It truly ails my heart that we have come to the end of our glorious trip through the Star Wars saga. For all those who have kept up, it has been good, hasn’t it? For those of you just picking it up, make sure to check out the other entries.
Now, here at Ben’s Movie Reviews, to conclude the series reviews of Star Wars, in its 30th year, I present Return of the Jedi… Originally titled the Revenge of the Jedi, it was soon changed because revenge was not a quality of a true Jedi. The movie picks up a few months after TESB, and Han Solo is still frozen in carbonite and in the palace of Jabba the Hutt. While Lando, Han, Leia and Luke reunite, the dreaded Empire has begun construction on a new Death Star (even though the first one took 20 years to build, apparently they got the job done in 2 years for Death Star II.) After their quick escape and the death of Jabba the Hutt, Luke returns to Dagobah to resume his training with the Jedi Master Yoda. Unfortunately, with his life complete, Yoda is tired and dying. The Force merely kept him alive to train the last of the old Jedi, Luke Skywalker. In what people say is the best of the three death scenes in this movie, Yoda reveals in his last breath there is another Skywalker.
Perplexed, Luke already knows the answer (We all know it’s Leia…Wait, he kissed his sister?!?!). This is when he meets the spirit of Obi-Wan for the last time in the saga. In the book Return of the Jedi, a lot of facts are switched around. Obi-Wan alludes to his battle with Vader (Luke’s father) on some volcanic planet, with Vader falling into the lava and becoming the machine he is today. Ben also reveals that Luke’s mother raised Leia for the first few years, out of sight from the Empire. Luke’s Uncle Owen is also revealed to be the brother of Obi-Wan. (Hmmm…)
Continuity mistakes aside, this movie is one of the last great movies made. It still has that old Hollywood feel to it, and it achieves in telling its story and not hiding it with special effects. (I would say the LAST great movie of old Hollywood would have to be Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but that’s a different saga altogether). Luke plays the pure son and manages to return his father to the side of the light, and Anakin destroys the evil that has plagued the galaxy for years. The Ewoks were a little much, but the Rebel battle on the moon of Endor AND the battle against the Death Star (led by Lando "Billy Dee" Calrissian) were a sight to be seen.
As far as acting is concerned, Hamill, Ford and Fischer were a little off their games, considering the great performances they had in TESB. Perhaps they were tiring of the roles, but who knows? Great acts were put on by Ian McDiarmid (who played Emperor Palpatine), Billy Dee as the suave Lando and Admiral Ackbar, notable leader of the Alliance Fleet, and front man for Admiral Ackbar cereal.
I have little else to say about this movie, just that it is the glorious period to the sentence that is the Star Wars saga. I would tell you all the books that further tell the tales of the Star Wars universe, but I won’t. Oh hell, let’s just do it for old times’ sake:
The Truce at Bakura: picks up days after the destruction of the Death Star II
The Mandolorian Armor: picks up days after Boba Fett fell into the Sarlacc pit
Heir to the Empire: taking place years after the Battle of Endor and establishing new adventures
The Courtship of Princess Leia: the fight of Han Solo and the Prince of Hapes over the heart of the princess
Hope you have enjoyed this installment. I don’t know when I’ll be back, that’s all up to Ben and his gang of movie reviewers. Until then, keep reading his site and mine, The Solar Sentinel.
Luke: “But, Ben, I’m all that’s left of the Jedi…”
Obi-Wan: “You’re not the last of the old Jedi, you’re the first of the new…”
--the last appearance of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Heir to the Empire