Author Topic: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later  (Read 1919 times)

Offline Brian

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Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« on: April 8, 2008, 12:16 PM »
I always enjoy hearing people's discussion, thoughts, and opinions on the movies - and with this being the 25th anniversary of Return of the Jedi, I thought it might be a good time to bring this movie up as well.  It seems like ROTJ is usually looked at as the weakest of the OT, and ranked below the PT for some people as well, but I guess I have fond memories of it because it was not only the first time I saw Star Wars in a theater, but its also the first time I remember going to a movie as well.  Because of that, I have a little more of a connection to this movie.  I can see why the Ewoks may annoy some people, but I never had a big problem with them - particularly as a kid.  Overall though, I really enjoyed many parts of this movie - the whole Jabba's Palace/Skiff sequence, the Speeder Bike chase (which seemed so cool back then too), and the DS II lightsaber battle.  Also, because of my age, this is where the majority of my vintage figures came from at the time.  My two favorites were Han Solo (with Trenchcoat) and Jedi Luke Skywalker.  I can still remember buying those - with allowance/chore money - one at a drug store in a town about 20 minutes away, and one at our local "variety/mom and pop" store.  Back to the movie, I also enjoyed the further expansion of the universe with new aliens like Admiral Ackbar, Jabba the Hutt, Nien Nunb, Gamorrean Guards, all the Jabba's Palace creatures, and even the Ewoks.  It might just be me, but even with the great advances in CGI these days, I still kind of like the traditional, old-school, costumes/masks.  I still think that ROTJ is the only time Jabba looks "right" to me.  What are your feelings on Return of the Jedi?  A worthy capper to the Saga, or a weak link?

Offline iFett

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #1 on: April 8, 2008, 12:53 PM »
but I guess I have fond memories of it because it was not only the first time I saw Star Wars in a theater, but its also the first time I remember going to a movie as well.  Because of that, I have a little more of a connection to this movie.  I can see why the Ewoks may annoy some people, but I never had a big problem with them - particularly as a kid.  Overall though, I really enjoyed many parts of this movie - the whole Jabba's Palace/Skiff sequence, the Speeder Bike chase (which seemed so cool back then too)

Same here.  Very first movie I've ever seen at a theatre.  ROTJ is actually #1 out of the six SW movies in my book.
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Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #2 on: April 8, 2008, 02:09 PM »
I like it, and it definitely holds up to the test of time.  The Ewoks keep up with the theme of superior drive being able to defeat superior technology and I even like the expanded ending of the SE (yes, even Hayden as the ghost of Anakin).

Overall, I can't put any movie ahead of another as a favorite since they are all telling one story....with the possible exception of ANH since it is the only one made as a stand-alone movie.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #3 on: April 8, 2008, 02:28 PM »
ROTJ is great to me as it's the film I best remember watching in theaters when I was little...

I'd actually tinker with it some if I were Lucas, but nothing major.  Add some things to the space battle mostly, clean up some explosions on Endor and in space, etc.  Just expand it and clean it up a bit...  The Hayden thing didn't bother me much, however it was unnecessary ultimately.
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #4 on: April 8, 2008, 04:11 PM »
It was an okay film for me, having seen all them in the theaters and remembering it all. It wasn't as good as ANH or ESB, but good none the less. I can't say I liked the Ewoks right away because they looked like teddy bears, but when I got older I understood their purpose as Matt Fury pointed out.

As for the Hayden replacing Sebastian Shaw, I really don't understand that. Anakin was redeemed as an old man, not the man who became Vader, so I would think that the old man Anakin would make more sense... but I guess it would give Luke a glimpse of who his father was before becoming a manipulated 'evil' being.

Finally, this thread makes me feel old. It's really been 25 years?!

Offline Muftak

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #5 on: April 8, 2008, 04:36 PM »
Alright, I'll geek out a little bit here. ROTJ deserves it.

