Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi – A Perfect Conclusion

Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi – A Perfect Conclusion

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  1. The final leg in the original Star Wars trilogy hit theaters May 25, 1983 and completed the epic saga that changed cinema forever.  This third installment brought the third director (Richard Marquand) but kept Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas as writers.  This final chapter also boasts a considerable boost in budget from its predecessors.  According to, A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back had budgets of 11 million and 18 million respectively, but Return Of The Jedi was made for an estimated 32.5 million.  Apparently Lucasfilm and FOX had a lot of faith in the box office draw this film would have… which is understandable.  This film, like the others, was nominated at the Oscars for Art Direction, Effects, and Sound.  It also garnered John Williams his 19th Oscar nomination for his epic score (two other nominations came from the other Star Wars films but he only won for A New Hope).

    What is it about?

    The Empire Strikes Back ends with Han being taken to Luke’s home planet, Tatooine, by bounty hunter Boba Fett who plans to collect the bounty on Han’s head from criminal leader Jabba the Hutt.  Return Of The Jedi begins with Luke and Leia’s plan to rescue Han.  The plan goes horribly wrong leading to Leia being captured and enslaved by Jaba as well as Chewbacca being imprisoned with Han.  Luke comes in to try and save the day, but also gets captured… which is part of his plan.  They end up battling their way out of Jaba’s Palace with everyone safe and sound.  They also kill Jabba and Boba Fett in the process, though, so it’s a complete and satisfying victory.

    While everyone else meets back up with the rest of the Rebel forces, Luke heads back to Dagobah only to find his former master, Yoda, is dying.  The trip isn’t a total waste, though, because through Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi’s spirit, Luke finds out a few key things:  Vader is confirmed as Luke’s father, Luke must confront Vader again to defeat the Empire, and Leia is Luke’s twin sister.  This obviously rocks his world.  Meanwhile, the Rebels have found out that the Empire is building a brand new Death Star (since the Rebels blew up their first one in A New Hope) so they come up with a plan to destroy it.

    That plan leads them to a forest covered moon named Endor where a strike team (including Han, Leia, Luke, Chewbacca, and others) must blow up a generator that sustains a shield around the Death Star.  Once they destroy that, the Rebel fleet (space ships and such) can attack the Death Star and blow it up.  The Endor fiasco doesn’t go exactly as planned but the small, fury inhabitants of Endor (ewoks) help the Rebels finally destroy the shield generator.  And, to quickly sum up the rest of the film:  Luke gets intentionally captured by Darth Vader, defeats him and the Emporer (Vader’s boss), the Rebels blow up the Death Star, and they have a giant ewok-style party on Endor to celebrate.

    Is it any good?

    This film is about the same as the others.  The story is great while the dialogue gets a bit cheesy at times; but, despite how epic the story gets, it still keeps its focus on the hearts of the characters.  So it is fantastic.  

    The thing that any Star Wars fan will cite as their resoning for liking one episode over another is the locales, the aliens unique to that episode, and the action that takes place.  It’s really a personal preference thing.  Return Of The Jedi suffers from the problem of the ewoks.  While the ewoks are cute and get across a considerable amount of emotion for only speaking gibberish, the things they do to save the Rebels are somewhat unbelievable.  You are made to believe that something that is essentially the same size and build of a teddy bear can take out a Stormtrooper (full grown man in body armor with a laser gun).  Oh yea, and the ewoks do it with primitive, caveman style weapons.  It’s up to you if you can get behind that or not.

    Whether you like the ewoks or not, you can’t argue that Return Of The Jedi is a satisfying conclusion to the Star Wars saga.  Luke completes his character arc by becoming a jedi, remaining on the good side of the force, and even helping Darth Vader (his father) reach some sort of redemption.  Also, the Rebels win the ultimate battle giving you hope that good really can defeat evil in real life.  Han and Leia resolve their issues and finally agree that they are in love.  And there’s a great party… you can’t go wrong if you end with a party!

    Nolan’s Grade:  A

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