Australian Council on Children and the Media

Solo: A Star Wars Story

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Not recommended under 12, parental guidance recommended to 15, due to violence and scary scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • a review of Solo: A Star Wars Story completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 31 May 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children aged under 12 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children 12 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Viewers 15 and over OK for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Solo: A Star Wars Story
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Science fiction violence
Length 135 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

A young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) lives life as a petty thief for a crime syndicate run by Lady Proxima (Linda Hunt) and her henchmen who provide shelter for the young people struggling to survive the hostile streets of Corellia. Han and Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), the girl he loves, have a plan to escape the wretched and dangerous planet they live on and build a life together where Han can realize his dream of becoming a pilot. Their escape does not go to plan and while Han makes it out Qi’ra does not. Han vows that he will return for her and enlists in the Empire to become a pilot. He soon finds himself in the middle of a war where he meets Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his motley crew. With the help of Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), his new Wookie friend, he finds himself in the middle of a secret operation to derail a train and hijack its precious cargo. When the hijacking fails Beckett must face a dangerous opponent. Han goes with him and finally finds Qi’ra again. In order to save their lives they hatch a daring plan to replace what they lost and enlist the help of Lando Calrisian (Donald Glover) and his robotic co-pilot L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Lando owns the fastest ship in the galaxy but they soon discover that speed is not all they need. They must learn to trust the unknown, perhaps even more than they trust each other, even if it eventually leads to rebellion.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Crime, enslavement, rebellion and war.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

  • There are frequent fight scenes involving shoot outs and bashings.
  • There are numerous chase scenes including hover cars, space ships and other vehicles that are damaged or smashed apart. The occupants are generally killed.
  • Han is beaten up by those who think he is not stealing enough.
  • Lady Proxima, a large worm-like creature, is burnt by sunlight.
  • There is a war scene in which many are killed by gunfire or lasers. Explosions happen all around while men scream and run in all directions.
  • Han is dumped into an underground pit where a beast is meant to torture and eat him. Here he meets Chewbacca and the two literally fight for their lives.
  • Han is punched in the face, a man is executed in an office, others are slashed with razors and Chewbacca rips the arms off a guard. Very little blood is shown.
  • Han and his friends are told how the empire treats those it captures and a story is told about an entire community that had their tongues cut out.
  • Beckett’s co-pilot is shot in the shoulder, his injuries look like fire is eating his flesh and he slowly dies.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • There are numerous scary looking creatures and aliens shown throughout the film.
  • As Han pilots the millennium falcon they find themselves beating almost eaten or attacked by a huge octopus-like creature while at the same time they are being sucked into a fiery vortex. The music is loud, dramatic and suspenseful.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • On a couple of occasions children are forcibly separated from parents by storm troopers and there is much crying and screaming as the parents and children are dragged away.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Aside from the above mentioned scenes there is nothing in this film that would frighten children between the ages of eight to thirteen.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern.

Product placement

  • There was no product placement in this film.

Sexual references

  • Qi’ra and L3 discuss Lando’s feelings for L3 and she alludes to a physical relationship at which point Qi’ra asks L3 (referring to a man having sex with a robot): “How would that work?”

Nudity and sexual activity

  • Han and Qi’ra kiss passionately on a number of occasions.
  • Qi’ra wears a revealing dress with a plunging neckline to a party.

Use of substances

  • A captain drinks from a flask during a raging battle.
  • A few scenes take place in a pub where characters drink and gamble.
  • There is an exclusive party during which characters drink and Chewbacca downs numerous glasses of what appears to be an alcoholic beverage.

Coarse language

  • There is one unfinished exclamation of “ Oh sh…!”
  • Infrequent use of “damn” and “hell” one use of the term “presumptuous ass” and occasional use of “scum rat.”

In a nutshell

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a science fiction prequel depicting the earlier years of Han Solo’s life. There is a very diverse cast featuring people of numerous nationalities. The characters themselves also come from a variety of backgrounds and there are lots of strong female characters showcased throughout the film. This movie will appeal to fans of the Star Wars Series and is best suited to older teen and adult audiences.

The main messages from this movie are to be strong, loyal and to follow your dreams. The message to ‘never trust anyone’ also occurs throughout the film as does the idea that there is strength in unity and that if the oppressed can work together they can rid themselves of the horror and enslavement the Empire has forced upon them.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • The importance of teamwork and communication
  • Doing what’s right even when it is a difficult choice or there may be unpleasant consequences
  • The importance of friendship and the value of loyalty

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Slavery and how entire cultures are, or have been, oppressed as a result of greed or the mistaken belief that some are better than others.
  • Cheating and how eventually those that do cheat are exposed and sometimes the loss they suffer can be far greater than anything they may have gained by cheating in the first place.
  • War and the amount of destruction and devastation that takes place as a result of two opposing sides refusing to act with honour.

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