My life more or less begins going to see the '79 re-re-release of Star Wars. I vividly remember going to see ESB scant weeks after it premiered in theaters, after having just "graduated" kindergarten. But with ROTJ I remember the hype leading up to it, through '81 and '82 (when it was Revenge...) and the Star Wars release of '82 when the "return" trailer premiered.

Of course I was very young then, too, an eight year old, and so when I caught snippets of the movie on Entertainment Tonight I was unable to comprehend what was going on. My mind figured the plot of the movie hinged on rescuing Han Solo, so that had to come at the end, right? Well, what is all this with Han running around in a forest? And beyond that, I know the movie takes place on Tatooine, so whoever heard of a forest on a desert planet??

The day my mom promised to take my brothers and I to the movie was a Wednesday, I guess a week after the opening. I woke up at roughly three thirty in the morning from adrenaline, and was unable to fall back asleep. We all had school that day, but my older brother actually got to ditch the afternoon (for a "doctor's appointment") so he could wait in line for the tickets. I was very jealous. The theater was in our local mall, a triplex run by General Cinemas. I believe Jedi was playing on two of the screens, again a major mind-blower at the time. When my mom, my younger brother, and I arrived, my older brother was in line to be seated, wending down past the Wilson's leather shop almost to the Sears at the end of the mall. (Wilson's is gone today, as is the theater itself, but the Sears is still there.)

My birthday was days away, and my brother had been nice enough to buy me the souvenir magazine to read in line. I poured over it, mouth agape at the new Death Star (what what??) and pictures of the Rancor, as well as the previously seen characters like Ackbar, Bib Fortuna, and Weequay (who were already in my figure collection by that point.)

The movie blew me away. It was the coolest thing ever, bar nothing. I think I held my breath all the way through the rescue of Han Solo, (except when I laughed at the most hilarious joke ever put on screen, the Worrt eating the bug! Comic gold to a Muppet-obsessed eight year old!) I hoped the movie would last forever!

You know how Lucas says he worried about revealing that Vader was Luke's father because of the damage it might do to little kids, but experts assured him kids would believe Vader was lying? Well, I am proof that the theory was true. I had espoused the meanness of Vader's trick to anyone who believed what he had said for three years at that point, so I felt horribly betrayed when Yoda admitted to Luke that Vader was Anakin, and when double-talking Ben tried to explain away his own lies. But I felt even worse when they told Luke he still had to kill Vader.

Getting to the Battle of Endor was an absolute roller-coaster ride...I loved the Ewoks, hated the Emperor, and came to respect Vader and admire Luke for his unrelenting belief in the goodness that could be found in everybody. He went against what his own teachers had told him to do, and it saved the galaxy!

I saw it again a few times that summer, went to a travelling mall exhibit of some of the props, and of course collected the new toys and played story sequels with my younger brother and our neighborhood friends for the next two years.

Though today I may value ANH and ESB more, in my childhood Return of the Jedi was the utter realization of everything a Star Wars movie should be. [/geek]
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #6 on: April 8, 2008, 09:28 PM »
One thing I digged about the movie was the Biker Scouts and the bikes. I'm a race fan, grew up watching it so seeing fast bikes like that were awesome. I also love the Interceptors, the shuttles, etc. I could go on...

Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #7 on: April 9, 2008, 12:18 AM »
I'm in the same boat as a lot of you guys. ROTJ was the first movie I went to at the theater, during an 1984 re-release when I was three. My mother actually has the exact date written down in my baby's first years book, and that my uncle PJ and cousin Jeff took me to see it. I might not have understood everything about the movie at three years old, but it clearly had a subconcious effect. It was after that that I started getting the toys, my favorites being Jedi Luke, Han in Trenchcoat, and Leia Boushh.

These days, it's my least-watched installment of the OT, but I don't look down on it. The Special Edition changes to this film struck me the most of all three. I love the updated ending without the 'Yub Yub' song, but I loathe, loathe, LOATHE the Jedi Rocks sequence. And Hayden replacing Sebastian isn't a big deal to me, since it makes some sense, story-wise.
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #8 on: April 9, 2008, 11:00 AM »
I love the updated ending without the 'Yub Yub' song, but I loathe, loathe, LOATHE the Jedi Rocks sequence.

