Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith Not for Kids

It appears as if George Lucas’ strategy to destroy the Star Wars franchise he built 30 years ago is nearing completion. The prequel trilogy began with a movie ruined by the insipid Jar-Jar Binks character and was followed by an installment so forgetable that I can hardly remember what it was about, other than it involved Jedis and some kid named Annakin trying to make it with Natalie Portman. Now, the final installment is apparently unsuitable for small children. Ah, there’s a good idea.

New Star Wars Film ‘Too Strong’ for Youngsters (Scotsman)

The final, long-awaited Star Wars movie is not suitable for children, director George Lucas has admitted. Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith is the darkest, most violent instalment of the series and Lucas expects to get a PG-13 rating in the US. “I don’t think I would take a five– or a six-year-old to this, it’s way too strong,” he said. If his certificate prediction is correct, it will be the first Star Wars film to advise parents that certain scenes are unsuitable for under-13s.

Revenge Of The Sith is the third prequel to the Star Wars trilogy and sees the young Anakin Skywalker turn to the dark side to become Darth Vader. It closes the door on a series panning almost 30 years. “We’re going to watch him make a pact with the devil,” Lucas told US network CBS, in an interview to be aired on Sunday. “The film is more dark, more emotional. It’s much more of a tragedy.”

The director concedes he could have “pulled it back a little bit”, but said he just did not want to. “Actually, I am very happy,” he adds. “I’m very pleased with the whole thing.”

Well, that’s the important thing.

BBC reports that these statements were made on “60 Minutes.” Coming Soon tells us “The interview will be broadcast on Sunday, March 13 from 7:00-8:00pm, ET/PT.”

The fear may be with you in 3rd ‘Star Wars’ (NY Daily News)

Skywalker’s transformation from cute good guy into the evil Darth Vader features a scene that could scare the bejesus out of little kids, says Lucas. Landing on a volcano-ridden planet called Mustafar, Skywalker makes “a pact with the devil,” he says. “The lava at the end … it ends in hell.”
[….]
Skywalker’s dance with the devil probably won’t turn off loyal “Star Wars” fans, said Bob Thompson, a Syracuse University professor and pop culture expert. “The accepted wisdom is that you don’t mess with the franchise,” Thompson said. “But so much of the fan base is people who saw the first episode 30 years ago, and they are old enough and mature enough now for something darker.”

Also, children today are harder to scare, he said. “There is a trend toward embracing darkness in children’s literature and movies,” Thompson said. “In ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lemony Snicket,’ people are poisoned by snakes, eaten by leeches and sucked into the vortex of darkness.”

Well, there is that. But the ratings system has evolved over the years to account for the coarsening of the culture.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Ugh says:

    Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please let it not suck. I’ll settle for decent, or even mediocre, or even “would have been bad but it was Star Wars,” just not sucking.

  2. Scott Hooper says:

    The mistake is not in making this one darker, it was in making the first 2 (I and II) for kids. I was 7 when I saw the first one. I owned all the toys etc. It is my generation that was chomping at the bit for some more of the story. I, II and III could have been R and the people that it mattered to would have been happy. IV, V and VI don’t hold up visually for kids anymore anyway. George has finally realized that they aren’t the demographic. Generation X is.

  3. Hmmmm . . . in a culture where Harry Potter gets away with PG (right?), Ep III can’t be much worse. *shrug*

  4. Jeff Paxson says:

    I have to disagree with Scott…my kids (7 and 8 year old boys) love IV, V, and VI. In fact, they liked them better than I or II. I think it’s just that a good story trumps visual effects for that age…and the original trilogy was, except for the ewoks, a good story. Maybe Scott meant older “kids”…a better point if we’re talking about teenagers.

  5. What made the original installments so good was the impression they were classic Western’s made space aged.

    I saw Episode I and promptly nodded off. Hadn’t bothered with II, and am doubtful about III.

    I am of the age that remembers Lucas’ prediction of his ‘triology of tirlogies’. It was long announced there won’t be 3 more installments, and judging by the latest ones, that’s not a bad thing.

  6. Crimsonsplat says:

    I’m of an age that saw Episode IV before it was Episode IV. In the theater, first run. Old enough to remember a movie named _*Revenge* of the Jedi_.

    And old enough to look back and say “And this is the instant Lucas sold out and the movies began to royally suck,” at the point where the first ewok appears.

  7. Myopist says:

    “Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please let it not suck.”

    Ugh?

    It’s going to suck. It’s mostly going to suck because by now we’re all ready to root for the Empire, because the Empire at least:

    1). Has a plan.
    2). Has a clue.

    and

    3). Has a grip.

    Plus, if there’s any mercy and/or justice in this fallen world, Jar-Jar Binks will be decapitated onscreen. At the very least Anakin will be thrown into some sort of corrosive substance, albeit one unlikely to be as corrosive as my ill-will towards Lucas at the way he set forth to thoroughly ruin my enjoyment of every damn film in the series.

    HANS SHOT FIRST, DAMN YOUR EYES.

  8. Inziladun says:

    Yes… Han shot first, and there is no Force… only Medichlorians.

  9. Tim says:

    The first 2 movies are made for kids because they’re about a kid. Think about it. They find Anakin on Tattoine and he’s what, 9, maybe? It’s not going to be dark, it’s the beginning of his story getting to be evil. The second movie, in comparison with the first movie, has a lot more action and fight scenes. The chase with Zem, the fight with Jango Fett, and even the final battle at the end. In the second movie you just start to see Anakin turning to the dark side. He’s a teenager. A know-it-all, do-it-all-himself type of guy that doesnt want help from anybody. Revenge of the Sith is the end of Anakins struggle with who he is. He makes a decision to turn to the dark side and kill a lot of people so of course it’s going to be a dark movie. You can’t look at the first two movies by themselves because they’re part of a much bigger picture.

  10. Tim says:

    The first 2 movies are made for kids because they’re about a kid. Think about it. They find Anakin on Tattoine and he’s what, 9, maybe? It’s not going to be dark, it’s the beginning of his story getting to be evil. The second movie, in comparison with the first movie, has a lot more action and fight scenes. The chase with Zem, the fight with Jango Fett, and even the final battle at the end. In the second movie you just start to see Anakin turning to the dark side. He’s a teenager. A know-it-all, do-it-all-himself type of guy that doesnt want help from anybody. Revenge of the Sith is the end of Anakins struggle with who he is. He makes a decision to turn to the dark side and kill a lot of people so of course it’s going to be a dark movie. You can’t look at the first two movies by themselves because they’re part of a much bigger picture.

  11. awaku says:

    look at the bigger picture bro, you dont even know what the entire story is about.., keep to watching the “notebook” and let the fans be the judge. oh “jedis” is Jedi FYI

  12. princessslave girl says:

    will i went to see star wars in the theater when i was only four years old. i know alot of people are concerned about rots being to voilent for children under 13 but this the last movie ever that finishes the saga so i feel that adults and kids of all ages should go to movie on opening day. lol there is more violence on local tv channels that kids have very easy axcess on the daily basis. so let the force be with ya.