How young can children start watching the Star Wars movies?
Dear Momikan Skywalker,
Happy “May the Fourth” Day!
I’m afraid I don’t have a clear black (dark side) or white (rebellion) answer for this. However, I do have an opinion …
You know your child best, so take their personality and reaction to scary things into consideration. Some children can watch anything and be fine, while others have nightmares and very bad reactions to the mature material (i.e., they could act out behaviors, display violent tendencies, etc.).
I remember watching the original “Star Wars” movie at the drive-in with my dad! If I remember correctly, I was 8 or so … but I have a daughter who was easily scared when she was little, even by the cat in Cinderella. So we held off watching the official Star Wars movies with her for a while.
I would suggest you err on the side of caution and wait until at least 6 or 7-years-old for the original movies. And yes, I suggest starting with the movies in the order they were released. The newer ones tend to have more graphic violence and mature topics, so I would hold off on those until later, 10-years-old or so – again, you know your child best.
That said, there are ‘younger’ versions of Star Wars that you may be able to start with. Just like the many different Star Wars books (preschool board books to chapter books), there are many different movie options ranging from Lego Star Wars to the real deal.
A great site for more detailed information to help you make your decision is “Common Sense Media.”
Oh, and that daughter who was scared of Lucifer the cat when she was younger? She spent the month of October (prior to covid) binge-watching horror movies with her High School friends.
May the Force Be With You,
Dr. Renee 🙂