Babylon 5 Movie Gets Rating From The MPA And It’s A Bit Of A Surprise

Babylon 5: The Road Home has been rated PG-13 by the MPA.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

babylon 5 movie

Legacy science fiction is having a renaissance thanks to shows like The Mandalorian getting Star Wars back on track and the third season of Picard reminding fans why they fell in love with Star Trek: The Next Generation in the first place. While Star Trek in particular has taken a darker turn in recent years, many fans were hoping the upcoming Warner Bros. Discovery Babylon 5 animated movie wouldn’t follow in Trek’s footsteps. However, those same fans are concerned now that the MPA rated Babylon 5: The Road Home PG-13 for “some action/violence.”

So far, that brief note about “action” and “violence” is the only explanation we have for the PG-13 rating of the Babylon 5 movie. At the very least, we know that the film is not going to embrace the trend of modern animated fare such as Harley Quinn, the irreverent cartoon series in which the characters are both casually vulgar and hilariously violent. It’s possible that we should simply take Babylon 5’s PG-13 rating at face value: it likely won’t be over the top, but it may contain scenes that, like the classic Doctor Who series, might send younger children running behind the couch.

babylon 5 movie

We have no reason to doubt the MPA’s rating of the Babylon 5 movie, but it’s difficult for veteran sci-fi fans to see that PG-13 rating and not think about the silly ratings that Star Trek used to get on Netflix. For example, many episodes of The Original Series were marked by the streaming network as TV-14, with the only reason given being “sex” and “fear” (perhaps these are the words that best described William Shatner in his prime). And more confusingly, a Reddit user once posted an image of a Deep Space Nine episode rated only TV-PG despite allegedly having “violence, sex, nudity, fear, substances, languages, [and] gore.” 

Love them or hate them, the MPA was likely more realistic in its assessment of the Babylon 5 movie than Netflix ever was with its Star Trek shows (which now mostly stream exclusively on Paramount+). But we can’t shake the feeling that after the credits roll on this upcoming animated film, fans around the world are going to turn to each other with a single question: “did the MPA really think that was overly violent?” Then again, considering that the script takes a page out of Marvel’s book to show us John Sheridan visiting alternate realities, maybe he ends up visiting a reality violent enough to really earn that PG-13.

All the tongue-wagging about the rating cements the fact that the Babylon 5 movie has energized the fandom in a powerful way. After previous failed attempts to return to one of the greatest science fiction universes ever made, showrunner J. Michael Straczynski has returned for a one-shot movie that is guaranteed to tie up some of the loose ends from the series while presenting us with an entire galaxy of new possibilities. Considering that a completely separate series reboot is still allegedly in the works, Stracynzski might be fans’ last, best hope for victory…or at least, for some more legendary science fiction.