Return of the Jedi


Directed by Richard Marquand. Written by Lawrence Kasden & George Lucas. Based on a Story by George Lucas. Running Time 134 min/ 135 special edition. Rated PG


The black sheep of the holy trilogy doesn’t look so bad these days compared to any of the films from the prequel trilogy. Ask any woman what her favorite Star Wars film is and if she has one it’ll most likely be Return of the Jedi. With more puppets and teddy bears abound there is no denying the target audience nor their toys.


In many ways this film should have prepared us for the decline in performance in favor of sheer spectacle that would become the Phantom Menace. For this the final act in the saga all the pieces are in place and all that remains are the two large set pieces for the showdowns to end all showdowns. First was the rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, filmed in my home state, Arizona, in beautiful Yuma. And second was the uncompleted Death Star above the Sanctuary Moon known as Endor to the native Ewoks. Both actions sequences are incredible and end with a big bang crescendo of noise and fire.


Curious note about this film is that when it was in production it was being called “Blue Harvent: Horror Beyond Imagination.” This was to help maintain secrecy and ward of the countless and relentless fans from swamping the cast and crew. Also this film was originally titled “Revenge of the Jedi” which would be revised for the third in the prequels. Revenge was not regarded as a quality of the Jedi, however we all know the Sith are all about it.


I’d also like to give a special performance note to the wonderful Ian McDiarmid (The Emperor). His voice and talents in this film were more menacing than Vader and the first Death Star combined.


All and all a spectacular end to a spectacular saga. George should be nothing but proud of himself and his collaborators. And he should have left well enough alone, especially when “well enough” was revolutionary.

~ by fumikaelson on July 12, 2005.

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