Like any conclusion to a beloved trilogy, it’s all the execution of its finale – Star Wars would not be where it is today if Return of the Jedi had not succeeded in that.
Return of the Jedi continues the story of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he faces the final forces of darkness and takes his place as a true jedi master.
The film’s tone seems to be far distant to what The Empire Strikes Back is, which is a bit distracting due to the fact that it takes place straight after the events of that film. There are moments in this film that drag on for a tad lot longer than they need to be which affects your level of engagement. Also, the famously cartoon-ish and clumsy Ewoks are hard to forgive (thankfully not Jar Jar Binks level of annoying though). Besides that, the film delivers some astounding storytelling and is emotionally driven especially within the last act. You really get the sense that the whole trilogy was built up for those few crucial moments. Luke’s talk with Darth Vader is so brilliantly written as you feel for both characters and provides an interesting, yet complex dynamic between them. With more thoughtful performances, all of the iconic character arcs reach their end in an effective and satisfying way.
The technical aspects of this film are improved upon providing astounding practical and visual effects. Jabba’s Palace sequence features some of the best practical effects of cinema and still holds up in our modern time. Also, the camerawork and score in the final fight between Luke and Darth Vader add some powerful emotion to the conflict. The art direction continues to impress every single time with impressive and authentic set design along with creative costuming.
While it may not have the same grandeur as the previous films, it still delivers an emotionally satisfying end to the epic trilogy and stations Star Wars as one of the greatest trilogies of cinema. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi provides a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, however fails to reach the heights of its predecessors. The film still offers strong composure in the wake of a masterpiece known as The Empire Strikes Back and delivers some powerful moments as it ends the beloved trilogy.