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A letter to Kennedy/Abrams from a worried parent

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' started by T.R.P., Aug 6, 2015.

  1. T.R.P.

    T.R.P. Clone

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    A letter I would mail to Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Abrams if I knew how to... Am I the only parent worried about this?

    Dear Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Abrams,

    One of my fondest memories as a child was when my father took my brother and me to see Star Wars. I was six years old in 1977 and the movie immediately sparked my imagination: I had many happy years of playing star wars figures, reading comics and novels, collecting posters, etc. Even now, I still daydream of lightsabers and x-wings…and am still collecting. Like so many others, I’m literally counting down the minutes until the Episode 7 comes out. What makes it even more exciting is that now I have an 8 year-old son that I can watch it with…I hope.

    My son is definitely taking after me (his mom) in his love of all things Star Wars. He’s inherited my action figures, owns eight lightsabers, and stays up with me to watch SW Rebels. He’s very excited about the upcoming movie: we’re planning on going to the midnight premiere showing, dressed up, of course, and then heading over to any open toy store to buy all things SW related. That’s the plan.

    This leads me to a parental concern: I’m really hoping that the Star Wars franchise remembers all the joy it brings to children and releases its movies as PG. I realize Episode 3 opened the door to PG-13, but my son will be so very disappointed if we don’t let him go to see Episode 7 (and/or the spinoff movies). He’s already been disappointed by not being able to go see Ant Man or Pixels this summer. Last summer, it was Ninja Turtles and Guardians of the Galaxy that mean-old-mom-and-dad would not let him go see. (Thank goodness for Earth to Echo, Max, Tomorrowland, and the DVDs of Star Wars--minus episode 3--, Tron, Tron Legacy, Terabithia, and Dinotopia. They saved our summers…) However, NOTHING will compare to the Star Wars release this December. Star Wars is his all-time FAVORITE. Not a day goes by that he isn’t playing Star Wars…

    Because my husband and I are very worried about our son’s disappointment if the new movies are not PG, we’ve done a little pre-emptive strike: We sat our son down and discussed how even though we absolutely respect Mr. Abrams and have enjoyed his films, he, and other filmmakers, tend to make their films PG-13; because of that, and also the fact that Episode 3 was PG-13, Star Wars movies may come out as PG-13; but that we don’t know for sure so we’ll just have to wait and see. His dismayed response was, “Doesn’t anyone care about me?” (How do we respond to that?) We hope that everyone will remember how entire families stood in line to see Star Wars movies together and how much fun that was… I hope that legacy continues…

    With sincere appreciation for a lifetime of adventures,

    T.R.P.
     
    T.R.P.
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  2. walnut the wise

    walnut the wise Rebel General

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    Hi @T.R.P and welcome to the Cantina. As a parent of a toddler, I have a few years before I am in the same situation. However, let me offer some perspective to hopefully help ease your mind. The PG-13 rating didn't appear until 1984 with the film Red Dawn. Due to the content that was in films like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Gremlins, Steven Spielberg suggested a new rating to the MPAA to bridge the gap between PG and R. So, if the original Star Wars films were released after 1984, it would be interesting to see if they would get the same rating. My guess is it would probably still be PG in most cases. Revenge of the Sith is rightfully rated PG-13, but that seems to be the exception for Star Wars. In any case, even if it does get a PG-13 rating, it may be worth checking it out first and seeing if there is content you would not want your son to see. Or, there are a few sites that offer detailed content descriptions on why the MPAA gave a particular rating so you can review beforehand. I hope that your son is able to see the premiere with you as it will be unforgettable.
     
    #2 walnut the wise, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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  3. Duke Groundrunner

    Duke Groundrunner Rebel Official

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    The movie needs to be PG-13, they shouldn't limit the film just for very young children. Star Wars movies aren't really big on language, sex, nudity, or gore. Other than maybe Anakin getting burned up episode 3 isn't that bad you should let the kid watch it and just fast forward past the scene and tell the kid what happened. I don't know the full scenario you're in but most kids that age have a good grasp on whats real and whats pretend and handle some somewhat scary and some what intense stuff without any real harm. If you're letting him watch ESB right? That movie would be PG-13 now and Star Wars too. Movie ratings aren't law just guidelines, use your brain don't just like some rating decide for you, hopefully you know you'r kid and what they can handle. And don't shelter your kid too much it will backfire, try and keep it reasonable.
     
