Star Wars episode 3 rated M

I can see trouble brewing. They’re not saying so in the adverts yet, but Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith has gained an M rating from the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

Unlike MA, this is not a legal restriction on kids under 15 seeing it, just a recommendation. But it may cause ripples in my house, where we have a well-established rule that G and PG-rated are okay, but anything higher is out. The kids understand and respect that, that they’ll have to wait until they’re older to see those programmes and films.

But this is Star Wars, dammit, the final chapter. I know Lucas said a while back that it was darker, but kids everywhere will be wanting to see it. Isaac in fact got invited to a screening with a bunch of friends, two days after the premiere. He’ll be 10 by then. Obviously I haven’t seen it yet, but knowing where the bar is for M-rated violence, I’m not sure I want him to see it. Some thought and discussion needs to go into this.

(By comparison, in the USA it’s got a PG-13 rating. The UK rating is 12A.)

What do other parents think about it?

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15 Replies to “Star Wars episode 3 rated M”

  1. Although my son is only three and not yet into the whole Star-Wars saga, I feel your pain.

    We now have a battle with principals and the possible future repercussions of going against such.

    If it were me (and I have put a lot of thought towards this), this may be the one time that you break (or should I say bend with one’s control of the force) a rule for the sake of the fact that IT’S THE FINAL STAR WARS FILM.

    You just need to explain that this is an extremely important occasion and that the normal rule will still be intact for all future movies without argument. This is of course until the much rumoured Red Dwarf film gets released, if ever.

    May the force be with you!

  2. I’d suggest making a fuss about how you know it’s important to them but you want to make sure they didn’t give it an M rating for a good reason. Say you will watch it first before making a decision, and you’ll keep an eye out for any parts that you feel are unsuitable, then you’ll make a decision (predetermined or otherwise) about whether they can watch it and any moments you might want to cover their eyes.

    It’d provide adequate justification for bending the rules and if some future piece of scholck ends up with an M rating but the kids want to see it, you can say you don’t want to watch it twice :)

  3. I can’t see us being able to hold Phee back. Told her the other day that we had tickets for the morning screening on the day of release and she had caniptions, until I told her it was only me and Dad going!
    I can’t see it being too bad in the way of an MA or R rating, but I agree with Peter above; tell them you’ll have to see it first to be able to make a full and fair decision. Worse comes to worse, Tony or I can give you a run down on how necessary the M rating really is.

  4. I’m not a parent, and I’m desensitised from all the X and RC material I download off the net and watch ;)

    Seriously – I was allowed to watch M-rated stuff from about the age of 10 as were my siblings. But then I was on the precocious side. My judgement on suitability or otherwise for kids in the 12-14 age vicinity has been criticised on occasion.

    I would watch it yourself first and make a judgement call.

  5. I’ve heard a few reviewers say its no more dark than the first two or prime time tv. But then, at least here, prime time tv is nothing but CSI-Law and Order-crime solving (can we say “murder”) tv shows.

  6. No kids, ovbiously, but who do your kids trust to judge what they see? Their Dad or the Commonwealth Censor? You can remind them of this later when they want see something that you think is inappropriate for them to view, in spite of the rating.

  7. It will be a great lesson to your kids that sometimes, in context, rules can be broken. If you explain to them the reasons why this rule is being broken, this once, i am sure they will understand. It is the final star wars film, and it would be kind of like letting them see fellowship and two towers and then withholding return of the king!
    (Why do i keep thinking of the Itchy and Scratchy movie, and you taking them to see Revenge of the Sith when they are in their fifties and are supreme court justices… mmm, soylent green)

  8. Andrew, the OFLC hasn’t legally said kids under 15 can’t see it. Ultimately yes, unless something gets an MA or an R or RC, then it’s my decision. But I know my kids, and by and large I don’t consider them ready for most material I’ve seen that’s rated M. Ep3 might be an exception, since the overseas ratings are lower.

    In fact it points to a gap in the Australian rating system. Maybe we need something between PG and M, like many countries have.

    Tony, the trailers might help, but I think are unlikely to show the full impact of some of the darker scenes, eg one review mentions the corpses of dead children. How do you work out without seeing it how impactful that might be?

    It’s been suggested I check ScreenIt after the US premiere. They seem to be quite clinical (without being too judgemental) about the content of movies.

    Thanks for the suggestions, all.

  9. Here in the US, I’ve been hearing bits and pieces about a group (can’t remember the name) that (under much criticism) is cleaning up great movies that have the “not good for children” ratings. I have a 12 & 9 year old and it’s a shame that a couple of words or scenes in a movie must nix it.

  10. I think that the relative risks need to be weighed. On one hand, there is a small risk that watching computer generated violence may cause one’s child to become an ax (or light saber?) wielding maniac. On the other hand, the emotional scars caused by the trauma of missing out on such an import event are almost guaranteed to lead to the kind of seething resentment which will create the next Dahlmer, Lecter, etc.

  11. Hi Daniel, as a mum of children 10 and 11 in June and July this year who also takes note of violence etc on film/tv and bans various things accordingly…. I say – I really doubt that there’s much terrible in it that they won’t have seen before. If it’s getting a 12A here, well… So did Pirates of the Carribean. 10 is quite grown up – they are unlikely to copy it and if they suffer nightmares then you have the proof in future that going to see that rated film is a bad idea! But don’t give in too easily, make sure that they know you are umming and arring about it. Talk it all over with them and make sure they understand this will be an exception to a reasonable rule.
    Also – I am more strict about mine seeing rubbish films ie bad acting/script/plot, that is more of a concern to me!

  12. Let me tell you what youre in for (ive already seen it as a lucky competition winner.)

    Anikan kills/hunts down all the jedi and you see there corpeses all around the place. You see anikans moulded face when comes out of lava. Personally i would think that when it is released parnets will be outraged and want the rating to go to MA15+ but seriously its not as bad as you would think. Its not as bad as the stuff you see on t.v I mean my son is 10 years old and when he saw this movie (being a total star wars fanatic)diden’t really care. Obviously at this age he actually wouldent understand the full story plot.

  13. We went to see it. It’s fine. Nothing really dreadful in it. What did give my kids nightmares was the last Dr Who episode (first part of the one set in WW2) because it was so creepy.

  14. What do you think about taking my 5 and 7 year old grandsons to Star Wars III. They are pushing hard to see it.

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