JediXMan on: The Return of the Jedi

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Posted by JediXMan (42891 posts) - - Show Bio

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

"I am a Jedi, like my father before me."

The final movie in the original Star Wars trilogy.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

No summary. Read on.

Like Empire, this movie was not directed by Lucas, and it was only partially written by him… explains why I like it. No, I won’t stop slamming Lucas. Get used to it – you’ll be seeing a lot more later. As such, the storyline remains rather good. Does it have issues? eh… well, let’s see.

All grown up
All grown up

This is the finale to the Star Wars movie saga, no matter how you look at it. It’s the end of the prophecy of the Chosen One, showing Anakin’s redemption by his son. The story comes full circle, and all of the characters have grown.

It actually really shows, too. All of the actors are visibly older, and that is a good thing. They all look more mature, having fought for 4 years to get to this point. Luke doesn’t look like the child he was. Leia and Han look mature, as well. Han is less the old-school action hero / scoundrel, and now conveys the maturity that comes with his character’s growth. Leia is less of a princess and more of a soldier for the Rebellion; while it does occur in the EU and not in RotJ, it’s worth mentioning that she becomes a senator, as well.

One of this movie’s greatest moments is in the beginning: Luke showing up in Jabba’s palace, cloaked in a Jedi robe, walking calming into darkness to save his friends. He has evolved since the farm boy: he’s no longer a child. He’s grown up into the man his father could not become.

I want to convey how powerful that moment is: the Jedi are dead. Obi-Wan was killed in Episode IV, and the wise Master Yoda is in hiding. The Empire rules. But now we have Luke, the first Jedi of a new era. The fact that he uses mind trick means a lot. It’s a trick that his master, Obi-Wan, utilized. Now Luke is using it. He even wields a lightsaber color not previously shown in the series. Obi-Wan used blue, Anakin used blue. Now here is Luke, part of the new Jedi Order.

In order to bring about the actual return of the Jedi, he must defeat the Empire and redeem his father. Luke even has more incentive to stop this war: his sister, Leia. Leia is revealed to be his unknown sister, who he is willing to protect at any cost. This is a better end than the cliché “lover” scenario. That was cliché; this scenario is preferable.

Yoda never did that!
Yoda never did that!

Now we have Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader’s shadowy master and the ruler of the Galactic Empire. He appears as a simple old man… just like Yoda. But his true power is hidden, and that is truly shown when he actually gives a display of his power: a new technique never before seen – Sith Lightning! Another awesome moment!

But even the mighty Emperor meets his end (… for now) at the hands of his apprentice, Darth Vader, who sacrifices himself to save his son. After decades of darkness, Anakin Skywalker has returned. He dies in his son’s arms, and is finally redeemed as he stands with Yoda and Obi-Wan as ghosts in the afterlife.

I can’t stress how amazing the execution is. Every scene involving Luke, especially Luke and Vader, is very well done. Acting, music, atmosphere, the story… just perfect. This is why I like the OT: because it leads to this.

The acting in this movie, for the most part, was perfect. Everyone did their jobs and displayed the necessary emotion that the scenes required.

I feel like, with each movie, the choreography gets increasingly better. The duel between Luke and Vader was not only well done, but displayed a lot of emotion. Luke was hesitant; he showed restraint until he was finally pushed far enough, and even in that moment he showed remorse. Again, right back to acting the tone setting,

Fine, the poor aspects:

Ewoks. Yes, fine, they suck. We can all agree that they suck. “Har har, teddy bears! Str Was scks cuz' teddy bears!” Yeah, fine, let's get past that. Yes, they’re annoying and pointless; yes, the fact that they beat Stormtroopers is stupid… but I’m letting that go, for the sole reason that I like everything el…

The Death Star… II. Eh… I realize what they were trying to do with this: amping up the stakes and all that. It just felt gimmicky and unnecessary. The space fight wasn’t that great; the only cool part was the idea of seeing so many capital ships on the screen, but even then, we had the terrible destruction of the Executor… which made absolutely no sense. But the rest was…

Jabba’s Palace… yeah… a Muppets reunion in a Star Wars movie. Yeah, it sucks. Whole thing. The only good part was the moment with Luke, and even those fight scenes sucked. But at least Boba Fett was coo…

Fett’s death. I…

Fine, yes, RotJ had a lot of bad moments. But they’re mostly from a taste point of view, not a technical point of view. The story is fine; I absolutely love the character development. That’s why RotJ is not only my favorite movie in the OT, but my favorite Star Wars movie overall. The story is well executed, well acted, and overall, the good points outweighed the bad. The bad I can always blame on Lucas.