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  4. DarthWalker

    DarthWalker Force Sensitive

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    While I agree with the original intent of the PG-13 rating system, I would argue that so many films pre l995ish that are rated PG-13 would by today's standards be a PG. I recently took my boys to see Avengers: Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy, both PG-13, and I am very uncomfortable with the amount of cursing and bad language that they allow. In AoU, I think they said every cuss word there is except the F-bomb. When Star Lord says "You said it yourself, we're the Guardians of the Galaxy, B**ch", I felt it was forced and not needed. I have argued this point with a friend of mine many times, as he doesn't have kids, and he states parents have the choice to simply not take the kids to the movie. My argument is that it is specifically targeting my children and other minors via the toys, happy meals, cartoons, and other marketing areas and then betraying the parents by allowing unnecessary language. I felt that Marvel/Disney gave parents the middle finger in Age of Ultron by having Captain America bring up the language issue only to be mocked by Ironman. Like, bad language is funny and acceptable to everyone but old fashioned people. My issue is, don't target my kids with a movie and then say they shouldn't go watch it because it was made for a more mature audience.
     
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  5. LadyMusashi

    LadyMusashi Archwizard Woo-Woo-in-Chief
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    I am not a parent, so take my opinion with the grain of salt.

    I don't think anyone should decide what your child should watch but yourself. The MPAA rating is suggestion, not the law.

    In your place, I would watch the film first and then decide if your kid should watch it - you know him the best, you know what he understands or not, what he could take or not. Plus, I don't think it would be a chore for you to see it more than once. ;)
     
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  6. capri

    capri Rebelscum

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    Mate I think it all comes to criteria.

    Episode III is PG 13 because Anakin kills younglings and we see his body teared apart burning in lava. I don't know if your son has seen that or any other Star Wars movies, but I'm guessing Disney will aim to a PG rating. The action for sure will be intense, but I don't think we'll see people burnt or blood this time (actually as I wrote that I remembered that Finn has blood in his costume in the trailer, isn't he? and the stormtroopers will use fire against someone...).
    My point is, in the phantom menace we saw darth maul killing qui gon jinn and then obi-wan cutting darth maul in half and it is PG. In ESB we see Luke decapitating Vader in a sequence and then Vader cutting his hand and it is PG...in ANH we see Luke's uncles reduced to mere skeletons and it is PG...
    Nowadays ratings are a joke, and it comes to the fact that if someones curses one time or if there is splatter of blood it automatically is rated as PG-13. I don't think characters in Star Wars will suddenly start cursing or we will see sex scenes in the new episodes, so I guess even if it is rated PG13, if your son has seen all previous star wars movies there won't be a problem.
     
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  7. bigbayblue

    bigbayblue Rebel Official

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    The rating system is completely arbitrary. There are myriad insider stories (and even a documentary) about just how arbitrary it is. It's not a consistent guide.

    The PG-13 designation didn't even exist when the OT was released. Who's to say that Luke's severed hand, Vader's mangled head, and Han getting frozen in a block of carbon would not have been enough to earn Empire a PG-13 rating? It was certainly a "scarier" movie than Star Wars or Return of the Jedi.

    What's acceptable for a particular child has to more to with what she/he reacts most strongly to, and what kind of objectionable material is in a given movie. If I had an 8-year-old child that watched Episodes 1,2,4,5 and 6 without any trouble, I would have no reservations about showing him/her Episode 3.

    But I would want to preview any PG-13 movie before allowing my child to watch it, and that would still ruin opening night.

    Your point is still well taken. Star Wars was always meant for kids, and it should remain that way.
     
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  8. darthtrex

    darthtrex Rebel Commander

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    Who cares if its PG-13 or PG? Look at the crap they have on public TV these days.
    Whats a parental guide anymore anyways? My kid is 6 and he saw all the star wars movies at 4.
    Episode 3 wasn't bad at all either besides the CGI.
    You cant compare Star Wars to a inappropriate motion picture. Its All ages, i'd say.
    --- Double Post Merged, Aug 6, 2015, Original Post Date: Aug 6, 2015 ---
    Oh, and you let your kid watch episode 1,2,4,5,6? but not 3?
    That's just terrible in general. If you're worried about your parenting skills, you're defiantly gonna piss your kid off for that one.
    Chill out and let the kid have a little freedom and let him watch episode 3, and if episode 7 is PG-13, let him see that too or you're going to have a little rebel on your hands.
    This isn't the same days as we grew up (70s/80s/90s).
    Times have defiantly changed so roll with them already.
     
