More Info



Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 3 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

Movie Info:

  • Rating: PG-13
    (for sci-fi action, violence, some language and brief suggestive comments)
  • Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Runtime: 130 minutes
  • Studio: Sony Pictures

From Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) by Sony Pictures:

“Peter Parker returns in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!”

[Buy the FULL Comprehensive Review & Discussion Guide]


Transfiguring Adoption’s Overview:

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) had some serious shoes to fill following the conclusion of the beloved Avengers saga. Sure, we had no concern for the graphics or music since Marvel has provided some pretty solid foundations for those pieces. But in a time where some super-favorites have passed on various torches to the “next” heroes and Marvel is still hurting from the loss of beloved Stan Lee, the entire fandom looked on with both anticipation and worry. Will the film still have the same magic?

The answer is a resounding yes! Marvel has made it clear that it will maintain its box-office juggernaut status with Peter Parker’s journey of self-discovery and some delicious credit-scenes that leave us begging for more.

** Spoilers Could Be Ahead **

How Is This Relevant To Adoption & Foster Care?

While it’s fairly well known that Peter Parker is orphaned earlier in his story, at this time in the series that is not so much a concern. The Peter Parker we meet in Spider-Man: Far From Home has already gone through the grief cycle multiple times and has received answers concerning his parents’ deaths, resulting in a Peter who has processed and integrated the trauma of losing a parent. So really, there shouldn’t be anything left for adoption or foster care, and I suppose I’m done here… At least, for poor Peter’s sake, I wish I could say that.

Part of how Peter has been able to cope with his traumatic past has been his unbelievable supports. A younger, quirkier Aunt May, a steadfast friend in Ned, and a collection of supportive teachers have very much provided Peter a significant amount of stability for a good portion of his life. However, following his Spidey transformation, Peter needed another kind of support unique to his situation… Enter Tony Stark (Iron Man). Self-described genius, billionaire, playboy, and least likely Avenger you would leave your children alone with (unless that child could be very responsible with watching him). All joking aside, the Tony we’ve gotten to know and love over the years does not scream paternal, but over time Tony and Peter did forge a close, meaningful bond that Peter very much wanted and needed as he navigated boundaries and challenges as an up-and-coming superhero.

But due to the events of Avengers: Endgame, Tony is deceased and Peter hasn’t aged a day in the five years since Thanos snapped his fingers and wiped out half of the universe. He’s lost his mentor, father figure, and friend and has to continue on with his hidden identity. Peter longs for normalcy and retreats into himself, attempting to bury himself in an upcoming school trip to avoid these heavy doubts and emotions. This time wrought with self-doubt and anguish opens the door for Peter to be easily deceived, which leads to him trusting Mysterio a little too fast and results in some pretty intense consequences in the movie’s conclusion, as well as one of the two end credit scenes you simply MUST wait to see at the end of the film.

Peter losing a loved one and struggling with the emotions of self-doubt, helplessness, and desperation for normalcy after trauma can definitely be related to by our foster and adoptive youth. I’d recommend using this movie as a discussion tool to work with foster youth or adoptive youth of middle or high school ages. The movie can be enjoyed for most ages PG would pertain to, however the discussion components for this film may be too abstract for younger children to connect.

Discussion Points:

  • Life After Loss of Loved Ones
    Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, most of Peter’s actions are driven by the desire for normalcy following the intense trauma from the ramifications of Thanos’ actions and Tony’s death. Throughout the film Peter laments about not being able to pursue MJ and express his love for her, not being able to enjoy a simple school trip without Nick Fury hijacking the itinerary, and bearing the heavy load of a hero at such a young age. Much like our foster youth, Peter has endured so many hard things in his young years and very much just wants a life like his peers. It is important for caregivers to note this as the desire for normalcy, which will often rear up in various ways while a youth is in your home, and it is up to the caregiver to help guide youth through grief and through making positive choices while exploring life after a traumatic event.
  • Self-Doubt vs. Self-Discovery
    Much like several of his peers, Peter struggles with his sense of identity following the events of Avengers: Endgame. This leads to a time of extreme self-doubt in himself as both a superhero and as a young man. Over the course of the film, Peter discovers through introspection and his many supports that he has more to offer to the world than he originally thought in spite of his age and lack of experience. As he moves from self-doubt to self-discovery, Peter finds all new ways to utilize his powers to protect others and take down the deceitful Beck. Caregivers will find that even under the most cocky exterior, most of our foster youth are just as vulnerable and sensitive to critique as Peter and very much need a caring adult to help them look within and see themselves as we see them, just as Happy did with Peter in his pep talk over the tulip fields of the Netherlands.
  • Determining Who is “Worthy”
    Fairly early in the film Peter develops a large amount of respect for Quentin Beck (aka Mysterio). And why wouldn’t he? Beck flies in to save the day against titan-like creatures called Elementals who apparently have already destroyed his universe and family. The apparent self-sacrifice, humility, kindness, and bravery is a stark contrast (no pun intended) to Peter’s previous mentor. As a result of positive interactions and observations over a few days Peter determines that Beck is more worthy of a hero title than he as a “kid” could be and hands over an entire weapons system to this man he barely knows. Adults may understand the concept of “if it’s too good to be true, it’s too good to be true,” but a grieving and overwhelmed teenager who wants to see good in something is going to miss the red flags. Youth in foster care may have similar struggles in judging character. A teenager may push away a well meaning foster parent but practically beg for the attention of someone else because they are being told what they so desperately want to hear. It’s easier to overlook negative behavior if you are used to it, and the negative behavior is mixed with positive reinforcement. Because of this our youth need help with deciphering who is “worthy” to influence them and learning how to determine for themselves if someone wishes to help them or “steal EDITH.”

