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Old 06-06-06, 03:24 AM   #1
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Return of the Jedi is great

Of the three holy films, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Jedi is widely known as the third favorite, people have gotten so out of hand as to call the film bad, when it's not only one of the best 80s films, but one of the best adventure/fantasy films of all time. Here are just some minor and not so minor reasons i think are forgotten on why this is a great film.

-Boba Fett. When the subject of Mr. Fett is brought up, his death is the immediate digress, forgetting one thing. This is the only film where we see more than just his blaster at use, a wide spectrum of gadgetry he utilizes like the jet-boosters, grapple hook, wrist blasters, simply cool array of toys. Sure he gets offed abruptly (at least he doesn't have a cheesy moment), but for those moments to see him do some action makes up for it, and it would kind of leave a stone unturned to let the most prominent background badguy live in the last film.

-Jedi Luke leads the escape. In the past two films we saw the farmboy being unsure of himself, anxious and tumultuous, now here he is confident and at his most badass, donned in the black outfit with his Jedi skills come of age. The moments right before he's pushed off the ramp are one of the most suspensful in the trilogy.

-Slave Leia. No further explanation necessary.

-The true original Death Star. In the original drafts it was only intended for there to be one Death Star, to be introduced in the last film as said by the One in the Red Plaid, but since all the eggs were placed into the basket for Wars to make it a hit, Jedi gets maligned for rehashing the Star, when it is in fact the original one.

-The space battle. Perhaps the most mentioned great thing, what's been said about this is lots. The greatest space battle depicted in film, the expertise of the bobbing and weaving of the ships, all still unmatched. The win feels so satisfying from a military perspective too, the Rebel fleet feels so diverse, all of their resources pooled for one last giant gamble, the cream of the crop of their pilots and ships, the Falcon being the leader of the fighters, even their command ships the Mon Calamari ones are completely different design, organic, instead of the sharp edged fighters, the flickering thrust exhausts of these scarred ships, veterans of many past conflicts and their best pilots pulling this off is satisfying, had they not won, it would have practically wiped out the best of the alliance, and they were already getting heavy irreplacable casualties.

-The forest battle. I'm glad the Ewoks are the deciding factor in the forest battle, too many times we've seen in movies and history of the two opposing forces locked in escalating conflict everywhere like they're the only two sides in the house. All of those battle sites are entire civilization's homes, and damned if they don't act in unison in tipping battles that decide the fate of the galaxy. Good message that allies are so important, just like the overwhelming factor of the allies in the world wars and as in here. A welcome change of pace to show the realism in the great advantage of external help.

-The final confrontation between Palpatine, Luke, and Vader. We finally see the conflict of all three, ingenious scenes here and packs the most meat from the entire jedi-sith side of the storyline.

-The celebration, after the movies, the ender to such a perfect trilogy, there is no better way to end than celebrating in the harmony of nature, everything they've been fighting for against the cold machine of the empire. It would have been tasteless to have it be in a city or ship, but amidst the woods shows these people to be simple-minded at heart and just good ol' humans and aliens. And of course the three original ghosts, well that is just without words.

-The little things: Giving the extra effort to show these minor things makes me feel appreciative that they cared. The lone AT-AT near the Landing Pad at Endor guarding the place rather than more chicken walkers shows how varied they are and actual levels of security, since it's not used at the forest battle. Vader's skeleton, when the Emperor is having his jolly lightning bouts, we see Vader's skull for split seconds, nice. The Ewok glider shows the furries are no strangers to aerial technology, adding dimension to an otherwise ground battle, in this universe of advanced space tecnology with all those anti-gravity machines and hyperdrives, it's nice to see the first level of it all: gliders.
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Old 06-06-06, 04:11 AM   #2
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"Third favorite" in a trilogy is like saying Godfather III is the third best Godfather film. It's still the least liked of the three.

