Star Wars Special: Return of the Jedi Review
The Rebellion is closing in on the Empire and Darth Sidious enters the stage, to meet Luke Skywalker. Will the Rebellion succeed in finally defeating the Empire once and for all?
Genre: Action / Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Director: Richard Marquand
Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, Sebastian Shaw, James Earl Jones & David Prowse.
Run Time: 131 min.
US Release: 25 May 1983
UK Release: 02 June 1983
German Release: 09 December 1983
So here we go, the final review of my Star Wars Special series, before I post my analysis for the much-awaited The Force Awakens. Having examined all but one, all that is left for me to write about is Episode VI, also known originally as simply Return of Jedi, and while it is not as good as its two cinematic brethren from the original trilogy, it still has its impressive moments.
Like I stated previously before, A New Hope is my favourite feature of the trilogy, with The Empire Strikes Back coming in at a close second place and Return of the Jedi being third. Although it is not my favourite movie in the saga, I still have a blast every time I watch it! One of my favourite new characters included are the alien race of the Ewoks; a primitive teddy bear-like indigenous life form, living on the moon of Endor.
— WARNING, THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! —
Following the capture of Han Solo by Boba Fett and the escape of Lando, Leia and Luke from Darth Vader in Cloud City, our heroes decide to free the carbonized frozen Solo and give the empire a final blow. Not everything goes according to plan but with the help of a primitive indigenous tribe and the alliance of a former foe, Luke and the Rebellion manage to finally bring down the Empire and free the galaxy.
I do enjoy every minute of this story, even though it has some definite flaws. From the return to the planet of Tatooine to the final battle on (and above) Endor, this sci-fi flick has tense situations and heart-warming moments. The final act is especially thrilling, with the audience unsure if the Rebellion will manage to beat the Empire once and for all. One of my favourite segments is when Luke seems to be swaying to the dark side of the force. This moment always gets chills down my back, while I am sitting on the edge of my couch and holding my breath during the last 30 minutes of the film.
The only parts I disliked in Return of the Jedi, are the scenes in which the stormtroopers are beaten on Endor with wooden spears and ropes, while the rebels take over the Empire’s base on Endor to shut down the force field around the second Death Star. Their tactics consist of catch games with Han Solo, teddy bears beating fully grown soldiers with their bare paws and playing "Knock-Knock" with the superiors inside the base. Those scenes are not exactly militia material and portray the Empire as being utterly stupid and useless.
Most of the dialogue in the movie is good but turns really cheesy at times. My favourite conversation is the one between Yoda and Luke, where the Jedi Master reveals an important part of the plot and gives us information considering Luke’s twin sibling Leia. On the other hand, one of the worst one-liners that I thought should have been better revised, is when the Emperor tells Vader that Luke would come to him, with Vader responding “He will come... to me?” The greatest villain of cinema history sounds like a child!
My favourite character development in this movie is that of Luke Skywalker. The movie begins with him still having that strong sense of justice and morality, but he also gets a little bit cocky at times. We also see him use powers from the dark side of the force, as proven in the scene when he enters Jabba’s palace. He is clearly using force choke on the Gamorrean guards, something that always confused me because a simple force push would have sufficed to get them away from him.
Darth Vader also makes a crucial character development in Return of the Jedi! He already softens up a little in Episode V but one notices his internal struggle in this film. He even admits to his son that he is aware that he took the wrong path, but is unable to go back. It takes the Emperor nearly killing Luke, for Vader to finally break free from his master’s leash and redeem himself by killing the Emperor and finally bringing balance to the force.
Luke’s developing relationships with other characters is a core part of the story. It is revealed that Leia is his twin sister and that she is as force-sensitive as well, explaining why she was able to hear him call out for her, in The Empire Strikes Back. Luke’s relationship with his father is also a crucial one, as it is his strong belief in Anakin that gives Vader the push to return to the light side of the force.
Cinematography wise I find this movie to be as brilliant as the previous two. From the quiet shots at Jabba’s palace to the fighting sequence between Luke and Vader, the camera work was always fantastic. A rather drawn-out moment is the close-ups of each protagonist, which are meant to build up the tension during the segment in which Luke and Han are about to be fed to the Sarlacc. My favourite scenes, however, are the motorcycle chase in the jungle, as well as the space fight between the rebellion and the empire, outside the new Death Star. And, of course, the sword fight between Luke and Darth Vader, which was choreographed incredibly good.
Verdict: Although Return of the Jedi is not as good as its two predecessors; it is still one of my favourite movies of all time and, with no doubt, beats the hell out of any of the prequels! I like close nearly all aspects of this movie, even if it does contain some cheesy lines and a weaker script. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the performances and thought it gives the trilogy one of cinema's best endings. I will, therefore, give Return of the Jedi a 9.0 out of 10.
What is your opinion on Star Wars Episode VI? So, after finally finishing my Star Wars Specials my next review to appear tonight will be on The Force Awakens. As always thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed my reviews for the Star Wars movies and TV series.