Is it time for an R-rated Star Wars movie?

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The world of Star Wars has been around for forty-five years now. As of the last few years, Lucasfilm hasn’t had much luck with its endeavors in streaming due to its rather vanilla list of mini-series on Disney+. Ratings of several Star Wars mini-series indicate a dire need for a change, perhaps even in age demographic.

Throughout the years and also as of late, fans, critics, and even big-time movie directors have come out of the woodwork to perpetuate the idea of an R-rated Star Wars film. This is something that hasn’t ever been done in Star Wars before.  The closest that Lucasfilm ever came to a rated-R film was the 2005 fan favorite, Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith. With a PG-13 rating, multiple disturbing scenes, and a mega-bummer ending, Revenge of the Sith is looked at today by a large demographic of people as one of if not, the best Star Wars film ever made. With luck not going Lucasfilm’s way as of late, it may not be such a bad idea to go back to a familiar tone.

What kind of story could be told?

Across all trilogies, tv series, books, etc that make up the Star Wars canon as we know it today, there’s a slew of different characters that could benefit from an R-rated solo film.

One of the first names that comes to mind is none other than the feared Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. It’s no secret that the Supreme Chancellor turned Emperor has always darkened the tone in whatever type of media he appears in. (Except for maybe the LEGO specials.) There are also many unanswered questions regarding Palpatine that not the films nor the extended canon have gotten around to clarifying yet.

Similarly, there are a number of different characters who fans have wanted to see in a more R-rated environment such as Assaj Ventress, and Darth Maul. Out of all the issues Lucasfilm would have to deal with in greenlighting, producing, and marketing an R-rated Star Wars film, a lack of characters to focus on certainly would not be one of them.

Directors want R-rated Star Wars content

As mentioned, Directors in the past have shown interest in directing Star Wars content with a special interest in directing an R-rated Star Wars film. For instance, renowned director, Zach Snyder’s pitch to Lucasfilm was already priorly written to be rated R.

“I was like ‘I don’t want any of your characters. I don’t want to do anything with any known characters, I just want to do my own thing on the side.’ And originally I was like, ‘It should be rated R!’ That was almost a non-starter.”  Snyder shared with Empire Magazine Snyder shared with Empire Magazine.

 While Lucasfilm was ultimately not in on the pitch, Snyder’s original vision is still set to come to fruition on Netflix under the name Rebel Moon. James Mangold similarly came out about past admirations to direct a mature Star Wars film as well. This one featuring a  spaghetti western gun-slinging crime lord in Boba Fett.

Although Lucasfilm eventually went with their own separate ways and released their Book of Boba Fett Series instead, Mangold expressed interest in creating a more adult-friendly Boba Fett film.  Mangold even went as far as to jokingly state on the Happy Sad Confused Podcast that there was no space for Baby Yoda (Grogu) in the world that he wished to create.

Will Lucasfilm ease up on the R-rating?

The constant problem that keeps being run into regarding the making of this type of project has always been getting such a project greenlit over at Lucasfilm. Being owned by Disney, Lucasfilm seemingly understands its responsibility to direct under a PG rating. However, it can’t be lost on them that the majority of their viewers have not enjoyed nearly any of their projects since being fully acquired by Disney in 2012.

Afraid to take a risk, Disney might be sleeping on a highly lucrative project all because it doesn’t exactly align with their typical frame of entertainment. Eventually, the refusal of Disney to turn up the heat on certain projects could potentially open up the opportunity for Disney to one day sell Lucasfilm if critics and fans remain constantly unhappy with future Star Wars projects that roll out.

Until then, We’ll have to wait and see how the upcoming Star Wars series perform on Disney+ such as Ahsoka and Skeleton Crew. While fans do have high hopes for the upcoming Ahsoka series, It wouldn’t be the first time people gave their hopes up on a project that was ultimately poorly received.