+1

I think the new celebration song works as it's a Galactic victory over the Empire, not just an Ewok victory. Jedi Rocks sucks goat turds! Lapti Nek was a better musical piece. Lucas changed it to reflect R&B/Hip Hop/Rap to poor result.

Offline Brian

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2008, 10:30 AM »
Quote
The Special Edition changes to this film struck me the most of all three. I love the updated ending without the 'Yub Yub' song, but I loathe, loathe, LOATHE the Jedi Rocks sequence. And Hayden replacing Sebastian isn't a big deal to me, since it makes some sense, story-wise.

Of all the SE changes to ROTJ, I think the song change in Jabba's palace bothers me the most.  I really enjoyed the Lapti Nek song as opposed to this whole Jedi Rocks thing.  That's something I wish they would have left alone.  I don't mind the new ending (although Yub Yub was fine too), and the Hayden Anakin ghost doesn't really bother me either.  Not that I didn't like Shaw in there either - it would be fine either way.  I guess it does tie together the trilogies as a Saga a bit, even if it wasn't totally necessary to do.  I also really liked the whole space battle/Attack on Death Star II a lot - maybe one of the best "Star Wars" in the Saga, since it involved a larger amount of ships on both sides.  Like Jesse said, it could probably have been expanded even more, but what was there sure was nice.

Offline JangoTat

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2008, 12:14 AM »
this was actually the first Star Wars movie i saw and it is still held as my Fav. I don't mind any of the changes either, its good to see something different everynow and then.

Since this year is the 25th aniversary does anyone else think that the Falcon is comnig out in celebration of it? After all almost all of the figures we are getting this year are PT or EU with a hint of OT, and now this HUGE MF just pops out of no where. Now I understand why in one of the QnA that Hasbro said OT fans would not be dissapointed this year.
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Offline Angry Ewok

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2008, 05:39 PM »
I love the updated ending without the 'Yub Yub' song, but I loathe, loathe, LOATHE the Jedi Rocks sequence.

+1

I think the new celebration song works as it's a Galactic victory over the Empire, not just an Ewok victory. Jedi Rocks sucks goat turds! Lapti Nek was a better musical piece. Lucas changed it to reflect R&B/Hip Hop/Rap to poor result.

+2

Bring Lapti Nek back, and get rid of the terrible CGI band.

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2008, 11:16 AM »
Yeesh but I'm older than youse guys. I was on a date at this movie with a girl named Donna.  Awesome redhead that liked to party, drink beer, loved the heavy metal of the day and even suggested we go see ROTJ. 

I loved the final battle between Luke and Vader, it was spectacular.  I loved the attack on the Death Star.  I enjoyed the opening stuff with Jabba. 

I hated the Endor stuff.  Always have, always will.  Lucas' original plans to have them be Wookies would have been great.  Having Ewoks instead was lame and ultimately is responsible for the creation of Jar Jar many years later to cash in on that cutesy, funny talking type of character.  You're all too blinded by your childhood love of Star Wars to see that, but whatever.  If the Imperials had any brains at all, they'd have just sat back from the bunker and smoked the little bastards with sniper fire. 

Cool movie, but not in my top two and not sure somedays if it's in my top three.  The best part of the movie by far was who I saw it with.   ;)
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Offline P-Siddy

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2008, 01:43 PM »
I was on a date at this movie with a girl named Donna.  Awesome redhead that liked to party, drink beer, loved the heavy metal of the day and even suggested we go see ROTJ. 


Okay Eric Forman!  ;D Had to say it... sorry, don't kill me Brent.

Offline Brian

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Re: Return of the Jedi - 25 Years Later
« Reply #14 on: May 9, 2008, 03:29 PM »
I heard about this video on the TF.N podcast, and thought it was appropriate here.  It was apparently made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of ROTJ, and focuses on the Ewoks (apologies to Brent :P).  I enjoyed Billy Dee's cameo in the video, and thought I might pass it along.