“Die Ewoks! Die!” This is the phrase my Star Wars friends and I chant after every viewing of Return of the Jedi. Return of the Jedi could have been a good, no, great ending for the Star Wars Trilogy but there were those damn Ewoks.
After finding out that his father was Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes back, Luke Skywalker and his friends set out to end the reign of The Empire once and for all. What the Rebels find out is that The Empire has been working hard on another Death Star, this time bigger and better than the original. What are the Rebels to do but to destroy the Death Star again and claim victory? But, first Luke and Leia must rescue Han Solo, who was carbon frozen in The Empire Strikes back.
Return of the Jedi was the long awaited finale to the Star Wars Trilogy. Given the brilliance of the predecessors, Return of the Jedi should have been the best of the series.
There are some great qualities about Return of the Jedi. The movie was made far enough later than the original Star Wars that the special effects were perfected enough to create a huge space battle. The space battle near the end of the movie is well crafted and fun to watch. The story about Darth Vader and his redemption is great. The story about Luke and his quest to stay with the Light Side of the Force is also good. The evil Emperor is cool also. And it was great to see Yoda back again, though so briefly.
What stunk about Return of the Jedi are those damn Ewoks. A blatant aim at commercial success in the after-movie market, the Ewoks were introduced. I’m sure most of you know who the Ewoks are already, but for those of you who don’t, the Ewoks are a bunch of cuddly looking teddy bear like creatures that live in the forests of Endor. The Ewoks are cute and make for great stuff animals that kids will beg for once they step out of the theatre. But for us Star Wars fans the Ewoks are a plain insult. These snuggly cuddly creatures should have been digitally erased during the Special Edition production. They are plain annoying and ruin the mood for most of Return of the Jedi.
For the Special Edition there was not much added to the film. The film itself is so new that most of the special effects still look pretty good. What was added, and is most noticeable is the end sequence. Instead of the plain Rebel celebration with the Ewoks, we now get to see a grant universal scale celebration. This end sequence, with new music from John Williams, changes the overall feel of the Trilogy for the better.
Overall, Return of the Jedi is a good film. But I wish that Lucas would have done something with those Ewoks. Don’t Miss Return of the Jedi Special Edition, even if you’ve seen the original Return of the Jedi. The ending is much better in the Special Edition form.
I hate Ewoks.
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