While the Galactic Empire attempts to build a second Death Star, the Rebel Alliance must rescue Han Solo from the evil Jabba the Hutt, and Luke Skywalker tries to bring his father back from the dark side.
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Brings to a close the themes of fathers & family that run throughout the saga (prequels included), but too much of "Return" feels inconsequential. It's a film that seems as if the screenplay was written around specific set-pieces & character designs created to sell toys. For those that like to denigrate the prequel trilogy, this has worse acting, writing & storytelling, & without the rich politics & bold aesthetics.
The only scenes that really standout for me involve Jabba, and Luke's confrontation with Lord Vader and the emperor. Everything from the dialogue between Lando and Nien Nunb to the sexualization of Princess Leia feels shallow, and many of the characters feel like they're a cross between the muppets and Steven Spielberg's Hook. Episode IV and V hold up incredibly well, but Return of the Jedi is laughably bad at times.
Originally thought to be the weakest of the first trilogy 'Jedi' actually holds up well in comparison. Despite the awful 'Ewok' subplot, which stills seems like a way to sell toys, 'Jedi's story is a well told series closer. In the end its an effects film not a performance film and delivers a satisfying wrap up....until now.
And we're back. The apotheosis of this series represents to me a critically dire time in Western entertainment and one I fear we may never recover from. I don't believe Star Wars dealt any serious critical blow to good cinema or that something else wouldn't have taken its place, but we find so many problems with the Hollywood system in these films. I feel this represents a low in what we would accept uncritically.
Has a handful of great scenes but deep down just a rehash of the good parts of the first two but none of the depth or metaphor. this is the beginning of the infantilization of modern american film culture and when the films became by-products of the toys rather than the other way around.This is when Lucas completely turned his back on his art. The turning point is here.
Odd to say but I find this film to be massively underrated. Sure, the Special Edition absolutely *murders* the Jabba's Palace sequence - to my eternal sadness - but moving past that, this is a fitting end to the trilogy. Mark Hamill is revealed as the glue that holds the entire series together. His plaintive reaction to Yoda's death (really, just a puppet when you think about it) is transcendent in the sci-fi genre.
Not as great as A New Hope or Empire Strikes Back, but a fitting end to the original trilogy. The ending is fantastic and fun in all its glory. The Ewoks don't bother me one bit. The hate towards them confuses me greatly. They give some much needed comic relief to the heavy storyline and they do so in a way that doesn't slow the movie down all that much.
2,5 The significantly weaker visual flair and the occasional moments of ridiculousness don't hold a candle to the wonderful Episode 5, but it till makes for an entertaining movie to put an end to the trilogy