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  9. capri

    capri Rebelscum

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    I don't think there is anything wrong about a parent who wants to protect his children from something that could hurt him. I'm not a parent, but for sure I think movies nowadays dictate how we see the world, and childs think everything that happens in a movie is 'normal':If Ironman can curse so do them. Lets not forget we are talking about heroes here, and every child has the right to idolize or have a hero who can define his personality. I know it sounds like a drama and ultimately a parent should educate his son and not let the movies do that job for them, (which is the point of T.R.P. I guess).

    I just think, because we are in 2015, and because it will have lighstabers, flying vehicles and laser guns, this will indeed be PG13. But I just hope parents have the criteria to decide if it is too much for their sons, or if it is indeed an stupid arbitrary rating and 8 years old can go to see it an enjoy a tale that surely will be for all ages. Lets not forget JJ words about this film in Celebration: 'Star Wars is about hope' and everyone can enjoy that.
     
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  10. The Gungan Menace

    The Gungan Menace Rebel Trooper

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    Kid-friendly movies are the path to the dark side. Kid-friendly movies lead to Ewoks. Ewoks lead to Jar Jar. Jar Jar leads to suffering.
     
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  11. Cyber Dyne 1000

    Cyber Dyne 1000 Rebel Official

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    in my opinion if you saw luke skywalker's parent's burned corpses when you were 6 years old and it didn't affect you then everything will be fine.
     
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  12. Snazel

    Snazel Force Sensitive

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    The rating system is such hooey, very corrupt and inconsistent. My kids can watch gun fire, murder and endless violence, but somehow can't watch a man kiss another man.

    Queen Victoria is laughing somewhere and saying, "Can't believe America still adheres itself to the moral constraints of my generation."
     
    #12 Snazel, Aug 6, 2015
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  13. Luuke22

    Luuke22 1030th Lieutenant (Jr Mod)

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    As stated above, not only was the PG-13 rating not invented yet when the OT came out, but the rating system is entirely arbitrary; it is not up to the MPAA to decide what your kid watches, it is up to you as the parent. If TFA gets a PG-13 rating (and I really hope it does; these days, PG movies are very watered down to earn that rating), it will be for "sci-fi action" and possible "disturbing images" (like dismemberment via lightsaber or people being burned alive, things that happen in the PG OT); Star Wars is not a franchise to throw in wanton-cursing and sexual images/themes. @T.R.P. : Let your kid watch ROTS; if he's seen the other Star Wars movies, he'll know what's coming in Episode III.

    Really, the idea that kids under the age of 13 can't see a PG-13 movie irks me; the rating itself says that "parental guidance is suggested for children under the age of 13." That means that a pre-teen can't go buy a ticket for the movie by themselves, but it's perfectly fine for a parent (or guardian) to take them to the movie. Same thing with an "R" rating, though the limit is 17 and is enforced much more often in my experience. Use your own discretion, don't take a rating as "law." By 10, I was reading Stephen King books and watching R rated movies with my dad, though it was at his discretion; not every R rated movie is okay for a kid, but a lot of the older ones are very tame by today's standards. (Plus, any 10 year old who can handle the events of "It" can handle pretty much anything a film throws at him ;) )

    PG-13 is really the best rating to catch the widest audience these days. A PG film is usually very tame; it'll play it safe in order to earn that rating, or it was a G movie that pushed the envelope just a bit. An R film usually is one that went for broke with the swearing and the blood and the sex; these are films that are tailored for adult audiences and rightfully so. But PG-13 hits that sweet spot: kids can very much go to these films with guidance, and the parents will want to go because they're not too toned down as to bore them. It's one fo the reasons Marvel has been so successful, and it's a trend that I would really like Star Wars to follow.


    I happen to give kids a little more credit, but it honestly depends on the kid. When I watch something with my niece and nephew, if someone says or does something inappropriate I make sure to point it out as such and make sure they know it's a movie, not real life. Iron Man is an adult, so he can swear; if he were a kid swearing, like Hit Girl from Kick Ass, that would be a different story (and it's one of the reasons they aren't allowed to watch Kick Ass). It's not about what happens on-screen, it's about how you, the adult, handles it. Besides, it's not the end of the world if a kid picks up a curse word or two, so long as they don't use it in public; I think some parents can be a little too sheltering when it comes to their kids, but that's just my opinion.
     
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  14. Trevor

    Trevor Rebellion Arms Supplier
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    Hmmm. Well, my first knee-jerk reaction is that "we grew up in different era's", but We grew up about the same time as I'm only about 4 years older than you. My perspective might be slightly different as I (by the sounds of it) grew up in a different place, in a different environment, and am the parent of 6 grown children...that have children of their own.