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#1 Edited by Ostyo (14103 posts) - - Show Bio

Fett, biggest chump in the history of Star Wars. I don't care what writers have done with their attempts to convice us what a badass he is, he's still the fool that got taken out by a blind guy and screamed like a bitch the whole time. XD

Good review, Jedi.

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#2 Posted by DrunkVader (813 posts) - - Show Bio

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#3 Edited by Dragonborn_CT (26392 posts) - - Show Bio

Awesome review my friend. You nailed the positives and negatives very well.

I want to say one thing; instead of having Endor and the Ewoks, I think it would have been better if it was replaced by Khashyyyk, where the Empire has enslaved the Wookies and the heroes cause a uprising. It would have made the Stormtroopers's defeat a little more plausible and the second half of the movie much more darker.

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#4 Edited by Emperorb777 (11444 posts) - - Show Bio

Good review but I think JediXMan may be a little bias lol.

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#5 Edited by ShootingNova (25691 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess the spacefight flowed for a bit, at least. It wasn't too dreadful.

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#6 Posted by XImpossibruX (5752 posts) - - Show Bio

Umm... can someone explain, after the Deathstar 2 was blown up, what happened to the entire Empire space army that was ya know, crushing the Republic with extreme prejudice.

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#7 Posted by BumpyBoo (14812 posts) - - Show Bio

Love this review, and could not agree more. This is probably my favourite of the original three too :)

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#8 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23389 posts) - - Show Bio

Great review, mate. I agree with all of it save for the Death Star II and Jabba's Palace criticisms.

One of the reasons I think Dark Empire is the worst thing to happen to Star Wars this side of Hayden Christensen is that Luke's journey and its culmination in RotJ was perfect. It was, and will forever remain, the definitive film bildungsroman of all time. I love Return of the Jedi, I prefer Empire Strikes Back, but that's not to take anything away from either ROTJ or ANH.

The moment that Luke says "I am a Jedi. Like my father before me" is the most important scene in all of Star Wars, imo. Sure, it's not as iconic as "May the Force be with you" or "No Luke, I am your Father!", but in that moment Luke Skywalker has reached his destiny as the greatest hero the galaxy will ever know. He's become the incorruptible Jedi that his father was supposed to become. Luke is the sole candle spreading light throughout the galaxy, and finally pushing back the Empire's darkness. Of course, this is all completely ruined in Dark Empire (which I view as non-canon because of how much it f*cks everything up).

As for the Death Star II, this, I felt, highlighted the resiliency of the Empire, and their virtually limitless resources. The Rebellion have destroyed the Empire's greatest weapon. The world-ender. They have stopped it... And the Empire just builds another, better one. In the grand-scheme of galactic conquest, 4 years to rebuild a weapon of that power is nothing. As long as Vader and the Emperor remain, the Empire is effectively immortal. The best way to show that is by having the victory achieved in A New Hope be a pit-stop for the Empire, rather than the crippling defeat we thought it was originally.

As for Jabba's Palace, yes, some of the outfits are hokey (though I maintain that the red afro, albino alien is hot), but throughout all of the Star Wars films aliens are forced to live on the Outer Rim. By having all of those goofy, ugly, muppet like aliens forced to dwell inside a "palace" that looks more like a factory, it helps show, once again, just how enormous the Empire's reach is. The Emperor's fascist policies are clear here, and the audience is left with the impression that although Jabba and his minions are evil, they are nowhere near as bad as the Emperor, and that's how it should be. Plus it all leads to Luke's absolutely amazing "Jabba. This is your last chance. Free us... or die." This is my favourite line in the entire film because it shows how Luke has forged his own path. He's not a pacifistic monk like the old Order, he's a self-possessed man that has taken what he's learned and combined with his own experiences. Luke is still the same character that he was in A New Hope, he's just older, wiser, better. He didn't become a Jedi and sequester himself away from the world as many do, he was at the forefront of the Rebellion, and him telling Jabba that he will kill him if his friends aren't freed is a beautiful way to show the difference in Luke when compared to the older Jedi.

