Australian Council on Children and the Media

Star Wars Episode 1V: a new hope

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What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

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What’s it about?

In the previous episode, Anakin Skywalker had gone over to the dark side of the force for fear of losing his wife Padme and their expectant baby. Darth Sidious (Chancellor Palpatine) had renamed him Darth Vader but during a battle with Obi-Wan he loses both arms and legs. He is almost killed and covered by volcanic lava but is saved by Darth Sidious who makes him into the evil cyborg.

The Galaxy is now in the control of the Empire and its Imperial Forces who are on the dark side of the force.  It rules with an iron fist and has created the Death Star which is a space-ship that can destroy a planet with just one blast.

The rebel forces decide to strike back under the command of Princess Leia. They aim to steal the plans of the Death Star to examine it for weaknesses. Princess Leia is captured but the robots R2D2 and C-P30 manage to escape with the plans. The robots arrive on a planet where they find Luke Skywalker and persuade him to contact Ob-Wan Kenobe to help rescue the Princess. Luke joins Obi-Wan to fight the dark forces and they recruit pilot Han Solo to fly them to Anderaan. There a great battle breaks out between the Jedi knights and the Imperial Forces.

What to look out for

There is quite a lot of fighting throughout this movie using laser guns and light sabres and other scenes such as:

  • Darth Vader holds a man up by his neck, strangles him and throws him to the ground
  • Sandpeople attack Luke quite viciously and knock him out with a mace.
  • C-P30 has his arm cut off with a laser.

As well, there is a lot that could frighten children in this movie such as:

  • The many alien creatures – some quite large dinosaur characters, mammoth beasts and others of all weird shapes, colours and sizes.
  • Darth Vader is a very scary character –covered in a black armoured suit complete with face covering. He breathes very loudly.
  • The sand people are little people covered in brown robes and hoods with eyes that shine in the dark

Moral of the Story

The main messages from this movie are that good wins over evil and that you have to fight for what you believe in.

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