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Is Acceptance of ROTJ the Root of ST Creativity and Audience Dislike?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' started by The Birdwatcher, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Clone Commander

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    So, in light of the new film coming out, I've had some thoughts for a while that I'm willing to share.

    ROTJ seems widely and wildly praised by fans, often nostalgically. They are reluctant to hate the film or address key structural problems, instead identifying a single problem or thing that doesn't work. I.e. The ewoks are bad, but the throne room scene is cool.

    Or, they will say that ANH and ESB are better films than ROTJ, but ROTJ is a good film.

    Now, I am not dismissive of the work put into ROTJ. Joe Johnston and his crew of special effects people put a lot of effort into the film (they even used a Xerox printer for the Tie fighter sequence and had to line it up carefully).

    It's a film with a lot of effort, but it's contributed to a lot of baggage for future films.

    ROTJ is also emotionally satisfying, but I am reluctant to call it logically satisfying. I don't think that it really is.

    And I used to actually like this film, I even held it up to par with the other two films.
    Then I watched original DVD version of ESB online on YouTube in 2011. Someone said on the message board there, I believe, that ESB was the last good SW film or last good one in the OT.
    That was the beginning of my skepticism with ROTJ.

    I've seen a lot of analysis of ROTJ. Notably, Sparknotes.com actually has notes on the themes, motifs of the OT, which includes ROTJ.

    But I've only really seen around three to five videos on YouTube that actually address potential issues with the film or even address deeper themes.

    Another thing is that fans generally forget the nuances in ROTJ. Quite easily, if I have observed correctly.

    There is Han's line in ROTJ expressing skepticism about Luke's ability to save him, stating that "Luke's crazy. Luke can't save anyone, let alone himself". This line is key, according to the ROTJ's plot and dialogue, towards Han being wrong about Luke's ability to save others, since he saves Han from Jabba's Palace in the end. The line also potentially serves as foreshadowing of Luke being eletrocuted by the emperor (Luke was crazy to toss aside his lightsaber. Luke can't save himself), but he still indirectly saves Vader by inspiring him and reminding him of who he once was. And in turn, Vader saves Luke.

    I still have yet to see this line and its value mentioned in a forum, outside of a scholastic issue around 1997, when the special edition OT were out.

    Also, part of the reason that Luke joins the rebel scouts on Endor was due to the fact that he learned that Leia was his sister from Obi-Wan. There's a blink and you miss it moment at the rebel conference where he tries to talk to the Leia before they leave for the mission.

    Brad Bird was also skeptical of ROTJ Luke in the intro to The Making of Return of the Jedi; the transition of a defeated Luke in ESB to a sudden confident hero In ROTJ, I believe was bothersome to him.

    But if ST primarily uses ROTJ as a jump pad to get the film moving forward.

    Luke's lines from ROTJ about saving his father are said in a similar fashion from Leia to Han in respect to her son. The situation is a little more understandable in this parallel situation, since Leia and Han have known Ben for years and raised the kid. In contrast, Luke only knew Vader for the span of a few hours, which was during a fight in ESB and being briefly chased by Vader in ANH, and he still So, Luke's idea of saving his father is largely symbolic in ROTJ.

    Anyway, Han tries to save Ben, but is shown as wrong, due to the complexity and realism of the scene. Despite Han's attempts (Harrison's good, good acting) to idealistically and sincerely save his son, realistically Ben is too committed to turn back from the First Order (although Han made a good attempt).

    There's something so facile in ROTJ about trying to save Vader compared to the scene in TFA to save Ben. Luke keeps insisting over and over that Vader's good somehow in ROTJ (when, he's interrogated by Vader-Anakin Skywalker, the true name that was forgotten, that there's conflict in Vader during their fight, and the declaration that he's a Jedi, like his father before him-Anakin) and only snaps when Vader says that (somehow, he implies that he would be able to force Leia to turn to the dark side, which is another thing) Leia may turn to the dark side.

    TLJ also brings back the more emotionally complex Luke from ESB, whose performance from Hamill was pressured by Kershner into doing a better job. (Also, the script had snappy lines from Kasdan's refinements or concise editing, which was also brought into ROTJ). Without Kershner around in ROTJ, it's unclear what the acting was supposed to be from Hamill's performance. Sometimes, Hamill hits the mark with genuine fear during the machine-hand scene in throne room, his screaming when eletrocuted, and pulling off his helmet with relief after the Stormtrooper on the speeder are gone. But then there's this weird strain of acting from Hamill throughout the film, which I'm not sure where it arises from. I wonder if Luke was based off of Alec's Obi-wan, since he essentially becomes the new Jedi in ROTJ. Vader even says that Obi-wan once thought as you did, which might imply that Luke is replacing Obi-wan or bringing back the Jedi, which were almost extinct. It's a heroic and romantic notion.

    This might be why Luke is so blunt with Jabba, Vader, and the Emperor during the film; this might be an imitation of Obi-Wan's confidence and maturity. Also, yes, Luke is supposed to be cocky to an extent, but this is pretty extreme. He's never really blunt or arrogant when confronting supposed enemies in ESB, such as, when he's confronting Yoda, just fast-acting, and the action was a key part of ESB, I believe. Also, Luke's weird, mysterious feel and appearance when he enters Jabba's palace, the way that the hood covers him is reminiscent of both Vader's silhouette and Obi-wan's hooded appearance when we first see him in ANH.

    So, we have what is potentially a blend of Vader and Obi-wan in ROTJ Luke. This is a pretty drastic change from Luke in ESB, who appeared largely as a rebel and a Flash-Gordon character. Also, Luke's clothes are black in ROTJ, being reminiscent of Hamlet, which stresses his serious demeanor and angst in relation to Vader as his father (when he walks out of C-3P0's recollection of Cloud City and his fight with Vader and isolates himself from the group at the film's end to see Obi-wan, Anakin, and Yoda) or a priest, since he tries to intercede for and save Vader from the dark side, essentially. The black robes might also mean that Luke is evil or turning evil; however, after Luke's declaration that he's a Jedi, the front peels open, revealing a white interior, signifying that Luke is good on the inside (also, the robes might have opened on Jabba's barge, but I would need to check again). So, the symbolism is pretty sound in ROTJ.

    Also, Luke has strange moments of controlled emotion during ROTJ, which appears to be akin to brooding, in a sense. His hologram to Jabba is pretty vapid, and Luke maintains a poker face throughout, perhaps because getting Han is serious business. However, later on, Luke has a poker face when he confronts Jabba but then acts cocky with his demands and has shifty eye-glances at the guards (looking for a blaster?).

    His weird confidence is maintained even when talking to Han and assuring him that he has a plan, though it's more casual and like himself.

    Then, he goes into weird poker-face (I'm in control) mode with the head nodding, which transitions into the eagerness of the fight.

    He also exhibits a poker face in his X-wing when he pulls the black glove over his blasted mechanical hand (So, does having a poker/serious/grave face mean you're going dark, or is Luke emotionally strained/pained/drained when it comes to his connection with Vader? I thought that Luke's looks of awed horror were good enough in ESB to signify his connection with Vader when he wakes up in the Falcon after the battle).

