Last week actor Freddie Prinze, Jr. went on an expletive-filled tirade about Star Wars. (For those who don’t know, Prinze, Jr. voiced Jedi Kanan Jarrus through four seasons of Star Wars Rebels.) He directed a good amount of his ire at self-entitled fans, reasoning that the franchise was “made for kids.” That may have been the case once, but no longer. Sorry, Freddie. Star Wars is not just for kids anymore…. And it hasn’t been since Revenge of the Sith.

Star Wars; not just for kids
Does this look “kid friendly” to you? Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

George Lucas once even said that the story was Star Wars was originally geared towards children. Hence the inclusion of Jar Jar Binks in the prequel trilogy. Notwithstanding, even Lucas recognized that the franchise had to grow and mature together with the fans. Look no further than Revenge of the Sith for evidence of the fact that Stars Wars isn’t just for kids anymore. A film featuring a beheading, death, betrayal, implied murder of children, dismemberment and someone being burned alive does not a child’s film make.

Even The Clone Wars, though animated, focused on far more adult themes than one would expect for a cartoon. As we’ve noted before, the show even depicted someone being violently tortured to death. I, as an adult, thoroughly enjoyed the dark tones of The Clone Wars. I wouldn’t let small children watch it, though. That most certainly is not just for kids.

CLone wars; not just for kids; Star Wars
Cad Bane tortures Jedi Master Ropal to death in ‘The Clone Wars’ season 2.
(Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Star Wars: not just for kids anymore

Likewise, even Disney has embraced the notion that there is more to Star Wars than Ewoks, Porgs, and buffoonish Gungans. One of the opening scenes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story showed Cassian Andor committing cold-blooded murder. That set in place a morose theme of danger and desperation for the rest of the film. And don’t forget Solo, which showed us the criminal underpinnings of our favorite franchise. No, this darker side of Star Wars is most definitely not just for kids.

IG-11 (Taika Waititi) and The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) in the Disney+ series THE MANDALORIAN.

Lucasfilm will continue that trend with The Mandalorian, which debuts on Disney+ in just under a month now. We’ve already seen from the trailer that the show will be a darker, grittier depiction of the galaxy far, far away. Forget the notion of it being just for kids. There’s been nothing thus far to give any indication that The Mandalorian will be for kids at all. And Disney isn’t stopping there.

Drawing on Rogue One’s popularity, Disney+ will also feature an entire series focused on the aforementioned Andor. The show will portray his life as a Rebel spy in the time leading up to the events of Rogue One. Something tells us that the Cassian Andor series won’t be for the kiddies, either.

Cassian Andor meets with a fellow spy… just before Cassian kills him. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

So no, Freddie. While we understand your frustration with overzealous fans, Star Wars is decidedly not just for kids anymore.

What are your thoughts? Do you enjoy the darker, more adult-oriented side of Star Wars? Let us know!