Return of the Jedi


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The final volume of the REAL Star Wars trilogy, where all plot threads are wrapped up and everyone gets what’s coming to them.

This review has SPOILERS that totally give away the ending, so if you haven’t see this movie (i.e., you’re Amish, you’ve been living on a mountain in Tibet as a hermit, or you are a tree frog that has just recently evolved into a thinking being and discovered this movie review) then please watch the movie first, it’s too good to ruin it.

Yes, Mr. Otter, that’s what I said. THIS MOVIE IS GOOD. Not only as an action/explodo flick, as the conclusion to the trilogy, a buddy picture, and a great special effects fest, but just as a piece of screenwriting, this movie is good.

And I’ll stand by that.

Ah, the summer of 1983. I was living with Mr. Otter, but had not yet actually legally joined my name to his (so I guess technically he wasn’t Mr. Otter yet, but was still plain ol’ Badger…). We went to the local multiplex on a date one afternoon, saw whatever the heck it was we had gone there to see, and as we left, saw a huge line for Return of the Jedi, which had just opened about 2 days before (a huge line for then, not now…movie theatres just didn’t seat a thousand people in those days, except the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. But I digress.)

We saw the line, found out that it was for a show two hours away, and said, what the heck? we’d just be hanging out together talking all afternoon anyway, since that was one of our favorite pastimes…so why not just get in line, spend a couple of hours hanging out, and then see the movie while it’s new? And we did, and it was way fun.

And I seem to remember Mr. Otter-To-Be liking it too, although 25 years later he heaps scorn upon its metaphorical head.

All right, I’ll admit it: I did get tired of every single dang kid you saw ANYWHERE dragging those stuffed Ewoks around. Oh my god, that got old so fast…they were cute for about 10 minutes, and that was completely it. But in the movie, they were okay. Some aliens are just cute and cuddly, and that’s the way it is.

And the speculation on WHO THE OTHER JEDI COULD BE went on from the end of The Empire Strikes Back until this movie opened and we found out who it was. That was fun.

This one is great…lots of action, very satisfying in the ‘finishing off plot threads’ department, Han and Leia are hot, the bad guys get theres, and a whole lot of stuff explodes/collides/get shot. Very satisfying. And is there anyone who didn’t cry when Yoda died? No, you’re all lying, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I remember.

Fav scene: the bad guys come up behind Han, he puts his hands up facing Leia, who is crouching on the ground, he looks at her, she shows him the gun hidden in her lap.

Han: (giving her a ‘you are so cool’ look) I love you.
Leia: I know. (blows both bad guys away).

Now, this kind of scene makes it way more believable and palatable when Leia, in turmoil, turns to Han and asks him to hold her.

Unlike the passive and puddingy brood mare Padme (Hold me, Anakin! Hold me the way you did on Naboo!), she’s tough enough that there is a contrast between that and her soft side, and this makes her a well-rounded character. But I was going to try not to mention the hideous travesties that are the “first, second, and third” Star Wars movies…and I almost managed it.

This is one serious action flick, with good characters, great dialogue, lots of special effects, and explosions galore.

I saw this at the Red Cross, and it was perfect for distracting me for two hours of needles-in-the-arms…and then…my donation time is up, and I’m all cuddled up in the chair under blankets and heating pads, finishing off the movie before I go. And at the very end (remember, I warned you about the spoiler), after the new Death Star is destroyed, Darth Vader has killed the evil emperor and been killed in turn, Luke’s faith in his father has been vindicated, everyone parties the night away…and there came the final scene, which we all remember: Luke sees Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and his father, become Anakin Skywalker once more, appear to him one last time.

And the mystery is solved.

Oh, I thought, THAT’S why the hired that extremely wooden and unconvincing bad actor Hayden Christenson to play the young Anakin Skywalker. Because he kinda looks like the guy they had play him in Return of the Jedi twenty years before, and I guess they thought it would look wierd if he didn’t look sort of the same in the two movies.

But no. No, no, no, no, no. The truth is so much more evil and horrible than that…I can hardly bear to tell you…but of course I will.

George Lucas, MAY HIS SOUL BURN IN HELL FOREVER, added Hayden Christensen’s image to the end of Return of the Jedi when the DVDs were released in 2004.

So now I actually have Hayden Christensen in my personal DVD collection. And I will never, never, never forgive George Lucas for screwing around with part of the memories of my youth.




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