Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

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Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Notice how Luke's new lightsaber is blue on this poster, even though it's supposed to be green in the movie.
Directed by Richard Marquand
Produced by Howard Kazanjian; Gary Kurtz's absence is noticeable
Written by Lawrence Kasdan
George Lucas
Starring Mark Hamill
Harrison Ford
Carrie Fisher
Billy Dee Williams
Antwan Danyells
James Earl Jones
David Prowse
A Midget
Peter Mayhew
Frank Oz
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Wicket W. Warwick
Edited by Sean Barton (the father of baby Luke and Leia from Revenge of the Sith)
Marcia Lucas
Duwayne "The Rock Lena" Dunham
Distributed by Lucasfilm
Release date(s) May 25, 1983  (1983 -05-25)
Running time 132 minutes
Country Endor
Language Ewokese
Budget Quite a bit, but not as much as the previous two movies
Box office $475.1 million

“Somehow...the Jedi returned.”

~ Palpatine on Return of the Jedi

“How long did they say they were gonna be??”

~ Darth Vader on Return of the Laser Jesus Pimps

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (titled Star Cult War Chariot: Episode Sixth in Japan) is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. It is the third and final film released in the Star Wars saga, the third of the original trilogy, the sixth in terms of the series' internal chronology, and the first in terms of everyone suspecting that the series had lost it.

This movie is the big one, and has all of the meaty stuff in it that you were anticipating in the previous two parts. In the film, a mysterious letter arrives in the mail one day, telling Luke that he's been sitting on his ass for a year and that Han Solo needs rescuing. Luke Skywalker then goes to Jabba the Hutt's palace, now a full-fledged Jedi, and saves Han. Then they go to the forest moon of Endor and meet teddy bears. A whole bunch of crazy stuff happens like Luke and Princess Leia = incestuous brother and sister, more glowing Obi-Wan Kenoli, and the final confrontation between Father Darth Vader, Son Luke, and Holy Spirit Emperor Sheev Palpatine. Before this, for some unknown reason, the Jedi went away, but the Jedi now returned, thus making Cantollio's proof come true. The Jedi claimed they were always meant to go away for 20 years, until technology advanced to the state where CGI could densely enhance every single image with Jar Jar Binks. As predicted by Nostradamus: "And on the sixth day of the second hour, the world shall see the return of the Jedi back to his home of Redwood National and State Parks, California."

Return of the Jedi was George Lucas's final movie for his original cool intergalactic trilogy called Star Snores or something. Star something. Stores? Bores? I don't even know. Unfortunately, as Lucas was going through a divorce at the time, and found that special effects technology was too limited at the time, he was forced to cut out many cool ideas, such as Luke meeting his sister (who originally wasn't going to be Leia), and the Rebels assaulting Palpatine's throne room on Had Abbadon, and replaced them with filler where the rebels go on a cannibalistic picnic with teddy bears.

Return of the Jedi received generally positive reviews, although some critics sensed they had a bad feeling about the way the franchise was going (they would later be proven right). It grossed $475.1 million and became the highest-grossing film of 1983, beating out such classics as The Big Chill (ironically directed by Empire director Irvin Kershner) and Rumble Fish (ironically directed by Lucas's buddy Francis Ford Coppola). Return of the Jedi was advertised as the finale to the Star Wars saga, supposedly completing the entire story...until it wasn't.


Jabba the Hutt, a metaphor for the ego of the human stomach.

“Ahhhhyay. Assoalyal-ee-kool-prah-toh kahn kee boong, loopung chona lee pah. Oonee tahng tunty figh, tah keel, kee mal g’hal. (Translation: This bounty hunter is my kind of scum, fearless and inventive. Jabba offers the sum of thirty-five.)”