Jedi may be great.. But compared to the other films that came before it, it was not all that great.
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Old 06-06-06, 04:51 AM   #3
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Of the original trilogy, Jedi has always been my favorite.
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Old 06-06-06, 06:56 AM   #4
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Even as a teenager seeing it in 1983, I've never liked this film. Maybe the biggest problem for me is that it lacks conviction- something the second film had in spades.
Quote:
-Jedi Luke leads the escape. In the past two films we saw the farmboy being unsure of himself, anxious and tumultuous, now here he is confident and at his most badass, donned in the black outfit with his Jedi skills come of age. The moments right before he's pushed off the ramp are one of the most suspensful in the trilogy.
right off the bat this soured me on the film. There is no reason this particular character, at this point in time should be either confident or badass.
the last we saw of him, he had not only been handed a sound thrashing, proving his skills were lacking , his judgment had been poor and that he should have listened to those wiser than he,- but he also got handed information that was either
a) false and an attempt to f#ck with his head (which it clearly did going by his state of mind in the Falcon as they make their escape), or else it's
b) true which opens up a whole slew of issues which should be of fundmental concern to this character and are open, festering, and most definitely unresolved in the 1st act of this film.
in short, this character should be seriously distracted here as well as unsure, lacking confidence, and just about questioning the entire nature of his existence and what he stands for.
Instead, the filmmakers ignore this apsect of the character because it is inconvienent for their first act agenda, and only make him mopey and morose later on- like turning a faucet on and off.

I could go thru this entire film, point by point but its just such a sad exercise.
It would be one thing if this film had been directly preceded by an installment on the level of Battle Beyond the Stars, but it wasn't. The second film went to trouble to make these characters flesh and blood and give them more complex internal dimensions. Jedi just betrays all that for a few cheap and easy crowd pleasing moments.

in the words of R Ebert I "Hate, hate, hate this movie!"

Last edited by Paul_SD; 06-06-06 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 06-06-06, 07:17 AM   #5
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This is the only film where we see more than just his blaster at use
When did he use his blaster before that?
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Old 06-06-06, 07:30 AM   #6
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You'll get no arguments from me. I don't think it's a great film, but it is a very good one in my opinion. It's better than 95% of the action-adventure films released in the last decade. The usual criticisms from people who dislike the film are ewoks defeating and empire, Han being neutered, and another Death Star battle. The problem is two of those criticisms are wrong.

Ewoks never defeated the empire. They were a diversion that allowed Han, Leia, Chewie, and the rebel troops with them the opportunity to destroy the shield generator, which was the entire point of the mission on Endor. The rebellion destroyed the empire in the space battle. Vader and the emperor ultimately died in that battle. The Death Star along with numerous Star destroyers were destroyed as well, effectively killing the empire. Any remaining troops would have had no will or desire to continue fighting without the two men responsible for the empire. Though it's safe to assume that remaing star destroyers were eliminated.

As for Han being neutered, that has always been a copout. Han grew as a character. You can clearly see it throughout trilogy. In ANH he cleary was a rogue that only cared about himself and his money. In ROTJ, he was a character that had learned to care about his friends, Leia, and their cause. You can see that change in him in ESB as well. The fact is if Han didn't change and grow as a character, he never would have returned to save the day in ANH. Besides, he still has a little bit of that rogue in him in ROTJ.

As for the recycled death star battle, FRwL already did a good job explaining that one.

It's always boggled my mind how there are Star Wars fans who don't or can't enjoy Jedi. There is just so much in Jedi for any self-respecting Star Wars fan to enjoy. The Han rescure, sarlaac pit battle, the speed chase, the throne room scenes, the reunion with Yoda, and the greatest space battle ever put to film. Is it perfect? No! You can find some legitimate criticisms, as you can do with most films. But it's still a damn good ride. I've always maintained that if you ask the the general populace, at least those that liked the films, most would pick this as their favorite. I have no evidence to back that up. It's my own theory, because I remember Jedi being very popular in it's day. Everyone in my family likes that one the most. I like Empire the most. Though I find it hard to choose between them.

However, opinions on these films are already set in stone. No amount of arguing will ever change those opinions. They're too set in stone.
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Old 06-06-06, 07:42 AM   #7
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I was sold when I saw Luke in his knee-high black boots....

Seriously, I really love Jedi. The speeder chase is brillant. The final light saber battle between him in Darth is my favorite. I even like the Ewok "Yub-Yub" celebration song.
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Old 06-06-06, 07:58 AM   #8
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Jedi used to be my favorite when I was younger, mostly because it was the one they showed on HBO all the time plus the good guys won decisively. Yes, they also triumphed in Star Wars, but I knew the dark events of Empire(a movie I hated at the time) were still to come.

