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Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Luke Skywalker and his friends are back in the conclusion to the original trilogy. Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas wrote the screenplay and Richard Marquand directs. This was the last good Star Wars movie, even though the second half of the film kind of sucks. I blame the Ewoks. It’s pretty obvious they were just included to sell toys and appeal to kids. They are the Jar Jar Binks of the original trilogy, only without being blatantly racist and overly annoying.

            The film opens with the dramatic rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, where Luke must use his Jedi skills to beat the bad guys and save his friends. There are quite a few iconic moments and characters in this part. There’s the Rancor, the Sarlacc, Jabba the Hutt, green pig guards, and Princess Leia in a gold bikini. It’s one of the best sequences in sci-fi cinema. Princess Leia in a gold bikini. Just reflect on that for a moment.

            The Rebel Alliance finds out that the Empire is building a new Death Star and that the Emperor himself is going to oversee the final preparations. The Rebels decide that this is their time to strike. They hatch a plan to destroy the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor, which will allow their star fleet to blow up the Death Star. But they don’t know that it’s a trap. It’s just one part of the Emperor’s plan to convert Luke to the Dark Side of the Force.

While Han, Leia, Chewy and the gay robots are busy playing with teddy bears, Lando is leading the aerial assault on the Empire, and Luke is dealing with his Darth Vader daddy issues. Needless to say, all the conflicts get resolved, most of the loose ends are tied up, and the story ends with our heroes celebrating their victory.

            It’s a pretty satisfying ending to the original trilogy. It’s not as good as A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back, but it’s a million times better than the prequel trilogy. George Lucas keeps on tweaking this movie and now Hayden Christensen is in it at the end. I wish I still had a VCR so I could watch the real movie again.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back is the best chapter in the Star Wars saga and one of the best sequels of all time. George Lucas hands the directing responsibilities to Irvin Kershner, and the resulting performances from the actors are more dynamic and layered. This sequel takes everything good about the original and expands upon it. It’s faster, darker, and more interesting. Plus it has a better, more intense lightsaber duel.

            The main characters all return, and we meet a few new characters: Yoda and Lando. Billy Dee Williams plays the shifty Lando Calrissian, a former friend of Han’s. Lando is cool, but it’s all about Yoda. Muppet guru Frank Oz provides the voice and brings Yoda to life. The real Yoda is a puppet, not a computer animated abomination with a little lightsaber.

The Empire Strikes Back is a little different from most blockbusters. The big action scene happens in the beginning with the invasion of Hoth. The film ends with an emotional climax. Han Solo is trapped in carbonite and sent to Jabba the Hutt and you find out that Darth Vader is Luke’s dad. I really hope you knew that already.

            Star Wars was a revolutionary film that changed cinema in a lot of ways. The Empire Strike Back is step forward for the franchise. It’s more adult and it has deeper themes. It still has one of the best cliffhanger endings ever. You want to watch Return of the Jedi as soon as the credits start to roll.

The only thing that weirds me out about this movie is when Leia made out with Luke. Galactic incest is still incest.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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