Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

A long time ago in a galaxy known as California, George Lucas had an idea—something involving spaceships, swords of light and a black-helmeted villain with respiratory problems. The idea germinated and grew into the Star Wars franchise, a veritable galaxy-encompassing empire filled with movies, television shows, action figures, toothbrushes … and video games.

There are reputed to be more than 100 Star Wars-themed games floating around the universe these days—the most recent of which is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. Skeptics might say that the Force unleashed back in the 1970s and '80s was more than enough. But in Lucas' world, one can never release too much Force—not if there are millions of dollars to be made.

The Rebirth of That One Jedi
In the first Force Unleashed, gamers slipped on the digital skin of Starkiller, Darth Vader's secret apprentice who, if you played all the way through, broke free of the villain's vice-like grip and sparked a galactic rebellion—a rebellion that presumably culminated in the Return of the Jedi film. Alas, Starkiller died at the end of the game—thus preventing the digital character from starring in any of the movies and, seemingly, snuffing out the chance of an Unleashed sequel.

But Lucas has never been one to let a character just die. And so, after 6 million folks bought the first Force Unleashed, LucasArts is now trotting out a new Starkiller—an apparent clone of the first. Handy, that: If you lose one apprentice, it's nice to have a spare on hand. Vader hopes to train Starkiller 2.0 in the ways of the Dark Side—and this time make sure he doesn't wriggle away.

Right. Starkiller again revolts against his master and, after various action-packed adventures, the young Jedi discovers he might not be a clone after all. His old mentor tells him that Jedis, much like songs downloaded from iTunes, can't be cloned, which may explain his intense flashbacks and his curious mastery of the Force.

Make no mistake, Starkiller is indeed a full-fledged Jedi powerhouse here—one of the prime selling points of Force Unleashed II. Gamers are thrown into the fire nearly immediately, battling wave after wave of disposable Stormtroopers—cutting through them with light sabers, bashing them against walls with Force blasts, zapping them with purple lightning and even "encouraging" them with Jedi mind tricks to fight their brethren … or jump off a ledge.

Gameplay is easy enough and the opponents weak enough to make players feel as if they've studied a decade or two under Yoda himself. Of course, all that early onset power makes it less rewarding to level up as the game goes on. And there are other problems, as well.

I Sense a Disturbance …
Unleashed II is rated T, which means gamers won't find any Call of Duty-style realism here. But that doesn't change the fact that Starkiller uses his Force-style magic to cut through both human and mechanized foes like a weed whacker through dry grass, leaving casualty after casualty in his wake.

Characters sometimes utter a mild curse or two ("h‑‑‑," primarily), and Starkiller's love interest, Juno, wears a cleavage-revealing, formfitting uniform. (We see the two of them exchange a kiss.) One man tells Starkiller that he can have his fill of "wine, women and blood."

None of this will surprise anyone who's spent any time at all exploring Lucas' wide world of stars. But there is one unexpected twist to be found after Starkiller's climactic battle with Darth Vader: a choice.

[Spoiler Warning] Starkiller, after defeating Vader, gets to choose whether to allow him to live or kill him in anger. If it's the former, Vader's taken away in chains, a seemingly dead Juno miraculously revives and the rebellion finds itself to be in peachy-keen shape. If it's the latter, Starkiller is stabbed in the back by another Starkiller before he can finish the job. Juno stays dead and the newest Starkiller is sent to wreak havoc on the remnants of the rebellion.

This finale adds a surprisingly resonant touch. Starkiller, after all, was presented with a "destiny," and yet it was his own choice that determined not just his path, but the paths of quite a few folks around him. It's a pretty good lesson, really. We decide our own destinies, and the choices we make have some pretty serious consequences.

Too bad there's not much else to say about Force Unleashed II—a beautifully rendered but repetitive clone of a game that feels a little … forced.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!