6 points about:
Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
So we continue our Star Wars series with 6 points about the one that culminated it all… well at least until Episode VII. Return of the Jedi continues the story of both The Rebellion vs the Galactic Empire and Luke Skywalker vs Darth Vader. This is probably the most divisive movie of the whole original trilogy. By divisive I mean that nobody thought this was bad, but just not as good as its predecessors. Many also think that this is the best of the original trilogy. I don’t think that I have seen a list of the best Star Wars movies, where Return of the Jedi was anywhere but 1st or 3rd. This does show that many loved this movie, but did I? Read my 6 points below to find out.
1. The whole cast seem perfectly at ease with their character.
In A New Hope, many of the actors seemed to only be getting to grips with both their characters, and what the hell this Star Wars thing was. In Empire, they all seem to have fully invested in this project and all put in some fantastic performances. But in this movie, everybody seems at ease with their characters and are much more comfortable with what is going on. They seem to know exactly how to portray their characters and these comfortable performances make the movie a much more satisfying watch. For me, this was Mark Hamill’s best performance, and he seemed far more comfortable than ever before. He delivered the dialogue perfectly and conveyed Luke’s emotions perfectly. Years of hate and loss for Luke was to boil down to this, and Hamill never went over the top, and played to the character of Luke perfectly. Harrison Ford was…. well he was Harrison Ford and put in an expectedly brilliant performance as Han Solo. A lot of the same things could said of Carrie Fischer’s performance as Princess Leia, as was of Mark Hamill’s. She looked totally at ease with the character and it was another solid performance from her. I say this every time, but the all the voice actors were terrific. Anthony Daniels has a harder job than one would imagine, as for the most part, he is talking to something that doesn’t speak back to him – R2-D2. He, as well as Frank OZ as Yoda, Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca and Kenny Baker as R2-D2, were fantastic, as they always are. Great acting all-round
2. There was a lack of story compared to Empire.
The Empire Strikes Back had so many layers and so many story and plot elements that were executed brilliantly, while Return of the Jedi does lack some of this storytelling. I feel like this was because in Empire, everything was set up, the characters were built up and we all knew exactly what was going on in the universe. This was the movie that was too culminate everything and show how everyone would end their story’s. This movie was more of an action and adventure, and it was able have more action because everything and everybody was already developed fully. I don’t see this as a bad point, I am just pointing out that this movie does lack the layers and amazing plot points that Empire had. The action scenes came thick and fast nd we will talk about them in point 3 below.
3. The action scenes were amazing.
As I stated above, this movie had more of an action and adventure feel to it. There was the best action of the original trilogy in this movie, and not to mention, the best lightsabre fight. This was obviously between Vader and Luke while Emperor Palpatine looked on and taunted Luke. The whole saga was coming to an end here at this very moment, everything had been building to this, and boy was it amazing. My favourite sabre fight of all time easily. The one in Empire was very good, while the one in The Phantom Menace was the best choreographed, Luke vs Vader in Return of the Jedi had the most emotional value to it. Purely amazing. This movie also gave us some great chase scenes that were very intense, and the best aerial battle of the original trilogy. The final battle with Han and Leia and the Ewoks against the Imperial troopers was pretty awful to be honest. A small teddy bear can knock over a fully armed and trained storm-trooper by throwing a stone at his helmeted head? I don’t think so. Otherwise, this movie had the best action of all the Star Wars movies.
4. The characters are as iconic as ever.
As I watch this movie, you could almost feel sad for those in 1983, who were seeing these characters for the last time. The movie had a sense of closing and sadness that these iconic characters are gone. Han Solo showed a great character arc by the end of this movie, starting in the first. Leia looks to have really become a central figure in this universe. And of course we all know about the ending of Luke and Vader. This was a very fitting ending and I really felt as if this story had the perfect triumphant ending. One added scene that I feel Lucas was justified with adding in, was the scene where we cut to all the different planets in this universe celebrating after the death of the Empire. It really adds to the triumphant feel of this conclusion. Of course, our extra special nostalgic feels for the likes of R2, C-3P0 and Yoda were only added to and this was a fitting end to these characters.
5. It wasn’t all good though…
This was by no means a perfect movie in my eyes. A great action adventure filled with excitement and joy? Yes. A great culmination to an epic story? Yes. Yet there still felt as if there was something lacking. Return of the Jedi has a feel that this was aimed towards younger audiences with the Ewok’s and there is also a lack of enthralling dialogue and character development. This was in place for some great action, but at times this was a bit hard to take seriously. I am not asking for exposition heavy scenes like we got in the prequels, but just a little more story elements that will interest both adults and children. Not all the visual effects hold up compared to today’s lofty standards, but for its time they are quite good. I also feel like the visuals in the first two were better. There are a few other nitpickey moments but still some flaws with this movie.
6. Overall, this is a great culmination of an iconic saga.
Despite some problems and divisive topics, there is no denying how exhilarating this movie is. This is a great action movie full of great moments and characters and some fantastic action sequences. We got a wonderful end to an iconic and untouchable franchise. I do find that perhaps Lucas should have just let Marquand do everything or do it all himself. This movie had some messy elements and it felt as if there was more than one vision with this movie.
Still a wonderful movie that I will give a 9/10.