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In defense of Return of the Jedi

Old 09-23-04, 12:54 AM
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In defense of Return of the Jedi

On IMDB, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back regularly get placed in the top ten of the top 250. Return of the Jedi is lucky if it reaches #150. It's no secret that it's not the best loved movie of the OT, and in fact many fans were let down by the movie what with it's cute factor and somewhat rehashed storyline.

But to be honest, I LOVE ROTJ, and it's an excellent conclusion to the end of the Star Wars saga. It's a great movie that balances it's dark elements with it's bright ones. The special effects and action sequences were awesome. I like how there aren't any new major characters save for the Emperor, who is a villain that is actually scary and menacing without seeming cliche and cheesy. Every player gets their time in the limelight. There are also some awesome quotes.

The final battle against the Emperor was one of my favorite scenes. Granted, it's the first time we see him in the flesh, but he truly comes off as evil and menacing. The way he goads and wrangs Luke was fantastic. And did anyone else fall out of their seat when they saw him fire off Force lightning for the first time? that was the most intense moment of the movie for me! I always wondered what powers he possessed, as he just looked like a dried up old fartknocker, but I guess Yoda wasn't kidding when he warned Luke not to underestimate his power. It was a great moment that highlighted a Force power we hadn't even been hinted at yet.

Now, for the constant berating done against it:

Ewoks? defeating hordes of Imperial Stormtroopers?

Star Wars elitists are hypocrites. They say that when they saw the original, they were either children, or it made them feel like a child again. Why then, do they complain when they see material that is directly aimed towards children without offending the sensibilities of adults? Ewoks were a great addition to the SWU and fit in very well with the overall motifs of the OT. Yes, the cute factor is there, but the Ewoks also had a great deal of personality too. The costume design surely has to be praised, as no two Ewoks looked alike. How many alien species have we seen in sci-fi in which all the aliens are the same height, have the same skin color, hair style, facial features, clothing, etc? the Ewoks, like any REAL species, have a great deal of diversity amongst them.

In case you didn't notice as well, the OT had an underlying motif of the underdog vs. the favorite. The Ewoks are no different. And you even see many of them getting killed during the battle on the Endor moon. And if you have a problem with them taking down Stormtroopers, remember ANH when Luke and Leia walked away from countless blaster shootouts. Sure they're strong with the Force - but you didn't know that at the time, did you? and it didn't bother anyone when a 19 year old farmboy outshoots hordes of Stormtroopers.

What I also love about Star Wars movies is that even though a lot of dialogue is in alien languages, it really sounds like someone is speaking a language. There's inflection and intonation and all the elements that make language what it is. You don't even know what they're saying but it's really clever in that you can get a pretty rough picture of it just by listening to other character's reactions.

Hayden at the end of ROTJ?!

[sarcasm]Oh no! they replaced my most favorite actor in the entire universe that made the OT the movies they are today in a scene that works just the same and even has a bigger impact this time around now that the prequel Trilogy is complete![/sarcasm]

Jar Jar. Nuff said.

Get over it. He was in there for 2 seconds.

Last edited by Superboy; 09-23-04 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 09-23-04, 01:11 AM
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Old 09-23-04, 01:12 AM
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ROTJ is a great film, but the first 2 are better in my opinion. I don't mind the Ewoks, rather have them than shit like Jar Jar.
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Old 09-23-04, 01:19 AM
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The Ewoks were supposed to be Wookiees and the new Death Star was supposed to be orbit around Kashyyyk.

So, yeah, would you rather have hundreds of Chewbaccas kicking Imperial a$$, or cute little teddy bears who worship droids? Exactly.

DEATH TO ALL EWOKS!
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Old 09-23-04, 01:21 AM
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So I should add Mr. Cornell to the list of folks who better not be bitching when Episode III comes out since that is what you will be seeing.
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Old 09-23-04, 01:25 AM
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At this point, it would be pointless to bitch about anything Episode III related, having seen the travesties that are Episodes I and II. We know Lucas will get Jar-Jar into Episode III somehow, and we know that Hayden Christiensen will do his best impression of a two-by-four, and we know that Natalie Portman will wear clothes which conveniently tear into strips and convert a full shirt into a sports bra. So, what is there to bitch about? It is what it is. Lucas enjoys f***ing his fans in the a$$, why else would he purposely put Naboo into ROTJ? That's right, he's telling whiners who's f***ing movies they are. They're HIS. Not yours. HIS.

So yes, I promise not to whine about anything in Episode III.
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Old 09-23-04, 01:57 AM
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Old 09-23-04, 02:06 AM
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Re: In defense of Return of the Jedi

Originally posted by Superboy


Jar Jar. Nuff said.

Get over it. He was in there for 2 seconds.
If it even WAS Jar Jar.
to the rest of your post.
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Old 09-23-04, 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by Mr. Cornell
DEATH TO ALL EWOKS!
yes to that...
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Old 09-23-04, 10:16 AM
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I love ROTJ now, and I worshipped it when I was a kid.
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Old 09-23-04, 10:19 AM
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Admittingly, yes, ANH and Empire are better films, but I always loved Return. Ewoks have NEVER bothered me, the pit creature was awesome, slave outfit Leia!, Luke in full-on badass Jedi mode, battle at Tatooine, hell, the speeder chase sequence. I know its easy to hate Ep1, but atleast Ewoks didn't say "meesa sorry!".
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Old 09-23-04, 10:20 AM
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Originally posted by Mr. Cornell
The Ewoks were supposed to be Wookiees and the new Death Star was supposed to be orbit around Kashyyyk.
And they changed it as Chewie had showed a proficiency with technology and they wanted to have a contrast between nature and technology, as well as another way to point out the contrast between the scrappy, underpowered rebels and the empire.

