With just 23 days left until Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters, not too many people have actually seen the film, aside from a terminally ill fan who was granted a private screening, just days before he passed away. And we know a few select members of the cast and crew's family have enjoyed a screening. Today, we learn of at least one other person who has now seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a member of the MPAA ratings board, who according to Box Office Mojo, has given the film a PG-13 rating, for "sci-fi action and violence." This news doesn't come as much of a surprise, given that most big-budget movies of this ilk are PG-13. But at least now we know for sure.
What is surprising is that this is only the second Star Wars movie to garner a PG-13 rating, along with 2005's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. The first five movies, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones were all rated PG. Of course, the PG-13 rating wasn't implemented until the summer of 1984, with Red Dawn released as the first ever PG-13 movie. The PG rating for the first two prequel movies isn't that surprising either, given the more kid-friendly nature of those adventures, which introduced us to the divisive Jar Jar Binks.
PG-13 movies have become so commonplace that it's almost surprising when a big-budget tentpole doesn't have this rating. Out of the top 20 movies at the box office this year, only four have an R rating, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mad Max: Fury Road, Straight Outta Compton and Fifty Shades of Grey, none of which have cracked the top 10. Out of the top 10 movies, only two aren't PG-13, with the animated hits Minions and Inside Out both rated PG.
Naturally, a PG-13 rating doesn't always guarantee success at the box office, but it is almost a foregone conclusion that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be a monster hit. Last week, we reported that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has sold over $50 million in advanced ticket sales, with nearly one month left until it hits theaters on December 18. The $50 million mark shattered the pre-sales record of $25 million held by 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, with some early estimates claiming the sci-fi adventure could earn more than $300 million in its opening weekend, which would shatter the $208.8 million record set by Jurassic World this summer.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will introduce three new heroes into the Star Wars universe, John Boyega's Finn, Daisy Ridley's Rey and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron, along with Adam Driver's villainous Kylo Ren. Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo) and Carrie Fisher are also reprising their iconic roles from the original trilogy, although very little is known about their characters. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens supporting cast includes Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke and Max von Sydow as an unidentified character. What do you think about the PG-13 rating for Star Wars: The Force Awakens?