Tuesday, September 14, 2010

82. Return of the Jedi (1983)


Remember, a Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware. Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Luke... Luke... do not... do not underestimate the powers of the Emperor or suffer your father's fate you will. Luke, when gone am I... the last of the Jedi will you be. Luke, the Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned, Luke. There is... another... Sky... walker.

I've always said that you have movies... and then you have STAR WARS movies. "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." Of the six times that those wonderful words have graced the screens of movie theaters worldwide, for me this one goes a little above and beyond the rest. Maybe it is because this movie (and the toys, comics, cartoons, and books around it) pretty much drove most of my childhood, but this is pretty much my favorite movie of all time. Compared to other films in the franchise this one begins relatively slow, on Tatooine instead of with a frenzied space battle, but it is simply putting the chess pieces in place for one of the coolest moments in the history of movies.

Luke Skywalker is pushed to the edge of the desert skiff's plank. He is to be put to death in the belly of the Sarlaac (where he will be digested for over a thousand years) along with his friends Chewbacca and Han Solo. Leia has become the pet of his captor, Jabba the Hutt. He tells Jabba that this is his final chance to free them or die... Jabba laughs and says, "Put him in!" To this, Luke signals R2-D2 who fires his lightsaber across the pit of Carkoon. Luke jumps of the plank, grabs it with his hands, uses it to spring himself onto the main hull of the skiff, grabs his lightsaber midair and the battle is on.... I think I may have broken out in a sweat while writing that... so, so, freakin' awesome!

The movie goes on to include such awesomeness as Speeder Bike chases through the forest moon of Endor, getting captured then teaming up with Ewoks, Yoda and Obi-Wan telling Luke the truth about his family, orchestrating one of the greatest space battles of all time in the destruction of the second Death Star, Ewoks beating up stormtroopers and AT-STs, Luke facing Vader once more, Vader seeing the light, Admiral Ackbar discovering that "IT'S A TRAP!", and that awesome final victory song and dance. Now, let's be clear all of that is from the original and enhanced (read pre-1997) versions of the film. The special edition has some MAJOR problems in my opinion, the most glaring being the complete destruction of the final music of the movie. If you watch this movie, please watch the original versions. If you are not singing "YUB, YUB" at the end, it is incorrect.

I could write on this for hours... I probably should go to sleep.... No more Star Wars for sixteen years (in the blog that is)...

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