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Return of the Jedi - 30th Anniversary

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Coming up on the 30th anniversary this weekend for Jedi, anyone planning on giving it a view?  I'm hoping I have time to, hopefully on Saturday but at least sometime this weekend.  Anyways, I see has a short film up of some celebrity "geeks" reminiscing about ROTJ:

Personally, although I think the original Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back are stronger movies, Jedi will always hold a special place for me as it was the first movie I remember seeing in the theater - let alone the first SW movie in the theater.  It was also when my fandom/action figure collecting seemed to blossom, as the majority of the vintage figures from my youth were from the ROTJ line.  Still love it, ewoks and all ;).

I'm moving this weekend so probably won't have a chance to watch it, but Jedi was always my favorite growing up, mostly because it was the "end." Oddly enough it's also the only Star Wars film I've never seen in theaters. It's the only reason I'm disappointed they canceled the 3D rereleases.

From a short interview HuffPo did with author J.W. Rinzler:

--- Quote ---On the legacy of "Return of the Jedi," compared to "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back":

In a way, "Jedi"'s trajectory is similar to "Empire'"s. They both got mixed reviews, and a lot of the actors back then in 1982 didn't even like "Empire" that much. They really preferred "Star Wars" and they preferred "Jedi." Then, over the years, "Empire" has kind of appeared as a lot of people's favorite. I was taking to Guillermo del Toro about this. Already with "Jedi," you have another generation of filmgoers going to the theater. And for people like me, "Jedi" was already a kind of "The Phantom Menace" in that we're like, "You've got to be kidding me with these Ewoks. I just cannot relate to this. These are little people in suits and it looks ridiculous." There's already a generational divide. But those kids who were seven and eight who saw Jedi -- for a lot of people, "Jedi" is their favorite film. And del Toro is saying it will be the same way for the prequels.
--- End quote ---

At least in my case, he's right about the flip-flop between Empire and Jedi love.  I got back into Star Wars in 1990 with this:

And definitely preferred Jedi to Empire at that time.  It wasn't until the mid-to-late 90's that I started to really appreciate Empire for what it was, and started to realize how flat much of Jedi is.  I'm sure that getting older and watching more movies were mostly-responsible for that, but joining the hive mind of the Internet played a role in it, too.

(Also, he discusses the rampant Ewok sex during the shoot, so check it out.)

Jesse James:
Jedi's finer pionts are tough to argue...  The Space Battle, the Endor fight...  Ewoks, I never got WHY people hated them?  I didn't.  I loved them.  I didn't want to believe any of them died.

Speederbikes, Luke going batshit on Vader, Jabba's Palace/Sarlacc Battle...  I probably lean to Jedi over Empire a little though the Battle of Hoth always gets me sucked in.  But after that first 45 minutes or so that the battle encompasses I start to drift just slightly.  There's obviously lots of greatness, but Jedi keeps me for the entire ride just a little bit more I think.

It's like deciding between Diamonds, Platinum, and Solid Gold though...  You're winning regardless.

Then the next three films it's like picking from Silver, a lump of coal, and petrified dog ****.

I like Jedi, but its a solid #3 behind ANH and ESB.  ANH was a complete story and the original, so tough to beat that out.  Empire has it all for me: the Hoth battle with the Walkers and Snowtroopers is still the best SW fight scene for me.  Then you've got the Bounty Hunters, the Astroid Field, Bespin, the Vader reveal, and the bad guys actually come out winning.  I remember feeling so shocked that the movie ended there and we had to leave without knowing Han's fate. 

Jedi is solid too, but I thought there were more slow moments and too much flipping back and forth towards the end.  The ewok scenes seem to drag out a little, as does the space battle.  Still a great flick, but behind the other two IMO.


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