Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
By Mike Derderian
The circle is now complete and I believe that our prolonged intergalactic journey is about to end. Nevertheless, we still have three prequels to write about. Now wait, don’t panic, for that won’t happen until The Revenge of the Sith is released in 2005.
The last of the Star War trilogy, Return of the Jedi, is la crème de la crème. Why? For many reasons; one is revealed to us as we enter the den of Jabba the Hut and meet with aliens at their best; two is because we get reacquainted with the charming boyish Han Solo and his on-growing love for Leia; and three… I would ruin the plot if I go any further.
For now, let’s talk about slime-face Jabba, the crime lord who Han Solo owes money to and failed to repay. This is where all the fun starts. Being frozen in carbon by Vader, Han is taken to Jabba by Bobba Fett. So, now it is up to Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, Lando and the two droids to save him from becoming a permanent art piece for Jabba’s mantle place.
Jabba’s cheap and painful way of getting rid of excess staff is done through an ugly creature with a very strong appetite known as the Rancor.
Jabba’s den is swarming with many “Creature Shop” creations that are singing and dancing to disco orientated alien music. For Star War fans’ amazement, Lucas managed to squeeze in a very funny musical number that you’ll just laugh at. Also, viewers will hate the little critter sitting next to Jabba, laughing every time a person is sentenced to death.
Going out of somewhere is not as easy as getting in; however, if you’re a Jedi with a light-saber and a telekinetic ability, things can become rather exciting, and this is the keyword in the first moments of the final sequel.
The title in itself might be a bit confusing; does it mean it’s Luke’s turn for payback? Or what? I know the answer! Do you? Go rent all three movies and try to find the answer.
Another thing that managed to irritate Star War fans was the Ewoks tribe in the middle of dead serious action. Now you are watching the final moments of a raging war saga, saying to yourself, ‘finally a climactic scene worth watching’, until a tribe of furry cute creatures came waltzing in.
As a kid I never remember hating the Ewoks, in fact I very much liked their presence, especially that the whole sequence that included them was shoot in a rain-like forest, where they live in an enchanting tribal village on treetops. Unlike the other two, this part is so filled with emotions—love, hate and even sentiments of sweetness manage to crawl under your skin—that will make you burst in tears. If not, then you are not a dedicated Star Wars fan.
Including such unorthodox creatures in the finale is either because Lucas ran out of ideas on how to end such a magnificent story or that’s the way of the director whether you like it or not. Now in cinema, starting a project is much easier than ending it, especially if it turned out to be a cult classic. I mean, we all remember how Star Trek fans rioted when producers decided to kill off Spock?
The only thing you’ll hate about Star Wars is how quickly the sequence mood changes from action to a space overview of a rebel ship and going back again to a forest packed with storm troopers, and back again to the newly built Death Star. A frame replacing another with no story line in between whatsoever or a dialogue to explain how things are going made it a very fast paced story.
In the Return of the Jedi, we are also introduced to the cool imperial two-legged Scout Walker, which was entirely shot in stop-motion animation. Could you believe that I had a real life experience with one of these monster machines—when I was a kid—in the form of a toy, storm trooper included.
Near the end, I felt sad for the man in black—Vader—for never such a villain managed to magnet such fan attraction, except for Hannibal Lector, years later. Just as the phrase, “May the force be with you”, became a punch line for a lot of people and a highly used line in cinema parodies—“Hello Clarice” underwent the same effect.
This very much proves how good a film is. I mean, how many of you film fans out there deny that they have a favorite film quote they sometimes use with people or when they are alone mumbling while being angry, happy or sad.
The great theme in Return of the Jedi is that we all have a good side and a bad side; which side you prefer depends on the catalyst. However, what works for Vader and Luke doesn’t necessarily work for you. You’ll have to find your own line of force.
Star Wars in two words is movie magic, for back in 1977 they didn’t have the cinematic technology nowadays have; yet, they pulled it off big time. So, hats off for Lucas, the gang and The Force.