"Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
After making two widely successful films, George Lucas concludes his sci-fi trilogy with "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi". "A New Hope" sets the tone and introduces the characters of the franchise. "The Empire Strikes Back" focuses more on the emotions of the characters and the understanding of loss. In this installment, it seems as if they had more fun writing and creating the events that occurred throughout this film; they provide a great conclusion to the epic trilogy.
"Return of the Jedi" is a more straightforward and simpler plot compared to its predecessors. The time has finally come for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to face off against his evil father, Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones) and the evil Emperor (Ian McDiarmid). At the same time, lovebirds Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) lead the rebellion to the planet of Endor, where they team up with the native Ewoks (which are tiny bear-like creatures) to stop the Empire once and for all.
The previous film is very dark in tone as it sets up the redemption present in this movie. The entire movie is very light and pure, with the Ewoks providing lots of the comedic relief. The writers balance this out very well by intercutting shots during the Battle of Endor with the epic showdown between father and son.
The past two films had built up to this amazing fight that will end the long war between the Republic and the Empire; they certainly didn't disappoint. Luke is faced with the decision to keep his morals and try to bring his father back to the Light Side, or join the Dark Side and rule the Galaxy alongside his father. It's a moral decision Luke has faced in the past three movies, and the filmmakers certainly do a good job of redeeming both Skywalkers.
The film had a major re-release where Lucas went and added different elements from the prequels into the final moments of this movie. I personally think they added something more to the story when watching all of these films together in chronological order. It really brings the franchise full circle and sends the viewer off satisfied.
The original "Star Wars" trilogy is one of those rare occurrences where a certain trilogy or franchise never had a bad film. George Lucas and the rest of the filmmakers told this epic space story that involves love, loss, good and bad, and everything in between. It's a very rare occurrence to see a sci-fi film achieve the affect it has on viewers like "Star Wars" has. That's how you know when a film or franchise is really special.