~ Jabba the Hutt on recruiting Boba Fett to bring him a carbonite Han Solo that he can hang in his palace

A year has passed since the Galactic Empire struck back at the Rebel Alliance, where Han Solo was captured by Boba Fett and encased in carbonite. The Empire has begun construction on the Death Star II, yet another big super ball in space that orbits around a planet, only this one has a chunk missing out of it. The stormtroopers, those PG-rated Nazis with bad aim in plastic white armor, are lined up and their older-than-dirt leader, Emperor Sheev Palpatine, emerges from his shuttle and mumbles some random exposition. That man in black Darth Vader is there too, and he gets real excited. Then he says something and the scene ends, because George Lucas can't ghost-direct for kark.

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia think they have an article about Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

The droids C-3PO and R2-D2 are sent to gangster slug Jabba the Hutt's palace on Tatooine in a trade bargain made by Luke Skywalker to rescue Han. The two droids make their way through the desert and knock on Jabba's giant door. A long, hard, straight camera probes sticks out and makes some weird noises, then R2 gets scared, the door then opens and the droids go inside. Then there is some weird spider thing and then they meet some weird guy with a tail on his head named Bib Fortuna. He is all slimy and tan but then he brings them to a room with Jabba. In da club, muppets are having a party and singing/dancing to cringeworthy songs. Then R2 plays Jabba a message with Luke Skywalker pleading for Han's return.

This scene gave millions of nerds their first you-know-what.

Disguised as the bounty hunter Queen Bishh, Princess Leia infiltrates the palace under the pretense of collecting the bounty on Han's dog buddy Chewbacca and unfreezes Han, but is caught and enslaved as Jabba's go-go dancing slave with a gold bikini. Luke soon arrives to bargain for his friends' release, but Jabba drops him through a trapdoor to be eaten by a rancor, a giant dog thing. After Luke kills it, Jabba is mad, so he sentences Luke, Han, and Chewie to death by being fed to the sarlacc, a deadly glory hole/pit/mouth thing in the Dune Sea. Just as Luke is going to jump off the diving board of Jabba's sail barge, R2 dejects Luke's new green lightsaber and the Jedi grabs it. Luke frees himself and his friends, and a battle ensures where the gang kills a bunch of Jabba's faceless mooks. Luke gets shot by someone on his hand, but it doesn't hurt because it's actually a fake hand (his real hand was chopped off by the Dark Helmet guy in the last movie), and he Force-kicks that guy in his face. During the chaos, Boba Fett falls into the sarlacc (followed by a burp) after Han inadvertently pops his shapely cherry jetpack, and half-naked Leia strangles the fat slug Jabba to death with her chains. The group blow everything up, ditch that floating Krispy Kreme stand, and flee the planet.

As the others rendezvous with the Rebel Alliance, Jedi Luke returns to the spiritual bubbly swampy planet of Dagobah to complete his training with Master Yoda; only then will he truly become the Return of the Jedi™. Unfortunately, Luke discovers Yoda is dying huddled up in his hut. Yoda confirms that Darth Vader is Luke's father, and reveals that there is another Skywalker or something, then he completely disappears into thin air (spoiler alert) and turns into a Force ghost or something. Luke then goes outside and talks to Obi-Wan Kenobi's glowing Force spirit. He asks "Dark Helmet = Father?" and the glowing dude says some elaborate speech that really means "Yes." Kenobi admits he's been a lying bastard to Luke this whole time; as it turns out, Luke's whiny Jedi father Anakin Skywalker is one and the same as Obi-Wan's pupil-turned-evil Darth Vader who "betrayed and murdered" Anakin. Obi-Wan tries to save face by arguing that what he said "was true, from a certain point of view," and that the "good man"[1] who Anakin once was spiritually ceased to exist when he turned to the Dark Side and became Vader. Obi-Wan also tells Luke that Leia is his twin sister, which really freaks Luke out because he nearly nailed her in one of the other movies. Now Luke has to kill his own padre to defeat the Empire, and he returns to the Rebel Fleet.

