Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

A year after Han Solo’s capture, C-3PO and R2-D2 are sent to crime lord Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine in a trade bargain made by Luke Skywalker to rescue Han. Disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh, Princess Leia infiltrates the palace under the pretense of collecting the bounty on Chewbacca and unfreezes Han, but is caught and enslaved. Luke soon arrives to bargain for his friends’ release, but Jabba drops him through a trapdoor to be eaten by a rancor. After Luke kills it, Jabba sentences him, Han, and Chewbacca to death by being fed to the Sarlacc, a huge, carnivorous plant-like desert beast. Having hidden his new lightsaber inside R2-D2, Luke frees himself and his friends, and they battle Jabba’s men. During the chaos, Boba Fett falls into the Sarlacc after Han inadvertently damages his jetpack, and Leia strangles Jabba to death with her chains. The group then destroy Jabba’s sail barge and escape before it explodes.

As the others rendezvous with the Rebel Alliance, Luke returns to Dagobah to complete his Jedi training with Yoda, whom he discovers is dying. Yoda confirms that Darth Vader, once known as Anakin Skywalker, is Luke’s father, before dying and becoming one with the Force. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Force ghost then reveals that Leia is Luke’s twin sister, and tells him that he must face Vader again to finish his training and defeat the Empire.

The Alliance learns that the Empire has been constructing a second Death Star under the supervision of the Emperor himself. As the station is protected by an energy shield, Han leads a strike team which includes Luke, Leia and Chewbacca to destroy the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor; doing so will allow the Rebel Fleet to destroy the Death Star. The team uses a stolen Imperial shuttle to arrive undetected, and encounters a tribe of Ewoks, gaining their trust after an initial conflict. Later, Luke tells Leia that she is his sister, Vader is their father, and that he must confront him. Surrendering to Imperial troops, he is brought before Vader, and fails to convince his father to reject the dark side of the Force.

Vader takes Luke to meet the Emperor, who intends to turn him to the dark side, and reveals that his friends and the Rebel Fleet are headed into a trap. On Endor, Han’s team is captured by Imperial forces, but a counterattack by the Ewoks allows the Rebels to infiltrate the shield generator. Meanwhile, Lando Calrissian in the Millennium Falcon and Admiral Ackbar lead the rebel assault on the second Death Star, only to find its shield still active, and the Imperial fleet waiting for them.

The Emperor reveals to Luke that the Death Star is fully operational and orders the firing of its massive superlaser, destroying a Rebel starship. He then tempts Luke to give in to his anger. Luke attempts to attack him, but Vader intervenes and the two engage in a lightsaber duel. Vader senses that Luke has a sister and threatens to turn her to the dark side. Enraged, Luke defeats Vader, severing his prosthetic hand. The Emperor entreats Luke to kill Vader and take his place, but Luke refuses, declaring himself a Jedi like his father before him. Furious, the Emperor tortures Luke with Force lightning. Unwilling to let his son die, Vader betrays the Emperor and throws him down a reactor shaft to his death, but is mortally electrocuted in the process. At his father’s last request, Luke removes Vader’s mask, and the redeemed Anakin Skywalker dies in his son’s arms.

After the strike team destroys the shield generator, Lando leads a group of Rebel fighters into the Death Star’s core. While the Rebel fleet destroys the Super Star Destroyer Executor, Lando and X-wing fighter pilot Wedge Antilles destroy the Death Star’s main reactor, escaping from the station’s infrastructure before it explodes. Luke also escapes in a shuttle with his father’s body. On Endor, Leia reveals to Han that Luke is her brother, and they kiss. Luke later cremates his father’s body on a pyre before reuniting with his friends. As the Rebels and the galaxy celebrate the Empire’s defeat, Luke sees the spirits of Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Anakin watching over him.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Okay, I know I dogged on Star Wars IV: A New Hope and Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, but I will make up for it in the next few reviews, I promise. So this third film, watching it from the release date, was actually not so bad. There was more action and character depth which helped. Don’t worry I didn’t fall asleep during this one. This is really the film that most non Star Wars Fans know best and refer to because of the “Luke, I am your father” from Darth Vader. Honestly not my favorite of them all but much more excitable compared to the first two.

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