    There is also some justification for Luke's poker face routine during the throne room, since Obi-wan advises him to bury his feelings from his friends deep down earlier in the film. So, I guess this justifies why Luke insists that he can't be turned and will die from the emperor and weirdly with confidence claims that the emperor's overconfidence in the empire is a weakness with relatively stoic and determined face. His fear creeps back in as he falls (again somehow) for the emperor's claim that his friends are trapped and will die. Then, Luke sincerely says that he will not fight Vader (good acting, Hamill, bravo!). But once he jumps into the platform, it's back into delusional poker face Luke mode, with Luke almost crazily and eagerly stating that Vader has conflict in him. (Is Vader's negatory response here to create a surprise for when he does turn?). Also, the poker face arises a bit with Luke's declaration of being a Jedi, but it's used a bit with honor and romanticism and a bit of tension afterwards, so there's some meaning to it. Also, the poker face arises when Luke burns up Vader's armor, but with a touch of honor and pride at Vader dying a good man (which disturbs me, Luke should be humble as a good hero, and it's hard to say if Luke's relieved that Vader died good at the scene; he seems proud in a nuanced manner).

    Even at the end of the TLJ film, when ROTJ Luke is peaking on Crait, since Rian probably drew from ROTJ's instances of a heroic Luke, like Luke confronting Jabba in his palace, over the sarlacc pit, and Luke's declaration of defiance to the emperor, etc. Luke's complexity in his emotions and the good script (Yes, I think that) prevents the "ROTJ poker-face Luke effect" from happening to some extent.

    Also, in a moment that was cathartic to me (after what I have just explained about ROTJ Luke), Luke finally admits that he can't save Ben in TLJ. This is a slap in the face to those who believe in ROTJ Luke's notion that Vader can be saved, because they believe that the real Luke would never do that, give up on being that someone can be turned from the dark side. When in reality, it might be that ROTJ Luke wouldn't really do that, even though ROTJ Luke can switch from being good to where he is nearly going to Hades at the toss of a dime over a changed relationship (Luke's love interest to sister) with Leia. It's not even over seeing loved ones being tortured (which they were in TESB); it's over the thought of them (somehow) turning to the dark side, when (Leia, not really Vader) would be responsible for it. ESB Luke might have the potential to do it from his weaknesses of being afraid of the future and of not wanting his loved ones to have pain, even though his heroism is stronger in ESB when it comes to his challenges (like possibly and actively committing suicide to prevent Vader from using him). But Luke in TLJ knows that it's not realistic for Ben to forgive him or come back after being betrayed. However, he's still optimistic to acknowledge that someone could save him (it could be a bit convenient towards ending Luke's character and letting other characters take up the mantle, but it works, I think).

    Also, the throne scene in TLJ is different because common sense in applied, but it's sacre religious and offensive in relation to ROTJ. Here, the throne room has a do-over in a largely mirrored sense. But this time- ESB Vader's motivation of "rule the galaxy as father and son" is put at the forefront in Kylo Ren. Vader's motivation was beat down in favor of a surprise switch of overthrowing the emperor in ROTJ (it's mentioned in pp. 71 and 73 in The Making of Return of the Jedi). He's ambitious at taking down Snoke, and he has Rey to back him up when the whiplash comes from the pretorian guard. It's risky, but since Kylo is almost the literal embodiment of Han and Vader (with a bit of Padme and Luke thrown), it's reasonable. Both ESB and ROTJ Vader were both cautionary, although ESB Vader was cutthroat.

    When Snoke declares Rey as a True Jedi, people think it's bad writing because a Jedi is supposed to never kill. There are mixed definitions about this in the OT. ESB's Yoda says that a Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never attack, which I assume means to not kill someone. But Yoda says in ROTJ to Luke to kill Vader (it is implied), and Luke confirms this as killing his father to Obi-wan. However, Luke later declares and redefines in ROTJ that he is Jedi by not killing Vader (and also joining the emperor, which was the equivalent of Luke going to Hades, as described in The Making of Return of the Jedi on p. 170).

    Rey is also trying to kill Snoke to save the Resistance after she learns that it's in trouble (and before, since she thought that she could use Kylo to win), a thought that Luke apparently forgot about in ROTJ when declaring that he is a Jedi like his father, when he was trying to kill the emperor to save his friends at the beginning of the fight. After she finishes off the pretorian guards with Kylo, she asks Kylo (a person with some degree of authority in The First Order) to halt the attack. It's actually not a bad plan, but it highlights Rey's naivete when Kylo refuses to call it off.

    SW fans, such as, Mauler, will say things like TLJ ruined Luke, but often the comparison is in relation towards ROTJ Luke and the perception that is the epitome of Luke's character is where the OT left off, instead of wondering about the quality of Hamill's acting and the decisions that the character made during the film. It is almost never directed towards ESB, whose portrayal of Luke's character and heroism is complex (since it's unclear whether Luke's decision to save his friends is the right one, but Luke leaves out of love) but also inspiring and a bit naive.

    I could really go on more about ROTJ's role in making SW fans upset with the ST, but this post is too long. Maybe in subsequent responses, I'll clarify further.

    Inevitably, TROS will probably draw on content from ROTJ. But as long as they keep their eyes on a good script and understandable acting, the plot will be fine.
     
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  2. Lobot

    Lobot Rebel Official

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    ROTJ is half an original movie and half a remake, with the same set of her woes but totally different villains and settings.

    Lucas wanted to make the Second and third act of ROTJ when he made ANH, but he could t afford it, so he tossed the planet battle, which. Was supposed to featured Wookiees and stuck one with Han as his copilot (like his malamute was in real life).

    once ROTJ was an obvious reality, rather than figure out a cool ending for the emperor and Vader and Luke & rebellion, he recycled his original ending and used the Jabba plot to keep his best actor and biggest star in the story. The whole first act is a way to show Jabba and get Han out of carbonate (as well as rehabilitate Lando). It doesn’t fit into very much of the trilogy, except as a reset. That’s why Han is kind of a schmo in ROTJ, because he can’t be offensive anymore and Lucas had started to soften after having kids and getting rich (the PT is more about Lucas than anything...turning against his training as a filmmaker)

    ROTS, ROTJ, and TFA all share the weakness of being largely wish fulfillment or remakes (or both). Note the Wookiee planet in ROTS.

    ROTJ has been vilified since it opened for the Ewoks (sawed off Wookiees) and other odd creations (the rebels go from transports and a few X-wings and literally one y wing to having an amazing armada with four kinds of fighters Off screen..rushed).
    Look at Hamill’s performance in that film as him doing an Obi-wan impression, and for his age, not a bad one.
    Comparing Hamill in 83 to TLJ is unfair. Compare him in ANH to ROTJ, much better acting.

    I like ROTJ, despite the muppets, and always wanted a rogue one style trilogy explaining how the rebels got so much more awesome in ROTJ.

    JJ is definitely cribbing from ROTJ (and I’m not complaining this time—-we’re getting real B-wings this time!)

    enjoy what you enjoy and enjoy the ride. The release of the only “full trailer” is the best time for SW because we’re about to get a ton of footage in tv spots and trailers without certainty.
    Enjoy the NewFlix and Chill!!
     
