Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens has now been rated M (Mature audience 15 plus)
Arguably the most anticipated movie of the decade will hit cinemas on 17 December 2015; Star Wars: VII The Force Awakens.
Australian families are eager to watch the next installment, but also need to be aware that Star Wars: Episode VII comes with a PG-13 rating.
The Star Wars legacy has entertained families just like yours, for decades. Generations of kids have grown up with familiar characters; Hans Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Yoda, R2D2, C3P0 and Darth Vader. Your love for the biggest Sci-Fi film series franchise ever, has no doubt passed on to your own children. Being that Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is rated PG-13, you might be questioning whether to take your children to see the latest movie in the series.
What does PG-13 mean?
"Rated PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned some material may be inappropriate for children under 13."
Only one other Star Wars movie, the most recent in fact; Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith picked-up a PG-13 rating, too. All other movies in the Star Wars series come with family friendly PG rating certification.
Does this mean my kids age 12 and under can't watch Star Wars: Episode VII?
No, it doesn't mean you can't take your children to watch the latest Star Wars movie, but they will need to be with you, and you need to be aware that some scenes may not be appropriate for their age.
We don't know yet, and there's no point assuming what will be. The story within Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens has been kept tightly under wraps. The world is on countdown to find out what happens in the latest Star Wars sequel, some 30 years on from the last (albeit first released) trilogy. For this reason, no one can say what has pushed the latest Star Wars movie into the PG-13 bracket.
PG vs PG-13
Food for thought. Did you know the PG-13 classification came into play some 30 years ago? After the release of the original Star Wars movies.
It is suggested that kids movie classics such as The Goonies, might have fallen into the PG-13 bracket, if such a classification existed back then.
Other movies you maybe familiar with, which also come with a PG-13 recommendation, include: Batman (1989), Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014), Jurassic Park (1993) and Jurassic World (2015).
Popular children's movies that are certified PG include: Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2 (1992), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).
Should I take my kids under 12 to see Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens rated PG-13?
If you are a household of Star Wars fanatics, you may feel confident taking your children to the latest movie. If your children are knowledgeable on all things Sith and Jedi, as seen in the previous two Star Wars trilogies, then such a question may be dumbfounded. That said, only you know the maturity of your old child, and what they may be able to accept and understand on the big screen.
For those unfamiliar with the Star Wars movie series, consider revisiting some of the older movies with your under 13's first, and judge whether you should attempt to see Star Wars Episode VII - The Force Awakens with your kids.
Star Wars Episode VII - The Force Awakens opens on 17 December 2015. It won't be long before you can read reviews on the internet before making your decision.