A polarizing CONCLUSION
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983): After rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt, the rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star, while Luke struggles to make Vader return from the dark side of the Force.
Ok. Weebly sucks. I had this review totally done and it was awesome. I spent a great deal of time contrasting the differences in the writing between George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan, and I complimented the directing of rookie Richard Marquand, and I complimented the acting of Mark Hamil and Ian McDiarmid (great Easter egg there-Ian McDiarmid, who plays Palpatine in the prequels, also played The Emperor back in 1983. And since he, you know, becomes The Emperor in Episode III it makes sense) but Weebly just had to be a butt and not save it. So now I'm starting from scratch and don't feel like talking as much since I'm pressed for time. So, here is an abbreviated review of Episode VI. Sorry.
So I'm not as high on this film as I am the rest of the original trilogy, and the reason for this lies in the writing. George Lucas.....is a great storyteller. But by God is he a terrible writer/director. And this film is the best example of his inability to produce even decent writing. It really shows between him and Kasdan, because we'd go from one incredibly well-written scene to a terribly written scene 30 seconds later. It left me just shouting at the screen from time to time, like during Yoda's horribly written death. Why did he have to spout that extremely important exposition the way that he did??? You could barely understand what he was saying but it was all extremely important. But the biggest fault I had was with the love story between Han and Leia. One of the best love stories of all time in Episode V that concluded with the incredibly emotional "I love you-I know." exchange, this great story line is reduced to "Han is jealous because he thinks Leia loves Luke for some reason despite all the times she says I love you, Han, and kisses him and all the stuff that would make it painfully obvious that she loves him and not Luke." Seriously. SERIOUSLY? No, George, that's perfect. There is literally nothing wrong with that. And their final exchange about it? The one where Leia reveals that Luke is her brother? No, that's perfect. Actually, she should've been like, "Of course I love him. He's my brother! You didn't know that? God I can see you don't care about me at all! D*ck." Ya that would've been better. Look I kid, but we can all agree that that conclusion to their love story was absolutely dreadful, and was almost (ALMOST) as cringe-worthy as the love scenes of Episode II.
But, at the same time, parts of this movie are PHENOMENALLY well-written. For example, the entire exchange between Luke and The Emperor is incredible. The stakes during that sequence are unbelievably high, and you really feel for and see the anguish on Luke's face. And the scene between him and Vadar is also ridiculously well-written/acted. But that's enough of that let's talk about everything else.
As I said there was some excellent directing here from a relative no-name director in Richard Marquand, and I give him a lot of credit for stepping up to the plate and delivering on his career-defining film. The film, from a technical standpoint, is excellent, as the other two before it were, with the speederbike scene on Endor still standing today as a triumph of creativity in what you could do in Hollywood at that time. The smoke and mirrors/practical effects of this film are right there with Episode V and IV before it. The acting, again, is excellent since Hamil, Fisher, and Ford are all actually given some direction from someone other than George Lucas, and Ian McDiarmid is outstanding as The Emperor. Can I just say that I love the fact that Ian McDiarmid played The Emperor back in 1983 and then was cast to play Palpatine in Episode I 16 years later? For once, kudos to George Lucas for casting him again to play the character that would ultimately become The Emperor.
So I did say I was going to make this an abbreviated review, didn't I? You probably think I hate this film, but the truth is I don't. I just found it....frustrating at points. But overall, Episode VI is a good film. But it, like all the prequels, could've been great. Had George Lucas not screwed it up. You may notice I keep blaming Lucas for the problems with these films. Rare is it so easy to point the finger at one individual, but there's no doubt in my mind that Lucas was the reason these films were held back from their true potential. Because of this, the best thing Disney could've done in acquiring Star Wars from Lucas is put him in the position of what he does best: provide an overall story for future films. That's it. (And have someone in a position to tell him no that's a bad idea if it comes to it) And that's exactly what they've done in Episode VII. Because of this I could not be more excited to see this film. The expectations are set. I have reviewed each of the first six films. Now, it's time to see what the future holds for this great franchise.
The Critique: While a satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy, Episode VI again fails to reach its full potential because of its creator, George Lucas.
The Recommendation: Definitely worth a watch before checking out Episode VII!
The Verdict: 7/10 Good.
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