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  3. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    While ROTJ has many problems (I think pacing is its biggest issue), it throws a curveball at the fans with the ending that no one expected in 1983 and many don’t appreciate now.

    Most fans from 1981-83 expected Luke to kill Vader in ROTJ because that’s 99% of movie endings. Revenge by the Protagonist is the modern movie cliche. Westerns, thrillers, even Horror movies end with a satisfying closure of the good guy winning.

    Lucas was able to accomplish that in 1983 without the typical cliche. Nobody thought Luke would throw down his saber, and nobody thought Vader would save him. It wasn’t about subverting expectations, it was about the theme of the whole Trilogy.

    That’s what I’ve been looking for with the ST and the eventual ending of TROS. I want something that isn’t cliche but I don’t want to be tricked (subverted). Lucas didn’t trick the fans in 1983, he made us look at Luke and Vader in a different way.

    I hope the ending of TROS isn’t just Rey (or Kylo) killing the Emperor with the help of The Force Ghosts as that is cliche. I want the ending to mean something that deals with a theme that actually means something. ROTJ was all about Father/Son and how that bond triumphs anything. TROS has to be something like that (maybe Rey/Kylo finally balancing the Force)? If the ending is just Rey finally killing The Emperor (or Kylo comes back to save her) than we’ve seen that in movies since I can remember.
     
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  4. Jase Windu

    Jase Windu Rebel General

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  5. FotisKaragian

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  6. Andrew Waples

    Andrew Waples Jedi General

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  7. Kato Sai

    Kato Sai Force Sensitive

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    Do you think ESB started the train of surprise twists that now plague SW films? Vader revealing He is Luke’s Father then had to be matched in ROTJ with another twist or suprise, Vader saves Luke from the Emperor. The twists faded in the Prequels partly due to we knew pretty much how it would play put, Anakin becomes Vader, and the Jedi are purged. With TFA the suprise twist train returns, who is Rey and are her parents Skywalkers or Solos or even Kenobi? TLJ tries to dissapoint the hype and tells us (a lie or half truth) that Rey is nobody. Now speculation of a twist or shock is that Palpatine is in the film and some grand revelation will take place, and perhaps a redemption as well.

    What I am saying is that SW has majorly been effected in storytelling by the expectation of a revelation or twist to the plot. The exception is The Prequels which had limited room for major twists. Perhaps this is why The Prequels feel different, there is no wonder or anticipation of what could happen, rather we know what has to happen and the only intrigue was how it played out; Anakin becomes Vader to save Padme. We knew Anakin becomes Vader, but why wasn’t a huge surprise. The OT and ST in contrast had room to shock the audience, and explore a less rigid canon than the Prequels was bound to.
     
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  8. Josh

    Josh Rebel Official

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    I think Episode 6 is a good flick, and a great ending to the saga.
    The last act in particular is a wild ride.

    Still I kinda wished Lucas would have done Episode 7-9 shortly after 6 (1989 maybe), with the old trio still in shape, but I guess he was done with SW at this point, for whatever reason.
     
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  9. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    I still remember anticipating Episode 7 all through middle school in the mid-80’s. Remember there was no internet back then so there was limited ways to really follow any rumors regarding the franchise. I do remember sometime in 1987 (I was in 8th grade) and a friend telling me that he read an interview with Lucas that there were no Episode 7,8,9 (I believe it coincided with the 10th anniversary of SW). I was literally bummed as I was so hyped for more adventures of Han, Luke and Leia. I know Ford didn’t want to play Solo anymore but those 20 years after ROTJ is one of the biggest missed opportunities to reunite those characters for another Trilogy. Just think of 1999 and the return of Han, Luke, and Leia instead of Little Ani and Jar Jar.
     
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  10. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    This, more than anything directly linked to the PT, is Lucas' biggest blunder IMO.
     
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  11. Josh

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    Wasnt it always the plan, he would do 1-3 first. I remember Carrie saying this in an interview for "Jedi".

    Also Hamill even said in a really old interview that he should be ready to do the part again in the 2010s

    edit: found it (artoo)
     
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  12. Steven Lewis

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    Just a guess, but I wouldn't be surprised if the reaction of some fans towards the PT is what derailed any chance of GL returning for the ST. No wonder he was so bummed when Disney binned his drafts for the ST, he probably saw the sale as a way to get the ST made without all the hassle.
     
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  13. Jedi77-83

    Jedi77-83 Force Sensitive

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    You’re 100% right In regards to that interview with Hamill. Before the days of the internet, everything was heresay so I never saw that interview a few years ago until a it appeared on YouTube.

    I just remember one of my classmates told me when ROTJ came out in ‘83 that’s Lucas was taking 2 years off and then 7,8,9 would come out in 1988, 1991 and 1994. Then Lucas would take 2 years off and 1,2,3 would come out in 1999, 2002 and 2005. He got the PT dates right! Lol

    Again this was all urban legend back then cause there was no way to reference anything in 1985 like we can do now.
     
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  14. Lylo Ren

    Lylo Ren Rebel General

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    I agree. Before I was even a SW fan, I never understood why a ST wasn't made after the OT with the original trio while they were pretty young. I'm looking at that from a point of view of how successful it would have undoubtedly been. I know Harrison Ford wasn't into it, of course. My favorite Han is in TFA, if I'm being honest.
    --- Double Post Merged, Oct 16, 2019, Original Post Date: Oct 16, 2019 ---
    Ftr, my fave movie of the previous two trilogies has been the 3rd movies, so I'm anxiously awaiting TROS.
     
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  15. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Jedi General

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    You didn't even need Han tbh which could have made a Han re-appearance even later HUGE beyond words.
    Han didn't really DO anything in ROTJ. He's just kinda present and says some Han things and that's that. He was supposed to be killed off but Lucas didn't want to. So he wasn't inherently needed. You could have Han, the absentee father, in the ST shot in the late 80s and early 90s then you could still go right into TFA with that Han Solo and not have missed a beat and it makes his return even better.
     
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  16. Lylo Ren

    Lylo Ren Rebel General

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    Good point!
     
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  17. The Birdwatcher

    The Birdwatcher Clone Commander

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    This post is going to be long, but I wanted to show my observations. Sorry!

    ROTJ is half an original movie and half a remake, with the same set of her woes but totally different villains and settings.

    Lucas wanted to make the Second and third act of ROTJ when he made ANH, but he could t afford it, so he tossed the planet battle, which. Was supposed to featured Wookiees and stuck one with Han as his copilot (like his malamute was in real life).


    once ROTJ was an obvious reality, rather than figure out a cool ending for the emperor and Vader and Luke & rebellion, he recycled his original ending and used the Jabba plot to keep his best actor and biggest star in the story.

    Lucas did create a cool ending for the emperor and Vader and the Luke and the rebellion, but he had budgetary troubles, was running out of time with the film, and he struggled for ideas, trying to talk things over with Kasdan, Kazanjian, and Marquand in July 1981. Disturbingly enough, apparently around November 3, 1981, Kazanjian felt that there was a lack of script ( or a problem with it) because a bound screenplay wasn’t written yet, and they were looking at sites to shoot the film at around the time (p. 109, The Making of Return of the Jedi).