The Rebel punks learn that the Empire has been constructing a second Super Sphere under Sheev's supervision. As the space station is energetically shielded by an energy shield, Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewie are sent down to the pine forest moon of Endor with some other guys/cannon fodder to Rage Against the Plastic Soldiers. The team uses a stolen Imperial shuttle to arrive undetected, but soon find this moon to be yet another muppet factory. Leia gets split up from the group and is abducted by these seemingly evil little teddy bear things called Ewoks. The others go out to look for her, only to also get caught by the bears in nets. Then the bears think that gold guy is some lame ass god and they roast the others, including that trash can. But, right before they Leia roasted Lube does some Force thing to save their asses and they get released, gaining the bears' trust after an initial conflict. Later, Luke tells Laid about him being her brother (which makes her glad she went for Han instead), Vader being their father, and how he must confront the Dark Lord. Leia also talks about how she has vague memories of her and Luke's real mother, who Leia says "died when I was very young" (apparently "very young" means "30 seconds old", according to the prequels). Luke then turns himself in to Vader's troops, striking out to the Umpire.


Luke is brought before Vader, and tries to bring him back to the Light Side by reminding him of his past life as Anakin Skywalker; however, this fails, as Vader says "That whiny name no longer has any meaning to me." Vader takes Luke to meet the Emperor, who intends to turn him to the Dark Side, and reveals that his friends and the Rebel Fleet are headed into a trap. On Endor, Han's embattled team goes to destroy the shield generator, as doing so will disable the DSII's shield and allow the Rebel Fleet to blow up the Bad Ball. However, the team is caught by Imperial forces due to Han having lost several IQ points since the last movie. Meanwhile, Lando Calrissian in the Millennium Falcon and Admiral Ackbar lead the Rebel assault on the Death Star II; Ackbar memetically shouts "It's a trap!" as the shield still active, and the Imperial fleet is there waiting for them. The Emperor reveals to Luke that he's afraid the Death Star is quite operational and orders the firing of its superlaser, destroying a Rebel starship.


~ Darth Vader on George Lucas's 2011 Blu-ray alterations to Return of the Jedi

Sheev then tempts Luke to give in to his anger. Luke attempts to strike the wrinkly man, but Vader intervenes and the two swing their laser thingymajigs at each other. So this is the exciting part; you have three different battles going on at once, and it's a bit confusing to know what the hell is happening, because you keep jumping from battle to battle, albeit not confusing as these multiple climaxes will get in the prequels. Vader senses that Luke has a sister and threatens to turn her to the dark side if he does not. Enraged, Luke rages at his dad and slices off his prosthetic hand. The Emperor entreats Luke to kill Vader and take his place[2] but Luke refuses, not wanting to stoop to his father's level. Already bored of the boy, Sheev shocks Luke with Force lightning and it looks like he will die, but at the last second Dark Helmet chucks that old dude over the edge into his throne room shaft, presumably to his death...or not?[3]

This is exactly what didn't happen, people (until it did). The bears won, so did the Rebels in the sky, and Luke was victorious. What a happy ending, just like all movies...until Disney's sequel trilogy undid it.

Meanwhile down on Endor, the teddy bears launch a counterattack and the stormtroopers get their bones broken by sticks and stones (but think of these bear things as this: Teletubbies, except, instead of four, there's a whole army of them). This buys the Rebels time and allows them to infiltrate and destroy the shield generator. With the station's shield gone, Lando and immortal X-wing fighter pilot Wedge Antilles head into the Death Star II reactor core, destroying it and escaping. The other Rebs destroy the Super Star Destroyer which crashes into the Ball of Doom, right as Luke and a collapsed-iron lung-Vader are trying to escape the place. The Death Ball is about to blow up, so Vader has his son remove his mask as his last request. Luke takes off his dad's mask, and it turns out he's one ugly futhermucker; his face looks like a hard-boiled egg covered with scars. Luke surprisingly doesn't retch at this sight, but gets sad when his emancipated father dies in his arms tonight. Luke then loads his dad's corpse onto a shuttle, and they escape.

