1983: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Image via Wikipedia

Taking the spot for 1983 in our Monumental Movies exclusive, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The concluding episode in the epic Star Wars saga sees Luke Skywalker, along with everyone else, as they face their final battle with The Galactic Empire, in the hope to destroy the newly built second Death Star, and attempt to bring the malevolent, corrupted Darth Vader, from The Dark Side back to The Light Side, to which he once belonged, before he was turned by the ruthless Darth Sidious, also known as The Emperor.

The movie picks up from the end of The Empire Strikes Back, where the Rebels have received a huge blow from Vader’s fist. Luke has learnt the grim truth of who is father is, and whilst in the process, has his hand chopped off (like father, like son..). Han Solo (Harrison Ford), is rescued from Jabba the Hutt‘s Palace. The final battle takes place on the forested moon of Endor, on which the furry, lovable Ewok inhabitants decide to help the Rebels fight the Empire (although I’ve always found it a little weird, how a bunch of camp teddy bear lookalikes manage to kill Galactic Stormtroopers…).

At the same time, the final showdown ensues between Vader and Luke, father and son… the Light Side, versus the Dark Side. As the battle continues, Luke ultimately manages to bring out the good in Vader, as, after almost literally beating him to death, Luke decides to spare Vader, following the ways of the Jedi, and Vader then returns to the Light side, putting a stop to Sidious who is attempting to kill Luke. As Vader lays, ready to die, Luke sees his face for the first time, as do we for the first time (in the original saga anyway). After a few, final words, Anakin Skywalker dies, before Luke manages an escape from the Death Star before it is obliterated by Wedge Antilles and Lando Calrissian, before flying off, with the Death Star exploding behind them. The movie ends with a big celebration, with the uprise of the Rebel Alliance, and the neutralisation of the evil, controlling Galactic Empire, with the higher spirits of Yoda, Obi-Wan and Anakin smiling at Luke.

The Return of The Jedi is a brilliant conclusion to an amazing saga, bringing together the whole story, right from the beginning in The Phantom Menace, all through the rest of the episodes. The story shows how the innocent, young Anakin, was tainted by the Dark Side, before finally going back to his good roots, once again becoming what he’d always dreamed of as a child, a Jedi, before dying. This episode gives a great finish to the story, tying all the loose ends to the storyline, whilst allowing comparisons to be made between the characters as they’ve developed over the episodes. This episode is just full of memorable moments, and moments that will put a smile on any true Star Wars fan’s face, with the triumph of the Light Side, and the restoration of the exemplary Anakin Skywalker who should have been.

For me, the only downside to this movie is that it means the end of the Star Wars saga, which truly is one of the best set of movies ever created, if not the best. Full of epic battles, ruthless villains, wookies, odd humour, great storylines, and of course, light sabers, this movie, along with the whole saga, is everything you could want from a sci-fi genre, plus more. This is definitely the movie of 1983 for me, and generally one of the best movies ever, too. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. And if you’re not into Star Wars, get into it, and watch this.

The movie of 1984 will be revealed next week…

By Manpreet Singh

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