    The second draft of The Return of the Jedi was written on November 1, 1981.

    ‘ “George took Larry’s script and rewrote his and Larry’s together,” says Kazajian. Indeed, Lucas literally cut and stapled parts of Kasdan’s script onto the lined pages, as he filled in parts with his own handwritten action and dialogue, marrying the two (at 105 pages). It would be typed up 10 days later.

    Lucas changed or refined about 50 percent of Kasdan’s draft, replacing and adding individual words, as well as inventing new scenes. In general, Lucas improved and deepened dialogue, motivation, and logistics while greatly expanding the action—a natural occurrence, since Kasdan could not know what sequences Lucas, Marquand, and their storyboard artists were dreaming up."

    So, Lucas and Kasdan’s writing for the dialogue and scenes, with some or slight input from Marquand and members of the SW team (like the scene for burning Vader’s armor) contributed to Jedi's script. Lucas did salvage some of the ending from Had Abaddon and re-used it for the throne room scene in ROTJ. Some similar ideas/dialogue is present from the initial summary, but it is made more concise and focused (perhaps Kasdan was working on it).

    Some decisions were deliberate or ignored for ROTJ, not a matter of figuring out a cool ending. For example, Vader’s motivation from the second draft of Return of the Jedi on November 1, 1981. And instead of Vader and the emperor immediately perishing together in ROTJ's first draft, Vader was kept alive for an emphasized emotional connection with his death scene with Luke. This could be seen as a good thing, to better show Luke's connection with Vader, but it avoids a bit of realism with the idea of a sudden tragedy.

    As far as I know Lucas ran out of budget and time for ROTJ, which is why he decided to go for the idea of the rebels falling into a trap. Otherwise, I think there would have been Had Abaddon. In some ways, I prefer the first summary of the film, it shows more of Luke’s angst and a sense of joyful relief, something that would have added a lot of power to the film. Notably, it had no scene of reconciliation with Luke and Vader with pulling off the mask. Instead, we have Vader sacrificing himself or going kamikaze on the emperor by pulling them into the lava pool in the throne room in Had Abaddon. It’s something really sad that a father would give up his life so that his child would survive by leaving Luke behind. It’s poignant about leaving Luke alone alive. It’s also fitting with Vader’s original backstory of being burned on Mustafa (yes, apparently it was originally spelling that way). He was burned in lava and became a symbol of evil, and now that evil finally dies.
    ...
    It’s interesting that people think that Luke has a happy ending in ROTJ when he looks sad/cries when Vader dies. It’s a good emotional performance. But the next noticeable moment of Luke (besides flying away from the Death Star) is him gently smiling with pride when he burns Vader’s armor. What? He does momentarily isolate himself from the group at the Ewok party, showing that he has some pain, but then no, he sees his father and smiles. So, I guess the happy ending stems from the manner of ignoring a key emotional moment or watering down the inherent sadness. So, it feels unclear and watered down in terms of emotion at the end of ROTJ. Luke keeps flip-flopping between being really sad/bummed to being happy/proud. I think that ROTJ could have had a stronger and emotionally poignant ending by actually cutting out the scene of Luke watching over the burning of Vader's armor- I know that Williams' score makes the burning scene feel sad and emotional (like it's the death of a hero), but I think it doesn't really line up with Hamill's performance/the direction for Luke's character and prior consistency with Luke weeping over Vader. If they had cut out Luke’s moment of pride (or shown him looking sad during it) after the funeral scene and then have shown Luke having more pain during/after the Ewok party, then finally relief and joy, like in the first draft at seeing Anakin, ROTJ would have had a really, really powerful scene without the need to use Williams' music as a crutch for emotional release.

    Honestly, people fuss at Rey’s sudden excitement after the TLJ throne room scene, saying that she should be more troubled/angsty, but at least she doesn’t flip-flop from being very sad to happy to sad to happy again about a single person. She gets an adrenaline rush and is happy when focusing on keeping the Resistance alive, has a brief moment of identifying with the Resistance with Poe, which may provide some closure or relief about her identity, acts disappointed with Ren, which is consistent with her prior rejection of him, and then finally acts bummed, thinking about the Resistance’s current state.

    That’s why Han is kind of a schmo in ROTJ, because he can’t be offensive anymore and Lucas had started to soften after having kids and getting rich (the PT is more about Lucas than anything...turning against his training as a filmmaker)

    He adopted one kid in 1981, but he didn’t get another kid until 1988. He was also divorced/ going through one during the production of ROTJ, affecting his level of creativity and perception. I’m not sure if one kid would alter his perception enough during the writing process- it depends at what point, since there was a story conference in July of 1981, and he had the ideas of Ewoks during the story conference.

    It’s not that Lucas didn’t want to be offensive anymore. He literally has a symbol of someone potentially going to Hades in the throne room in ROTJ (the shaft with the red lights above the elevator), which is probably more nightmare fuel than Mustafar in ROTS, since that planet is a metaphor for Anakin going to the devil (the emperor) or to Hades. He actually thought that the nightmarish stuff that he put into ESB wasn’t that bad or was censored in the end (e.g.-Luke loses a hand and then gains a hand) during the story conference in July 1981 for ROTJ. Jabba’s palace is still relatively dark in tone, too, with the Rancor beast.

    Lucas puts terrifying stuff in his films, and then censors it/undercuts/ignores the horror in some way (such as, the overtly happy ending in ANH-Luke says that he always knew that Han would come back, even though he didn’t and nobody notices, mourns, or provides a memorial for those who died in the trench run-Luke’s only reaction to Biggs dying, a friend for years, is to turn off his navi-computer and focus on blowing up the Death Star, besides the point of “using The Force”- despite the gruesome deaths). The only time that I can think of him actually not doing this is in AOTC and ROTS; they have substantially dark moments and take their time at points (actually in TPM too, at the ending, with Qui-Gon’s death).

    (the PT is more about Lucas than anything...turning against his training as a filmmaker)

    Sort of, sort of not. It reaffirms his old habits-wooden dialogue (present in a deleted scene with Luke and Biggs with Luke stating that he’s being quiet, a deleted scene from Empire between Han and Leia in Cloud City when Han tries to make out with Leia, and his “something, something darkside, something, something complete” dialogue in ROTJ). He has both dark and kiddy moments in the PT, nothing new from his experiences in the OT. His desire to try something new and make new or groundbreaking special effects is also consistent (a greater emphasis on CGI and more practical models made than the OT, I’ve heard). In addition, stretching the boundaries of practical effects, such as the practical effect of programming the Nemodian head in ROTS to sync with words and head movements without CGI. Also, apparently J.W. Rinzler didn’t think that Rick McCallum was a yes man and was a good producer from his experience in the PT.

    Star Wars News Net, George Lucas hates Mara Jade and other fun Star Wars Anecdotes with J.W. Rinzler! from YouTube

    ROTS, ROTJ, and TFA all share the weakness of being largely wish fulfillment or remakes (or both). Note the Wookiee planet in ROTS.

