Why Star Wars: The Force Awakens Is Rated PG-13

The Star Wars saga has always been fun for the whole family, but at the end of the day the buzzkills at the Motion Picture Association of America still need to do their job. Most Star Wars films to date have merely been classified as PG, but the dark, somber tone of The Force Awakens means that the latest entry to the Star War universe will garner a somewhat stricter rating.

Variety has confirmed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has officially received a PG-13 rating from the MPAA, primarily for "sci-fi action violence." This is pretty much the exact reason one would expect an installment in the Star Wars saga to receive such a rating. Despite being largely bloodless affairs – lightsabers and blasters conveniently cauterize wounds – the Star Wars films are still about wars at the end of the day; as a result of this they tend to rack up some fairly impressive body counts. It also puts to fears – or hopes? – that we may get a wookiee nude scene at some point in the film.

This rating is not exactly an unprecedented decision for the franchise. While the first two prequel films were primarily geared towards younger audiences, the most recent – and arguably darkest – entry to the Star Wars saga (Revenge of the Sith) garnered a PG-13 rating as well. It’s also worth noting that the original trilogy was released during a time when the PG-13 rating did not exist, and as such, it seems likely that a film like The Empire Strikes Back would have also received a PG-13 rating if the option had been available. Check out the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens below to see if it deserves a PG-13 rating.

PG-13 seems to be the go-to for most major blockbusters of the modern era. Movies like Avatar, The Dark Knight, and every installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have opted for a PG-13 rating because it seemingly casts the widest possible audience net. Even Warner Bros. recently came out stating that the entirety of their DC Extended Universe would be rated PG-13 to ensure tonal cohesion – therefore killing our dreams of an R rated Suicide Squad.

At the end of the day, we cannot exactly say that the rating surprises us. The Force Awakens was always going to be a darker affair that felt more in line with the tone of the original trilogy than the kid friendly prequels. We will know for sure if The Force Awakens earns its PG-13 rating on December 18 when the film finally blasts its way into theaters.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.