If the shocks here feel a little more intense than they do in previous Star Wars films, that's by design. This is only the second movie in the saga to earn a PG-13 rating, and it feels like it.
Granted, the romance is pretty chaste…and by that we mean nonexistent.. (But stay tuned: we've got leads making eyes at each other all over the place.) And since we're in a galaxy far, far away, those pesky swear words are easily excised.
There is, however, a level of violence that you might not expect from a Star Wars film. We're reasonably certain that we see actual blood spilled for the first time in the saga, for instance, and the whole "poke charred holes in you" thing that the lightsabers have going? That kind of gets cranked up to 11 here.
That comes on top of the emotional trauma connected with a lot of those moments—Han Solo gets spit like a squab by his own son—which means the ratings board is going to err firmly on the side of caution.