Wednesday, December 13, 2017
STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI MOVIE REVIEW
Recently I have heard from a lot of people that Return of the Jedi is their favorite Star Wars movie For the majority of time people have considered Jedi to be not a bad movie by any means, but the least favorite of the original trilogy. I might get a lot of hate for this, but I happen to fall into that group of people who fell that this is the weakest of the original trilogy. By no means do I hate this movie though. With this review, I hope to explain my very high positives for it as well as my slight negatives for this movie. Just like my other reviews in this series, this will contain SPOILERS. The movie opens a bit similar to A New Hope where we have C-3PO and R2-D2 on Tatooine. This time they are approaching the palace of Jabba the Hut because Han Solo is trapped in there in carbonite. They are waiting for Luke to meet up with them. Starting off with the droids on Tatooine is a nice callback, but the one major issue I have with this movie is there is a lot of exposition. What I mean by that is C-3PO and R2-D2 seem to fill that void of recapping the events of The Empire Strikes Back by filling us in that Han Solo is trapped in carbonite this is Jabba the Hut's palace. Now I don't hate C-3PO at all, but this feels like a very expository scene. They didn't even need to mention that Solo was in carbonite because if you saw Return of the Jedi you would have seen Empire Strikes Back and because of how much of a cliffhanger that was the ending would still be fresh in your memory. So one by one the group of Rebels finds their way into Jabba's palace. Leia comes in disguised as a bounty hunter with Chewbacca. Lando is disguised as one of the guards. C-3PO and R2-D2 make their way inside the palace where they have a conversation with Jabba the Hut. Jabba is pretty gross looking and the fact that he is a puppet is great. He is such an iconic character it's been built up that Han owes a debt to Jabba. In the palace Leia reveals herself, she frees Han Solo and is then captured by Jabba and he makes her his slave. Luke makes his way into the palace. You see that this is a different Luke Skywalker when he walks in he is wearing all black and he uses the force to choke the guards. It shows that he has gotten more powerful. He tries to negotiate with Jabba, but Jabba just laughs at him and pushes a button with makes Luke fall through a trapdoor into the rancor pit. We get a pretty cool action scene with Luke against the rancor he ends up outsmarting it and using the door to crush it. This results in Jabba sentencing them all to death in the Sarlacc pit. Luke and Han are brought to the Sarlacc pit and this is where we get the first huge action scene of the movie and we get to see Luke's new green lightsaber. When they are travailing to the Sarlacc pit the green screen is pretty distracting and that was never an issue in A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back. With the green screen being noticeable it made this part of the movie seem fake. I don't know if it is because Lucas just wanted to get the movie over with. Thankfully it doesn't take away from this incredible fight scene. Seeing Luke with the lightsaber is awesome. Leia chocks Jabba to death with her chains that was awesome. Most people complain about the way Boba Fett was killed off where Han just knocks into Fett's Jetpack and he falls into the Sarlacc Pit, but like I mentioned in my last review I don't care about Boba Fett at all. After the battle, the gang gets on the Falcon and departs for the next part of their journey. During this, we get to see what has been going on with the Empire and we are informed that the Emperor is finally going to be arriving to meet with Vader about the construction of the second Death Star. Everything with the Emperor in this movie is goddamn fantastic. This is way Palpatine is one of my favorite villains in movie history. After this, we do get a touching scene were Yoda and Luke finally reunite Luke returns to Dagobah to complete his training, but he finds Yoda on his deathbed. Before Yoda dies he reveals that Darth Vader is, in fact, Luke's father for all those people who thought that it was a lie. He also says that there is another Skywalker to which Obi-Wan as a force ghost confirms that Leia is his sister. You can tell during the writing of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back that this was not the original plane especially with the two kissing scenes in the previous movies. It does fell that Lucas intended his sister to be a different character and if it had been nine films like originally planned it would have been. It's still a cool scene. During this scene, Obi-Wan tells Luke that he needs to face Vader again. While this is going on the Rebels plan to destroy the second Death Star. During this, we see that Han and Lando reconcile with no attention given to the fact that Lando sold out his best friend. Again it felt like Lucas was rushing things and if it was a nine-film saga that grudge would have lasted for a couple of films. The Rebels have to go to the planet Endor to deactivate the shield generator which will allow them to destroy the Death Star again and finally bring down the Empire. They set off for Endor and I do like a lot of what