This was in the free magazine from Best Buy, and I have read it other places before.

I've never had a problem with the Ewoks for the above reasons.

I've always loved ROTJ. The Jabba scenes, Luke fighting Vader, the Emporer, The Battle of Endor (best space battle ever) etc.
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Old 09-23-04, 10:49 AM
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Return of the Jedi. Greatest space battle in movie history. 'Nuff 'said.

From what I hear, Episode III *might* top it. We'll see...
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Old 09-23-04, 04:02 PM
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I wasn't a big fan of the Ewoks either. He could have made Kashyyyk and to make them underdogs populate it with mostly old wookies, women and children since the Empire supposedly used wookies as slaves. None of that really matters since the movie is now 21 years old. (Hey maybe he can CGI in some wookies?)

I was a big Boba Fett fan and thought he deserved a better fate (expanded universe aside).

I thought Morrison could have done the Fett lines a bit better.

I can't believe they changed the song at the end because I was so used to it being there. Hayden looked kind of out of place.

The other two movies I enjoy much more.
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Old 09-23-04, 04:12 PM
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50 Reasons Why Return of the Jedi Sucks
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Old 09-23-04, 10:18 PM
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Originally posted by Disc-Flipper
50 Reasons Why Return of the Jedi Sucks
That's an incredibly cheap list. More than half of those accusations could be lodged against the first 2 movies as well. Let's go through them shall we?

1. EWOKS, EWOKS, EWOKS: One of the miracles of the Star Wars trilogy is that Lucas's bizarre and ever present fascination with little people didn't hurt the first two films. The Jawas were cool. But George had to push his luck. The Ewoks are not cool. Period. In circles of die-hard Star Wars fans, to say you hate the Ewoks is like saying you enjoy breathing air. The Ewoks are the primary example of many of the points on this list: their unapologetic cuddliness is uncharacteristic and unwelcome; they look fake; they engage in constant physical comedy; their teddy bear design is wholly uninteresting; they live in boring surroundings; several of the film's dumbest scenes revolve around them; they were originally supposed to have been Wookies; and they sing that damn song at the end (well, at least until the Special Edition). But aside from what we see on-screen, the Ewoks are miserable little creatures for a completely different reason: they are the single clearest example of Lucas's willingness to compromise the integrity of his trilogy in favor of merchandising dollars. How intensely were the Ewoks marketed? Consider this: Ewok is a household word, despite the fact that it's never once spoken in the film.

Hey asshole, how many times do you hear the words "X-wing" and "Tie Fighter" in ANH? NEVER. You don't hear those until ESB. We also don't learn "the bounty hunter"'s name until ROTJ. Dude, that whole movie was just one big toy commercial. I guess after such a dark and depressing movie he can't give audiences a little levity and happiness.

2. THE TONE IS INCONSISTENT: The Rebellion is in ruins, Darth Vader is Luke's father, and Han is frozen. Why Lucas decided to smother these ambitious plot elements under a load of feel-good clichés and textbook plot structure is anyone's guess (it's our theory that he was infected with the same mania that caused Spielberg to make Hook eight years later). Jedi never has any idea of what it's trying to be. Throughout, the mood and pacing is herky-jerked back and forth between dramatic and lighthearted. The scenes with Vader look and feel like they're taking place in a different film from those with our heroes, and no amount of special effects or nostalgia for Wars and Empire can make the pieces fit together. Lacking any consistent driving force (pun intended), Jedi is impossible to take seriously and has little to none of the mythic, transporting feel of its predecessors. We're always aware we're watching a big-budget movie.

Maybe he was trying to intentionally contrast the light and dark elements of the story.

3. THE LOOK IS ALL WRONG: After the second film, did the Empire celebrate its trouncing of the Rebellion by going through the galaxy with a big bottle of Windex? Everything in Jedi looks clean and polished, from the ships to the costumes to the backgrounds. One of the triumphs of the first two films was the fact that it was next to impossible to imagine they were filmed right here on Earth. In contrast, Jedi's sets look like sets. We can picture cameras, plywood, and the key grip eating a sandwich just out of the frame. Marquand never seems to know where to put the camera and is constrained by the space his scenes inhabit instead of inspired by it. In the end, it's surprising that Jedi doesn't have any cardboard tombstones falling over or a brief appearance by Vampira as the ghoul's wife.

I didn't think Cloud City was particularly convincing. If you watch the original movies those beautiful matte backgrounds are filled with...nothing...

4. IT'S JUST A BUNCH OF MUPPETS!: Admittedly, Wars had its share of fake-looking aliens in the Mos Eisley cantina scene, but many of them were genuinely innovative at the time (Hammerhead is still impressive) and none of them crossed the not-so-thin line between costume and (shudder) Muppet. Even Yoda in Empire was constructed, filmed, and voiced well enough that we never thought to look for the hand up his rear. Don't get us wrong -- we love Muppets, just not in the Star Wars universe. And Jedi's Gamorrean guards (only slightly less realistic than a Tor Johnson Halloween mask), Salacious Crumb (it's good to see the Great Gonzo is still getting work) and Max Rebo (the blue piano-playing elephant with the oft-visible wire controlling his trunk) are proof that you can take the Henson studio out of Sesame Street but you can't take Sesame Street out of the Henson studio. Will the Criterion Edition laser disc include the deleted footage of Statler and Waldorf cracking wise from the balcony?

This one doesn't make any sense - first he acknowledges that all the SW movies have muppets and they look just as fake and out of place. Yoda worked because they actually gave him character development.

