Return of The Jedi is the last movie to come from the original trilogy and the 6th movie to be featured in the Skywalker saga.
The movie revolves around the story of Luke Skywalker and wrapping up what the previous movies set out to achieve. We see the end of the Darth Vader and Luke arc as well as a soft finale for other characters like Han and Leia.
The movie starts where we began our first adventure, on Tatooine. Comedy duo, R2-D2 and C-3PO, are tasked with distracting Jabba the Hutt.
Jabba is a weird character, while we do see him in the first movie, and have mentions of him in the second, this is the only time we get to see how he lives and the power he holds over people.
We get shown a masked character, who with light steps, sets to free Han Solo from his carbonite prison.
The movie doesn’t out right state when this takes place, judging from the change of outfits and Luke’s new hairstyle, I can only guess a few months at most.
Jabba’s palace doesn’t really excite me design wise, it’s just average. It fits well when you compare it to the design of Tatooine and definitely serves its purpose of looking like this crime lords safe haven.
The lighting and camera shots are just the same, there isn’t anything exciting to look at and really the actors take the spotlight.
When it’s revealed that Leia is this masked figure, we get a quick reunion scene with her and Han before they’re ultimately pulled away from each other.
Han joins Chewbacca and the droids while Leia is chained to Jabba’s side in one of her most notorious outfits, the bikini.
I get why it exists, but really, we all know the true reason was to appeal to the guys who didn’t like nerd crap but loved a hot woman.
Planets like Endor are really focused on in this movie and it’s nice to see a planet that isn’t sand and isn’t snow. It’s what I really like about the original series, every movie always features a different planet.
Compared to the prequel series where we would regularly return to the same planets, with the exception that new planets all looked the same or had very little detail.
We always are treated to a new part of the galaxy while still seeing different spots of planets we’ve already visited.
Ewoks are everywhere in this movie, love them or hate them, they’re here. It’s only just occurred to me that we don’t really see them much in Star Wars media, unless you count Lego Star Wars or Robot Chicken.
Instead, they’ve been replaced by Porgs, it’s still the same thing: cute, small animal that’s merchandisable.
Though I feel the magic of the Ewoks has been lost over time, with Disney wanting to sell the idea of cute, sci-fi aliens rather than what they actually were, which was warriors. Most of the scenes that feature the Ewok village show Stormtrooper helmets on spikes, but they’re just cute little teddy bears, they wouldn’t do that.
How could I almost forget, we see the end of a beloved fan favourite; Boba Fett.
Though not in the series long, he will be missed. Yeah, I'm just going to skip over this considering he currently has his own show set way after these events. Well I say it's his show, but we all know it's become The Mandalorian season 2.5 at this point, and I'm here for it.
Now one thing I have to mention, even if out of order, is Luke Skywalker and the iconography of his costume.
I know everyone and their mothers have talked about this, but it’s for a good reason.
Having Luke wear black throughout the movie shows the audience that he could be leaning towards the dark side, and it’s been shown in this series time and time again that the colour black is associated with the Sith.
By the end of the movie, we’ve reached the peak of the fight between good and bad, hero and villain, father and son.
Luke’s suit is torn at the top, the flap falls open to reveal the inside of his outfit was white.
It’s such an underrated moment in the movie but one that I love more than anything. George Lucas had to actively make that decision, it’s such a blink and you’ll miss it action and that’s why I love it, because if you needed anymore confirmation that Luke is a hero then boom, there you go.
The whole scene in general is great, Darth Vader’s redemption was built up to during the duration of the movie. To me it still feels a little rushed even with a two-hour run time. Possibly having him doubting his master or his abilities in the second movie would have really carried over well into this one.
Without watching any of the prequels, it would be hard to tell that Vader was a good guy at some point or even had an ounce of good in him.
And the plot point of a second death star felt somewhat lazy to me, it’s somewhat a cyclical structure but that only really works when the ending is done better, or the solution is harder to achieve.
Why build a second death star without fixing the problems the first one had. You’re just going to have the same problems as before, and though this newer death star fixes the whole blowing up thing. I don’t know, it just doesn’t fit right compared to having a whole new weapon that’s way bigger than the original death star and harder to stop.
The ending is a great send-off for the original series, I’ll ignore the little retcon of Hayden Christian’s Anakin being substituted in as a force ghost.
Overall, I think this is the best of Star Wars.
No trilogy has come close to the original and I don’t think it ever will. It was created at the perfect time, not too bogged down by having the best CGI or celebrity cameos and sponsors.
Compared to the prequels, everything in the original trilogy just works. At no point am I bored with democracy and understanding a sci-fi political group, nor do I cringe at terrible dialogue.
Lines from characters are genuinely funny, there aren’t quips for the sake of filling a silence. I think the problem with the mainstream Star Wars movies released recently is they think that audiences like characters because they’re funny, because they make quips every ten seconds.
And that’s simply not the case.
You have characters like R2-D2 who is funny through his actions, characters like Obi-Wan who are loved because they’re so charming. Characters like Han and Chewy are still mysteries even though they’ve appeared in three movies.
A character isn’t liked just because they’re funny, there has to be something else there that the audience can grapple on to without having to listen to the fifth character make another lousy joke in the span of five minutes.
Return of the Jedi is a great movie and a great way to cap off a series, it’s true what they say: nothing can beat the original.
Return of The Jedi gets 4 out of 5 Ewoks from me.
Return of The Jedi is streaming on Disney +.