Return of the Jedi (1983)

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Bringing George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy to a close is Return of the Jedi, Episode VI.  Return of the Jedi is a, mostly, satisfying conclusion to the original trilogy and kept the Star Wars fans happy for years after its release.

Return of the Jedi begins with one of the best action pieces in the entire series, the attack on Jabba’s compound on Tatooine.  With every new piece the movie sets up a tremendous battle over the Great Pit of Carkoon where the sarlacc lives.  All of our heroes are involved and we get to see both the new and improved Jedi Knight Luke and the recently out of carbonite Han.  Metal bikini clad Leia completed the trio with her mastery of choke chains.

The second part of the movie is less consistent as the opening scene, though it is still very compelling.  The whole Luke-Vader-Emperor angle of the film is just amazing, with Luke’s determination to save his father’s soul being a huge driving force for the film.  The confrontation between Luke and the Emperor is tense and nerve-wracking.  However, the section on Endor with the Ewoks feels too cute and cuddly.  It is believed that the main purpose of the Ewoks was to sell toys.

Of course, there are some good moments with the Ewoks too.  Rumor has it though that the Ewoks were originally intended to be Wookies, which would have been all forms of epic.  It would have made more sense to see the Wookies help take down the Imperial forces than it was to see the Ewoks.  Branches and rocks vs. blasters and AT-AT does not make much strategic logic.

Yet, the death of Nanta the Ewok is a very emotional scene, considering they are just teddy bears.

In the end, Return of the Jedi is am enjoyable end to the Star Wars trilogy.  The good parts are fantastic and the weaker parts are still decent.  Return of the Jedi leads into what seems like a happy ending for our heroes and its fans.

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