5. PAINFUL LACK OF INNOVATION: When it comes to scavenging, Lucas could teach even the Jawas a thing or two. Jedi borrows from Wars on levels ranging from conceptual to minute. There's another opening scene with a Star Destroyer (though this time it isn't even permitted to finish its awesome crawl across the top of the screen). There's another Imperial stronghold to infiltrate and another energy beam to turn off. And of course, there's another Death Star to blow up for the film's climax (though at least the Emperor had enough brains to plug up that pesky exhaust port). Most of the creatures and droids seen on Tatooine in Wars make background appearances in Jabba's court -- even Greedo's alive and well! (Okay, maybe it's a different Rodian. They all look the same to us). Finally, little thought seems to have been given to developing or maturing any of the main characters in a realistic manner. Han and Threepio suffer most, coming across as catch-phrase-spouting caricatures of their previous selves.

What about finally seeing the Emperor? seeing the true powers of the dark side? a high-speed bike chase? a geniune Jedi Knight in action?

6. WITTY BANTER: Note to writer Lawrence Kasdan: If you must fill your script with witty banter, at least try to make it, well, witty. With one or two exceptions, the humor in Wars and Empire was subtle, based around throwaway lines and the personality quirks of well-written characters. Jedi's overly contrived "humor" too often seems inspired by the setup-to-punch line wordplay found in a typical episode of Three's Company. In what is probably the film's single most painful moment, Solo requests Threepio to do a number of chores. After continually tapping him on the shoulder and preventing him from leaving to complete his duties, Solo quips, "Hurry up, will ya? I haven't got all day." Har-dee-har-har. Based on witticisms like that, it's amazing that Luke never rebuked the Emperor by stating "Up your nose with a rubber hose."

"Why Governor Tarkin...I should have expected to see you holding Vader's leash. I recognized your foul stench when I was brought on board!"

Leia:"It's not over yet..."
Han:"It is for ME, sister! I'm in this for the money!"

7. PHYSICAL COMEDY: This is a galactic rebellion, for heaven's sake! Yet an Ewok clocks himself with his own slingshot. Threepio's legs point skyward after he falls off the skiff into the sand. Countless adorable Muppets zanily cover their eyes or flip-duck off their perches when faced with tense situations. Worst of all, there are two solid instances where burps are used for cheap laughs. Burps! And where are the fart jokes? Well, maybe in the next film. Jedi is as good a parody of the trilogy as one could hope for; there was really no need for Mel Brooks to make Spaceballs.

Yeah we had physical comedy before.

Chewbacca chasing away that tiny droid on the Death Star

R2 falling over after being fried by Jawas

Threepio half assembled, tied to Chewbacca's back

8. UNINTERESTING LOCALES: Wars and Empire took us to locales that many of us have never been to in real life, namely a vast desert, a run-down spaceport, an enormous space battle station, a planet of ice and snow, a dense, slithering swamp, and a floating cloud city. Jedi just rehashes what we've already seen (though Jedi's Tatooine looks significantly less exotic than it did in Wars, having been filmed in California instead of Tunisia), adding only one new biome: the woods (oh, so that's what trees look like). If this pattern continues, expect the next Star Wars film to be set on the mysterious planet of sidewalks and suburban ranch homes.

Oh, so we've seen a forest before, but we've never seen a titanic space ship, a frozen tundra, a desert, or a swamp? good to know, cuz you know, it's not like we have those biomes on earth!

9. THE FOREST BATTLE ON ENDOR: If we wanted to see improbable jungle shenanigans, we'd have rented Battle for the Planet of the Apes. The myriad traps and offensive weapons constructed by the Ewoks (apparently over the course of one night) work with such predictable precision against the Imperials that the "battle" is little more than scene after predictable scene of sticks and stones taking out high-tech weaponry and forest-trained stormtroopers. Jedi may be a fantasy film, but the Ewoks' victory still flies in the face of all reason, logic, and precedent. It's a cute little war in which dozens of human stormtroopers are beaten to death and we're treated to only one dead Ewok. Happily, audiences have always responded to the stupidity of this imbalance: in screening after screening, the Ewok's groaning demise is typically met with more cheers and applause than the destruction of the Death Star.

So a 19 year old farmboy who's never held a blaster before outshooting DOZENS of Imperial Stormtroopers is more believable?

10. SOLO: In Empire, Threepio states that the carbonite would keep Solo safe, provided he survived the freezing process. Safe, yes, but Threepio said nothing about the side effects. Namely, that people in carbon-freeze gain twenty pounds and take on the demeanor of Ward Cleaver on Quaaludes. Wars and Empire established Solo as a braggart, pirate, and all-around scoundrel. In Jedi, he's just a good-hearted, slack-jawed simp whose comments and actions are almost exclusively played for laughs. In not a single scene does Solo have the same acerbic edge he possessed in the previous films. Harrison Ford does nothing to help the situation (perhaps to his credit), acting with a boredom rarely paralleled as he kills time waiting for another Indiana Jones installment.

Okay, first he complains that nothing's changed, now he's complaining that it's not like it was before? in case anyone didn't notice, Han had changed by the end of ESB. Yeah he's a softie - events in his life caused him to change. Ugh. He just wants to see his cool, badass hero - which was NEVER the real appeal behind Han Solo - it was that underneath it all, he was really a snuggly wuggly teddy bear.

11. MUSIC: The soundtrack to Wars is an unquestioned classic. Empire's soundtrack gave us the trilogy's best piece of music: "The Imperial March." What does Jedi have to offer? Some playful Peter and the Wolf-esque Ewok tunes and Jabba's foam-and-latex band. The song "Lapti Nek' was translated into English for an MTV video, and we learned that "Lapti Nek" actually means "workin' out." That whole Flashdance craze was certainly popular back in 1983, but now it's just embarrassing. Jabba's band is a pale imitation of Wars' cantina musicians. The Muppets look fake, and the music they play is truly wretched. (Yet one of the scenes added to the Special Edition Jedi is another song by the band!) Even more insipid, though, is the Ewoks' celebratory "Yub-yub" number at the end (now cut from the Special Edition), which sounds suspiciously as if it's sung not by Ewoks but by humans. The theme to the Alien Nation TV show sounded more authentic.

