Yup, I finally get to remove this Star Wars shaped monkey off my back and finish the saga. As Vader himself once said in A New Hope : “The circle is now complete. Now fuckin’ die you bearded tosser.”
Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
Anyway, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is still frozen. Luke (Mark Hamill) is still not a Jedi and Leia (Carrie Fisher) has gone to rescue Han from the clutches of gangster slug-thing Jabba the Hutt (Susan Boyle). Meanwhile, the Empire are in the process of building a new Death Star and the Rebels led by Solo and Lando (Billy Dee Williams) plan to attack before their weapons are functional. The story’s a decent end to the Star Wars trilogy, it’s just a shame it had to involve Ewoks.
So, where to begin? Well, the first hour of Jedi rocks the shit. We go from Jabba’s Palace to an old school monster smackdown with a Rancor and then we’re whisked off on Jabba’s sail barge to a sequence taking place in the desert over the Pit of Sarlaac- a fantastic creature that eats men whole and digests them slowly over 1000 years. From there we’ve got Luke saying his goodbyes to Yoda, the great speeder bike chase through the forest of Endor and then…we hit a brick wall in the form of Wicket W. Warrick (Warrick Davies) a cuddly space teddy bear. Nothing against Davies at all, but the Ewoks are shit. Yeah, it’s predictable that I was going to pick on the Ewoks, but they stop me enjoying the film. Despite the baffling Blu add-ons and the crusty anus of a musical number “Jedi Rocks” (which reported cost Lucas a cool $1 million to add to the film back in ’97), it’s classic Star Wars. It’s clear the Ewoks were added to appeal solely to kids. Lucas knew the sweet dollars were from gullible parents who would buy their screaming sprogs any old bit of fuzz to shut them up. This is when Lucas turned. He’s more cash machine now than man.
I didn’t want to finish my Jedi review on a sour note though. The film is mostly great. It’s the weakest of the three, but still a lot of fun. As I said, it contains some of my favourite trilogy scenes. The speeder bike chase is great, the all out space battle is awesome too. My favourite of all though is Luke’s showdown with Vader. It’s pitch perfect and Luke’s slow realisation that the Emperor is turning him into a Vader replacement is so fantastic I’m genuinely having to fight the urge to stop typing these words, stick the film on and skip to that bit.
Star Wars has meant and still means a considerable amount to me. As a kid, it opened my mind to fantastical planets, aliens and adventure, as well as inspiring me to strive to be as heroic as Luke is. As an adult, it shows me that great films can remain so, despite outdated effects and corny ideals. As a fan, I’ve learned that I’m done with George Lucas, who continually disappoints all but his completely feckless fans by trying his best to sully what little good there is left in the Star Wars name. The film’s still good despite the inherent Ewok problems and the added nonsense, I just wish it was left alone for me to enjoy.