Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that A New Hope is a classic 1977 sci-fi action blockbuster that may be more frightening than you recall. The central villain, Darth Vader, creates a menacing presence and engages in several acts of violence (threatening, choking). Another central character dies, though he just seems to disappear, and several minor characters die or are injured, though the images are brief or non-graphic. There are also a few instances of mild language, specifically "damn" and "hell," plus plenty of insults. Some families may take issue with the film's spiritual philosophies built around "the Force" as the central tenet of existence in the universe. For kids of the right age, this movie is an unforgettable ride through a vast galaxy of imaginative concepts and characters. Of the films in the Star Wars series, this one offers the best and mildest balance of drama and action for younger viewers.
Mild flirting and crushes between male and female lead characters. The sexual content doesn't escalate beyond a single chaste kiss on the cheek "for luck."
The film strings together a series of battles that feature heavy sci-fi violence, including lasers and the film's version of swords (lightsabers). There are some brief images of burned bodies in the desert, pilots exploding while in the cockpits of their ships, an arm being severed (with blood), and the destruction of an entire planet seen from afar. The menacing central villain engages in a several acts of direct and indirect choking of other characters. Alien creatures vary in appearance; some some might appear scary to younger kids.
Much of the film's banter is based in mildly antagonistic relationships between characters, so there are frequent insults and one-liners bandied back and forth. Otherwise, there are a few instances of "damn" and "hell."
The forces of good and evil are very clearly defined in the film. The story's positive messages include hard work paying off with results, the power of personal sacrifice in pursuit of a larger good, and accepting those who are different or difficult to get along with.
No real-world brands or products are featured in the film, since it takes place in another galaxy. But the movie created a template for movie merchandising that persists to this day. Decades after release, its characters are still immortalized in action figures, video games, and countless other products.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Characters visit an intergalactic cantina where otherworldly beverages are served and strange substances are smoked. But it has no visible parallel to anything available in reality.