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#9 Posted by frogdog (5557 posts) - - Show Bio

Umm... can someone explain, after the Deathstar 2 was blown up, what happened to the entire Empire space army that was ya know, crushing the Republic with extreme prejudice.

The EU comics expand on this

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#10 Posted by Lvenger (36338 posts) - - Show Bio

An excellent review Master Xman. The symbolic significance of The Return of The Jedi is explained masterfully by you and the blasted Ewoks get the seal of disapproval. Though I do prefer The Empire Strikes Back myself, this is still one of my top 10 favourite films too.

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#11 Posted by MrDirector786 (44091 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice review. Uh... that's all I can think to say. :P

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#12 Posted by Samimista (22297 posts) - - Show Bio

Great review like always JediXMan! =D Are you gonna do a review of Mirror's Edge sometime? =O

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#13 Posted by JediXMan (42891 posts) - - Show Bio

Great review like always JediXMan! =D Are you gonna do a review of Mirror's Edge sometime? =O

Ah, but I already have a review of Mirror's Edge!

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#14 Posted by Samimista (22297 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman said:
@samimista said:

Great review like always JediXMan! =D Are you gonna do a review of Mirror's Edge sometime? =O

Ah, but I already have a review of Mirror's Edge!

You read my mind Jedi! 0.0 It's like you have magical powers! 0.0 I shall go read this. =O

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#15 Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy (8950 posts) - - Show Bio

My favorite of the Star Wars films. Love it. The beginning at Jabba's Palace is my favorite part. I like some Jabba.

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#16 Posted by deactivated-5c901e667a76c (36557 posts) - - Show Bio

Sometimes I feel like I should hate this movie... thanks for proving that I don't need to.

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#17 Posted by Pharoh_Atem (44297 posts) - - Show Bio

Great review, mate. I agree with all of it save for the Death Star II and Jabba's Palace criticisms.

One of the reasons I think Dark Empire is the worst thing to happen to Star Wars this side of Hayden Christensen is that Luke's journey and its culmination in RotJ was perfect. It was, and will forever remain, the definitive film bildungsroman of all time. I love Return of the Jedi, I prefer Empire Strikes Back, but that's not to take anything away from either ROTJ or ANH.

The moment that Luke says "I am a Jedi. Like my father before me" is the most important scene in all of Star Wars, imo. Sure, it's not as iconic as "May the Force be with you" or "No Luke, I am your Father!", but in that moment Luke Skywalker has reached his destiny as the greatest hero the galaxy will ever know. He's become the incorruptible Jedi that his father was supposed to become. Luke is the sole candle spreading light throughout the galaxy, and finally pushing back the Empire's darkness. Of course, this is all completely ruined in Dark Empire (which I view as non-canon because of how much it f*cks everything up).

As for the Death Star II, this, I felt, highlighted the resiliency of the Empire, and their virtually limitless resources. The Rebellion have destroyed the Empire's greatest weapon. The world-ender. They have stopped it... And the Empire just builds another, better one. In the grand-scheme of galactic conquest, 4 years to rebuild a weapon of that power is nothing. As long as Vader and the Emperor remain, the Empire is effectively immortal. The best way to show that is by having the victory achieved in A New Hope be a pit-stop for the Empire, rather than the crippling defeat we thought it was originally.

As for Jabba's Palace, yes, some of the outfits are hokey (though I maintain that the red afro, albino alien is hot), but throughout all of the Star Wars films aliens are forced to live on the Outer Rim. By having all of those goofy, ugly, muppet like aliens forced to dwell inside a "palace" that looks more like a factory, it helps show, once again, just how enormous the Empire's reach is. The Emperor's fascist policies are clear here, and the audience is left with the impression that although Jabba and his minions are evil, they are nowhere near as bad as the Emperor, and that's how it should be. Plus it all leads to Luke's absolutely amazing "Jabba. This is your last chance. Free us... or die." This is my favourite line in the entire film because it shows how Luke has forged his own path. He's not a pacifistic monk like the old Order, he's a self-possessed man that has taken what he's learned and combined with his own experiences. Luke is still the same character that he was in A New Hope, he's just older, wiser, better. He didn't become a Jedi and sequester himself away from the world as many do, he was at the forefront of the Rebellion, and him telling Jabba that he will kill him if his friends aren't freed is a beautiful way to show the difference in Luke when compared to the older Jedi.

