|RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983)|
Billy Dee Williams
Sir Alec Guinness
|"Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view."|
|Time: 132 mins.|
Genre: Science Fiction/Action/Adventure
Academy Award nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Sound.
It's hard for me to review a film I've seen a million times (slight exagerration) and loved for over 15 years. I can't really distance myself from it enough to be objective. It was, and still is, one of the most amazing things I ever saw in the theater. Is it one of the greatest films of all time? Not really. Did it make me fall in love with the movies? You betcha! If you had asked me then which film of this series was my favorite, RETURN OF THE JEDI would have won hands down. It's funny, it has resolution and Han and Leia finally get together. What could be better? Well, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. I'm not saying that this film isn't worth all the hype, its just a little too pat for me now. And the Ewoks...don't get me started.
As we all know, the story picks up on the planet of Tatoinne with the rescue of Han Solo who was frozen in carbonite by Darth Vader at the end EMPIRE and sold to Jabba the Hut. Princess Leia puts herself in danger, Luke has to save the day, there's wierd creatures and explosions, yada, yada, yada. Once they get Han back in working order they have to continue their fight against Darth Vader and stop the Empire from building a new Death Star before the Emperor takes over the galaxy. Sound familiar?The lightest and most romantic of the trilogy, RETURN is actually a welcome change after the gloom and doom of EMPIRE. But Lucas gets a little too perky on us when he enlists the help of furry midgets called Ewoks. In the entire galaxy the rebel forces couldn't get anyone better to help them? Its no wonder they were in such trouble. Now that's not to say the Ewoks didn't do their best, but please, a powerful ally they're not. They do come up with some pretty ingenious ways of destroying the various machinary brought to their planet by the Empire, but a few well-placed grenades would've worked just as well. There seem to be even more scenes of them in the latest version which is just not good thing.
Our characters do mature and grow in this installment, becoming family. You get the feeling that together there's nothing they can't accomplish. Luke becomes a full-fledged Jedi Master which is a good thing because his whining wears a little thin by the middle of the second film. He's supposed to be our last hope? Thank God there was a back-up. The effects are first rate but don't look as good on television as they do in the theater. They've added some computer animation to the explosions which bring them into the 90's though it doesn't really add much, if anything, to the film. In fact, they added a new celebration scene at the end that was just horrifyingly cloying. Look the whole galaxy is dancing and celebrating the rebels victory. Isn't it fantastic? Frankly, it was hokey. Sometimes things should just be left alone. These films were done well enough the first time (at least the millions of ticketbuyers thought so), so why screw around with them? People would have gone to see them again in the theater, just to relive the experience. It's like visiting old friends...with sword play and interstallar gun battles. If you haven't seen this movie, I suggest you start at the beginning and join the rest of the civilized world. You won't regret it.