I'm not even going to justify this with a response.

12. THREEPIO: Threepio was bearable in Wars because he and Artoo played an integral role in the unfolding of the plot. He got on our nerves in Empire, but we could at least sympathize with the human characters, who were more or less stuck with him and expressed their irritation. In Jedi, Threepio's along by choice, and everyone just loves chuckling at the way he screws everything up. They decide to bring him along to Endor for no good reason, and we're all forced to endure another barrage of predictable outbursts highlighting the shiny droid's cowardice, ego, and annoying verbosity. Shut him up or shut him down!

Threepio was a great character in all 3 movies. He has the best lines! sure you want to punch him, but that's what makes his character so endearing. He obviously doesn't like the character at all and didn't understand why he was in there (comic relief you heartless moron).

13. OBI-WAN'S APPEARANCE TO LUKE: In case you missed the first two films, Obi-Wan Kenobi is supposed to be dead. In Wars and Empire, he made himself known to Luke through an occasional voice in the head or in a floating vision. In Jedi, all of Obi-Wan's street credibility as a wizened spiritual guide is thrown out the window when he appears on Dagobah and shuffles around like Fred G. Sanford in a coat of glow paint. Rather than floating in one place, he fades in twenty feet away and walks up to Luke, eventually resting his non-corporeal butt on a rock. The ensuing two-way conversation scrambles to tie up too many loose ends at once, made worse by the fact that the character saying it all shouldn't even be there on such a literal level. And unlike his similarly flawed Dagobah appearance in Empire, Obi-Wan never fades back into oblivion once his message is delivered in Jedi. For all we know, he and Luke could have spent hours hanging out and gossiping like housewives.

See, it's posts like these that make you think he's just padding out his list even though it's not really justified and he enjoys being nitpicky.

14. LUKE: We like Mark Hamill, really. But though he was perfectly cast as the wet-behind-the-ears student in the first two films, he simply lacks the dignity to pull off a believable Jedi Knight. To top things off, he has Aunt Beru's haircut from the first film. We forget, was Jedi released before or after the advent of the Supercuts salon chain?

His hair is no better than it was in ANH. And they're not on Earth in the future - they're in another universe in the past.

15. SURPRISE! THEY'RE BROTHER AND SISTER: After Jedi came out, Lucas would routinely go on record stating that in his mind, Star Wars was always first and foremost a story about a brother and a sister. Does anybody really buy this? Wars and Empire both had sexually charged scenes that play significantly creepier when watched with the knowledge that Luke and Leia are siblings. It seems unlikely that Lucas would have included those scenes if he knew that one day people would be seeing them from such a different perspective. What seems likely, however, is that when Jedi came around, Lucas was grasping at straws, searching desperately for a plot revelation to equal Empire's classic father/son moment. Oh well -- even if Lucas is telling the truth (Yoda did, after all, say in Empire that there was "another"), the issue could have been handled in a less clumsy manner. Having Luke and Leia learn about their relationship through means other than spur-of-the-moment (albeit Force-guided) guesses would have been a start.

Oh, so you'll agree that the plot point is justified? maybe it was trying to show that Luke and Leia were FATED to meet. There's a reason why Obi-wan wanted to bring Luke along to go rescue Leia. It was time for the Skywalker twins to be reunited.

16. UNFORGIVABLE DIALOGUE: Threepio approaching Jabba's palace: "I have a bad feeling about this"; Han Solo, when confronted by Ewoks: "I have a bad feeling about this"; Leia, after releasing Solo from carbon freeze: "I gotta get you outta here"; Leia, after being freed from Jabba's chains: "We gotta get outta here"; Leia, after she and an Ewok are ambushed on Endor: "Let's get outta here." With dialogue like this, it seems Lucas finally put that "million monkeys at a million typewriters" theory to the test.

See #6.

17. HORRIBLE EXPOSITION: "Artoo, look! It's Captain Solo -- and he's still in carbonite!" Lines like this are for those people who somehow missed the first two movies. Threepio is the main offender throughout, even going so far as to offer a long, Ewokese summary of the trilogy's plot thus far (with sound effects, no less). Of course, Lucas would probably say that scene was to show "the entrancing magic of storytelling." Call us cynical, but entrancing magic makes us want to puke.

It's bitter entries like this that make it seem as though he doesn't enjoy ANY of the OT movies at all.

18. JABBA THE MUPPET: Er -- Hutt. Jabba isn't all that scary. It seems Lucas became so enamored of his technology that he forgot humans are far more ominous than any shop-built alien life-form could ever hope to be. Remember Grand Moff Tarkin? Now there was a creepy villain. We're so busy trying to figure out where all the puppeteers were hiding beneath Jabba's frame that we're never able to accept him as a living, breathing character. And no matter how you cut it, his eyelids still look fake. If only they hadn't lost the phone number of that fat Irish guy who originally played him in that deleted Wars scene.

Jabba isn't SUPPOSED to be an imposing villain.

19. STUPID COINCIDENCES: "We have been without an interpreter since our master got angry with our last protocol droid and disintegrated him." Pan over to said droid being pulled apart in a machine, to allow for a startled reaction shot by Threepio. Numerous scenes like this further damage Jedi's ability to convince us this stuff is really happening. Jabba and his minions sit silently behind the Let's Make a Deal curtain, and the fact that the escape skiff just happens to have two magnetic retrieval devices to pluck the fallen droids out of the sand are further examples of this problem. None of these scenes needed to center around such ridiculous leaps in logic; more often than not they're simply indicative of lazy screenwriting or are inserted for excessive rim-shot-ready moments.

