The Force Awakens: Lessons our children can take from Star Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away—or even as recently as a week ago—I was not planning to take our children to see The Force Awakens.
Our boys are 6 and 8 and the film sounded too intense. I mean, I can’t even mention werewolves at the kitchen table without someone bursting into tears.
But as the movie reviews kept coming in, John and I decided that our sons could probably handle it. And if we took them together, one of us (me) could duck out with any child who happened to be scared.

So off we went. And—no spoiler alert needed here—it was amazing. It was powerful and riveting and when the words started crawling up the screen at the beginning, I even got a little teary. I know, I know. It’s just a movie. But it’s so special to share these moments with our children.
One of the best parts has been talking about the movie afterward. We have had some interesting conversations, and I have really enjoyed hearing our sons’ take on the movie—and on what might happen next.
I’ve also been thinking that there are a few important lessons I’d like our children to take away from Star Wars—and that we’ll hope they’re also learning in other ways.

Choose good over evil. Sometimes evil looks cool and might be the easier path. We need to fight for good anyway.
We don’t always seek out our callings. Sometimes they find us—even though we might not want them.

Bad things happen. Good things happen. Most of the time there is a greater mission to complete and we just have to carry on.

Even people who choose evil can be redeemed. We have a responsibility to try to help them change.

Know yourself. You may have talents and abilities you still haven’t discovered.

Be a good friend. You can accomplish much on your own, but you also need to surround yourself with great people who value you and help you achieve and learn more than you imagined.

Nothing is impossible—especially when you are fighting against evil.

What did I learn? That even if you feed your children an enormous tub of popcorn and dozens of Swedish fish during a long movie, they are still hungry for dinner. And you’ll have to cook it at hyperspeed and without the help of a droid.

Check out my friend Abigail’s review of the film as a resource for Catholic families.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.