Around the time I was 16, I got the Definitive Collection on laserdisc and rewatched all 3 back-to-back-to-back. Star Wars was still a great movie, but I was amazed how much I suddenly loved Empire and how much less I thought of Jedi. Don't get me wrong. Jedi is a great flick and I still love it to this day, even the Ewoks. But there are certain things I picked up on that I never noticed(or chose to ignore) as a kid:

1) Carrie Fisher's lazy performance - Yes, I know she was coked up the entire time, but it doesn't change the fact that she was terrible in this movie. Thankfully Mark Hamill had arguably his best performance in the series which helped salvage the pivotal scene where he and Leia part ways on Endor....at least until Han shows up and Carrie Fisher proceeds to ruin it again("Hold me!").

2) Han Solo's suddenly a softie - Unlike a lot of people, I don't really have a problem with Harrison Ford's performance in the film. Yes, he wanted Han to die, which meant he was at least somewhat tired of the role. But he still seemed to be having some fun and there were still a few classic Han moments("Hey, it's me!", "Well why don't you use your divine influence and get us out of this?", the shrug he gives the Imperial officers when he tricks them into opening the blast doors). What I didn't like was how he'd lost the edge he had in the previous 2 films. Yeah, Han is clearly a member of the Alliance at this point and he and Leia are openly in love, but he was still a much weaker and softer character this time around.

3) Yoda's scene - I was never that big on this sequence back when I was younger and considered Jedi my favorite, but now it's almost unbearable. I love Yoda, but his death is dragged out to almost Trinity-esque proportions here. Exactly how many times does he say "Luke" before he finally disappears?

4) C-3PO bringing the Ewoks up to speed on the first two movies - I don't necessarily dislike this scene, but it's completely superfluous.

5) The tide turns way too quickly for the Rebellion - Ok, this is kinda nitpicky since we are talking about a fantasy movie here, but the Rebels sure did go from getting their asses kicked by the Empire in that space battle to suddenly wiping the floor with those Imperial cruisers. One minute X-Wings are getting picked off right and left and the next we're seeing the Super Star Destroyer get demolished(albeit somewhat unintentionally).

6) The Emperor's over-the-top performance - This one actually bothered me more when I was younger than when I rewatched it on laserdisc ironically. And after witnessing Ian's horrific performance as Sidious(the ugly, scarred version, not the smooth operator who tricked the Republic) in Episode III, his ROTJ counterpart seems like a model in restraint.

While that seems like a lot of complaints, there's so much more about this movie I still love. Little moments of brilliance like the fat dude crying over the Rancor's death, the droid being tortured in Jabba's Palace(and 3PO's reaction to it), the Ewoks singing while preparing to feast on Han, and yes, even Chewie's infamous Tarzan yell. The Luke-Vader-Emperor showdown. Vader's conflicting emotions which we can sense despite a mask covering his face. The great action sequences. Lando's redemption(culminating in the Falcon bursting from the exploding Death Star). Cool alien characters like Ackbar, Jabba, and Bib Fortuna. And the aforementioned end celebration scene(provided it's not sullied by the Hayden ghost).
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Old 06-06-06, 08:03 AM   #9
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There is 3 ways you can look at Return of the Jedi now:

-As a sequel that ends the series compared to duds like Superman IV, Rocky V, and Jurassic Park III, it is a great followup to round out the series.

-Compared to the classics ANH & ESB, it is average, and very inferior in that vain.

-Compared to the Prequels, it is has risen in the last 6 years for me, cause it doesn't have many problems that the PT had: Bad Dialogue, Bad Humor, characters I don't care about.

The problem with ROTJ, is it recycled many things from the original SW, and compared to ESB, where Lucas took the story in a totally different direction without recycling worlds and plot points, ROTJ is does the opposite.

We go back to Tatooine, back to Dagobah, another Death Star. Now some of these worlds were needed in the overall grand scheme of the trilogy, but the problem is it has too many recycled ideas from the previous two movies.

The one thing that makes the movie great is the scenes between Luke, Vader, and The Emperor, because that was a new direction Lucas took the movie, and that is why those scenes hold up well 23 years later.

For me, I still love the movie, cause when watching ANH & ESB, I must have a sense of completion with ROTJ to my beloved trilogy, but I do recognize that it is not close to the quality to its predecessors. But the ending with Lando, Leia, Han, and Luke all together is as perfect as a movie trilogy gets.

