Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is the third and final movie in the original Star Wars trilogy. As both a sci-fi action film and an ending to a three-part story, Return of the Jedi keeps things exciting and entertaining.
After the cliffhanger ending of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the stage is set for a fantastic final fight between the Empire and the Rebellion. As always, the world of Star Wars is ever-expanding, and Return of the Jedi is another great example of inventive new environments, vehicles, and characters.
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The Film Review
Return of the Jedi picks up not long after the end of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is still alive, but frozen in carbonite and stuck in Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine. With a new bionic arm and the knowledge that Darth Vader is his true father, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has a renewed purpose to defeat Vader’s Empire.
Along with Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and the beloved fur-ball Chewbacca, the gang set out on a mission to rescue Han. Unbeknownst to them, Vader’s Empire has been rebuilding the super-weapon the Death Star, and it will soon bring destruction to the galaxy.
Much like The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi is a mixture of drama, sci-fi action, and fantasy elements. However, Return of the Jedi contains a hefty amount of comedy as well, with the inclusion of some cuddly new species and wackier plot lines. As it leads into the climactic battle between the Rebellion and the Empire, the film is also full of special effects, lending itself to a more of a spectacle of explosions and lights.
Whereas The Empire Strikes Back was far more serious and gritty, Return of the Jedi isn’t afraid to add some jokes and charm into the mix. The attempts at comedy are hit-and-miss, but overall it doesn’t distract too much from the plot at hand.
Regardless of its overall narrative strength, Return of the Jedi is the home of some of cinema’s most quoted lines and memorable scenes. During the rescue mission to save Han, Luke engages in a suspenseful battle with a Rancor, a towering and slobbery beast.
On the forest moon of Endor, Storm Troopers whiz by on speeder-bikes and tear through the trees in massive walking tanks. These scenes, along with Admiral Ackbar’s iconic “it’s a trap!” line, continuously provide uproarious moments of action and intrigue, gripping the viewer with its intense sci-fi themes.
Overall, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi may not be as serious or compelling as The Empire Strikes Back, but it’s still an absolutely fantastic movie and one of sci-fi’s best. It wraps up the epic story between the Empire and Rebellion in a meaningful way, all of our favorite characters show up, and there are some undeniably awesome action sequences.
While its more lighthearted efforts may have been misguided, Return of the Jedi is a remarkably entertaining experience and a satisfying conclusion for this incredibly popular film series.
- Countless iconic scenes, such as Jabba's Palace and the Sarlacc Pit
- Good mixture of new environments and familiar characters
- Epic battle sequences and light saber fights
- Some of the dramatic power is weakened by ineffective comedy
- Newer versions of the movie add awkward CGI characters and backgrounds