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Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 493,014 users   Metascore: 52/100
Reviews: 575 user | 166 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

After rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt, the rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star, while Luke struggles to make Vader shake off of the dark side of the Force.

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Title: Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

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Top 250 #73 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sebastian Shaw ...
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Yoda (voice)
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Darth Vader (voice)
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Michael Pennington ...
Kenneth Colley ...
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Storyline

Darth Vader and the Empire are building a new, indestructible Death Star. Meanwhile, Han Solo has been imprisoned, and Luke Skywalker has sent R2-D2 and C-3PO to try and free him. Princess Leia - disguised as a bounty hunter - and Chewbacca go along as well. The final battle takes place on the moon of Endor, with its natural inhabitants, the Ewoks, lending a hand to the Rebels. Will Darth Vader and the Dark Side overcome the Rebels and take over the universe? Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Empire Falls.... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sci-fi action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Release Date:

25 May 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blue Harvest  »

Box Office

Budget:

$32,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 1,095,587,000 (Italy) (2 May 1997)

Gross:

$309,125,409 (USA) (6 June 1997)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

WILHELM SCREAM: As Luke slashes an enemy with his lightsaber and he falls into the Sarlacc pit. It can also be heard again a second time as Luke slashes another enemy into the pit soon after, but it is barely audible. Additionally, in the Special Edition, a Wilhelm can be heard during one of the huge celebration scenes, on Coruscant, after the Death Star is destroyed (an Imperial Stormtrooper is crowd surfing and the Wilhelm is heard as he passes to the right of the film frame; since this is a celebration scene rather than a fight scene, the Wilhelm was presumably included as a joke). See more »

Goofs

When Luke jumps off his speeder bike during the chase, you can clearly see him bounce on a pad or cushion when he hits the ground. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Shuttle captain: Command station, this is ST321, code clearance blue. We're starting our approach; deactivate the security shield.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This is the only Star Wars film in which Denis Lawson's first name is spelled correctly in the credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Ewok Celebration
(original 1983 version) (uncredited)
Music by John Williams
Ewokese Lyrics by Ben Burtt
Original English by Joseph Williams
Published by Bantha Music (admin. by Warner Tamerlande Publ. Corp.)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The best movie of the Star Wars Trilogy.
4 April 1999 | by (Atlanta, Georgia) – See all my reviews

I thought that ROTJ was clearly the best out of the three Star Wars movies. I find it surprising that ROTJ is considered the weakest installment in the Trilogy by many who have voted. To me it seemed like ROTJ was the best because it had the most profound plot, the most suspense, surprises, most emotional,(especially the ending) and definitely the most episodic movie. I personally like the Empire Strikes Back a lot also but I think it is slightly less good than than ROTJ since it was slower-moving, was not as episodic, and I just did not feel as much suspense or emotion as I did with the third movie.

It also seems like to me that after reading these surprising reviews that the reasons people cited for ROTJ being an inferior film to the other two are just plain ludicrous and are insignificant reasons compared to the sheer excellence of the film as a whole. I have heard many strange reasons such as: a) Because Yoda died b) Because Bobba Fett died c) Because small Ewoks defeated a band of stormtroopers d) Because Darth Vader was revealed