happens on Endor, but it is also where some of the movies biggest flaws come in. We get my favorite scene action wise and that is the speeder bike scene with Luke and Leia against two scout troopers. After that we get introduced to the Ewoks I don't like these things I also don't hate them. They are not Jar Jar Binks level of annoying to me. They are cute, but they are also very obnoxious and you can tell this was the first time Gorge Lucas put in something just for the kids. I like Wicket especially the scene with Leia that was cute. The rest of the stuff with the Ewoks I don't buy it. I don't like the stuff where they capture Luke, Han, and Leia and they try to burn them alive, but than C-3PO shows up and the Ewoks think he is some sort of god it's funny, but it is a little childish. Then we get a scene where I honestly don't know if I like it or not. The Ewokes are having a big party for their new friends and C-3PO is telling a story that just recaps the previous movies in the original trilogy. I think it is charming how he'll be telling things and then you will hear the appropriate sound effect at the same time it's another scene that feels very expository. Sometimes it feels like C-3PO is just walking exposition in this movie. Then we get to the scene where Luke tells Leia that she is his sister and I like Leia's line about her always having this feeling that Luke was her brother. It shows how close they have become and it makes the scene where she senses the Luke is in trouble at the end of Empire Strikes Back more impactful. However, another scene that makes the kissing in the other two movies uncomfortable. Luke leaves the group he surrenders himself to Vader to try to bring his father back to the light side. Luke though out this entire movie is set on the fact that there is still good inside of the man once known as Anakin Skywalker and he is trying to talk some sense into his father and get him to abandon the Empire and help him stop the Emperor. You do fell the father-son bond although it's very fucked up. Now the movie really picks up for me when Luke and Vader are in the Emperor's throne room the movie gets really good and I love every scene with the Emperor. The Emperor is playing mind games with Luke trying to turn Luke to the dark side it is incredible. This leads to Luke and Vader igniting their lightsabers and having what I believe is the second best lightsaber battle in the entire saga after the battle at the end of Empire. I love that Vader starts taunting Luke. Luke comes out of his hiding place and starts beating the crap out of him and almost killing him. It shows that the Emperor's influence is working on Luke. While this is going on the Emperor reveals that the Death Star is fully operational and Luke's friends will be destroyed. The Ewokes and the Rebels manage to defeat the imperial forces on Endor. Which leads to the shields being taken down and Lando and his fleet being able to go into the Death Star and start their attack. Back on the Death Star Luke is about to kill Vader and the Emperor is egging him on. Luke snaps out of it and tells the Emperor that he has failed and says that he is a Jedi just like his father once was. The Emperor then starts using the force lightning on Luke trying to kill him and you see Vader just watching his son who is slowly getting killed by his master. Luke is screaming for his father to help him. You know that there is a deep inner conflict going on within Darth Vader during this. He gets up grabs the Emperor and throws him into the reactor pit killing his master and redeeming himself. Due to the Emperor's force lightning, Vader is wounded he tells Luke to take his mask off even though he will die. Luke takes off his mask and looks into his father's eyes for the first time. It is a very powerful scene and it's the death of one of the greatest villains of all time. Luke escapes the Death Star, Lando, and his fleet finally destroy it and that is the end of the Empire. Then we see the Jedi funeral of Vader that Luke has very impactful scene. Then we get the fun celebration scene with all the characters. The movie ends with Luke seeing the force ghost of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin. Overall it's a very good movie I did have an issue with some stuff. First, off the characters are the same ones we know and love from the other two movies in the original trilogy and they are still great. Luke firmly is established in this movie as one of the best characters in film history. Han and Leia are good. Vader is incredible in this movie and of course, Palpatine is one of the best villains in film history. The action scenes are all very well done the best action scene easily is the fight between Luke and Vader. The score by John Williams once again is brilliant. Like I mentioned negatives are that there is a lot of exposition which is a bit of a nitpick, but it can slow the movie down. The Ewokes felt like they were just put in for the kids. There are some issues with the visual effects where it is not as good as A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back. Some things with the plot could have been handled better Han and Lando reconciling for example. While I did have problems with Return of the Jedi I still really enjoyed watching this movie. 4 out of 5 stars for Return of the Jedi.