THE STAR WARS REPORT: EVERYTHING’S GONE “DARK”

HELL IS FOR JEDI

That’s the scuttlebutt, anyway. Lucas went on “60 Minutes” recently to discuss that this latest film, the “darkest and most violent” of the series, would likely be the first in the Star Wars saga to receive anything more severe than a PG. Hell, he could’ve gotten that just as easily in this country by having Carrie Fisher or Natalie Portman (or Femi Taylor, my personal choice) flash their breasts, since it appears cutting off innumerable hands and arms, depicting brothers and sisters kissing, and excessive use of Muppets aren’t harsh enough offenses for the MPAA. Apparently, they were waiting for Lucas’ onscreen vision of “hell” (and I can’t have been the only person who thought Mustafar looked a lot like the similar landscape from the end of “The Black Hole”) and lots of Jedi toddler bodies lying around.

The sad part of all this is that a PG-13 rating doesn’t really mean anything, and never has. Since the salad days of the early 1980s, when “edgy” fare like “Red Dawn,” “Gremlins,” and “Dreamscape” caused its creation in the first place, PG-13 has become less a category for (sorta) violent and (kinda) racy fare and more what studios use as a benchmark for the notes they give to horror movie directors in order to get the almighty ‘tween dollar. This is the main reason so few of that genre’s recent offerings have been worth a damn. Also, unlike an R – which is allegedly enforceable – a PG-13 doesn’t carry with it anything more than an extra few syllables. An eight year-old with $10 will still be able to walk into “Revenge of the Sith” as easily as they could “Spongebob.”

Lucas could tack a G or perhaps even the rare UR onto his 3rd prequel and nobody would care, and the only thing his interview accomplished was drumming up more (unneeded) publicity for the movie’s release. The latest trailer could’ve been nothing more than Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor playing lawn darts at Skywalker Ranch and “Revenge of the Sith” would still make over $300 million in domestic box office.

But don’t take my word for it (as if any of you ever have), let’s take a look at a sampling of the 2000+ films that have been slapped with the big PG-13 and why:

Solarbabies – Nuclear holocaust was actually scary in the ‘80s. So was Peter DeLuise

Iron Eagle – Jason Gedricks’ cry of “Chappyyyyy!” will haunt us all to our graves.
American Anthem – I defy anyone who sat through this feast of Mitch Gaylord to say this movie didn’t deserve a PG-13 rating for excessive pectorals.

Adventures in Babysitting – Given my own youthful babysitter fantasies, this film was sorely disappointing.

Ishtar – All too easy…

Nuns on the Run – Referring to the Holy Trinity as “a bit of a bugger” sealed the deal for this one.

8 Seconds – Totally unrelated: I saw a band at Bocktoberfest in Shiner, TX one year who played a song called “8 Seconds.” It was about premature ejaculation. As you may have guessed, I’ve never seen this movie.

Bio-Dome – It was around this time that film producers may have begun to realize that a PG-13 wouldn’t necessarily draw the teen crowd.

13 Going On 30 – Well, they do dance to a song by a suspected pedophile.

There you have it, conclusive proof of the “dark and violent” nature of the PG-13 film.

Read the next installment in THE STAR WARS REPORT: THE HATE IS SWELLING>>>




Posted on March 21, 2005 in Features by
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