My husband and I both grew up loving Star Wars and we were excited to share it with our oldest daughter, but weren't sure when. At the time we knew many parents whose children, with all the marketing out there for the new films, were dying to consume anything and everything Star Wars. But they had concerns about the more adult content and themes and wanted to restrict exposure. So we debated showing her the film. Our solution: buy some books! We thought books would be an easy way to introduce her to the world and the story without having her watch people fire guns and die in battle.
I bought these two great books and they were a huge hit! We were able to talk about Princess Leia, and Darth Vadar, and the scary things that happen, and the good things that happen, and answer her questions. Then after reading the books for a few months we did take the plunge and let our 3 year old watch the original Star Wars and she loved it! I truly believe it helped that she had an introduction prior to watching the film. Plus, now we can continue to engage with the characters as we read stories about films she hasn't seen yet.
One interesting thing that came of all this is our daughter loves Darth Vader. After we watched the movie, if you asked her who her favorite characters were it was "Princess Leia, Darth Vader, and the Storm Troopers". I think that speaks to visuals right? He has a cape like Elsa after all!