Thursday, November 16, 2006
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
When Star Wars Episode III came out two summers ago, I thought to myself, "Finally, a new Star Wars movie that compares to the old ones. This one didn't even have Ewoks in it." It only took me one more viewing of Return of the Jedi to realize I was completely wrong to even consider Episode III superior. Twenty years from now, no one will remember what Natalie Portman was wearing as Padme, yet everyone remembers Leia (Carrie Fisher) in her bikini. Return of the Jedi has left such a lasting impression on fans and film in general that it is impossible to fail to recognize its place in film history.
Return of the Jedi picks up where Empire Strikes Back left off, with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) frozen in carbonite in Jabba the Hutt's palace, Luke (Mark Hamill) attempting to save him before heading back to finish training with Yoda, and of course, the Emperor and Darth Vader's new plans to build an even stronger Death Star. The main plot of the movie, however, revolves around Luke's quest to bring his father back to the Light Side of the Force.
The main reason that this film is not considered by many fans to be on par with A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back is the fact that a good portion of the film deals with furry, little creatures known as Ewoks. Before Jar Jar Binks pissed off legions of Star Wars fans, Ewoks pissed off legions of Star Wars fans. They have no business playing as important a role as they do at the conclusion of the film. They are introduced halfway through, and they are the main contributors to the defeat of the stormtroopers on Endor. Why? George Lucas took a potentially legendary conclusion to a legendary franchise and took it down a few notches by trying to be cute.