In all fairness to ROTJ, most movie series stall out by the third movie, infact most stall out by the first sequel. So I have never complained about ROTJ being pretty good, as compared to ANH & ESB being classics. To have my favorite trilogy of all-time have no dud movies, I will always feel fortunate.

Oh yeah, by the way, I am talking about the ROTJ that has Sebastian Shaw at the end of it, not the contradictory SE with Hayden sitting there next to Alec Guiness. I ask anyone that likes that change:

What aged Darth Vader was conflicted all of ROTJ? What aged Darth Vader saved Luke by killling The Emperor in ROTJ? What aged Darth Vader said to Luke at the end of the movie, "Tell your sister, you were right."

It was all Sebastian Shaw aged Darth Vader that did all that, and that is why it is the single most stupid change in the world to have Hayden-aged Anakin sitting there as a force ghost, when it was Sebastian Shaw who was finally redeemed. I think Lucas forgot that Darth Vader and Anakin were the same person, just check what Luke said to him all during ROTJ.
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Old 06-06-06, 08:12 AM   #10
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I was 10 years old when I saw Return of the Jedi in 1983 and I have several reasons for disliking it the most out of the OT. These opinions were formed when I was 10 and not as an adult:

#1. This wasn't Lucas' fault but my Dad's...he made us take my 7 year old sister and my Mom to ROTJ with us. Back when movies ran forever in theaters, he took me to see Star Wars (in 1978) and Empire (in 1981...he took his time taking me...I never forgave him for that) in the theaters sans Mom and sister. I bitched to high heaven but he insisted they come along. After that my sister love Star Wars and wanted to play with all my action figures and read all my books. It seemed like forever before her interest eventually waned.

#2. The Chewie-Tarzan yell. Hell, I was 10 and thought it was stupid.

#3. The Ewoks. Not a fan...I actually hated seeing Stormtroopers being brought down by a rock welding teddy-bear. It still makes me cringe.

#4. The pussification of my favorite character Han Solo. He just seemed so lame. Did carbonite freezing really affect your attitude that much?

#5. The death of Yoda. It's a selfish reason but I wanted more of him. We just get a small amount in Empire and his character was so fascinating at the time. He seemed real to me and I wanted to know about his previous 800 years. Instead we get a quick cameo death scene.

6. The Luke/Leia brother/sister thing. I just try to ignore it even to this day.

I am sure there are others but that just stands out in my mind. Instead of being totally negative I will also give 5 reasons why it is still a good film.

1. The final spaceship battle. It kicks ass and actually looks real. Models forever! Lando piloting the Falcon was a nice bonus.

2. Luke & Vader's battle. Before CGI had everyone doing somesaults and backflips, this was the best and most realistic of all the lightsaber battles. The background choir droning as Luke is besting Vader...awesome.

3. Jabba's palace. Jabba was better than I had envisioned (especially what was envision in the comic books at the time and the Rancor was cool and scary at the same time. Tons of aliens which made collecting the action figures even better.

4. The speeder chase.
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Old 06-06-06, 08:13 AM   #11
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I never understood the distain for Jedi. I think its a great capper to the original trilogy-Ewoks and all.
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Old 06-06-06, 08:59 AM   #12
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Second best of the OT, third best of the whole saga.
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Old 06-06-06, 09:47 AM   #13
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The scenes between Luke,Vader, and the Emperor are the only things that keep this movie from the crap level of TPM and AOTC.
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Old 06-06-06, 12:25 PM   #14
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If there had been more Hamburger Hill style scenes of Ewoks trying to hold in their viscera and looking for their limbs I could have gotten behind the scene that killed the movie for me. When they made a huge deal about the single ewok fatality it was killed for me absolutley.

Later I realized that this was the exact moment Lucas went into the toy business and left the film business. After that it was all ads for toys.
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Old 06-06-06, 12:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by GuessWho
When did he use his blaster before that?
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Old 06-06-06, 01:04 PM   #16
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I agree that Return of the Jedi is the worst of the OT but that it is still light years above and beyond the new trilogy. It's like saying The Two Towers is the worst of the Lord of the Rings movies, well to some it may be, but it is still one of the best movies of this decade.
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Old 06-06-06, 01:08 PM   #17
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ROTJ will always be a kick-ass movie for one reason: the final space battle.

As others have mentioned, NOTHING has come close to this epic conflict. Between the true 3-D manuevers to the dogfights to the capital ships slugging it out, it's got it all.