20. BOBA FETT'S DEATH: It's inexcusable that such an imposing figure as Boba Fett -- the one bounty hunter good enough to capture Solo -- flies clumsily to his death in the Sarlacc pit while screaming like Shemp from the Three Stooges. Any Star Wars geek worth his weight in trading cards will tell you that Boba Fett is the trilogy's most underused character. His brief but badass appearance in Empire had us all anxiously awaiting the next film, assuming his role would be greatly expanded by the events surrounding what we then thought would be an incredible escape by Han. Not only does Fett have nothing to do in Jedi, but in the ultimate indignity, he's killed off without ceremony or honor for no better reason than another damn burp joke. According to the novels and comics, Fett survived. But that's not what's implied in the film itself, and it doesn't make the scene any less shameful.

Again, this guy seems totally fixated on the "cool" factor of the Star Wars movies and doesn't really care about the true value of the characters, especially when he's so hung up on one of the most shallow characters in the entire series with no personality. Yeah dude I also hate how they underused Aurra Sing in Episode I, she deserved way better!

21. TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE POSTPRODUCTION LOOPING: In about half of Jedi's scenes, little attempt is made to match the dialogue with the characters' lip movements -- it's almost like watching a Mothra flick. If Lucas were smart, he'd blame this on the film's being dubbed from its original language. You know -- the one they spoke a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Watch the dialogue in ANH and ESB, it's just as bad.

22. SUBPAR SPECIAL EFFECTS: It's strange that the film that gave us sci-fi's most intricate and well-choreographed space battle to date also gave us so many effects that look just plain silly. The rancor aside (see below), consider Han's light-streaming release from the carbonite, the seemingly Magic Markered shadow under Jabba's sail barge, and the explosion of the shield generator on Endor (in which Han and his team, about twenty feet from the bunker, aren't affected in the slightest by an explosion that, from our viewpoint, engulfs several square miles of forest).

If you want a movie that has special effects that make any sense, watch 2001, and marvel at how accurate they are in reproducing all the extraordinary sounds in space!

and the "black marker" was also in the first 2 movies.

23. THE RANCOR EFFECTS: In quite probably the worst use of a blue screen in the history of big-budget film, the rancor looks so awful it deserves its own separate mention. Planning this sequence, the ILM team seems to have been inspired by old episodes of Lidsville, as the admittedly well-designed puppet appears at all times either flat or two-dimensional or surrounded by an unearthly glow. This is one effect we won't mind seeing cleaned up.

I thought the Wampa looked worse.

24. LEIA AND HAN'S RELATIONSHIP: It's A Galaxy Far, Far Away 90210! The subtle, repressed passion of Empire is simplified to high school relationship levels in Jedi. They kiss, they say "I love you," Han throws a hissy fit and gets jealous of Luke. The couple play off each other in such obvious ways that we're reminded of the Screenwriting 101 rule of "show, don't tell." Han and Leia never look or act like two adults in love -- and no amount of gushy language can cover up that fact.

25. CARRIE FISHER'S "ACTING": Han: "Who are you?" Leia: "Someone who loves you." When Carrie Fisher isn't staring vacantly into space, she's emoting to degrees previously seen only in Mexican soap operas. At least today she's cool enough to admit that she was zoned out on coke the entire time.

26. OBVIOUS MISSED OPPORTUNITIES: Putting aside the fact that the entire movie is a missed opportunity in the context of the trilogy, Jedi has specific missed opportunities too numerous to count within its own structure. These range from major (Lucas's throwaway admission that he had originally intended Endor to be a planet of Wookiees, and the fact that Lando doesn't die in the Death Star assault, as Jedi's original script dictated) to picayune (when the Alliance fleet suddenly realizes the Death Star's shield is still functional, it would have been nice to see one or two X-Wings crash into said shield and explode, having not had enough time to pull up).

I don't see how those would have saved the movie or made it any better. If the Millenium Falcon had been destroyed he would probably be complaining "OMG dude how can the fastest ship in the fleet with the best badass pilot not get out what a cheap death Lucas just wanted drama and toys to sell".

27. YODA: In Empire, Yoda was a sagacious sprite who brought to mind Gaelic legend. In Jedi, he's an annoying toad who sounds like Super Grover (thanks to Frank Oz's forgetting how to do the voice) and looks about as realistic as his Kenner action-figure likeness (thanks to bad, overlit cinematography; see point 3). Like the movie he's stuck in, Jedi's Yoda is lacking in wisdom and festering with cuteness. Get out your laser discs (okay, or your videotapes) and compare the two Yodas head-to-head. You'll be surprised.

He's in the movie for 5 freaking minutes.

28. THE OPENING TEXT CRAWL: Let's compare the opening text crawl in which we are given our first taste of each of the three films, shall we? Star Wars: "It is a period of civil war..." Empire: "It is a dark time for the Rebellion..." Jedi: "Luke Skywalker has returned to his home planet of Tatooine in an attempt to rescue his friend Han Solo from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt. Charo guest stars." Okay, we threw in the part about Charo. But the point is, we're talking mythic tracts versus a blurb from TV Guide. The first sentence in Jedi centers around the word friend. Well, that's just peachy, but we much prefer the first two films' implications that we're about to see something a bit larger than a buddy picture.

I thought the REAL appeal of the Star Wars saga was the interaction of it's characters and the friendships they develop...

