'Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi' Review By John M

Hey, bitches! I just killed like 50 Stormtroopers!
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Directing
  • Visuals
Even as an eight, nine, ten year old child I knew Star Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi was the worst of the original trilogy. As I child I think I would I still would have given it a high score 4 to 4.5 stars because I was a kid. Still I didn't enjoy the film as nearly as much as A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. As I got older I asked myself after the good and great build up in story and characters could The Return of the Jedi be such a letdown in those two categories. There is a major character suicide as I call it and long with other pointless characters and story arcs. That is what I will be getting to in my review of Star Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi, and the worst of all of the Star Wars films.

First I'll give you the plot of the film which by now you all should know and I won't be spoiling anything for anyone. The film starts a few years after the conclusion of The Empire Strikes Back, and back on the planet Tatooine and Jabba the Hutt's base of operations where he has Han Solo imprisoned as a trophy. Leia tries to infiltrate Jabba's palace disguised as bounty hunter to free Han. She does free him, but the both quickly are captured. C-3PO and R2-D2 arrive shortly later with a message from The Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker and later Luke arrives and is capture as well. The group his freed while awaiting execution over the Sarlacc pit with the help of Lando Calrissian. In escaping they kill Jabba and Boba Fett. With their escape the group again splits up with Luke heading again to see Yoda while the rest of the group joins up with the rebels. On Dagobah Yoda confirms that Darth Vader is his father, and after Yoda's passing Luke learns that Leia's his sister. Luke meets up with the Rebel fleet and they learn that the Empire is constructing another Death Star above the Endor. Han leads a team of Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2 and some soldiers down to the planet to take out the shield generator while Lando and the fleet wait for it to go down and attack. Things don't go according to plan as the Emperor has predicted their moves. On Endor Luke is captured and taken up to the Death Star with his father while Han and his team are capture. In space the Rebel fleet is ambushed by the Imperial fleet and they learn that the Death Star is fully operational. On Endor Han and his team are freed by Ewoks and they take down the generator. On the Death Star Luke fights his father and wins, but doesn't kill him which leads to the Emperor using his powers and Darth Vader killing the Emperor at the cost of his own life. In the space battle Lando and his team attack and destroy the Death Star. The rebels have won and celebrate on Endor.

This is the worst writing job George Lucas has done. I really don't know what he was thinking with this film. The first half was really good with Jabba's palace, the Sarlacc pit and Luke returning to Dagobah. Once you get by that point things quickly go downhill. I mean the second half of the film is essentially the same plot as the first. I mean couldn't he have made the climax somewhere more interesting like on Coruscant. I think that would have been much better than a rehash of the end of the first film. Next are the Ewoks who were truly pointless characters. I hear people complain and complain about Jar Jar Binks. Sure he was a little annoying, but at least he served a purpose story wise, and you can't say the same for the Ewoks. Now every time I see the film and Endor I think of South Park and the hilarious Chewbacca Defense. I mean these character's served no purpose but for attract kids and Merchandise. Finally we come to the biggest issue I have with the film, and that is the mishandling of the character Darth Vader. I mean really at the last second he has a change of heart just because Luke says please. I know I know people will say it's his son, but you forget the man killed his wife and has most likely killed hundreds of people and helped kill tens of thousands, and just in a few seconds he has a change of heart. In the prequels you at least get the buildup to Anakin Skywalker's turn to the dark side in The Attack of the Clones and The Revenge of the Sith with The Emperor using his love and fear of losing Padme along with his mother's murder and the lack of respect he thought he was getting from the Jedi Counsel. In the original trilogy we get none of that build up and it ends up being completely out of character. Finally on a personal note how dare they kill off Boba Fett one of the coolest characters in the Star Wars series, and they gave him a crappy death as well. Return of the Jedi could have been an amazing end to wonderful and unique story. This is the one time I will truly put blame on Lucas. He's proven he's a good writer and idea's man, so why couldn't he have found a better way to end his story.

Even with the truly disappointing writing the acting was well done by the main cast, but was again hampered by the Ewoks who got too much screen time and took away from the other characters. Billy Dee Williams hardly got any screen time as Lando. The same can be said for Chewbacca who is a great character has his screen time limited thanks to those pesky Ewoks. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill do a splendid job as Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. Harrison Ford is always good, but Mark and Carrie show major improvement from A New Hope and you can see it in the characters. Ian McDiarmid does a good job in his limited role as the emperor, and does an even better job in the prequels. It's kind of sad though when you think about it. All these pretty talented actors and the only one who has a major career is Harrison Ford. Carrie's career faltered as she only managed guest appearances on television shows. Mark did manage to do all right for himself with his really good voice acting and his truly memorable job as the voice of the joker in many Batman cartoons and films. Still none reached the heights that Harrison did.