I agree with most of this. They only thing I disagree with you on is Dark Empire.... I do not think he messed anything up at all, personally I have no problem with it.

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#18 Posted by ShootingNova (25691 posts) - - Show Bio

@ximpossibrux: To put it short, they lost without the Emperor and were overwhelmed, but not completely annihilated.

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#19 Edited by russellmania77 (17601 posts) - - Show Bio

Spoiler alert the Jedi doesn't return

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#20 Posted by FadeToBlackBolt (23389 posts) - - Show Bio

@dccomicsrule2011 said:

@fadetoblackbolt said:

Great review, mate. I agree with all of it save for the Death Star II and Jabba's Palace criticisms.

One of the reasons I think Dark Empire is the worst thing to happen to Star Wars this side of Hayden Christensen is that Luke's journey and its culmination in RotJ was perfect. It was, and will forever remain, the definitive film bildungsroman of all time. I love Return of the Jedi, I prefer Empire Strikes Back, but that's not to take anything away from either ROTJ or ANH.

The moment that Luke says "I am a Jedi. Like my father before me" is the most important scene in all of Star Wars, imo. Sure, it's not as iconic as "May the Force be with you" or "No Luke, I am your Father!", but in that moment Luke Skywalker has reached his destiny as the greatest hero the galaxy will ever know. He's become the incorruptible Jedi that his father was supposed to become. Luke is the sole candle spreading light throughout the galaxy, and finally pushing back the Empire's darkness. Of course, this is all completely ruined in Dark Empire (which I view as non-canon because of how much it f*cks everything up).

As for the Death Star II, this, I felt, highlighted the resiliency of the Empire, and their virtually limitless resources. The Rebellion have destroyed the Empire's greatest weapon. The world-ender. They have stopped it... And the Empire just builds another, better one. In the grand-scheme of galactic conquest, 4 years to rebuild a weapon of that power is nothing. As long as Vader and the Emperor remain, the Empire is effectively immortal. The best way to show that is by having the victory achieved in A New Hope be a pit-stop for the Empire, rather than the crippling defeat we thought it was originally.

As for Jabba's Palace, yes, some of the outfits are hokey (though I maintain that the red afro, albino alien is hot), but throughout all of the Star Wars films aliens are forced to live on the Outer Rim. By having all of those goofy, ugly, muppet like aliens forced to dwell inside a "palace" that looks more like a factory, it helps show, once again, just how enormous the Empire's reach is. The Emperor's fascist policies are clear here, and the audience is left with the impression that although Jabba and his minions are evil, they are nowhere near as bad as the Emperor, and that's how it should be. Plus it all leads to Luke's absolutely amazing "Jabba. This is your last chance. Free us... or die." This is my favourite line in the entire film because it shows how Luke has forged his own path. He's not a pacifistic monk like the old Order, he's a self-possessed man that has taken what he's learned and combined with his own experiences. Luke is still the same character that he was in A New Hope, he's just older, wiser, better. He didn't become a Jedi and sequester himself away from the world as many do, he was at the forefront of the Rebellion, and him telling Jabba that he will kill him if his friends aren't freed is a beautiful way to show the difference in Luke when compared to the older Jedi.

I agree with most of this. They only thing I disagree with you on is Dark Empire.... I do not think he messed anything up at all, personally I have no problem with it.

"Hey Luke, be evil!"

"Nah."

"Come on."

"Alright, fiiiiiiiiiiine."

Dark Empire in a nutshell.

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#21 Posted by Dragonborn_CT (26392 posts) - - Show Bio

@dccomicsrule2011 said:

@fadetoblackbolt said:

Great review, mate. I agree with all of it save for the Death Star II and Jabba's Palace criticisms.

One of the reasons I think Dark Empire is the worst thing to happen to Star Wars this side of Hayden Christensen is that Luke's journey and its culmination in RotJ was perfect. It was, and will forever remain, the definitive film bildungsroman of all time. I love Return of the Jedi, I prefer Empire Strikes Back, but that's not to take anything away from either ROTJ or ANH.