29. IMPERIAL TECHNOLOGY: Imperial engineers should really figure out a way to keep their vehicles from blowing up so easily, both in space and on the ground. In Jedi, not only does a single crashed A-Wing take out an entire eight-kilometer Super Star Destroyer, but several scout walkers explode like Pintos whenever something taps them a little too hard. (True, the Imperial walkers in Empire could be tripped up a bit easily, but at least they didn't burst into fireballs until hit by Rebel blaster fire.) It seems strange that the Rebels even bothered procuring spaceships and blasters -- based on what Jedi shows us, the Empire could have been defeated with a couple of well-placed safety pins.

The A-wing simply caused the SSD to crash, it didn't destroy it on it's own. And I don't think it's so much as the vehicles being weak so much as blasters being strong.

30. JABBA'S DROID TORTURE ROOM: First of all, torturing droids is stupid on a purely conceptual level, seeing as how they're machines and all. But what on earth was going through Lucas and Marquand's heads when they decided to play the scene in Jabba's droid room for laughs? Wars and Empire both have torture scenes. They're pretty unsettling. Know why? Because they're torture scenes, for Christ's sake! Torture's not supposed to be funny -- no one wants to laugh at a screaming power droid as a bad steam effect shoots out of its feet to simulate the application of intense heat. But to the makers of Jedi, there's nothing like a little humor at the expense of torture victims, even if they are mechanical. Following the release of Jedi, Amnesty International must have logged hundreds of reports of people flogging their waffle irons and blenders.

I don't think anyone was laughing at the droid torture scene, and I think it was really meant to show how well the movies had personified machines.

31. USE OF EARTH SLANG AND POP CULTURE: We were almost willing to forgive the fact that an Ewok exclaims "Yahoo," or that Threepio uses the supposedly Ewokese word boom, until we saw the abominable scene where an Ewok swings from a vine and lets out a note-for-note copy of Tarzan's famous yell. Have we mentioned that we hate the Ewoks?

Yes, and Han told someone that he'll "see them in hell!". I think it's stranger that they would use a term from an Earth religion, especially when there's such a pervasive religion in the SWU that they have ACTUAL PROOF OF BEING TRUE.

32. JEDI AFTERLIFE: The Jedi apparently have a lot in common with the Catholics. You can screw up your entire life, strangle scores of people, and oversee the construction of a planet-destroying battle station, but as long as you repent with your last breath, you get to party with Yoda and Ben in the netherworld. Speaking of that, Yoda seems to have gotten the short end of the afterlife stick -- why does Anakin's ghost get to regrow his hair and get all spiffed up and nice looking, while Yoda, who managed to resist the dark side all his nine-hundred-plus years, still looks like a crumpled old salamander?

Oh so redemption is totally impossible, you twisted turd?

33. UNREALISTIC, BORING FIGHT SEQUENCES: Why stage an elaborate hand-to-hand fight with a scout trooper when you can just have Solo use the old "shoulder tap" trick? Or when you can throw a duffel bag at an Imperial guard and he'll backflip over a railing and into the shield generator's energy core? Not since Charlton Heston took out a gorilla bare-handed have we been asked to swallow such nonsense.

Yeah what nonsense, what next, blowing open and then leaping head-first into a garbage chute?

34. STORMTROOPERS HAVE BECOME WUSSES: "Look out -- teddy bear creatures! And they've got primitive handmade weapons! Let's forget our years of intense military training, put down our high-tech weaponry, and run away!"

They're dumb clones. Just like you.

35. VADER'S REAL FACE: You know, Darth, that scar will never heal unless you stop scratching it. But enough with the clever bon mots -- it should have been David Prowse under that helmet. Period. He deserved at least that much, and probably would have been willing to shave his head. Sebastian Whatsisname [Shaw] delivers an acceptable acting job (actually, one of Jedi's only acceptable acting jobs), but that pudgy head just doesn't match up with the body we see on Vader throughout the rest of the trilogy.

I think that part of the point was that Vader was a very imposing person but he's just a dried up old geezer.

36. BAD EDITING: It seems that the folks at Supercuts were hired by Lucasfilm not only to style the actors' coils but to hack and splice the film as well. That Jedi has problems with its editing is largely a subjective opinion and hard to quantify, but we base our belief on the fact that certain scenes just plain lack the punch and pacing we know they could and should have had (though whether this is the director's fault or the editor's isn't always clear).

Right.

37. THE ALIEN LANGUAGES ARE POORLY PRESENTED: Bib Fortuna repeatedly lapses from Huttese into English for no apparent reason, and we learn from Leia's bounty hunter alter ego that at least one translation of "Thirty thousand, no less" is "Yoto. Yoto." Huh? And while we're on the subject, if Threepio is Jabba's translator, why does he translate what others are saying into English rather than Huttese? The precedent is there to employ subtitles, but they're only rarely used to suggest some iota of realism.

Why is it that when there's a universal translator, their lips match the dialogue heard in other movies?

38. INCONSISTENCY WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED UNIVERSE: It can always be argued that the Star Wars universe contains a wide array of peoples and languages. Still, it strikes us as sloppy that codes on Jedi's computer screens are in alien gobbledygook language, while the tractor beam controls in Wars were in English. And speaking of English, almost all the Imperials in Wars and Empire have an English accent. Jedi doesn't continue this trend -- unfortunately, because as everyone knows, the British are inherently terrifying.

Yeah, and why are most of the people white? and how come we never find out what planet humans come from?

39. YODA'S DEATH SEQUENCE: Yoda says, "Soon will I rest. Yes, forever sleep." Less than four minutes later -- bam! He's a goner. And what does Luke do while his beloved master lies choking and gasping for his final breaths? Well, he just sort of sits there like a doofus and watches him writhe in pain. Not that dialing 911 is an option on Dagobah, but a simple, "Hey, Master -- you okay?" would have been a nice gesture.

