A Retrospective on Star Wars – Episode 6 Return of the Jedi
Well, here we are on the final leg of our adventure, and the force is strong with this one…
The completion of Luke Skywalker’s character arc is one of the most satisfying elements of this final instalment.
In a twist of fate, Luke begins Episode 6 where he began A New Hope, on his home world of Tatooine. But the man we see now could not be more different to the brash, starry-eyed farm boy we saw in Episode 4.
Now a fully-fledged Jedi, Luke carries with him a far wiser and capable air as he sets out to rescue his friends from certain death.
We also get to see the fledgling romance between Han Solo and Leia Organa blossom into a partnership that no one can suppress, not even the Empire.
Despite our heroes’ strong resolve however, the stakes have never been higher as the rebels strive to end the Empire’s rule once and for all. Meanwhile, Darths Vader and Sidious reprise their roles as the chilling antagonists, hell-bent on the creation of the ultimate weapon that will wipe out all resistance in the galaxy.
So yeah, it’s all to play for in this magnificent conclusion to the series.
Seemingly determined to leave us with a memorable send off, the visual effects teams behind the film pull out all the stops to make the battles even more spectacular than before. Watching massive star ships come to blows in the final act of the film really helps solidify the theme of this instalment, this is an all-or-nothing no holds barred confrontation which has been building up for the entire trilogy.
Episode 6 is not without its flaws however. As is well documented by critics, the final battle on Endor’s surface featuring the small and furry Ewoks taking on the ‘best’ of the Empire’s troops and seemingly prevailing is nothing short of farcical. Such a battle should have, in my opinion been fought with a greater number of rebel soldiers rather than the indigenous, teddy bear-like locals. Moreover, the victory seems bitter sweet as the rebels, who have been the ones we have watched struggle for survival over the trilogy, have their limelight stolen from them.
However, despite this one major fault, Return of the Jedi fulfils its role perfectly as the final instalment of the series.
Loose ends are tied up as Luke confronts the Grand Sith Plan which has been stalking around in the shadows ever since a young slave boy was rescued from a dusty planet many years ago.
After revisiting such an influential and remarkable series I am left with mixed feelings for the release of Episode 7 The Force Awakens.
On one hand I am apprehensive, the movie has some huge boots to fill, especially considering it is Disney’s first attempt at a feature length Star Wars film since they bought the franchise.
However, bearing in mind that my favourite Star Wars film (Empire Strikes Back) was directed without George Lucas and the fact that Disney have managed to also bring the Marvel cinematic universe into the limelight in spectacular style since buying it, I think we can trust them with our beloved franchise.
Stay tuned for our review of Episode 7 The Force Awakens here on Northern Lights…