Cautionary Points:

  • Families Displaced After “The Blip”
    Foster youth who have endured homelessness may be more sensitive to the coverage of “The Blip” Thanos caused resulting in families returning to earth homeless. The good news is Aunt May and Peter are hard at work raising funds to help combat the issue within their community (kudos to Marvel and Disney on showing community involvement and supports!!!) but still, Aunt May’s speech concerning their displacement may be hard on some youth.
  • Suggestive Humor
    There are a few bleeped words early in the film for comedic purposes while a teenager is interviewed for the school news channel, and several characters refer to Peter’s spidey senses as the “Peter Tingle” in suggestive ways. In another scene, Peter is caught by a student changing clothes in the presence of an adult women, and the classmate accuses Peter of “sleeping across Europe.” This may be triggering for youth who struggle with foul language and crude humor.
  • Minor “Drug” Use
    While getting on the plane to Europe, one teacher proudly announces he’s going to knock himself out on the flight with Ambien. While Ambien in of itself is not a bad drug, it is sometimes abused, and youth may not respond well to the onscreen use by a teacher chaperone.
  • Beck is a Little on the Scary Side
    Targeting children/teenagers with weapons, unpredictable mood swings or fits of aggression, and a creepy laugh/crazy eyes face make for a scary-looking antagonist.
  • Scary Images – Iron Man’s Death
    In a scene while Beck utilizes illusion technology Peter sees a decaying Iron Man suit crawl out of Tony Stark’s grave in a zombie-like manner with insects crawling all over the mask. This may be intense for younger children or for youth who are sensitive to such imagery.
  • Violence Against Teenagers
    Beck makes it very clear in the second part of the film that he is willing to protect his super-secret even if he must kill Peter and his friends. This results in having a train hit Peter, attempting to kill Peter’s friends with armed drones, and overall putting the teenagers in harm’s way during the Elemental battles. Beck’s patterns of neglect and potential abuse towards the teenagers may be triggering for youth who have endured neglect or physical abuse, especially in the second half of the film when Beck begins to lose control and behaves in a more erratic manner.
  • A Lot of Lies
    Several characters lie throughout the film to one another, but the bigger concern is how frequently Peter, Ned, and MJ lie to one another.

