This is not quite Bantha fodder. Following on from the freshness of Star Wars (1977) and the all round greatness of craft and story telling that was The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi was always going to struggle in comparison. That's not to say there are not fans who prefer it of the original trilogy, because there are many, and like minded fans of George Lucas' space saga shouldn't have a problem with that. However, it is the weakest of the three. The characters we have come to love, and to be a part of their universe, are performed with gusto - but they are mostly thinly written, reduced to playing second fiddle to special effects, while the dark heart has been replaced with - well - smokey hokey (furry teddy bears with sticks and stones, I ask you). Then there's the lack of sexual tension so evident in the previous two films. Oh we love Han and Leia because that's love! But one can't help missing the sparks that was once between them - and Luke of course, hmm... Yet for all that, of the irks and complaints, Return of the Jedi is still a thrilling film, the budget up on the screen to entertain the children and the adults with the child within. Characters and creatures wander into this wonderful world for super impact. The Emperor, Jabba the scene stealer, Rancor and Sarlaac, while the speeder bike chase, further lightsaber shenanigans and the space battle ensure the action is never far away - even if one can be a little underwhelmed by the big finale not all it can be. Ultimately it was not without faults, but still it was one hell of a conclusion to a genre defining (then) trilogy. 8/10
_**Fun, cute, imaginative, iconic space adventure with a kick-axx cast**_ "Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi" (1983) was the anticipated end of the original trilogy that began with the initial blockbuster from 1977. The trilogy is an epic, but simplistic space fantasy about an evil empire and the noble souls who dare to fight it. The main cast features Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi), Ian McDiarmid (Emperor) and the voice work of James Earl Jones (Darth Vader) and Frank Oz (Yoda). This is an amusing, inventive, iconic space adventure with a stellar cast that upped the ante with edgy cuteness. While I prefer the adult-oriented space science-fiction of Star Trek, I can’t deny that the space fantasy of Star Wars always grants you an entertaining couple hours. This one features lots of sci-fi action, cartoonish characters, great sets, Carrie Fisher at her fittest in an alluring costume, space ships, alien bogs and awesome forest sets (shot in the Redwoods of Northern Cal). Ford and Williams are at their charismatic best. Even the more obscure Hamill shines as the boyish hero and the Darth Vader story arc is notable. Then there’s RD-D2, C-3PO and Chewbacca. The film runs 2 hours, 11 minutes. GRADE: B
Arguably the weakest (comparably) of the original trilogy, yet <em>'Return of the Jedi'</em> is still an excellent film! Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher remain a thoroughly enjoyable trio. I did find parts of the plot a little similar to 1977's <em>'Star Wars'</em>, due to the Death Star stuff, but overall I unquestionably enjoyed the 135 minutes. The score is great again, while the new bunch of characters are cool. There are some memorable moments in there, as we see the first spate of films come to a close very nicely. I'm very intrigued to see where things go with the prequels, hopefully they continue to hit high marks.
This third of the original Star Wars films is probably my weakest. Possibly because the writing is not too tight but for me, more so because the "Ewoks" take over the thing and they are just stupidly annoying. What had potential to pitch the ultimate evil partnership against the Rebel Alliance became a toy-fight straight out of a Laurel and Hardy comedy - the storyline was infantile. Still it’s a great film to look at, and features just enough menace and diversion in the first hour to make it worth watching until an ending that I found the ultimate in disappointment!
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