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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Movie (Sort of) Review - Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, David Prowse, Sebastian Shaw, Ian McDiarmid, Frank Oz, James Earl Jones, and Alec Guinness
Directed by Richard Marquand
And onto the final film of the original trilogy.  One that I've heard is the worst of the three?  We'll see about that...

2:15pm - A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

2:18 - It dawned on me that people stand on these docking bays with no oxygen masks or whatnot.  Is the atmosphere different in Star Wars' rendition of space?

2:21 - The Star Wars equivalent of the Wizard of Oz quartet arriving at the gates of Oz with R2D2 and C3PO arriving at Jabba the Hutt's.

2:27 - Dance party at Jabba's!  (With obvious precursors to Lucas's Captain EO's monsters.)

2:30 - Muppet Jabba reminds me of the trash monster from Fraggle Rock for some reason...But Muppet Jabba is so much better than computer animated Jabba that was in one of the scenes from Star Wars (which I assume was an add-on in the new addition).

2:35 - Okay, I'm seriously loving the wide array of Muppets and crazy costumed denizens of Jabba's court on display in this movie so far.

2:37 - Could that really be the first transitional wipe 22 minutes in or did I miss one?  #LovetheWipe

2:37 - "Sexy Leia" makes her appearance.

2:45 - An unfortunate pause in my viewing...
3:30 - And we resume...

3:33 - I'm not quite sure how Leia is exactly choking Jabba- his neck seems way too big for that to have been successful.

3:35 - And we bid adieu to Tatooine.

3:44 - Muppet Yoda is dead?  

3:46 - Thank God Luke and Leia only kissed passionately and nothing else.

3:52 - First light speed in Jedi!  (I think.)

4:02 - First Ewok!

4:03 - I'm sure much to the bane of every Star Wars fan, I'm finding this little repartee between Leia and the Ewok rather enjoyable.

4:05 - Kaleidoscope outward wipe -- there are not nearly enough wipes in this movie!

4:17 - Big dramatic moment for Mark Hamill with Carrie Fisher - finally some story/plot.

4:22 - And another dramatic moment for Mark Hamill and Vader - who knew Hamill had it in him?

4:42 - The problem with a lot of the action scenes in these Star Wars movies is that I find myself checking out because they seemingly go on too long with a very repetitive nature to them.  I mean, they're attacking the new Death Star again and it seems just like the first film.

4:43 - But at least they pepper in scenes with Palpatine ragging on Luke which I'm enjoying.

4:52 - Yet another amputation!  Lucas fetishizes amputations for some reason...

4:54 - After what feels like an hour, Luke and Leia finally take down the shield.  Finally!

4:56 - Luke and Darth Vader hug after Dad throws Palpatine over the edge, right?  For a touching Hallmark movie moment between father and son?  Oh, they don't?

4:58 - It just dawned on me that the Empire builds their massive Death Stars at incredibly rapid rates.

5:01 - So Luke's father is Uncle Fester from The Addams Family?

5:05 - A windshield wiper wipe?  That's a totally new one!  And I say once again that I missed the wipes in this one.  #WhereAreTheWipes?

5:08 - Seriously?  They added Hayden Christensen?

While it's not much better than A New Hope, I'm going to be totally sacrilege here and say that I enjoyed Return of the Jedi the most.  This film finally had some dramatic chops in the mix with the Luke/Leia and Luke/Vader/Palpatine scenes.  Costumed characters added some visual appeal and the conclusion -- though once again seemingly stretched ad infinitum -- proved satisfying.  Still, it has issues, one of which is that Empire and Jedi feel like they simply take some of the better aspects of A New Hope and just rehash them.  But, overall, Jedi ekes out a win over A New Hope.

All this being said, I don't understand at all why or how Star Wars carried on in its popularity over decades.  I understand people from the 1970s being in awe and I guess they pushed that fascination on to their kids and the never-ending cycle begins, but I'd much rather watch the Indiana Jones series than pop the Star Wars series in again.

The RyMickey Rating:  B-

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