2 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 127 minutes
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Well, you’ll think I’m crazy, but Return of the Jedi is the only Star Wars film that I believe could be IMPROVED by alterations and additions. Unfortunately, the problems with Jedi cannot be fixed even with the best digital software in the galaxy: the weak story (another death star assault, another visit to Dagobah, the exotic planet of the trees, annoying teddy bears), the bad performances (Carrie Fischer actually admitted she was coked-out during the filming of Jedi), the burp jokes (three in the first half hour–I guess I missed the toilet humor in the first two) and Luke’s bizarre-looking hair mop. It’s sad. Ultimately, the third film feels like a tv movie and the middle hour and a half is soooooooo long–it’s all exposition–Darth’s your dad, Leia’s your sister, aaaaaaahhh–end it already!
The last 30 seconds of the film contains a montage of a victory celebration of various Star Wars planets–three actually, Tatooine, Bespin and Coruscant. On Coruscant they topple this colossal statue of the emperor and then they show people in a mosh pit with a Stormtrooper outfit body-surfing across the crowd. (I’m not kidding.) It’s good but then they dub in this new song, an annoying flute-sounding new age song that has nothing to do with Star Wars. (It actually made me miss the “nub-nub” ewok song.) The new dance number in Jabba’s palace is really weak and adds nothing to the film. What was George thinking?
At the screening I went to, one guy actually stood up and cheered when the Ewoks were shown getting killed in the final battle. It was funny.
Well, I must admit, I like playing “Where’s Waldo?” as much as the next guy, and that’s what seeing these new Star Wars movies has been like. A constant inspection for “the new shots.”

Posted on May 12, 1999 in Reviews by

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  1. Kryton Smith on Mon, 18th Apr 2011 2:58 am 

    Ok, wow, where do I start explaining how you are an idiot. The story was flawlessly built up to the conclusion of luke realizing that he was becoming a future image of his father. His father then saves luke’s life by overcoming the emotional conflict of watching the man he has trusted to rule the galaxy torture his own son. Also, do you know what the word acting means. It literally translates to “the original star wars acting”. (im kidding, but seriously this movie is awesome and matches with the storyline completely.

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  2. Brian Combe on Tue, 17th May 2011 9:19 am 

    Kryton Smith, Ok, wow, where do I start explaining how you are A) rude and B) wrong.
    Jedi has always been a mess of a film and as much a let down as the prequels (though nostalgia usually obscures that obvious observation from most fanboys eyes). There was a real opportunity with the Special Edition to fix a number of key issues with the film but instead this cheap looking contractual obligation film is made worse by ‘improvements’ like the unforgivable replacement of a bad puppet band scene with an awful and much worse CGI cartoon band scene. The 2004 version is even worse still by pasting creepy Hayden’s leering head over Sebastian Shaw’s body.
    Luke knew he could turn into Vader in the previous film (remember the cave) the final scenes had hardly anything to do with Luke. He is just a trigger to get Vader to through an old man down a conveniently placed hole in the floor (what’d if for anyway, ventilation?).

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  3. Chris Stopper on Thu, 13th Oct 2011 11:22 am 

    The entire film suffered from GL’s cash grab mentality. You couldn’t write any Empire-like depth into it if your sole intent was to use the film as a leverage for merchandising to the kiddies. Somewhere between Empire (a great science fiction film) and Jedi he had a marketing revelation and Star Wars as a whole was never the same. His agenda wasn’t so obvious during the first hour of Jedi and I was actually with this film; until the teddy bears arrived. Talk about a letdown! The film never recovered.

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