In the last nine years, it looks like the violence level of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back has gone up a little bit – at least according to the BBFC.

One of the interesting consequences of the decision to send the second Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back, into UK cinemas again this summer is that it’s had to go through the British Board Of Film Classification once again. It’s not believed that the version we’re getting on the big screen next month has been changed, just that it needed to be reclassified for cinema exhibition (not least because Disney is its parent studio now).

The film, since day one, has been a U certificate in the UK. But whereas the BBFC often softens the ratings of films over time – both Die Hard and Alien are now 15 certificate movies in Britain – in the case of The Empire Strikes Back, the decision has gone the other way.

The movie now sports a PG certificate, earning its new rating for “moderate violence, mild threat”. When it was last classified by the BBFC in 2011, it was a U for “mild violence and threat”. In the last nine years, the violence level in exactly the same picture has gone from mild to moderate. Hence the change in certificate.

The film will be back on the big screen in July. You can see the BBFC rating here.

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