I agree with the OP completely that the organic Mon Calamari ships vs. the cold and sharp Imperial cruisers is an awesome confrontation.

I've always wanted a TIE-Fighter-esque video game where you could easily jump from the capital ships to the fighters and back. They've done one or the other, but I want both. I want to bring my Calamari cruiser up and unleash a massive broadside of laser fire onto a Star Destroyer. Then I want to hop into my A-Wing and run down TIE interceptors.

That's one of the main reasons I like reading the EU books, especially the Zahn trilogy: kick ass space battles.

The speeder bike chase is almost as cool. I love seeing Luke dispatch one by slicing off the front end as it flew by. Just a totally awesome Jedi move.

ROTJ gets a bit boring in the middle, I've found. But overall, there isn't much I don't like in the flick, especially the original version.
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Old 06-06-06, 01:09 PM   #18
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It was okay, but it could've been a lot lot better had there's no Ewoks in it.
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Old 06-06-06, 01:32 PM   #19
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loved how bloodless and lacking in sacrifice this epic 'war' was too.
It's so cool that Lucas used fantasy to impart the universal truth that only the bad guys and non speaking extras get seriously injured or killed in warfare. Thats what really elevates this to the rank of 'greatness' regardless of whether its a sequel or not.
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Old 06-06-06, 01:51 PM   #20
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Star Wars never had much if any blood in it. The same can be said of LOTR. Star Wars is not Underworld.

Quote:
right off the bat this soured me on the film. There is no reason this particular character, at this point in time should be either confident or badass.
the last we saw of him, he had not only been handed a sound thrashing, proving his skills were lacking , his judgment had been poor and that he should have listened to those wiser than he,- but he also got handed information that was either
Um, did you expect Luke to sulk and cower forever? ROTJ doesn't happen the very next day in the storyline.
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Old 06-06-06, 01:57 PM   #21
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i love it, i dont think the ewoks are awesome, but its still a fantastic movie, millions of times better then any of the recent star wars
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Old 06-06-06, 02:17 PM   #22
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ewoks suck!!!!!!
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Old 06-06-06, 02:50 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrell
Star Wars never had much if any blood in it. The same can be said of LOTR. Star Wars is not Underworld.
severed limbs. Bodies of family members reduced to charred, smoldering husks, scenes of torture, childhood friends killed before his eyes, animals eviscerated to provide lifesaving refuge...



Quote:
Um, did you expect Luke to sulk and cower forever? ROTJ doesn't happen the very next day in the storyline.
a few weeks to a month...maybe two months. still not enough time to sheath the number of traumatic events that Luke has had to endure in a short time.
He may have been lied to about a fundemental truth by the (people) he trusted the most, the people he has put his faith in. This is the kind of truth that makes black look white and up seem like down...it's beyond disorienting.
There is absolutely no concern given to the kinds of things that certainly must be going thru this characters head- if he were a real person and not just some cardboard replica of the character he was in the first two films.

happy you guys find so much to enjoy in it, but its a lousy 3rd act to me.
It betrays just about everything that the earlier films laboured so hard to establish, imo.
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Old 06-06-06, 02:50 PM   #24
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I've always loved Jedi, because I was old enough to see it several times at the cinema. The epic climax has yet to be matched in my mind. Then again, I'm older and more cynical now, and sweeping stories like this don't effect me any more, because how can you top something like Star Wars when you are a child? Sure, there are the Ewoks, but come on, the speeder bike chase kicks all ass! To me, the Star Wars trilogy (there is only one) is the be all end all of stories like that.

I agree with the criticisms of Fisher and Ford; to their credit, the characters were really pushed to the sidelines, especially Solo. But, Jedi is about Luke's struggle and the Alliance's struggle. I get a lump in my throat every time I watch the climactic fight between Luke and Vader, and when Vader saves him...well done.

If I were 10 now and saw Lord of the Rings, it would probably have had the same lasting effect on me.
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Old 06-06-06, 03:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackskeleton
"Third favorite" in a trilogy is like saying Godfather III is the third best Godfather film. It's still the least liked of the three.

Jedi may be great.. But compared to the other films that came before it, it was not all that great.
Do you even read before you post? His point is that most people call it the 3rd best of the trilogy but he feels it is great and should get more respect.
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