He died of old age in his sleep, not sliced in half by an evil sith lord.

40. THE ALLIANCE BRIEFING: In Wars, the briefing before the attack on the Death Star had the feel of a serious military operation. In Jedi, the briefing is a forum for witty repartee, attended by chuckling, smirking buddies and a medical droid who has no business being there other than to fill a vacant seat. It's no wonder the Rebels got their asses kicked in Empire if this is how their top military leaders conduct themselves when the galaxy is at stake. Eventually, Luke barges in unannounced and the "meeting" breaks up with all the parliamentary procedure of porno night at the Elks Club.

The rebellion isn't a military organization.

41. PARADOXICAL LESSONS IN THE FORCE: Yoda says the only way Luke can become a Jedi is to face Vader. Minutes later, he says it's unfortunate that Luke rushes to face Vader. This is in addition to Yoda's assertion in Empire that if Luke faces Vader, he'll become an agent of evil. So he needs to face Vader to become a Jedi, but he can't face Vader or else he'll become a slave to the dark side. This is a paradox on a par with the one Kirk used to confuse and blow up Nomad.

He wants Luke to face Vader but ONLY WHEN HE'S READY TO FACE HIM.

42. VADER'S NOT-SO-SPECIAL SHUTTLE: When we first saw Vader's shuttle with its clean lines and sleek, triwing design, it seemed a fitting vessel to transport a leader of his stature. But later we find out that apparently every Imperial shuttle -- even the ones that transport supplies to work sites -- looks just like Vader's. One explanation: after Vader damaged that fancy bent-wing TIE fighter they gave him in Wars, he lost his special-ship privileges. The more likely explanation: someone at Lucasfilm was too lazy or cheap just to design and build a model for a different style of shuttlecraft.

Oh sorry next time we'll try harder to impress you your majesty.

43. SLOPPY CONTINUITY ERRORS: In quick cuts between two different views of a character, it's a good bet that his or her expression and/or stance will be jarringly inconsistent. Check out Bib Fortuna in the scene where Jabba refers to the newly defrosted Solo as bantha fodder. Our favorite slip, however, is the star field behind the Emperor's throne, which in every shot consists of the same group of stars crawling slowly toward the left of the screen.

"That cup wasn't there a second ago! and it was filled halfway before!" nitpicky again. ALL movies have continuity errors.

44. THAT SCENE WITH THE EWOK ON THE SPEEDER BIKE: This scene doesn't really exemplify any of the larger points in this article, but we hate it so much that we couldn't just ignore it. If Jedi weren't so darned cutesy, that Ewok would have been splattered into tree pizza and we'd have been a lot happier. Have we mentioned we hate Ewoks?

45. GENERALLY DUMB DIALOGUE: Vader, upon seeing that Luke has constructed a lightsaber: "Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen." (Wait a second -- all because he read a Time/Life book on electronics and soldered together some transistors? Does this mean Tim Allen is a Jedi?) Yoda, near death, to Luke: "Remember: a Jedi's strength flows from the Force." (That's more of a first-day lesson, isn't it, Yoda? Something tells us that Luke had that particular bit of wisdom written on a Post-it note and stuck to his W-Wing cockpit long ago.)

46. ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Sure, Admiral Ackbar looks neat, but he's quite the wishy-washy leader, judging from how Lando continually questions, ignores, and overrides his orders. Dumbest of all (though never actually mentioned in the film), Admiral Ackbar's fishlike race is called the Mon Calamari. Ha, ha, ha! (The joke isn't quite so funny when you realize that there are more fish people in Jedi than there are black people or female people.)

47. DUMB RESOLUTION OF PROBLEMS: The most pathetic example of facile problem solving is the "secret back door" on the shield generator base, which means our team won't have to be bothered with devising an interesting way to break in. Luckily for them, the base is apparently staffed by the one garrison in the Empire commanded by Colonel Klink.

48. ARTOO: Of all the main characters, Artoo is the only one who isn't handled in a totally embarrassing fashion, but there are still some inconsistencies in the presentation of his personality. He's supposed to be the brave, assured one to Threepio's sissy-boy, but in a couple of scenes he whimsically shakes and shivers with fear like Scooby-Doo. Is he into this whole Rebellion thing or not?

49. THE WIZARD OF OZ HOMAGE AT JABBA'S FRONT DOOR: Anyone who's ever seen MGM's seminal musical fantasy experiences more than a little déjà vu when Threepio knocks on Jabba's door and asks the whimsical attendant to admit him to the Emerald City -- er, rusty palace. Had there been a precedent of scene-specific homage in Wars or Empire, we might have been more forgiving on this point, but the scene as presented in jedi sticks out and degrades the overall integrity of the mythos established in the first two films. (Sure, Wars mimicked Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress almost scene for scene, but only socially maladapted film geeks noticed that.)

50. THE SARLACC PIT AS FREUD'S VAGINA DENTATA: Come on, like it never occurred to you.

I'm not even going to respond to the rest of these. I honestly don't know what would make his person happy. Maybe a cool blaster shootout duel between the two biggest badasses in the SWU! Han before he was a pansy and that bounty hunter with only 2 lines but a somewhat misguided fan following that loves seeing him! yeah.
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Old 09-23-04, 10:57 PM
  #17  
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Wow, for someone who hates the movie that person sure put a lot of time into thinking about that list.

Oh and I loved his complaint about bad dialogue in the movie. He referenced the line "I've got a bad feeling about this" as an example of bad dialogue, used twice in RoTJ. I guess he didn't notice that Lucas uses that line in every freakin Star Wars movie.