I would like to debunk each of these reasons because I believe that they miss the point completely. First off, WHO CARES if Bobba Fett died??? If George Lucas wanted him to die then he wanted him to die. Don't get me wrong I am fan of Bobba Fett but he made a few cameo appearances and it was not Lucas' intention to make him a central character in the films that Star Wars fans made him out to be. His name was not even mentioned anywhere in the movie... You had to go to the credits to find out Bobba Fett's name!!! Judging ROTJ because a minor character died is a bit much I think... Secondly, many fans did not like Yoda dying. Sure, it was a momentous period in the movie. I was not happy to see him die either but it makes the movie more realistic. All the good guys can't stay alive in a realistic movie, you know. Otherwise if ALL the good guys lived and ALL the bad guys died this movie would have been tantamount to a cheesy Saturday morning cartoon. Another aspect to this point about people not liking Yoda's death.. Well, nobody complained when Darth Vader struck down Obi Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. (Many consider A New Hope to be the best of the Trilogy) Why was Obi Wan's death okay but Yoda's not... hmmmmmmmmmmmm.... Another reason I just can not believe was even stated was because people found cute Ewoks overpowering stormtroopers to be impossible. That is utterly ridiculous!! I can not believe this one!! First off, the Ewoks are in their native planet Endor so they are cognizant of their home terrain since they live there. If you watch the movie carefully many of the tactics the Ewoks used in defeating the stormtroopers was through excellent use of their home field advantage. (Since you lived in the forest all your life I hope you would have learned to use it to your advantage) They had swinging vines, ropes, logs set up to trip those walkers, and other traps. The stormtroopers were highly disadvantaged because they were outnumbered and not aware of the advantages of the forest. The only thing they had was their blasters. To add, it was not like the Ewoks were battling the stormtroopers themselves, they were heavily assisted by the band of rebels in that conquest. I thought that if the stormtroopers were to have defeated a combination of the Star Wars heros, the band of rebels, as well as the huge clan of Ewoks with great familiarity of their home terrain, that would have been a great upset. Lastly, if this scene was still unbelievable to you.. How about in Empire Strikes Back or in A New Hope where there were SEVERAL scenes of a group consisting of just Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the Princess, being shot at by like ten stormtroopers and all their blasters missed while the heros were in full view!! And not only that, the heroes , of course, always hit the Stormtroopers with their blasters. The troopers must have VERY, VERY bad aim then! At least in Empire Strikes Back, the Battle of Endor was much more believable since you had two armies pitted each other not 3 heroes against a legion of stormtroopers. Don't believe me? Check out the battle at Cloud City when our heroes were escaping Lando's base. Or when our heros were rescuing Princess Leia and being shot at (somehow they missed)as Han Solo and Luke were trying to exit the Death Star.

The last reason that I care to discuss (others are just too plain ridiculous for me to spend my time here.) is that people did not like Darth Vader being revealed! Well, in many ways that was a major part of the plot in the movie. Luke was trying to find whether or not Darth Vader was his father, Annakin Skywalker. It would have been disappointing if the movie had ended without Luke getting to see his father's face because it made it complete. By Annakin's revelation it symbolized the transition Darth Vader underwent from being possessed by the dark side (in his helmet) and to the good person he was Annakin Skywalker (by removing the helmet). The point is that Annakin died converted to the light side again and that is what the meaning of the helmet removal scene was about. In fact, that's is what I would have done in that scene too if I were Luke's father...Isn't that what you would have done if you wanted to see your son with your own eyes before you died and not in a mechanized helmet?

On another note, I think a subconscious or conscious expectation among most people is that the sequel MUST be worse (even if it is better) that preceding movies is another reason that ROTJ does not get as many accolades as it deserves. I never go into a film with that deception in mind, I always try to go into a film with the attitude that "Well, it might be better or worse that the original .. But I can not know for sure.. Let's see." That way I go with an open mind and do not dupe myself into thinking that a clearly superior film is not as good as it really was.

I am not sure who criticizes these movies but, I have asked many college students and adults about which is their favorite Star Wars movie and they all tell me (except for one person that said that A New Hope was their favorite) that it is ROTJ. I believe that the results on these polls are appalling and quite misleading.

Bottom line, the Return of the Jedi was the best of the Trilogy. This movie was the only one of the three that kept me riveted all throughout its 135 minutes. There was not a moment of boredom because each scene was either suspenseful, exciting, surprising, or all of the above. For example, the emotional light saber battle between Luke and his father in ROTJ was better than the one in the Empire Strikes Back any day!!!

Finally, I hope people go see the Phantom Menace with an open mind because if fans start looking for nitpicky, insignificant details (or see it as "just another sequel") to trash the movie such as "This movie stinks because Luke is not in it!" then this meritorious film will become another spectacular movie that will be the subject of derision like ROTJ suffered unfortunately.


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