The moment that Luke says "I am a Jedi. Like my father before me" is the most important scene in all of Star Wars, imo. Sure, it's not as iconic as "May the Force be with you" or "No Luke, I am your Father!", but in that moment Luke Skywalker has reached his destiny as the greatest hero the galaxy will ever know. He's become the incorruptible Jedi that his father was supposed to become. Luke is the sole candle spreading light throughout the galaxy, and finally pushing back the Empire's darkness. Of course, this is all completely ruined in Dark Empire (which I view as non-canon because of how much it f*cks everything up).

As for the Death Star II, this, I felt, highlighted the resiliency of the Empire, and their virtually limitless resources. The Rebellion have destroyed the Empire's greatest weapon. The world-ender. They have stopped it... And the Empire just builds another, better one. In the grand-scheme of galactic conquest, 4 years to rebuild a weapon of that power is nothing. As long as Vader and the Emperor remain, the Empire is effectively immortal. The best way to show that is by having the victory achieved in A New Hope be a pit-stop for the Empire, rather than the crippling defeat we thought it was originally.

As for Jabba's Palace, yes, some of the outfits are hokey (though I maintain that the red afro, albino alien is hot), but throughout all of the Star Wars films aliens are forced to live on the Outer Rim. By having all of those goofy, ugly, muppet like aliens forced to dwell inside a "palace" that looks more like a factory, it helps show, once again, just how enormous the Empire's reach is. The Emperor's fascist policies are clear here, and the audience is left with the impression that although Jabba and his minions are evil, they are nowhere near as bad as the Emperor, and that's how it should be. Plus it all leads to Luke's absolutely amazing "Jabba. This is your last chance. Free us... or die." This is my favourite line in the entire film because it shows how Luke has forged his own path. He's not a pacifistic monk like the old Order, he's a self-possessed man that has taken what he's learned and combined with his own experiences. Luke is still the same character that he was in A New Hope, he's just older, wiser, better. He didn't become a Jedi and sequester himself away from the world as many do, he was at the forefront of the Rebellion, and him telling Jabba that he will kill him if his friends aren't freed is a beautiful way to show the difference in Luke when compared to the older Jedi.

I agree with most of this. They only thing I disagree with you on is Dark Empire.... I do not think he messed anything up at all, personally I have no problem with it.

"Hey Luke, be evil!"

"Nah."

"Come on."

"Alright, fiiiiiiiiiiine."

Dark Empire in a nutshell.

LOL

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#22 Edited by TheBlueAngel93 (21064 posts) - - Show Bio

I honestly didn't mind the Ewoks that much, I mean not every alien race can be epic like the Wookiees. I do agree that the fact they could beat Storm Troopers so easily was dumb, but it wasn't until the prequels when they were reintroduced as Clone Troopers that Troopers were actually taken seriously anyway; during the original trilogy they were just minions for the evil Empire, completely expendable for the sake of the plot.

I mean seriously, if it weren't for the prequels, the only thing Storm Troopers would be known for would be getting killed so easily and for this infamous scene:

http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/3/39027/3271339-stormtrooper_hits_head-62323.gif

And really, that's just kinda sad when you think about it. lol

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#23 Posted by Rossnrachel4ever (82 posts) - - Show Bio

@dragonborn_ct: The original story used the wookie planet, but the film makers discovered that giants like Peter Mayhew are rare and that little people are everywhere, so wookies became ewoks.

Great review, I prefer the first two, but RotJ was my favorite as a kid. The ewoks have never bothered me. I still love the Ewok Adventure movies. I hate every bit of the special editions... er... additions except for Empire. That was the only one that didn't feel forced. The whole Jabba's palace song and dance garbage with the Joe Cocker alien is just atrocious. Really hate that. I also can't stand that they replaced the original Anakin Skywalker spirit with Hayden Christensen. Yuck.

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#24 Posted by Pharoh_Atem (44297 posts) - - Show Bio

@fadetoblackbolt: lol I think your just over simplying it.

1. Palpatine used his immense mental power to gain a subtle hold over Luke IIRC. You got to remember in Star Wars EU Palpatine is a telepathic Jugguernaught. He has mind wiped millions and mentally dominated the wills of 20 billion beings on Byss. It's no wonder he was able to gain a subtle hold mind and wrap Luke in the darkside.

2. Luke wanted to see why his farther joined the darkside. He wanted to learn the darkside and destroy it.

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#25 Posted by JackKnight (2974 posts) - - Show Bio

Awesome review! Well done :)

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