The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Parents Guide Movie Rating

The Empire Strikes Back
MPA: PG BBFC: PG Maturity Rating 7+
MPAA Reason
Rated PG for sci-fi action violence.

BBFC Reason
moderate violence, mild threat THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is a sci-fi action adventure, from 1980, in which the Rebels continue their fight against the Empire.

BBFC Ratings info
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK is a sci-fi action fantasy adventure, from 1980, in which the Rebels continue their fight against the Empire. Violence: A man's wrist is chopped off by a lightsaber and, during a dream sequence, a man is decapitated; both moments of violence are brief and without any sight of blood or injury detail. There are also scenes of fantasy violence including dogfights, lightsaber fights, scenes of hand-to-hand combat in which men are punched, and sequences in which men are shot with blasters. It is implied a man is tortured. Threat and horror: Threatening scenes including those in which a man is kidnapped by a snow creature, and a sequence in which a man is forced into a small chamber and encased in carbonate. There are also scenes in which men are attacked and, during battles, their lives are endangered.

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Sex & Nudity


After Han and Luke are brought back to base (about 16 minutes into the movie), Luke is shown naked with his privates covered in something like an adult test tube to recover. Flirting and kissing between some main characters throughout the movie.

Violence & Gore


A man is seen in a creature's cave, hanging upside down with a bit of blood on his face. The creature is very briefly seen eating the gory remains of another dead creature. The creature then comes over to the man to kill him, and the man visibly cuts off its arm with his lightsaber. In the Special and subsequent edition of the film, we very briefly see the creature crying out, and a bloody stump where it was injured. A large animal used as a beast of burden keels over and dies due to freezing. Han Solo uses Luke's lightsaber to cut the animal open in order to put Luke inside to keep him from freezing to death. The animal's white fleshy muscle/fat is exposed, but there is no blood. There is a large battle scene near the beginning of the film, where several uniformed combatants are killed onscreen, or are implied to have been killed. In the battle, there are three instances of a laser-firing, gigantic, robotic, elephant-like walking craft (an AT-AT "walker") being brought down and exploding into a fireball, killing its inhabitants. A pilot's wingman is shot dead by a laser blast from inside their fighter craft. He slumps forward, dead. When the fighter is shot down and crashes, an AT-AT "walker" steps on the remains of the ship, including the dead wingman, while the pilot barley escapes before the ship is crushed. The back of a man's horribly scarred head (enough to be bald) is briefly shown. There are two instances whereby Darth Vader telekinetically chokes a man to death. There is no blood, but we see them moan and struggle to breath until they slump over and die. Intense. Upon seeing Darth Vader in the dining hall in Cloud City, a man draws his laser gun and shoots at him, but Vader telekinetically draws the laser bolts to his own hand, using the Force to block/deflect them, before telekinetically pulling the gun out of the man's hand. A man is tortured offscreen, though the very first bits of the treatment (the man being placed face-first into a sparking electric device) are depicted. We hear audible screams from the outside of the closed doorway to the torture room. A man is frozen in a block of a dull-colored metallic substance, and this block is pushed to the floor. The frontal part of the man's figure, especially man's face and hands, while appearing coated in the same substance as the block, can be seen protruding from it. Not violent but intense. Not gory but ugly/horrifying. A man's hand is cut off by his opponent in an intense, prolonged lightsaber duel, in which both participants are generally battered and injured. A number of Imperial stormtroopers are briefly shot with lasers. There is also a scene where Chewbacca knocks a few stormtroopers off a ledge. Chewbacca chokes a man out of anger and frustration. We see the man strangling and trying to breath. He eventually releases the character.



Han yells, "Then I'll see you in hell!", before he goes out on a rescue mission while objecting others. At Cloud City, a protocol droid named E-3PO says "echuta" to C-3PO, and C-3PO replies, "How rude," implying that in robot language, "echuta" is an expletive.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking


Some implied alcohol use in the Cloud City sequences.

Frightening & Intense Scenes


In another scene, Luke goes into a dark cave where strange animal sounds are heard. He then has a slow motion lightsaber encounter with Darth Vader where he cuts off Vader's head and then sees his own face in the helmet, symbolizing his danger of being corrupted by the dark side of the Force. Han Solo gets frozen in a carbonate.