Try these Star Wars The Last Jedi family conversations if you’re looking for ways to connect with your kids after seeing the movie. These four lines from the film are great discussion starters!
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Last Friday my husband and I enjoyed a mid-day date to see the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi. We escaped together on a Friday afternoon because a) my life-long Star Wars fan husband wanted to see the movie before everyone else spoiled it for him on Facebook and b) we needed to find a time in the midst of our holiday hustle to preview the film before taking our kids (age 9 and 6).
I am thrilled to report we will be sharing the next chapter of the Star Wars story with our kids because (in my opinion) it’s one of the least dark episodes of the franchise’s recent movies and the story is beautifully filmed and told. I’ve talked with many long-time Star Wars fanatics and several have said it just might be their favorite, ever!
I don’t mean to be rude but often when I’m watching a movie in the theater, I grab my phone from time to time to record lines that make an impact on me. I found myself at four different moments throughout The Last Jedi thinking, “YES! Now, that’s good writing. Oh, maybe it’s because that’s an important life truth. I need to think about that line. It would be a great discussion starter for the kids.”
Raising kids of character is a process that requires a whole lot of patience and ongoing teaching, training and guiding. One of the most effective ways to teach kids important life truths is through relevant cultural connections. We do this through the application of their favorite books, movies and characters to real life. Kids need us to remind them that what they see on TV or in movies is (most often) not real but they also need us to help them find the pieces and parts that can teach them real life lessons.
This is an important life skill you may have learned in high school English class and through studying the Bible as a growing believer. We can use any story (fictional or real) and search for symbolism, meaning and life lessons that will bring growth. Parents have an incredible opportunity to make this search for meaning an active part of their family life and culture. Not only does this practice help parents plant growth seeds in the lives of their kids, it also communicates to our children that we care about the things they care about.
If you’ve already braved the crowded theaters to see the movie, here are a few Star Wars: The Last Jedi family conversations to have with your kids. If you haven’t yet seen the film and plan to take the kids for a special holiday outing this month, STOP.
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any further if you have not yet seen the film because the following conversations may spoil any or all of the movie for you. Go ahead and save this post – pin it, email it to yourself or share it on Facebook and refer back to it later.
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Star Wars The Last Jedi Family Conversations
She was more interested in protecting the light than seeming like a hero. Leia to Poe about Vice Admiral Holdo
Vice Admiral Holdo is one of those characters you aren’t sure you like at first. She’s the antagonist that becomes the hero. Going head to head with Poe over how to save the resistance, she seems mean. . .spiteful even. But underneath her tough exterior, Holdo has one thing in mind. . .protecting the light. Leia knows it and that’s why she trusts Holdo to lead when she cannot. It takes some time (and a big sacrifice) for Poe to see inside Holdo’s heroic spirit, but eventually he, too, celebrates her as the hero she never meant to become.
This line arrested me in the middle of the film. Because all too often we’re told to make a heroes name for ourselves, at any cost. Holdo knew the price of true heroism and she wasn’t afraid to pay it. The difference between her and many of the heroes we see in our world – she was willing to fight for the sake of the light, not her own agenda.
Ask: Why do you think protecting the good is more important than winning or looking like a hero?
Life-Lesson: The world is full of “heroes” who are trying to help others in order to make a name for themselves. But true heroes are the ones who quietly make a difference, not for their own good, but in order to promote goodness. This is the type of hero we should aim to be – one that points others toward the light instead of trying to shine light on ourselves.
Failure is the best teacher. Yoda to Luke
I love that Yoda made a little cameo in the movie. I’ll be honest, this line stuck out to me (and I know it’s not a new concept) but the real lesson came as I wrestled with how it potentially contradicted Yoda’s most famous quote –
“Do or do not, there is no try.” Empire Strikes Back
So it’s not enough to try. . .I either need to do it or not do it. But what if I fail? Can you feel the tension here? My husband and I talked this through and here’s where we landed.
Ask: Can you share a time when you learned something from failure? What types of lessons can we learn when we fail?
Life-Lesson: Once you decide to go for “it” (whatever “it” is), you have to do it with everything you’ve got. There’s no trying, half-way. If and when you do fail (after giving your best), you will learn things that help you when you try again. When we try our very best and fail still, we are able to reap the most life-changing lessons and find the strength to try again, this time with wisdom and experience that will help us succeed.
That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate but saving what we love. Rose to Finn
Rose is a brand new character with a whole lot of spunk. You love her because at first, she stumbles all over herself when meeting Finn. But as the story progresses, so does her strength. She swoops in to save the day (and Finn) before dropping this truth bomb that leaves viewers with their mouths and hearts wide open.
As a Christian, this is a concept I’ve thought about before. We spend all our time, energy and words (often irresponsibly) fighting the things we “hate” – sin, injustice and all kinds of evil. And while there’s nothing wrong with fighting the bad guys, what would happen if we shifted our perspective onto saving the good instead of battling the bad?
Ask: Why is it important to focus on what we love rather than what we hate?
Life-Lesson: Life is full of battles of good versus evil. From our very first unkind encounter on the playground to serious bullying as we get older. . . from countless unlawful acts in society to true battles of war, we will always be fighting something. But whether we win or lose is just as much about perspective and focus as it is about strategy. At times our greatest win will come when we fix our eyes on goodness and love, working hard to promote and sustain it.
If you strike me down in anger, I’ll haunt you forever. Luke to Kylo Ren
Kylo Ren’s inner battle in this film is more powerful than any light saber strike he makes. Full of confusion and anger he attacks the one man he believes is standing in the way of his freedom. But the truth is, the only thing between Kylo Ren and liberation is himself.
Luke’s words not only promote the high ground, they offer compassion for a man he knows is in self-inflicted captivity, using the wrong key as he tries to escape. Luke knows anger is it’s own prison cell that will hold Kylo Ren forever if he uses it as the force behind his weapon.
Ask: Why do you think fighting from a place of anger is a bad thing?
Life-Lesson: Anger is a valid emotion that can be helpful if we use it as a guide, not a driving force. When we allow anger to be the motivation behind our actions, it will take over our heart, overshadow our judgement, create unhealthy perspective and build a prison cell of negativity. Sometimes we have to “fight” and when we do, if we use truth and goodness as our force instead of anger, we’ll win not only the battle but the entire war.
Have you seen The Last Jedi? What conversations are you having as a family following the movie?