Again, I don't know why RoTJ gets all the hate. It's a damn fun movie with great effects, great scenes, Leia in a slave girl outfit, a conclusion to the story, a awesome scene with Vadar and Luke and the Emperor. I think the Ewoks get a lot of hate because...well...they're cute. Granted, they don't do anything particularly cute, they don't act stupid in any particular way and they seem fairly believable as a different race. But I suspect that many hate the fact that Star Wars does not try and be just about "cool" and slick designs and bad asses. But that's not what these films are, or ever were.

Now, I can't stand The Phantom Menace, but otherwise I really enjoy the rest of the Star Wars movies. I just find it amusing that many hate some of these movies for reasons that...well...can be certainly applied to the rest. Not that they're wrong, but this guy is just hating to hate. I honestly can't see how someone can love the first two films, and hate RoTJ. Perhaps think it's not quite as good, but to pretend like it's that much different just confuses me.
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Old 09-24-04, 12:58 AM
  #18  
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Originally posted by jaeufraser
I honestly can't see how someone can love the first two films, and hate RoTJ.
It's very simple really: lack of innovation, surprises, even worse acting, a plot that's a tired rehash of the first film, Ewoks, few memorable lines compared to the first two, too drastic change in tone from the second film, a shitty role for Han Solo( he spends a third of the film standing in front of that damn generator), rushed conclusions to all of the revelations and events that happened in Empire. Jedi by itself isn't as bad as current Hollywood dreck like Van Helsing, but compared to the first two it simply fails to measure up. In Empire Solo gets tortured, electrocuted and it ends with our heroes losing, cut to Jedi and one of the first scenes is the Jedi Rocks dance number....how can a fan still NOT hate this inconsistency?
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Old 09-24-04, 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by Ruderic
I wasn't a big fan of the Ewoks either. He could have made Kashyyyk and to make them underdogs populate it with mostly old wookies, women and children since the Empire supposedly used wookies as slaves. None of that really matters since the movie is now 21 years old. (Hey maybe he can CGI in some wookies?)

I was a big Boba Fett fan and thought he deserved a better fate (expanded universe aside).

I thought Morrison could have done the Fett lines a bit better.

I can't believe they changed the song at the end because I was so used to it being there. Hayden looked kind of out of place.

The other two movies I enjoy much more.
A few notes:
Does Boba Fett even talk in Jedi?

Fett's fate was funny I thought; however, Lucas has said that at
one point he had Fett crawl out of the Sarlaac pit (again, b/c all the fans liked him so much). Clearly this isn't on screen so it doesn't matter

The song at the end was added, and the "Yub Yub" song was removed, in 1997.
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Old 09-24-04, 08:23 AM
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I just find that most of the complaints lodged against ROTJ can be used against the other movies as well.
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Old 09-24-04, 11:18 AM
  #21  
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37. THE ALIEN LANGUAGES ARE POORLY PRESENTED: Bib Fortuna repeatedly lapses from Huttese into English for no apparent reason

Gosh - that NEVER happens in real life. . . like in Japan. Japanese folks drop english words into conversation ALL the time.

and we learn from Leia's bounty hunter alter ego that at least one translation of "Thirty thousand, no less" is "Yoto. Yoto." Huh?

Whew - good thing complex ideas never get translated to very short words in other languages in real life.

38. INCONSISTENCY WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED UNIVERSE: It can always be argued that the Star Wars universe contains a wide array of peoples and languages. Still, it strikes us as sloppy that codes on Jedi's computer screens are in alien gobbledygook language, while the tractor beam controls in Wars were in English.

And yet, when Lucas brings the movies into line with each other (removing the english from the tractor beams), he catches grief. What is it, fan boy? Do you want consistancy, or do you want the movies left alone. Something has to give, you know.


Whatever - that list is a bunch of bullshit, a bitter 'fan' looking to grab a few moments of fame. If he had some ligitimate complaints, then I might consider his arguments valid. But when you digress into petty nit-picking like this, you blow any credibiilty you might have out of the water.

Last edited by El-Kabong; 09-24-04 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 09-24-04, 11:40 AM
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Does Boba Fett even talk in Jedi?
Nope.

As far as the list goes, there's quite a few valid points, but like others have said, these same things could be applied to the first two movies, too. I mean, Star Wars has always had trite and at times, downright embarrassing dialogue. That's just part of the franchise.

The Ewoks aren't necessary, but it's not like they overrun the entire movie.

I've always been a Jedi performer, even if watching it now makes me realize it's not as good as I thought it was. But then again, I felt that way about both ANH and Empire while watching them. Like it or not, though, it's still part of the story. It's not like it's a sequel that has nothing to do with the other parts. I think if you're a fan of the first two, you at least need to have Jedi in there, just to complete the story. After all, I know life is a series of down notes, but do you really want to leave the story at Han being trapped in carbonite, Luke not yet a Jedi and the Empire not yet destroyed?
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Old 09-24-04, 11:47 AM
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My overall complaint with jedi is it feels rushed. Yes I still hate Ewoks.
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Old 09-24-04, 12:03 PM
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The Ewoks were going to cook and eat Han. That make them just a bunch of cannibals. Ewoks are truly EVIL!!!.
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Old 09-24-04, 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by El-Kabong
[B]38. INCONSISTENCY WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED UNIVERSE: It can always be argued that the Star Wars universe contains a wide array of peoples and languages. Still, it strikes us as sloppy that codes on Jedi's computer screens are in alien gobbledygook language, while the tractor beam controls in Wars were in English.

And yet, when Lucas brings the movies into line with each other (removing the english from the tractor beams), he catches grief. What is it, fan boy? Do you want consistancy, or do you want the movies left alone. Something has to give, you know.
The book that this list is from came out in Jan '99. Five months before tPM. I'm sure the author had NO idea that Lucas was going to do what he did.
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