    I would argue that the films post-ESB are remakes of the prior films, at an increasing rate in some way, by taking and recycling previously used elements. It actually reminds me of the Final Fantasy series, how they not only use the same monsters to fight and slowly add to the roster of enemies, but that scenes, ideas, concepts, and themes are repeated from prior entries or other video games that Square Enix once worked on in the past and are slowly added on with different elements. The main difference seems to be that the ST may try to invert or deliberately twist scenes differently, to prevent the warm fuzzy feeling from arising of knowing how a scene will predictably play out (notably, in relation to ROTJ and its often sense of masked/ignored illogic or incoherence), which is cathartic, because Disney and modern-day Lucasfilm actually have more common sense than George Lucas in some/or even most of the time.

    ROTJ has been vilified since it opened for the Ewoks (sawed off Wookiees) and other odd creations (the rebels go from transports and a few X-wings and literally one y wing to having an amazing armada with four kinds of fighters Off screen..rushed).

    I’m not just looking at the Ewoks; I’m trying to address structural issues that others have ignored in this film. Although, it’s true that I’d hadn’t thought of the increase in size of the rebellion, even I think that the medic ship at the end of ESB could have implied that the rebellion had more resources elsewhere, so there’s that. The thing is, people have been ignoring glaring problems in ROTJ’s writing and pretending that it actually makes sense and should be applied to the rest of SW and to the ST, when in reality, it’s illogical. It feels unfair to the individuals who are trying to write more logically for the ST, actually.

    Look at Hamill’s performance in that film as him doing an Obi-wan impression, and for his age, not a bad one.

    It feels more like a partial impression, if anything. Alec added some charm and warmth to some of his acting moments in ANH (which Hamill couldn’t really do) and could more easily get away with acting sure of himself because of his older age. Even then, I will admit that I was actually annoyed with some of Obi-wan’s mannerisms, like his confidence with Vader (it honestly conflicts with his dark and grave manner of speaking with Luke earlier in the film) and smiling at Luke (in a cocky manner) before he dies (thank goodness this did not happen in TLJ, when it’s gratitude and relief with Luke’s character). With Hamill, it comes off as arrogant, and the Obi-wan impression has to be mixed in with Luke’s personality, which often clashes with the Obi-wan impression. It’s distracting. Luke is too stiff-eyed in ROTJ, too, whether that’s because of the impression or not.

    I was actually watching TESB and comparing it with ROTJ, because I checked Hamill's performance in the throne room when he fights Vader and states that's he's a Jedi in ROTJ and when he gets cornered by Vader and receives the revelation from him in ESB. The quality of the performances are about the same, with ROTJ being slightly better. However, I realized a few things from my comparison, ESB's structure of Luke's defiance when he gets cornered by Vader and responses to Vader to Vader's insistence of joining him and to the revealation seem to be step-by-step, and I can tell what Luke is specifically supposed to be feeling/thinking in each moment, despite the acting being slightly duller. Hamill's voice range is also really, really excellent and unique in ESB; you can sense Luke's bitterness and rage after getting his hand cut off in the dialogue. But Hamill's range is only used once or twice in the fight with Vader-with the "Never!" and the defiant "Never." to the emperor; it's pretty plain otherwise, and robs the scene of emotion. I feel like Hamill's response to learning that Leia's his sister is cheap, too; he just shakes his head and opens his eyes slowly to convey the horror. There's a lack of diversity in emotion that I feel Hamill brings out during TESB revelation scene. Hamill shakes his head there too, but he supports it with additional reactions-like subsequent denial, frustration (That's impossible!) and horror and sadness with his double "No!!!, no...". In ROTJ, the scene cuts off after Luke shakes his head to Vader threatening Luke and then Luke confronts Vader in rage. So, we're supposed to assume that Luke quickly transitioned from horror to rage when there could have been a better emotional grasp of Luke's feelings with Leia.

    I despise that Luke couldn’t be his own character as a Jedi, which he tried to be in ESB; instead, Luke has to partially fuse with Obi-wan (and a bit of Vader with some of the monotone speaking, perhaps) to be a Jedi/ potential “Dark Jedi” or Sith. It drastically takes away from Luke’s character in ROTJ. I will take ESB Luke’s Flash-Gordon/rebel hero Jedi-in training persona over ROTJ’s discordant character fusion to prove the point that the Jedi are back.

    Comparing Hamill in 83 to TLJ is unfair. Compare him in ANH to ROTJ, much better acting.

    Actually, I found that Hamill’s acting in ANH and especially ESB to be superior to Hamill’s acting in ROTJ, aside from Luke's talk with Leia, saying that he can't kill his father, listening to Obi-wan, taking off his helmet, struggling in the shadows against the dark side, his rage against Vader during the fight, his declaration of being a Jedi to the emperor, being tortured, and weeping over Vader. The rest of Hamill's acting is pretty bland or even abysmal in ROTJ.

    And no, Hamill’s penchant for whining during more of his lines in ANH and ESB than ROTJ does not make the character more inferior than ROTJ Luke. I would honestly take “whiny” Luke over ROTJ “stoic” Luke because he is better acted and written. (Plus, his whininess in the beginning of ANH characterizes his desire to hang out with Biggs and others and possibly lie to his aunt and uncle, potentially highlighting his nickname of “wormy”, i.e. being a liar or a nobody, by Camie. It’s potentially a good characterization for Luke).

    I can think of several moments that are good acting from Hamill in ANH that surpass most of his acting from ROTJ:
    -When the droid malfunctions and Luke points it out to Uncle Owen-it’s very natural.
    -A small but noticeable acting moment when Luke shows minor disgust with stating that the planet he’s on is farthest from the bright spot in the middle of the galaxy when in his garage with C-3PO.
    -When Luke looks at the sunset.
    -When Luke gets slightly mad at seeing his dead Aunt and Uncle.
    -When Luke uses his brain to persuade Han Solo to rescue Leia within the Death Star by appealing towards Han’s need for money.
    -When Luke reveals himself to Leia-very eager.
    -“I care” whisper from Luke-quite unique.
    -When Han initially leaves the rebel base, Luke gets reasonably and realistically mad at him.
    -When Luke hugs Leia and greets Han after the Death Star trench run.

    In ESB, nearly every moment from Hamill is pure gold, although there are 3 painfully cringy moments that Hamill somehow pulls out of:
    -Luke murmuring about Dagobah in front of Han on Hoth. It’s a very cringy and cheesy moment, but is still semi-plausible, from Luke’s condition.
    -Luke receiving his vision of his friends being in pain on Dagobah. When it happens, it’s cringy, but Hamill immediately redeems the scene with genuine looks of horror.
    -Luke’s reaction to Vader being his father. His initial look of denial is incredibly realistic, but when he says, “it’s impossible!”, his face does a weird cringe-“rabbit face”. It’s a possible reaction for someone in denial, but weird. By the time he reaches the “Noooooooo!, No!….”, it’s actually really good if you accept the weird uniqueness of it. It’s even better with original echo in the scene. He also has a few blank/eager looks before he jumps, but it works as denial/insanity for taking a jump off.

