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Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

20. Return of the Jedi

The epic finale to one of the greatest trilogies in film history. I am an unabashed star wars lover, it is by far my favorite film-based fictional universe. Return of the Jedi was everything it needed to be in terms of a great conclusion to the story of Luke Skywalker. While the film is far from perfect especially in comparison to the original film, it is arguably the most fun of the three. The ewoks are silly and I hate what they represent as far as focusing on toy sales over story (that's what happens when the producer owns the merchandising rights *glares angrily at George Lucas), I also would love to have one as a pet.

What really makes this movie for me is the sequence in the Emperor's throne room, which I would argue is the greatest single sequence in the entire series to date. The cinematography of that scene is unbelievable, particularly in the moment of indecision when Luke is in hiding right before Vader goads him into attacking by threatening Leia, in which Luke's face is lit so that half of it is red and half of it is blue, showing the conflict he has between the pull of the dark side and the light. This is a technique used in another film on my list later that I will discuss in that review and that there's an interesting parallel to be drawn there.

I love what this film did for Luke as a character, as his journey is finally complete from just a whiny farmer boy at the beginning of a New Hope all the way to the capable Jedi Knight he is at the start of this film, and ultimate succeeding where his father fails by resisting the seduction of the dark side of the force and ultimately sparing his father, providing Anakin the chance to redeem himself by killing the emperor and bringing balance to the force as he was destined to.

While this film was definitely flawed in its narrative structure, the film has enough good moments to make up for it. As far as the original trilogy goes, it's the film with the highest highs and the lowest lows of the three, however there are definitely more highs than lows on the whole and is still a movie I love, just more so as a star wars lover than as a film lover.