Special effects are an interesting aspect of movies so I showed my children videos of special effects, one was a video of a workshop actors attend in order to learn and experiment flying effect fight.. They sure loved them, seeing those adult pretending to fight and having fun.
I also show them two scenes of "Crounching tiger, hidden dragon", fight scenes, one where the father get a weapon in his head and end up dead. Not a good image, too hard. My son was chocked and a little disturbed. I remind them quickly that he was not dead, that it was just an actor and ask them to imagine which special effect have been used in order to give this appearance to the actor.
They just have screen how to make an hand looked bloody with a piece of glass in it, even if they found it disgusting, it gave them a good start to imagine how to make this "weapon looked inside the head" May be a piece of cardboard painted in a metallic silver color and glue on his head? They took the time to brainstorm some solution. The scene was so present in their head that the next day they told it to their friend, and the day after to another one. They had to share, they had to speak it out, they had to digest it, to proceed it.
The whole fight which is violent (it is still a fight) disturbed more my son than my daughter. He does not like movies and particularly those where people are mean and violent, so the fight, even if he found it interesting, made him uncomfortable. So to process it, he mimed it. He pretended to fight like them. But I know my son, I know that those images were not welcome in his head. I thought he was ready to screen how those fight were choreographed and how those special effects where made, which he was really ready for, he liked to see the actors workshop. But he did not appreciated to see the actual scene.
I know it will take some time to "digest" those violent scenes. Watching images is never without consequences. Just remember how well you did sleep after seeing a violent movie or an horror one?
I recognize that I avoid programs like CSI or Criminal Mind for example, Those stories are vicious, deviated, sick and are easily disturbing my sleep. They can even haunted me, particularly if they speak about children.
I believe that my reaction as well as my children reaction, is healthy. It prove that we are still sensitive.
Showing violent images always has consequence on the brain and his functions. I happily continue to closely choose what kind of images my children are exposed to. I am always there, present, available and ready to help them proceed what they saw.
Happily they never saw a violent movie. They did not see Star Wars even if they know the stories pretty well as they read many star wars books. I did show them one or two scenes of some star wars, particularly one with Yoda, so they know what those movies are about. But at 8 years old, they are too young for those images.