On Endor, Luke burns his father's slick armor in a funeral pyre, letting good woodoo hide go to waste. As the Rebels celebrate their victory with illegal fireworks, so too does the whole galaxy, including Jar Jar Binks on Naboo who shouts "Wesa free!"[4] The movie ends as Luke reunites with his buddies, then looks cheerfully upon the Force spirits of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and the redeemed Anakin Skywalker.[5] And somewhere in the universe, Palpatine's spirit is somehow preparing to somehow return...

Cast and characters[edit]

Max Rebo

“I totally kissed a girl Han, and this time it wasn't my sister...wait...NOOO!!!!!!!!!!”


Big giant super galactic laser-shooting steel ball moon thing. It looks a little familiar...

Return of the Jedi was the final film in the Star Wars original trilogy, and the one which George Lucas had the least amount of fun making. Lucas was going through a nasty divorce with his editor wife Marcia at the time (who had cheated on him with a windowasher), and felt that "a part of [his] soul had been sacrificed" when completing the trilogy. Originally called Revenge of the Jedi, the film was to be directed by David Lynch, and star Clive Reville as the downtrodden-but-spirited Emperor named Cos Dashit attempting to become an architect while swallowing endangered gungan eggs and turning into a gungan dragon. Oh Dashit, when will you ever learn!

Lucas had to quickly wrap up plot threads he was planning for his cancelled sequel trilogy, such as Luke's sister. She was originally going to be a new character, but Lucas decided to make Leia Luke's sibling to finish the love triangle between her, him, and Han. Originally when Obi-Won told Luke that he had a sister, Luke goes into flashbacks of making out with his sister and holding her while they were on Hoth. After this Luke begins to projectile vomit repeatedly, eventually starting to cough up blood. This was not included in the final cut because Lucas hoped his audience would not remember the makeout scene. Originally at the end of Episode VI, shortly after the celebration, when Vader's/Anakin's/Space Jebus's Force ghost appears, he was going to be repeatedly beaten by Obi-Wan, Yoda, and the ghosts of all the Jedi (especially Younglings) that he killed and/or injured in the earlier movies. However, the idea was scrapped, as Lucas's didn't yet have the technology at the time to generate millions of glowing ghosts.

Believe it or not, the Star Wars prequels were not the first time Lucas pulled a trick on his fans. In retrospect, even Return of the Jedi had its problems could be seen as the beginning of Lucas's descent into insanity, as evidenced by this quote: "I thought it would be hilarious to accentuate the climactic feel of the movie by introducing some sort of incredibly irritating creature who would dominate the last 30 or so minutes," Lucas says in an interview, chuckling. "So that's when I came up with the Ewok." For the three or four readers here who haven't seen this movie, Ewoks are possibly the most preposterous creatures ever put on screen. Picture the Teletubbies, except instead of four, there is a a whole army of them, and every one of them has fur that they never take hygienic care of. Yeah. Seriously. Lucas thought it would be hilarious to introduce these oversized gerbils and watch the reactions to the fans, who he clearly thought would be devastated. Unfortunately, many fans loved the Ewoks, even after they sang the most irritating song ever written at the end of the series. "Well," Lucas reportedly said, "Fixing the end of the story wasn't enough for me. At least I still have time to fix the beginning!"

The Great Unlicensed Contractor Rebellion[edit]

An advertisement used by the Empire to generate a larger workforce in constructing the Death Star II. "Need a job? Only hiring humans!"

As Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine started to construct a second Death Star, they ran into trouble along the way: they were in debt of about 500,000,000,000,000,000 credits (aka about $999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999 x 10^99) for the previous Death Star, plus Vader already took up most of the budget since he needed a constant supply of around 100,000,000 Kpa of oxygen to keep himself normal (otherwise he'd get too high off the Force and use it to jerk himself off and kill captains). So they went underground to Tatooine (aka planet Tunisia) and found some unlicensed contractors who would rebuild the new Death Star for a fraction of the cost but at a much longer time frame. This was the real reason why the Death Star II wasn't finished in time for the third movie.

