My time of rewatches has finally come to an end. This past weekend I sat down to watch the final available Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedi. I’ll admit that some of the elements were probably my favorite, but there were also things that were troublesome as well. At the end of the day, I found myself yet again enjoying myself. Sure, maybe I was laughing at parts that I shouldn’t have, but it still resulted in a fun time. Now that I’ve watched all of the movies, I have come to realize that there are two distinct divides between the prequel and the original series. One was about politics and the choices one made and how it could effect things on a much larger scale. Then the other was about a small group of people who were just rebelling.
Luke Grew Up
The one thing that was most clear about what happened in Return of the Jedi was that Luke stopped being so damn ridiculous. Well it is Luke, so he still had his moments of being ludicrous, but he really kept it together. He wasn’t bounding about acting like a haphazard fool. He had plans and he executed them. In a way it was almost sad that I couldn’t spend as much time laughing at Luke, but it also showed that he had grown as a person. he wasn’t something that was just bumbling about what he knew.
Darth Vader’s Redemption
After watching the prequel trilogy that fact that Vader redeemed himself was not a shock, but an eventuality. We spent so much time getting to know Anakin the man that chose to become Darth Vader and while there was anger in him, he was a good man. There was no denying that. It seemed like the only logical choice that Vader would save Luke when he was in danger of Palpatine. There really was no other choice for a man who loved his wife so much that he went dark. Even if you considered that he only went dark for Padme and he never loved his children, it still makes sense that he wouldn’t want the last thing he had of Padme to die. If he let that happen there would have been no reason for him to go to the dark side.
Let’s talk about Ewoks
There seems to be a lot of ire directed towards Ewoks. After watching the film, I don’t see any reason why this is so, other than the fact that there presence was effected by poor editing. The Ewoks were cute, spunky, and humorous without being too ridiculous (save for one sequence). They should have been loved not hated. What I noticed was the real problem was the time spent with these creatures. We are going into the final film in the series and we forced to spend time with our characters in these foolish situations. They are captured by Ewoks and almost made food. It just doesn’t make all that much sense. However, watching this film I kept imagining that it would have been so much better if we just didn’t linger on the Ewoks so much. We didn’t need to know their beliefs. It was unnecessary and it really didn’t help advance the plot at all. Thus it could have been avoided.
The one thing that did not work for me was the editing. There was too much packed in. Much of which didn’t advance the plot. It needed a good editor to tighten the scenes and keep focus. The big problem was that this was the big final faceoff for Luke and Darth Vader, but we spent large amounts of time off doing other things and just worrying about the eventuality that the two men would need to fight. All the other tangents weren’t bad in their inclusion, but they did go on too long. Thus when we finally got to the big moments near the end of the film, they felt like after thoughts. Crammed in and not given a whole lot of time to develop. Actions and reactions felt rushed when they could have had a meatier impact if say we didn’t have to watch the Ewoks be in awe of C3PO. And while it was necessary to get Han back from Jabba that section of the movie felt like it could have been a separate short film since it didn’t even tie in with the main things the characters were dealing with the rest of the film.
At the end of this movie was yet another celebration. I’ve come to expect them at the end of a Star Wars film. This film still had that. They should be celebrating as Luke took down Vader. Sure, we didn’t get to explore the emotional weight of that or how Leia would have reacted. In fact, considering that Leia learned for certain that Luke was her brother and by extension that Vader was her father, she seemed rather nonplussed. However, it was nice to see everyone happy for once. Things were going their way somewhat.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film. However, the structural and editing problems were the most clear in this one as if Lucas had reached the point where he didn’t have as many people around him forcing him to question his decisions on what would be done next.
Oh and before I forget, Han and Leia are like relationship goals.