The final movie in the original Star Wars trilogy.
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.
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.
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… . 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.