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December 15, 2017

Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) --- "Luke Realizes He Kissed His Sister. Can You Say Awkward."

Plot Summary
Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) battles horrible Jabba the Hut and cruel Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel Alliance and triumph over the Galactic Empire. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) reaffirm their love and team with Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), the Ewoks and the androids C-3PO and R2-D2 to aid in the disruption of the Dark Side and the defeat of the evil emperor. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     In 1997 and then again in 2006 George Lucas released a new and altered version of the original trilogy in order for it to be more closely related to the prequel trilogy in 1999 -2005. So as not to spoil the film I will not say what has been changed but I can say that this new outlook allows for moviegoers and fans alike to have a greater appreciate what has often been viewed as the weakest of the original trilogy. Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) still offers a lot of content that is worth watching and is as strong as the original in its own way and in this case perspective a good thing. 

     I believe that part of the uproar for ROTJ has to do with the subconscious/conscious expectation among most audiences that the third film must always be the worst then the rest of the films. I refuse to go into a film with that negative concept in mind. I always try to give a film the benefit of a doubt, no matter what and having this mindset allows for me to watch the film with an open mind. Rather than dupe myself into thinking that a clearly superior film is not as good as it really was.
     The Star Wars films have always set a standard for how special effects (Supervisor Rob Aborgast) and visuals (Supervisor Dave Carson) are done, and ROTJ can easily hold a candle to its predecessors. Considering that ROTJ came out after A New Hope (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back (1980) it is not surprising to see that the special effects have improved over time. The special effects and visuals are impressive from the terrain of Tatooine where Jabba the Hut’s lair resides to the skies where space battles ensue. The action scenes on Tatooine are the most memorable and the space battles are believable, and despite the film’s corny forest battle of Ewoks vs. Imperial Stormtroopers, the film ends well some pretty impressive special effects. Although the visuals, special effects, and action would not be as impressive if it were not for the music score. John Williams’ music scores are just as much a part of Star Wars folklore as are lightsabers and the Force. Once again Composer Williams has created a touching, significant, and timeless music score that captures the mood/themes within every scene and character.
     The acting is classic Star Wars fare. Mark Hamill flexes his acting skills as the almost fully matured Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker, who makes for an unforgettable performance. Carrie Fisher does a fine as a more developed Princess Leia, while Harrison Ford character seems to fade as his personality has not changed as much as Hamill and Fisher since the last film. Anthony Daniels provides more hilarious moments as C-3PO and Frank Oz makes the most of only two scenes as Yoda. The most memorable character/scene involves Darth Vader’s ( and Sebastian Shaw) final scene with Luke. This is what the fans have been waiting for since Episode IV: A New Hope in 1977.  Darth Vader has hidden behind a mask for the past 20 years and with this pick underneath, we get to see that one of the most iconic villains ever is not entirely a machine. He’s sick-looking, vulnerable, still very much human. Of course, there are those who disliked this revelation but when you think about it, it’s pretty effective in being unforgettable. James Earl Jones iconic voice as Vader is only rivaled by the shriveled up Emperor who is portrayed by Ian McDiarmid with a frighteningly evil and raspy voice.

     Overall, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (2017) falters a bit in the 2nd act but the 1st and 3rd acts hold up the film and deliver a satisfactory finale to the original trilogy. Over the years Star Wars fans have created their own versions of the original trilogy in their head and while the ending is left open to interpretation by George Lucas, ROTJ should be given a chance despite a few alterations and some furry creatures known as Ewoks. It’s not easy to create a film saga that spans decades, generations, and vast technical improvements but somehow Star Wars is one of the lucky few that actually make it work.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Film (2016)
Star Wars Episode IV: New Hope (1977)
Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clone Wars (2002)
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
Star Wars Episode IX (TBA)

"Who are you?" - Han Solo. "
Someone who loves you." - Princess Leia

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4.5 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  4.5 of 5 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983).

Movies Similar 
John Carter (2012)
Rogue One (2016)
Star Trek 1 (2009)
Star Trek 2: Into Darkness (2013)
Star Trek 3: Beyond (2016)
Star Wars I: Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clone Wars (2002)
Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Star Wars IV: New Hope (1977)
Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

Cast & Crew
Directed by Richard Marquand   
Writing Credits: Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas
Produced by 
     Jim Bloom                       ...     co-producer
     Howard G. Kazanjian      ...     producer
     George Lucas                  ...     executive producer
     Rick McCallum                ...     producer
     Robert Watts                   ...     co-producer
Music by John Williams     
Cinematography by Alan Hume and Alec Mills
Casting By Mary Selway
Production Design by Norman Reynolds         
Art Direction by Fred Hole and James L. Schoppe
Set Decoration by Michael Ford and Harry Lange

Mark Hamill                    ...        Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford                ...        Han Solo
Carrie Fisher                   ...        Princess Leia
Billy Dee Williams         ...        Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels             ...        C-3PO
Peter Mayhew                 ...        Chewbacca
Sebastian Shaw              ...        Anakin Skywalker
Ian McDiarmid               ...        The Emperor
Frank Oz                           ...        Yoda (voice)
James Earl Jones           ...        Darth Vader (voice)
David Prowse                  ...        Darth Vader
Alec Guinness                  ...        Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi
Kenny Baker                    ...        R2-D2 / Paploo
Michael Pennington      ...        Moff Jerjerrod
Kenneth Colley               ...        Admiral Piett
Michael Carter                ...        Bib Fortuna
Denis Lawson                  ...        Wedge
Tim Rose                           ...        Admiral Ackbar
Dermot Crowley             ...        General Madine
Caroline Blakiston         ...        Mon Mothma
Warwick Davis               ...        Wicket
Jeremy Bulloch               ...        Boba Fett
Femi Taylor                      ...        Oola
Annie Arbogast               ...        Sy Snootles
Claire Davenport           ...        Fat Dancer
Jack Purvis                      ...        Teebo
Mike Edmonds                ...        Logray
Jane Busby                       ...        Chief Chirpa 

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