    Like I said before, there are only a few good moments of Hamill’s acting in ROTJ; he is way too stiff, serious, and arrogant for little reason besides doing the impression of Obi-wan, potentially having angst over his father, and falling to the dark side. Even the declaration of Luke being a Jedi is not great acting, just some head tilts and sudden, weird pride and assertiveness-it feels facile in a way; if it weren’t for Hamill’s tense breathing, I would find the scene to actually be emotionally lacking.

    I like ROTJ, despite the muppets, and always wanted a rogue one style trilogy explaining how the rebels got so much more awesome in ROTJ.

    I believe that the abundance of the “muppets” is the least of ROTJ’s problems. Despite hard work put into the film, there are issues with the script, which was pressured from lack of time and budget, from what I remember reading from The Making of Return of the Jedi. Also, Lucas was probably burned out to an extent from his divorce, the creation of ANH, ESB, (and Raiders of the Lost Ark), despite there being some interesting moments from his first script summary of the film. If ANH was Lucas’s high school experience, ESB his college experience, then could ROTJ be pulled off with the same growing momentum? With some of the special effects, I think so, but I can’t really think the same for some of the script and acting.

    ROTJ isn’t fresh like ANH, where Lucas was trying to mold Hamill into Luke. There’s no Kershner, a former teacher from the same university that Lucas graduated from, around to put his foot down when the team needed to improvise dialogue or be pressured to act better. Carrie Fisher apparently said during the production of ROTJ that with Lucas, “it’s faster, more intense” for the direction for the actors. If that’s true, then I don’t know if Lucas was really helping the actors much. I’ve seen the actors (Hamill, Ford, and Fisher) discuss scenes where they act together, like the Ewok roast scene on Endor, but it’s difficult to tell of Lucas’ involvement.

    While ROTJ has many problems (I think pacing is its biggest issue), it throws a curveball at the fans with the ending that no one expected in 1983 and many don’t appreciate now.

    Most fans from 1981-83 expected Luke to kill Vader in ROTJ because that’s 99% of movie endings. Revenge by the Protagonist is the modern movie cliche. Westerns, thrillers, even Horror movies end with a satisfying closure of the good guy winning.

    It was a curveball that didn't make sense with Luke's character from the end of TESB, and it comes more across as conveniently saving a bad guy... because it's revealed that the bad guy's your father. In ESB, Luke was horrified (and saddened) that Vader was his father, but there's no real suggestion that he's still horrified and saddened in ROTJ, just silence and concern for Vader, because Vader's his dad. In my opinion, it's a HUGE difference between Luke's perception of Vader in ESB and ROTJ.

    Lucas was able to accomplish that in 1983 without the typical cliche. Nobody thought Luke would throw down his saber, and nobody thought Vader would save him. It wasn’t about subverting expectations, it was about the theme of the whole Trilogy.

    Luke may have thrown down his saber, but I have problems with it. It’s besides the point.

    1. It makes Luke to be ignorant of Yoda’s warnings of the power of the emperor. While Luke ignored Yoda’s suggestions and warnings about the cave; it is reasonable out of fear (and maybe revenge). Luke also ignores Yoda’s warnings, but reluctantly after he sees the vision of his friends in trouble and wants to leave out of love and genuine concern for the lives of his friends. Luke in ESB actually paid attention to Yoda’s warnings, like “remember your training, save you it can” before the fight in ESB. Luke remembered how to jump out of the pit. (Also, Yoda taught Luke how to fight in the TESB comic). However, despite Luke’s intent “paying attention” to Yoda as he died, he ignored Yoda out of idiocy.

    2. It’s inherently stupid to disarm yourself, unless showing that you really want to make peace with someone (ala How to Train Your Dragon when Hiccup meets with Toothless for one of the first times).

    3. In the first summary for Revenge of the Jedi, Luke actually tosses his lightsaber back to Vader, who catches it, stating that he doesn’t want to do the emperor’s bidding. The toss is a bit more meaningful here by Luke allowing Vader to potentially kill him. Luke also dares the emperor to kill him himself. That might explain why Luke in the actual ROTJ film disarms himself and stands there defiantly to the emperor. Otherwise, there’s no reason for Luke to throw the lightsaber after turning it off, since he’s avoided the temptation of killing Vader by being horrified at what he’s almost done and who he’s nearly become.

    4. Throwing down the saber tells the audience that Luke won’t try kill the emperor to save his friends from the emperor’s tyranny or prevent future torment and death to the rest of the galaxy.

    Also, from what I read from The Making of Return of the Jedi, it appears that watering down/ ignoring Vader’s motivation was at least partially utilized to generate a plot twist (it wasn’t called subverting expectations back then).

    I wish that ESB Vader was more present in ROTJ. There is even one part in the first summary of ROTJ where the emperor says that Vader could have had half the empire, but now half the empire will be given to Luke and asks Luke to kill Vader, and Vader says:

    “Finish it!”

    How cool would that have been? Vader doesn’t care if he dies, if it means that his legacy will be passed on to Luke.

    That’s what I’ve been looking for with the ST and the eventual ending of TROS. I want something that isn’t cliche but I don’t want to be tricked (subverted). Lucas didn’t trick the fans in 1983, he made us look at Luke and Vader in a different way.

    No, he still attempted to make a plot twist with Vader’s character, going as far as watering down, making his motivation to have Luke kill the emperor.

    I hope the ending of TROS isn’t just Rey (or Kylo) killing the Emperor with the help of The Force Ghosts as that is cliche. I want the ending to mean something that deals with a theme that actually means something. ROTJ was all about Father/Son and how that bond triumphs anything. TROS has to be something like that (maybe Rey/Kylo finally balancing the Force)? If the ending is just Rey finally killing The Emperor (or Kylo comes back to save her) than we’ve seen that in movies since I can remember.

    The son and father bond between Luke and his father was a few hours in duration. It is unknown how long Vader’s father and son bond was with Luke (Lucas said in the 1981 meeting that Vader saw Luke and Leia once when they were six months old). Even so, it was more of a question of power, legacy, and destiny that Vader sought out where Luke was in TESB. Additionally, Luke was horrified when Vader revealed to him the truth, and he accepted it with horror in TESB. (This scene alone holds more value to me than all of the ROTJ Vader and Luke scenes combined).

    Vader: Luke.

    Luke: Father!

    Vader: Son, come with me.

    Luke: Ben, why didn’t you tell me?

    ……….

    (From the IMSdb script of ESB: Luke enters the cockpit and looks out the window. He is almost
    unconscious with pain and depression.)

    (From the script and what I remember:)

    Luke: It’s Vader. (sits down)

    Vader: Luke…it is your destiny.

    Luke: Ben, why didn’t you tell me? (looks up in horror).

    There was no need to go to Yoda in the next film and confirm it if Luke had already accepted it with horror. Lucas did that so that the kids and any others in the audience would understand. I also don’t understand if Luke reciprocated his feelings toward Vader with horror and attachment (Father!) why he would be so impersonal and weirdly formal when he confronts Vader on the bridge scene in ROTJ. (which I have transcribed here from memory and from the Return of the Jedi IMSDb script). (I would also argue that this scene alone has more problems than TLJ as a whole, especially in relation to being consistent with TESB, but no one here will probably believe that opinion.)

