A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: Richard Marquand
Produced By: Howard Kazanjian
Written By: George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Running Time: 131 Minutes
Jabba The Hut, The Sarlacc Pit, Admiral Ackbar and The Ewoks; Return Of The Jedi certainly had its work cut out for it in terms of concluding the timeless original trilogy, but that didn’t stop it from having some fun along the way.
A continuation of what had come before but a radical departure in some instances, the third and final instalment in the trilogy successfully carried the imperative ark of Luke Skywalker, executing his struggle along the tightrope between the dark side and the light. On top of the temptation of destiny through semantics, daddy issues are thrown in to the mix making for some testing, telling times.
This chapter in the story is less about the might of the Empire but the restored hope within the rebellion alliance lead once again by the gallant Skywalker whose interests now lie a little closer to home.
With the exception of a few first and third act elements that to this day confuse audiences and hint at something from 1978’s Holiday Special, Return Of The Jedi closes off the most iconic trilogy in history in excellent fashion.
As the title suggests, Episode VI injects explosive optimism into the gloomy, grim and deflated universe we were left with in The Empire Strikes Back. Energetic, vibrant and colourful virtually from the offset, the story begins with the favourites returning for the last time (or at least as it would seem back in 1983).
Luke, Han and Leia one again attempt to bring down the galactic Empire for the final time, galvanising another rebel fleet in action. A story that concludes with one of the most gripping and satisfying conflicts in the saga, Episode VI, whilst a drop in quality compared to the previous two instalments, undoubtedly has its moments of greatness.
Momentum counts for a lot in a successful franchise. It’s easy to get carried away and believe that everything the product touches turns to gold. With Star Wars: Episode VI however, the Midas Touch does come into play on a few occasions, proving risky and off-putting to diehard fans the world over.
Unknowingly disposing of fan-favourite characters for the purpose of comic relief, rehashing and overdoing dialogue from the previous instalment and introducing a species of adorably infuriating teddybears seemed to cross the line for most. Yet, as is noted time and time again about the iconic saga, there is still an enormous amount to love about Episode VI.
The ark Luke Skywalker comes to an incredible close, made all the more difficult by the struggle to restore the good qualities into his father and defeat the puppet master behind it all, Darth Sidious.
Calculated, malicious and conniving, the Emperor rules with an electrically-charged iron fist, seeing and hearing nothing but evil and total control. Although the narrative’s nucleus is Luke, the primary interest lie with Vadar and the voices in his ears; compelling and tense viewing is guaranteed.
Excluding unnecessary musical scenes, Ewoks and the slew of seemingly unavoidable special edition alterations, Return Of The Jedi is a solid, pleasing conclusion to the worldwide phenomenon.
The score, visuals and action live up to previous episodes, whilst the story arks carry over and conclude satisfactorily.
Tonally balanced between childish antics and maturer scenarios, the film fluctuates more than previous chapters, yet the underlying themes and tones remain focused and driven to return and thus conclude in a epic, optimistic way. It’s safe to say that Episode VI succeeded in that regard.