This review contains mild spoilers
The evil Empire indeed strikes back. But nevertheless, only with such devastating results; Luke’s hand being cut off and Han’s being frozen in carbonite, comes the most anticipated moment of the saga, the return of Jedi.
Jedi by means Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), has technically completed his training, however, only until he faces his Vader, he becomes a Jedi. Hence, this completion comes naturally soon after Luke finds out the truth arousing him a great unease along with obligation to restore the balance to galaxy.
Yes, Luke is once again engaged in a battle with Darth Vader, but with an ultimate goal. Luke commits to bring back his father, not only alive, but also enlightened. But with Emperor Palpatine hovers around his right hand, Luke has only a slight chance. Then another ferocious battle they must go through.
Before we go further to the end of this episode, let’s move backward to Tattoine, where Leia (Carrie Fisher) makes an attempt to save Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Long story short, frozen Han is sold to the monstrous gangster boss, Jabba the Hut (Larry Ward), by the bounty hunter, Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch). Seemingly as a prickly fun decoration, we’re not aware of Hut’s trick on her.
What happen next are just like we all know. Leia is captured then enslaved in steel bikini, Luke appears and practices Jedi skills on Hut’s Rancor, Han regains his sight and finally rekindles his torn friendship with Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). Then onwards to Luke’s leaving his friends for Dagobah, only to be told the truth of his father and his lost sibling.
Undoubtedly, Yoda (Frank Oz) leaves as planned; emotional and intriguing. Given a full revelation about his father but only half about his sibling, Luke has no one to ask but Force. And as Force is strong in his family, Luke quickly realizes that Leia is his sister, completing the Skywalker reunion.
But unlike Luke, Leia feels a great fear for their father, asking him to leave far away. Only if the title were changed, Luke has no option but becoming a Jedi after being a new hope for quiet some times. It’s the moment to seize, the chance to end up the dark by dethroning Emperor for good.
An Unforgettable Ending Even Not an Epic One
We admit this episode delivers the best cinematography, including the best visual effects of the prequel trilogy, but not that epic closing chapter. Most reviews say that Ewok‘s furryball appearance kind of ruins the tension, and unfortunately we have to agree with the crowd.
However, we decide to avoid going further with the critics on the Ewoks despite their role as good friends in need. Although the main plot is for awhile distracted with a fun sub plot happening in Endor, they play an important role in helping Rebel Alliance winning the ground battle.
Yet regardless Ewok, Richard Marquand as director has a similar sense of George Lucas’s visionary. Although the final father-son’s battle isn’t as epic as directed by Irvin Kershner in Star Wars: Episode V – Empire Strikes Back, especially when Emperor comes to interrupt the two with his Force Lightning, Marquand gives a series of emotional moment which luckily couldn’t happen anywhere but in this episode.
The moment Vader returns to the light, the moment Luke unleashes the mask, and the moment they bid farewell, have brought Luke becoming a Jedi of his own. Without master, the one and only remains Jedi has finally born.
Opening Vast Opportunities for Sequels
The happy ending of this episode has opened vast opportunities for sequels or perhaps another trilogy. Ended with scenes of Han and Leia as happy couple and Luke returns to his sister and friends, there’s a huge potential of character and storyline development, including a chance of new system which allows humans, droids, and other creatures to live coherently.
However, there’s also a chance for everything good and newly built turns dark and creates a new chaos to the galaxy, just like as told recently in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Obviously, Luke has still so much works to do.
Director: Richard Marquand
Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse
Duration: 136 mins