A Look Back Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Return of the Jedi released in 1983, and was the final film in the Original Trilogy. It finally was the culmination of the fallout from A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. The film has the clash between the Rebellion and the Empire, a battle that was looked after for years. This film also features the redemption of the fallen Jedi, Anakin Skywalker.

To get caught up and get the full effects of our journey towards Episode IX check out our other look backs

A Look Back ‘Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back’
A Look Back ‘Star Wars A New Hope’
A Look Back ‘ Rogue One A Star Wars Story’
A Look Back ‘ Solo A Star Wars Story’
A Look Back ‘Star Wars Revenge of the Sith’
A Look Back ‘Star Wars Attack of the Clones’
A Look Back ‘Star Wars The Phantom Menace’


Into Jabba’s Palace

In an attempt to rescue Han Solo from crime lord Jabba the Hutt, C-3PO and R2-D2 are sent to Jabba’s palace on Tatooine in a trade bargain made by Luke Skywalker. Disguised as a bounty hunter, Princess Leia infiltrates the palace as a bounty hunter collecting the bounty on Chewbacca. At night she unfreezes Han, but is caught and enslaved. Luke soon arrives to bargain for his friends’ release. Jabba drops him through a trapdoor with the intent of letting him be eaten by a rancor. Luke kills the creature by crushing it with a door in its cage.

The Sarlacc Pit

Jabba sentences him, Han, and Chewbacca to death by being fed to the Sarlacc, a huge, carnivorous plant-like desert beast. Having hidden his lightsaber inside R2-D2, Luke frees himself and battles Jabba’s guards. While Luke is fighting the guards, Leia uses her chains to strangle Jabba to death.

On Dagobah

As the others rendezvous with the Rebel Alliance, Luke returns to Dagobah, where he finds that Yoda is dying. Yoda confirms that Darth Vader, once known as Anakin Skywalker, is Luke’s father, and becomes one with the Force. The Force ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi reveals that Leia is Luke’s twin sister, and tells Luke that he must face Vader again to finish his training and defeat the Empire.

The Attack on the Forest Moon of Endor

The Rebel Alliance learns that the Empire has been constructing a new Death Star under the supervision of the Emperor himself. As the station is protected by an energy shield, Han leads a strike team to destroy the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor; doing so would allow a squadron of starfighters to destroy the Death Star. Luke and Leia accompany the strike team to Endor in a stolen Imperial shuttle.

Luke and his companions encounter a tribe of Ewoks and, after an initial conflict, gain their trust. Later, Luke tells Leia that she is his sister, Vader is their father, and that he must confront him. Surrendering to Imperial troops, Luke is brought before Vader, and he tries to convince his father to return from the dark side of the Force.

The Battle Between Good and Evil

Vader takes Luke to the Death Star to meet the Emperor, intent on turning him to the dark side. The Emperor reveals that the Death Star is operational and that the Rebel Fleet will fall 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 and Admiral Ackbar lead the Rebel Fleet in the Millennium Falcon, only to find that the Death Star’s shield is still active, and the Imperial fleet waiting for them. Further adding to the crisis, the Emperor reveals to Luke that the Death Star is fully armed and operational and orders the firing of its massive superlaser, destroying one of the Rebel starships.

The Duel Between Father and Son

The Emperor then tempts Luke to give in to his anger, and Luke engages Vader in a lightsaber duel. Vader senses that Luke has a sister, and threatens to turn her to the dark side. Enraged, Luke attacks and severs Vader’s prosthetic hand. The Emperor entreats Luke to kill Vader and take his place, but Luke refuses, declaring himself a Jedi. Furious, the Emperor tortures Luke with Force lightning. Unwilling to let his son die, Vader throws the Emperor to his apparent 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 core. While the Rebel fleet destroys the Super Star Destroyer Executor, Lando, and X-wing fighter pilot Wedge Antilles destroy its main reactor. As the Falcon flies out of the Death Star’s superstructure and Luke escapes on a shuttle with his father’s body, the station explodes. On Endor, Leia reveals to Han that Luke is her brother, and they kiss. Luke cremates Anakin’s body on a pyre alone before rejoining his friends. As the Rebels celebrate the defeat of the Empire, Luke sees the spirits of Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Anakin watching over him.

Story Impact

Luke Becomes a Jedi

Luke completes his trials as a Jedi. He resists the pull from the dark side and also sways his father to come back to the light side of the force.

Darth Vader Becomes Redeemed

Vader in the final minutes of his life, saves his son. Defeating the Darth Sidious, he saves his son costing him his life. He gets a Jedi pyre for a burial and comes back as a force ghost.

Empire Falls

The Empire faces a defeat both on the moon of Endor and in the space battle are the Death Star 2. With both of the defeats and the death of the emperor, the remnants of the empire scattered and hid.

What it Meant to Me

This episode was always one I would chose to watch on long car drives. It always had me mildly entertained but was far from my favorite in the original trilogy. I will always rank it in the middle, but I will still always enjoy the huge space battle at the end of the film.

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