Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
Dir: Richard Marquand
So that’s how it ends!
Well, by watching all three in a row, it really helped build up to the grand finale, but I must say I found it slightly underwhelming! Maybe it’s because of seeing things through my 21st century eyes of films having overly-epic and grandiose scale… but I think there may be a simpler reason…
Out of the three, that was by far the most surreal, packed with a distinctly greater number of odd-looking alien species, and an incredible number of Ewoks! Now I don’t have a problem with aliens, and I like a bit of surrealism, but the previous films didn’t exactly build up to that. The humourous nature of the Ewoks also seriously undercut the drama of the battle scene, especially considering the darkly ominous tone of what’s happening on the ship with Luke. To add to this, I saw the re-mastered version, with some terrible singing aliens in Jabba’s palace, that looked like they had been lifted directly out of Men In Black (and not the good one). Also, the inclusion of Hayden Christensen… even I spotted that and disagreed with it and I was seeing the film for the first time!
However… I did enjoy it. There were some great touching moments, and when the humour was well placed it worked. It just solidifies my view that sometimes old classics should be left alone, especially something as loved as this! There’s a huge difference between updating effects, fixing mistakes, or improving picture quality, and messing about to tie them in with prequels! These films were great as they were, incredible in their time, and the huge impression and memories they made for people in the 70’s and 80’s shouldn’t really have been messed about with, it’s got to leave a sour taste for many.
Die-hard fans will be fearing the worst for 2015 when Star Wars: Episode VII is due… Weirdly enough, now, so am I!