Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi (1983)

Just like I said in The Empire Strikes Back post, it's important to note that everything I said in my A New Hope post about nostalgia and how I relate to these movies applies to the entire Original Trilogy.

With that out of the way, I'd have to say that Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi is the weakest of the Original Trilogy, but also a satisfying conclusion to it.

Much like I listed in the ESB post, this one gave us a bunch of iconic Star Wars moments.

For example, one of my favorite things out of any of these movies is the Sarlacc Pit. It doesn't look nearly as cool in the Special Editions because I thought it was way creepier in the original cuts of ROTJ, but it's cool either way. Seeing more of the monster was actually less effective than staring at that pit, and how sinister it looks.

That whole dessert rescue scene is an absolute blast although I'm still not sure I love Boba Fett's slapstick death.

The Ewoks are another thing that instantly crosses your mind when you think of this one, and they've grown on me over the years. As a kid I thought they were kind of dopey, but as I grew older I started to appreciate those little warrior teddy bears. Why? Their battle is really cool AND it has actual stakes.

You see Ewoks that are dead or injured, and it feels like the movie doesn't take the easy way out with that. Their guerrilla warfare is pretty neat as well, and feeds into one of the undertones of that trilogy which is technology isn't necessarily the most important or powerful thing.

The temptation of Luke Skywalker by Emperor Palpatine, and Luke's refusal to fight his father is a really well-done moment. It perfectly builds to the biggest moment in the movie or possibly even the OT where Darth Vader hurls Palpatine down the shaft, saving his son, and ridding the galaxy of The Emperor and his Empire.

Funny story time, but apparently when my wife (who would have been very little at the time) saw Return of the Jedi in theaters with her dad, she loudly asked "Daddy, why does he have those boo boos on his head?!" when Vader unmasks to look at Luke. Apparently the whole theater heard this and LOST IT.

Anyhow, that is arguably the most iconic moment in this movie along with Luke being visited by Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Force Ghost form. For the record I prefer middle-aged Anakin in that spot, but I do not at all have an issue with the logic of young Anakin being there in the Special Editions.

The Original Trilogy were three of my favorite movies ever as a kid. I still love them obviously, and two of the three will finish VERY highly on my list of Star Wars films. All three will always hold a special place in my heart no matter how many other movies I see.

The rest of this series "Looking At Star Wars" is available here.