    Luke: I know, father (rigidly).

    Vader: So, you have accepted the truth.

    Luke: I've accepted the truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father.

    .....

    Luke: (Poker Face, tries to twist Vader’s words of “Come with me, it is your destiny” in ESB, acting like the better person whose in charge): Come with me.

    Vader: (equally bizarre reaction) Obi-wan once thought as you did.
    (pleads weakly by repeating line from TESB with an unappealing argument) You don't know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master.

    Luke: I will not turn...and you'll be forced to kill me.

    Vader: If that is your destiny.

    Luke: Search your feelings, father. You can't do this. I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate.

    Vader: It is too late for me, my son.

    Too late, how? Vader wanted to “end this destructive conflict”- the rebels and bring order to the galaxy in the TESB. While he cares for Luke, there’s no way that he would join the rebels from an ideological and political standpoint. The line just makes Vader seem more sympathetic to the audience. Vader didn’t care about obeying his master if he wanted Luke to kill the emperor in TESB. He can’t obey his master if he’s dead.

    Luke: (with Poker face) Then my father is truly dead.

    No, Luke. You acknowledged Vader as your father after you knew that he had helped the empire hunt down the remaining Jedi, killed Biggs, rebels, Obi-wan, potentially tortured your friends, and froze one in carbonite. You did not cry out “Father!” because you thought that Vader had some good in him on the Falcon, you acknowledged that that horrible cyborg was your father.

    But I guess Luke’s taking it seriously now and hoping that somehow that Vader’s good in ROTJ? After Vader wasn’t really holding back with his swings when he was beating Luke into submission in TESB. Is Luke so convinced that Vader’s good because if Vader’s not good, then Luke might turn evil later on? Not with horror or care from TESB, just this weird delusion that Vader’s good somehow. There’s no reason that Luke would even be this optimistic with Vader in ROTJ, after responding to the revelation with horror both in Could City and afterwards on the Falcon.

    The Beard Vs. Return of the Jedi videos on YouTube also argued/mentioned that Vader represented Luke’s self-doubt, which isn’t a bad idea for TESB. Vader seems to question Luke’s role, stating that he is not a Jedi yet and that it is his destiny to join him. But ROTJ suddenly makes it Luke is somehow the mature, morally upright person who can challenge his dad, though that was besides the point in TESB. Luke’s butt got kicked hard, with only 2 or 3 real instances of throwing Vader off-guard in the whole fight. Imagine if ESB Vader was more emphasized in ROTJ:

    Luke: Come with me.

    Vader: No, it is your destiny. You come with me.

    Ironically, the bravest and most moral thing that Luke ever did, besides stating that he would never join him, is potentially committing suicide to prevent himself from being handed over to Vader and cause others in the galaxy to experience suffering from him in the Empire Strikes Back. I really feel that Luke's even immature with his pseudo-morality/facade in ROTJ. I feel that it's better to show with actions, not just stoic and cocky/confident expressions.

    And how convenient that one of the last stages in the hero’s journey is the reconciliation of the father. I feel like the reconciliation of Vader to Luke is more important in ROTJ than maintaining Vader's character with that reconciliation, which I actually think that the first draft for the film did much better.

    Do you think ESB started the train of surprise twists that now plague SW films? Vader revealing He is Luke’s Father then had to be matched in ROTJ with another twist or suprise, Vader saves Luke from the Emperor. The twists faded in the Prequels partly due to we knew pretty much how it would play put, Anakin becomes Vader, and the Jedi are purged. With TFA the suprise twist train returns, who is Rey and are her parents Skywalkers or Solos or even Kenobi? TLJ tries to dissapoint the hype and tells us (a lie or half truth) that Rey is nobody. Now speculation of a twist or shock is that Palpatine is in the film and some grand revelation will take place, and perhaps a redemption as well.

    What I am saying is that SW has majorly been effected in storytelling by the expectation of a revelation or twist to the plot. The exception is The Prequels which had limited room for major twists. Perhaps this is why The Prequels feel different, there is no wonder or anticipation of what could happen, rather we know what has to happen and the only intrigue was how it played out; Anakin becomes Vader to save Padme. We knew Anakin becomes Vader, but why wasn’t a huge surprise. The OT and ST in contrast had room to shock the audience, and explore a less rigid canon than the Prequels was bound to.

    Some good points! I can’t say that the prequels were without twists all the time, but I agree that the twists were more limited to the intrigue of the plot. As an eleven-year old, I actually predicted that Anakin would kill/fight Count Dooku before Chancellor Palpatine because I had seen ROTJ. And it happened because ROTJ strongly emphasized that killing a main bad guy would lead to the dark side, even though Luke has killed nameless goons in ANH, TESB, and ANH. And I knew that Anakin would turn to the dark side because I had seen the OT and read The Making of The Phantom Menace. Also, I think that if your film is this predictable, it’s not a great sign of compelling writing.

    To be honest, and I could be wrong, but if one looks at the trailers for TESB, the trailers are rather standard. Our heroes go on another adventure! (Luke almost kissing Leia!). The empire comes back? Strikes back? No build-up at all, besides Vader’s ominous breathing and face.

    I was on the edge of my seat during TLJ during the throne room scene, when Poe’s plan failed, and when the Resistance was being blown-up. Where was the plot going? I think that it was actually exciting, and I usually get bored with films (although Toy Story 4 was fun recently).

    I think that the point of a good twist is to create meaning in some way. Contrary to popular belief, the twists in TLJ actually have small set-ups to support them. For instance, when Ben gets electrocuted by Snoke, he eyes the Pretorian Guard-he is clearly outmatched if he tried to kill Snoke alone. Which is why he later uses Rey to support him in the fight to even out the odds.

    The twist of Vader being Luke’s father in TESB was set-up well, I thought. Vader’s seeking out “Skywalker” from the very beginning of the film. Vader shrewdly undercuts the conversation when the emperor suggests killing Luke, saying that “He’s just a boy”. Also, the dialogue cleverly dodges that Vader’s Luke’s father, only referring to Luke as the “son of Skywalker”. Vader also seems curious about Luke and impressed with him like a father would during their fight on Cloud City.

    To be honest, it’s unclear if the Leia is the sister twist was even set-up in TESB, although Lucas had ideas for it during his drafts for the original Star Wars film. I wonder if there’s lost context to TESB when Luke cries out to Leia; I think that it might been intended to be romantic, not a brother and sister bond. In the 2nd draft of TESB, Luke uses Obi-wan to contact Leia, and Leia is actually mouthing words from the 2nd draft in the film: they’ve been dubbed over. So, it’s not really a brother and sister link; it was Luke summoning Obi-wan to connect to Leia. Sure, they could have made changes in the script later on, but it still shows.

    I will be honest; I did not like the surprise train twist in TFA at all, and I did not appreciate the merchandising/advertising on nostalgia. When Han said, “Chewie, we’re home.” in the trailer, I did not fall for it. I didn’t care about it. Show me plot, not blatant manipulation.