Discussion Guide

  1. Why does Peter focus so much on the trip? Why does he avoid Nick Fury’s contacts?
    Caregiver Note: In the movie we see that Peter is still reeling from losing Tony in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame plus has not aged at all in the 5 years after Thanos “snapped” half the universe’s population. Much like children with intense trauma exposure, Peter is emotionally stuck in the time when he endured trauma (i.e. – Thanos’ “blip”, Tony dying, etc.) and is looking for any sense of normalcy he can find between pursuing MJ (who he genuinely does like) and focusing on the trip.
  2. Why does Peter not want to be a superhero? What is holding him back from being a superhero like Iron Man or Captain America?
    Caregiver Note: Peter feels an immense amount of guilt for surviving instead of Tony and doubts his abilities due to his age and experience level. This doubt is surprising after Spiderman: Homecoming where Tony had to put in settings to prevent Peter from using the full range of the suit. Peter has also helped in the battle to defeat Thanos and held his own against various Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. See if your youth picks up on anything else.
  3. What supportive adults did Peter have at the beginning to talk to concerning his grief for Tony? Or his worries concerning being a superhero?
    Caregiver Note: At first it seems like Peter doesn’t have many options to discuss the great weight on his shoulders. While Nick Fury is definitely absent from the game (at first emotionally, but we soon discover physically as well!!), Thor is out wandering the universe, and Peter may not have the relationship to reach out to other Avengers. Peter does have his Aunt and Happy to connect with for different levels of support. Though neither are superheroes like the Avengers, both are caring adults who know different aspects of Peter’s life and struggles.
  4.  Why do you think Peter was so quick to trust Mysterio?
    Caregiver Note: Like many of our children, Peter felt pressured to carry a burden too heavy for his young shoulders. Seeing someone else do superheroing “better” only highlighted Peter’s inexperience and lack of confidence in himself. So when Mysterio began to say all the “right things” and show greater competency in being a hero, Peter very much wanted to give over the responsibility to someone more qualified. Think about yourself. Have there been times where you’ve looked for a more “adultier adult” in times of great stress? I know I have! Children and teens (though communicated in other ways) also struggle with burdens and look for refuges of stability and safety to help offload hard things. This can be a great opportunity to discuss with your child or teen how to better decipher if an adult is truly worthy of their trust.
  5. Activity: Reframe Some Shades
    Caregiver Note: This is an activity to help your child think of ways to reframe insecurities and perceived weaknesses with a strength-based theme. Help your child design some glasses out of craft materials (i.e. – construction paper, tubing, decoration, paint, etc.). With glasses off, help the child think of something they feel insecure about, such as maybe being on the petite side. Then, have them consult “EDITH” with the glasses on about how that trait could be reframed as a strength. For example, when you are petite you can fit in the tubes of a play area better!  
  6. Why did Peter tell lies to those he cared about? Did the lying meet the result he intended?Caregiver Note: Children and teens lie for a myriad of reasons. Sometimes it can be to cover a mistake in fear of being embarrassed or harmed. Some lies are to help the child feel better about themselves or look better in front of peers. Some children lie thinking they are protecting someone emotionally or physically. And sometimes it’s just a developmental phenomena. For caregivers it’s important to remember that lying is a survival behavior that is used to communicate a need. Before chastising your child for lying, remember to look beyond the behavior for the meaning. When a caregiver knows why the lie is told, a caregiver is going to be more emotionally prepared to discipline a child appropriately. Use this question (with this understanding) to discuss with your child why people tell lies and how lies may momentarily seem to meet a need, ultimately lying can make things worse by breaking trust, putting others in danger, and creating miscommunication. Use an example from your own life of how telling a lie did not help resolve an issue.
  7. When did Peter realize that he could be a superhero? What motivated him to try again? What helped him succeed? Who or what can help you succeed?
    Caregiver Note: It’s important to emphasize in this discussion how telling trusted supports the truth about his struggles became Peter’s greatest strength. Because of the support from those he cared about and resources from those he trusted, Peter was able to defeat Mysterio and save many people. This will help children connect how to primary and auxillary supports as they grow up. Help your child connect who their MJ/Ned/Nick Fury/Happy/Aunt Mays are in their world of supports.
  8. Activity: Spidey Senses
    Caregiver Note: This activity involves leading your child through a grounding exercise. This will lead your child through the 5 senses. This is something we practice while the child is calm so that later when troubles arise your child can access their “Spidey Senses.” This can be done with a specific “grounding object” (i.e. – small stone, specific toy, etc.) or just with observing the environment. Younger children will probably benefit from a grounding object, something small that can be carried and accessed easily.
    1. Have your child close their eyes. Help them take 10 deep, even breaths by modeling the pace. While they breathe, ask them to use their Spidey Senses to identify five things they can hear, focusing on the details of what they hear.
    2. Have the child breathe 10 deep, even breaths. While they breathe, ask them to use their Spidey Senses to identify 4 things they can smell, focusing on the details of what they smell.
    3. Have your child take 10 deep, even breaths. While they breathe, ask them to use their Spidey Senses to identify 3 things they can touch/feel focusing on the temperature, textures, and comfort of what they feel.4. Ask your child to gently open their eyes and while taking 10 deep, even breaths identify 2 things they can see. Help them to really see the objects they identify with great details.
    5. Ask your child to take 10 deep, even breaths and identify one thing they can taste.
    6. End with 10 more breaths and review with the child how they feel now versus how they felt before.
  9. Even though Peter may not have seen these things, what are some characteristics about Peter that make him “worthy” of being a superhero?
    Caregiver Note: This discussion point can help children focus on strength-based discussions. After discussing Peter, discuss with your child the things about them that make them “worthy” of love and communicate how “super” they are to you. It’s important here to focus on positive things that make the child or teen who he or she is, and emphasizing how much we care for them for who they are and not what they do or accomplish. Children and teens in state’s custody spend a lot of time with treatment plans and assessments that tell them what’s “wrong” about them, and their own imaginations can take quite a toll on their self-esteem. Allow this to be a time of affirmation.
  10. Activity: Affirmation Stations
    Caregiver Note: This activity is best done with a larger group. Have each participant make a movie poster with their name as the name of the movie. Then have everyone go about the room as “critics” and add affirming quotes about each participant on their corresponding poster. At the end, pick the person with the best “announcer voice” to give a trailer-style rundown on the poster and all the affirmations that were included about the participant.

**Transfiguring Adoption is a nonprofit organization seeking to nurture growth in foster and adoptive families by giving a HOOT about their families. Transfiguring Adoption does not intend for its reviewers nor its review to be professional, medical or legal advice. These reviews and discussion guides are intended to help parents to better be able to connect and understand their children who come from traumatic backgrounds.**

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