03/23/2005: Thought for the Day:
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.
--Pete Vonder Haar
Len on 03.23.05 @ 07:17 AM CST