    Honestly, Star Wars is Star Wars: We've seen burned bodies (twice), dismemberment, center-mass blaster shots......well, it goes on and on. Anyway, it seems to me that he was ok with those things. Now, are you really not going to let him see this movie if it is beyond purely "PG"? You do realize that this child is going to grow up and leave home....yes?? The point of that question, is that if he is SO sheltered (until his teens and see's worse things behind your back) while growing up, he's going to be SHOCKED when he finally realizes that he won't die because he drank out of a garden hose...really he'll be fine. Mom, give him the choice, a little freedom to make a decision. I understand that he's 8 (I really do understand your perspective) but take a step back as a parent, if not just half of a step...you'll both feel very gratified and proud of yourselves for making that decision together, seriously.

    I hope all of that came out the right way, as I'd never judge....we all have our own way, and more power to you...really. :)
     
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  15. Grand Admiral Kraum

    Grand Admiral Kraum Force Sensitive

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    How about stop being such a dork and let your kid watch some PG-13 movies, I was watching Alien, Robocop and Terminator by the time I was 8. And today its even worse! I guarantee there will be more violence/negativity in many of the video games he'll soon be playing. This is STAR WARS for crying out loud! Jeez lady.

    Welcome to The Cantina.
     
    #15 Grand Admiral Kraum, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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  16. Darth Lexor Kai

    Darth Lexor Kai General of the Future Folk

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    I see your point...Star Wars has always been a family film. I remember seeing it years ago when i was a kid in the theater. Even if it is PG-13 will you wait until he's 13 before he is allowed to watch it? I really doubt the script contains any fowl language, but i could be wrong. There will defiantly be violence and saber duels, likely without blood. I agree with @LadyMusashi , you know whats best for your kid. Go and see it for yourself before you tell your son that it just isnt right for him to see it now.

    over the years that I have grown up (26 now) fowl language has become less fowl. I see a younger generation using words that i never would have dreamed of when i was their age. After being in the navy for 5 years i developed more bad habits. We do need to go back and not desensitize yourselves to everything that the media exposes us to now. having fowl language in a movie marketed to children should be unacceptable .

    I saw the same documentary on netflix a few years back. interesting stuff...everything they do is behind closed doors. and the rating system is everything to some people. if a movie is given an R for instance when it may not deserve it then they are stopping people at the box office, effectively
    sums up my thoughts perfectly. lol great post.
     
    #16 Darth Lexor Kai, Aug 6, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
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  17. It's a Trap

    It's a Trap Rebel Official

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    How about you let her worry about her own kids and raise them the way that she sees best. Why is it so offensive to you that a parent is cautious about what they expose their children to?
     
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  18. alex

    alex Rebel Official

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    The MPAA sucks hard. Ever use common sense media? They give a more through breakdown (down to specific ages) and are evaluated by child psychologist, so it is less capricious.

    Ant man got a 12, for example https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/ant-man

    For star wars examples:
    ANH is rated 7;
    TPM, ESB, ROTJ are rated 8
    AOTC (IMO the most violent pg movie) gets a 9
    ROTS gets a 12
     
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  19. capri

    capri Rebelscum

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    Actually you're right. It is not like because they watch Star Wars they stupidly think lightsabers and wookies exist in real life. But they dream about this stuff and I think it goes more on route with the moral actions of the story. They won't get traumatized because someone blasts a laser to a stormtrooper, that's why I think even if TFA is PG13, unless they show Kylo Ren decapitating gungans and eatin their brains, it will be a safe movie for kids.
     
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  20. Johnny Thunder

    Johnny Thunder Rebel General

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    My qualifications, as it were: I saw the OT in theaters and I am father to two sons; 9 and 4. Lifetime Star Wars fan and I go to movies with my older son often.
    I agree with what a lot of others have said here; the MPAA applies ratings pretty arbitrarily. Some PG-13 films are borderline R and some probably should have been PG. PG-13 just means you should use your own parental judgement in whether or not your child can handle the content of the film. Some movies I've pre-screened for my 9 year old and others I've just made my best guess and taken him based on what I thought would be the worst thing in the film. With Star Wars, you're not going to have cursing beyond a "damn" or "hell." What you should think about is the darkness and creepiness that's sure to ensue in this movie. If your kid could handle The Emperor in V and VI, he will probably be ok in this movie. You're possibly over-thinking this and making much ado of nothing. Part of the fun of this film is the anticipation so be cautious not to rob him of that. Explain to him that he can go but that if anything feels overwhelming he should speak up. Keep an eye on him and if he looks terrified at the sight of Darth Plagueis, cover his eyes ;)
     
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