Brace yourselves: the MPAA has divined the will of the force, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens has received a PG-13 rating. This is the second time, after Revenge of the Sith, that a Star Wars film has received the rating.
Despite the opaque process under which the MPAA works, we know there are a few reasons why a film might be PG-13 instead of PG. Violence maybe, or Gore, or somewhat suggestive content, or my personal favorite, just enough profanity to make it mature, but not too mature. Alas, Star Wars: The Force Awakens won’t have copious blood, brief nudity, or Jedi Knights dropping F-bombs. But it will have a just-right amount of violence, as the MPAA cited “sci-fi action violence” in its decision.
Should Disney Worry? Of course not. We are now nearly 40 years deep into the franchise holding the kind of cultural importance usually reserved for works with “The Holy” or “William Shakespeare” somewhere in the title. The vast majority of people with kids young enough to take the rating into account did themselves grow up in a post-Star Wars world. Literally, kids of all ages are dying to see this thing. If anything, a PG-13 rating gives it a slight edge the square-by-comparison PG rating lacks.
Meanwhile, if you’re counting down the days to the December 18 premiere of The Force Awakens, why not have another glance at the most recent theatrical trailer. And may the Force be with you this Thanksgiving.