ILM again did an excellent job doing the effects for the film bring to live Lucas's universe. The action was pretty well done except I again have complaints about Endor and those pesky Ewoks. Really three feet Ewoks are going to fight an imperial garrison. Still the scene was well done. The directing was not done well by Richard Marquand who had done nothing before this film and nothing after. I know all the Lucas haters out there will try to put the blame on him, but he's proven he can write and direct well. He did it with the prequels and A New Hope. I think why the film wasn't good was because of his writing. I've read that he had written the complete saga before he did the films, but I don't believe that otherwise he would have written a better ending to the trilogy. I think Lucas had a detailed outline of how he wanted the series to go, but didn't write a detailed ending till right before Return of the Jedi. It happens with many novel series and long running TV shows. When the writers begin to write they might have a basic idea how they want things to end, but getting there is the problem and doing it right. Sadly Lucas messed up on this one. He'd make it up in his prequels, but A New Hope will be remembered as the letdown of the series. Oh I can't believe I forgot to mention John Williams in the previous reviews, and I like the guy. He has done so many great scores from all the Star Wars films to Minority Report to the first two Jaws films, and many other memorable scores.

Is Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi the worst of all six Star Wars films? Without question yes it is. It had potential in the beginning to be great, but with a bad script, a major character flaw, bad directing and pointless characters Return of the Jedi failed to live up to the successes of the first two films. What the film has going for it is was the first half of the film, along with the three main actors, effects and music by John Williams. Overall a disappointing conclusion to a wonderful journey I have taken many times as a child and an adult. Next up is my review of Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace

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Comments (13)

  1. John M

    @skywise: Thank you I'm glad you liked my review. I agree Ian Mcdiramid did an outstanding job as the emperor, but I feel his best work was in the prequels and Revenge of the Sith.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  2. John M

    @redcameraman: Thank you I'm glad you liked my review.

    Really you like Jedi the most? I've heard people say the like A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back or Revenge of the Sith as their favorite, but this I think is the first time I've heard some one say they liked Jedi the most.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  3. T. King (Red Camera Man)

    @john-m: Good review, but this one was always my most favorite of the original trilogy though, AND more entertaining than the first 2. My most favorite part: Luke refusing to join the Dark Side and the Emperor force lightning him while Darth Vader is watching. You also gotta love John Williams' music score; it REALLY stole the show during that scene. :-)

    2 years agoby @redcameramanFlag

  4. skywise

    @john-m Great review sir. I agree this is the weakest of the original trilogy but i find it more entertaining (pacing wise) than Phantom Menace.

    I felt that as "the Empror" Ian Mcdiramid did his best work here, as brief as it was. Of course as Cousilor he is much more prevailant in the prequels but his Emperor is truly frightening and his delivery is pitch perfect.

    I also feel that this has the best space battle scenes at this point in the series. That is not enough to save the film from the pitfalls of Endor though.

    If you are interested in the Fett and Han reunion check out the comicbook series Dark Empire which takes place right around the close of the Admiral Thrawn book series. Both the book and comic are notable for being the first of the EU revival in their respective markets and are both fantastic.

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  5. jasdjqs

    It was the weakest link in star wars terms. I remember as a child that should of been better,

    2 years agoby @jasdjqsFlag

  6. Sean

    @huntsmanYou're Welcome. Yeah, i did not know that about ILM before. I did not know it was around that long, and that George Lucas was the one who founded it.

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  7. John M

    @the-movieghost: Thanks glad you appreciated the review.

    Believe me I've seen the film hundreds of times and just watched it about a week ago and it's isn't there, and even if there is some invisible subtle hints it's still out of character.

    Boba Fett survived. Where was I. Your right, once I looked it up, and I've read many of the comics and novels and don't remember reading anything about him. I'll have to go back and find the comics and novels he's in.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  8. John M

    @themoviefanatic: Thanks glad you enjoyed it, and ILM has been around since I think 1975 when George Lucas founded it.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  9. John M

    @crypt: Thanks I'm glad you liked it.

    2 years agoby @john-mFlag

  10. the MovieGhost

    @john-m Nicely done. I may have to sit down and review the SW films myself, when I get more time.

    There are a couple things I want to point out: First, the missing buildup you referred to isn't actually missing, it's there if you care to notice it. It's displayed in the subtle way of Vader's body language. Keeping that in mind, it doesn't strike so hard in saying that "he flipped a switch and instantly" because we see that buildup. Secondly, if you're a Star Wars EU fan like I am, you'd find out that Boba didn't really die. He fought his way out of the Sarlaac and went on to do what Boba Fett does.

    2 years agoby @the-movieghostFlag

  11. Sean

    @john-m I got a good laugh out of what you said at the top of your review here :P . Good review though and what you said about ILM, i actually had no idea that they where around that long ago!

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  12. The Cryptkeeper: Resurrected

    @john-m Great review, I think the biggest part I agree on is those damn Ewoks. I actually remember enjoying this one just as much as the other 2 in this trilogy. But I cannot vouch for how I'd feel about these movies now. Anyhow, great review man.

    2 years agoby @cryptFlag