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Chris Kavan's Movie Reviews (3308)

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Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi 
A Great Ending, Ewoks and All
4/4 stars

I consider this the weakest link of the original trilogy, but even the least of the three is still one of the best sci-fi films and a great way to wrap the series.

I will say that Jedi starts off with the best opening: Jabba the Hutt, a whole slew of aliens, slave Leia,Luke vs. Rancor, Sarlacc, Boba Fett - it's one visual treat after another and it keeps things interesting. It dials down the action for a little while, getting into the meat of the story, but it picks up again.

Though Empire may have the biggest twist, Jedi has the bigger emotions. Yoda dies, Luke confirms that Leia is his sister and becomes a full-fledged Jedi, Han and Leia work things out, Anakin is redeemed, the Emperor dies - and everyone celebrates! If nothing else, it ends pretty much as perfectly as it can: with the heroes, past and present, enjoying a brief moment of peace and harmony.

Most people will fault the Ewoks, but it could have been worse (Jar-Jar, anyone?). They're pretty much pint-sized Wookies, primitive and cuddly, probably too cuddly. If you want to watch the little guy stick it to the man, though, you can't do any better than teddy bear creatures hurling rocks at white-armored monsters and winning.

Like all the Star Wars films, the score is wonderful. Quiet or bombastic, he plays it just right, as he has all along. The dialogue still won't blow anyone away, but it's come a long way since Star Wars. There is a good balance between quiet scenes and action - be it speeder bike chase or the grand space battle. Before the advent of CGI (whether you think it ruined things or not), the effects still look great. Even the lightsabers look better.

The special edition changes the end, adding celebrations in the major planets featured during the entire six-film series, and adds in Hayden Christensen as Anakin's ghost (meh) but the ending music is much better changed to a more somber tone rather than the way-too peppy original Ewok song. Other creatures are spruced up, such as the Sarlacc, and certain scenes are extended, but nothing as bad as Greedo shooting first.

I think the younger you are, the more you like Jedi, but the older you get, the more shortcomings are exposed. Still, as the conclusion to the series, it's a major accomplishment and I wouldn't want to end any other way.


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