So after the rebel scum blew up the Death Star II, it turned out only about 9% of the 1 billion inhabitants were actual Imperials. The other 91% were the innocent unlicensed contractors who, out of irony, got killed due to their laziness. As a result, this massacre spawned a rebellion uprising of all unlicensed contractors throughout the galaxy, and they formed an army led by Tim the Toolman Taylor. The contractors wanted revenge on the Rebels and ended up single-handedly wiping out the entire Rebel faction by bankrupting them via overcharging the construction of X-wings and all those one-letter-named ships, as well as the construction of secret bases on cold planets/giant snowballs. By overcharging their hirers and acquiring an ancient Jedi sleeping trick to help them get a relaxing sleep, the contractors managed to put not only the Rebels, but the entire galaxy in an economic recession. As a result the first African-American Emperor was elected to replaced Sheev, whose name was Parack O'maha.

Lucas was originally going to implement this story into a sequel trilogy, but decided to compress it into an epilogue film instead due to the lawsuits by Disney for hiring Tim the Toolman for the film. It's likely this sabotage was deliberate, as Disney later took the opportunity to produce their own sequel trilogy without Lucas's involvement. What we know about the Contractor Rebellion Saga is that the names of the films were: Episode VII: The Toolman Terror, Episode VIII: Attack of the Hard-Hats, and Episode IX: The Great Recession. Many fans would've likely preferred these sequel films over the Disney ones we actually got.


Return of the Jedi generally went down well with audiences. It got, like, a kriffload of awards at the Oscars. However, the makers of Return of the Jedi were also awarded lifetime restraining orders by The Oscars™, as they kept begging for more awards. The first Star Wars got more awards; it got like 3.258 parsecs or something. Expert views on Jedi varied; "It's a little surprising how Lucas and his associates keep repeating themselves. I'm stunned! Four stars!" said Roger Ebert. Conversely, Gene Skisel said "From the moment that the familiar Star Wars introductory words begin to crawl up the screen, I gradually became convinced that I'm really a short little furry muppet who doesn't have eyelids." "The Jedi should have stayed where he was," said Paulie Kael, never a fan of the Star Wars series. Still, there were a lot of Kenner action figures and stuff that were based on this movie, and they predictably sold well. There were lots of Atari video games, too, like ones where you shoot and slice Ewoks; it's pretty wizard. And there were other cool things like Ewok-themed coffee cups, pillows, Lego figures, etc.

“Rey, I am a distant relation... the kind you only see at weddings and family reunions.”

~ Palpatine on Rey

Jedi was supposed to be the end of the Star Wars movies, but in fact it wasn't. Lucas had to go and make those lard-ass prequels and completely destroy the hearts of Star Wars fans and the hearts of fried KFC Phantom Menace tie-in chickens whose hearts were going to be taken out in the slaughterhouse anyway. Still, those movies were bantha fodder. The only good thing is that they have better lightblade sword thing effects. Also, they make guys like Unidentified Jedi Council member entirely out of computers. But then they did that to Yoda too and destroyed him. More machine than man, these prequels were. And don't even get me started on the sequel trilogy, which undoes the happy ending of ROTJ, has Sheev return somehow, and has his granddaughter Rey save the day which takes away from Vader's redemption.


  1. According to the prequels, good men kill women and children and act abusive towards their spouses.
  2. The arbitrary Rule of Two was later introduced in the prequels to elaborate on this.
  3. Vader was trying to get a clean throw in on Sheev, but he had such bad eyesight due to his burned retinas and foggy helmet eye visage. As a result, he botched the Endor Throwjob and had his mechanical respiratory systems fried in the process.
  4. This comes despite the fan theory that Jar Jar was a Sith Lord on Palpatine's side.
  5. In the original theatrical version, he's played by an old guy, Sebastian Shaw, but Lucas changed it for the 2004 DVDs so that Anakin somehow gets to revert to his young self, Hayden Christensen, unlike Obi-Wan and Yoda, despite him having done far worse things in his life than the other two.