Star Wars Revisited FINALE: Return of the Jedi

A long time ago… I discovered Star Wars. It would define my life. It’s time to rediscover it.

| The Phantom Menace | Attack of the Clones | Clone Wars season 1 and 2 | The Clone Wars 1 | The Clone Wars 2 | The Clone Wars 3 | The Clone Wars 4 | The Clone Wars 5 | The Clone Wars 6 | Clone Wars season 3| Revenge of the Sith| Rebels | A New Hope | The Empire Strikes Back |

Part XV- FINALE

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

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Luke Skywalker and his friends launch a rescue attempt for Han Solo from the evil crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Following this, they make an attempt to destroy the second Death Star, currently under construction. As Han and Leia lead an assault on the shield generator for the base on the moon of Endor, and Lando leads the fleet into battle to destroy the Station, Luke travels alone to confront Vader and Emperor Palpatine.

Mark Hamill returns as Skywalker, and a different Skywalker at that. Gone is the innocent farmboy from A New Hope. Similarly gone is the impatient Jedi in training of Empire. This Luke is aggressive, and dangerous. While the good remains, he is skirting ever so dangerously to the edge of darkness. Hamill did some great work in this series.

Harrison Ford is thawed to play Han Solo. Han really doesn’t do all that much in this film. He is the full Rebel General by this point. He is here to kick ass and get the girl. Not too shabby.

Carrie Fisher also loses a bit of character this time out. She spends some time as a slave, introducing a generation of boys to puberty,  and kicks ass as a Rebel soldier. She does it well though.

Peter Mayhew returns as the Mighty Chewbacca! He has  some good stuff with the Ewoks, and his reuniting with Solo was a great scene.

Billy Dee Williams is back as Lando. He makes up with Han for that whole betrayal thing and becomes a General as well! He gets to pilot the Falcon with the amazing Nien Numb and becomes a war hero. Not bad.

David Prowse completes his turn as Darth Vader in the biggest Vader story since the prequels. James Earl Jones returns as his voice, and Sebastian Shaw plays the unmasked Vader. This redemption is the emotional center of this series. Great stuff, truly legendary.

Ian McDiarmid is introduced (ha, prequels), as Emperor Palpatine, Darth Sidious himself. This was such a slitheringly evil performance. He was perfect for the role. He was only in his late 30’s at the time (yonger than Ford) making his return 16 years later all the better.

Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker are back as R2D2 and C3PO. Some of my favorite droid scenes are in this one. R2 is serving drinks on Jabba’s sail barge and 3Po becomes the god of the Ewoks. Classic.

So many artists and performers made Jabba come to life. I have an autographed photo with 6 or 7 signatures of the various people that made this scene come alive. Awesome and 1000x better than digital Jabba.

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Admiral Ackbar. Has such a character ever existed with the impact of this one. IT’S A TRAP!

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Salacious B. Crumb, Kowakian monkey-lizard. My favorite character in the film, possibly the series. Seriously. This little dude was fucking awesome. Meeting his puppeteer, Tim Rose, was epic. All the more fantastic? Rose also puppeteered Admiral Ackbar! natch!

This is it. From 1983 to 2012, this was the endpoint of the Star Wars canon. The Empire is defeated, our heroes get the happy ending. All that changed October 30, 2012. Disney bought Lucasfilm and announced that the story would go on. That next chapter comes 19 hours from this writing. Yes, in 19 hours I will know what happens next, and that fucking amazes me.I truly never thought this day would come.

Return of the Jedi was not as great as the first 2 in the series, but it was still high up there in the stratosphere of cinema. I have a very strong affinity for this one. I was 4 when it came out and can still remember the fervor of 1983, incredibly. The pajamas, the bedsheets, cereal, toys, etc. 2015 is very much like 1983, much more so than 1999.

I have no idea what tomorrow evening will bring,  but advance reports are amazing 97% Rotten tomatoes. Regardless of what happens, to me, this is Christmas. This is the best present I could ever get, more time with Han Solo, GENERAL Leia, Chewbacca, R2D2, C-3PO, Admiral Ackbar, Nien Numb, and LUKE SKYWALKER. Awesome. I also get to meet all sorts of new friends who I have no doubt will become just as much a part of me- Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo, Maz, Phasma, Hux, and more I don’t even know yet.

This LONG look back on 38 years of Star Wars content has been great. It was good to remind myself of the highs and low this series has given me. So much of my life is tied to these moments, the release of this content. It has been an honor to live my 36 years as a Star Wars fan. I look forward with great anticipation to the next 36.

Thanks for reading this series!

NEXT:

The 419th film I have seen in theaters…

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WOOT WOOT!

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