    I didn’t really feel manipulated during TLJ on my first viewing (aside from a few scenes like space Leia surviving- was like “nah”, the pod scene with Rey took me out of the film because I remembered Star Trek: Into Darkness with its pods, and the scene where Leia explains everything to Poe seemed a bit convenient to me, like it would have been nice to have known that earlier), I was actually relieved and felt that I could breathe after Luke tossed “the somehow-VERY-IMPORTANT” lightsaber over his head. The lightsaber was far too important to the plot in TFA (it’s just a lightsaber!, not a sacred relic, even if Obi-wan nostalgically said that it was an elegant weapon). I remember there being force-sensitive objects in the Jedi Apprentice books (a rock that Obi-wan found, I think), so I can understand the lightsaber being connected to the force in some way, and I understand Kylo’s obsession with it being a part of his legacy/inheritance, but it is seen as WAY TOO IMPORTANT by the characters. Han’s “where did you get that” line would have been better phased as, “oh, hey, it’s been a while, since I saw that thing. So, where did you get this thing?”. Or just, “oh, hey, a lightsaber! It’s been a while since I’ve seen one”.

    I still remember how someone on the internet pointed out that there’s unique shots/scenes of lightsabers dropping to their fall, as if the user is totally helpless without them in the prequels. Remember, Obi-wan said, “This weapon is your life”.

    Even when Holdo was seen as good, I misinterpreted and thought that Holdo would still do something evil at the last moment after Leia left with the Resistance (until the Resistance started blowing up, I think) and Escape from Bespin started playing-which MEANT THAT YOU WERE IN TROUBLE. Also, honestly, I thought that when Kylo and Rey were touching hands, Kylo was using it as a means of transporting himself to Rey’s location, but that didn’t happen. I think that plenty of the stuff in TLJ is not entirely predictable, which is fine. I like that the characters aren’t boxed in-paint by the numbers-type of characters, although they have some set mannerisms and reactions. They generally learn (Like Poe) (or not learn when being taught-with Finn’s case of attacking the enemy at the end of the film and some of Rey’s interactions with Luke) and develop.

    Anakin becomes Vader to save Padme.

    I don’t mean to sound rude, but this didn’t happen; it’s a retcon or a plot point that Lucas was unsure on. Which it didn’t happen in Lucas’s original context for ROTJ (and potentially for TESB), which he explained in a story conference in July of 1981. Padme (Anakin’s wife survives) for two to three years after Leia’s birth. This is present in the original novelization of ROTJ, too, with Leia having memories of hiding with her mom (or something, it’s phrased vaguely). In the current canon, she dies soon after.

    I think Episode 6 is a good flick, and a great ending to the saga.

    The last act in particular is a wild ride.

    I agree that Return of the Jedi is a fun and emotional film, but I would argue that a lot of the dialogue and plot isn’t logical enough for the film. Some of the ethical manners of thinking are corrupt, too, such as, its emphasis on passivity and not on killing (Vader or the emperor) over everything else in case (Luke) goes to Hades. Which is why I would defend Rey’s line of thinking of killing Snoke in TLJ.

    It depends on your perspective, too. Most people will say that ROTJ’s ending is great, but few will say that it’s disappointing or abysmal. I watched one person (Reviews from the North) who logically ripped this film to shreds, giving it a 2/10 for the music and space battle at the end. He actually thought that Luke’s character was ruined in the film, stating that his decisions were insane throughout the film. I’ve seen another (One Dodgy Dude) give his opinion that the film was incoherent.
    Also, there’s a series of videos titled “Beard vs. Jedi” on YouTube who hypothesizes that a lot of the rehash affecting the SW culture today is due to Luke having an incomplete arc to his character in ROTJ. He argues that Luke’s transition to complete Jedi is already made at Jedi’s beginning, which I would agree with, even though Yoda (and Obi-wan) seem to think that killing Vader will make it complete. He argues that Vader represents his self-doubt and that Vader’s redemption is incongruent with the idea of Vader being that self-doubt. It’s fairly compelling.

    Still I kinda wished Lucas would have done Episode 7-9 shortly after 6 (1989 maybe), with the old trio still in shape, but I guess he was done with SW at this point, for whatever reason.

    That’s understandable. Maybe he was tired of SW. He once talked about packing up and leaving SW behind (I think in the documentary for ROTJ).
     
    #17 The Birdwatcher, Oct 26, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
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  18. Deac421

    Deac421 Rebelscum

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    Sorry didn’t read the entire post so call me out if this doesn’t jibe with the second half of what you wrote...

    Personally, I think you’ve researched the back story on how ROTJ came to be, know the different ways it could have played out and are thus thinking too hard about it instead of just evaluating what it actually is.

    Luke’s behavior never struck me as odd and still doesn’t. He went through a massive journey from an antsy orphaned farm boy to a mystical superhero (essentially) who saved the universe from the biggest evil powers ever known and met his father, found out he was a muderous psychopath, who then Sacrificed himself to save him.

    Lots of heady emotional stuff happened pretty quickly.

    To me it makes perfect sense that he would have both a strong sense of pride, accomplishment, confidence, and yes happy relief. But at the same time a great sense of sadness.

    I don’t see a contradiction or lack of cohesiveness with Luke’s character. Humans are messy complicated beings, same has always held true with Luke.

    I stay away from trying to stitch together what if’s and just appreciate the movies for what they are (or in the case of TLJ dislike them for what they are).

    Not trying to stir the TLJ pot with that last piece, just wanted to point out I’m not a total SW apologist who automatically loves anything they slap a Star Wars logo on.
     
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  19. Bradford Tyllestad

    Bradford Tyllestad Rebel General

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    I like ROTJ-Luke and I like TLJ-Luke. Luke's great.
     
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  20. Darth Wardawg

    Darth Wardawg Rebel Official

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    The problem for Lucas, and for us as fans, is that Lucas changed his tune and the story about the story as the weeks/years went on. When Star Wars came out in 1977 it was one film. He had some notes, etc.. but there was no story but the story. With the massive success of the film, suddenly he started talking about 12 films and having different directors do one, etc.. But he didn't know where the story was going. Of course, that's not a problem since he was directly involved and the story would remain his. Thus, except for a few rough spots (Luke and Leia kiss only later to find out they are related) the films still mesh well together.

    Sometime between ROTJ and the mid 1990s he realized/decided the story was the fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker. Thus the PT is the fall of Anakin and the destruction of the Jedi Order. So he started saying there was never a plan for 9 or 12 films. Of course, he had sung a different tune in the late 1970s, but George is nothing if not a revisionist historian. LOL However, the story worked out well like this. It is a great story (although the PT certainly suffered from the fact he was surrounded by "yes" men at that point).

    Should he have, instead of doing a PT, have done the ST at that point? Probably. The reality is the fan base WANTED to see more of Han, Luke and Leia. They wanted to see them together portrayed by the same actors. A PT could have just as easily come later. But that's not the road he decided to go down. Was it the right choice? I don't know. I enjoy the PT greatly, and I understand what he was trying to do (new technology, etc...), but I do think a great opportunity was missed. And I don't think Disney understood just how much fans wanted to see the original cast together again. They should have had some idea by the reaction to that Star Wars Celebration trailer for The Force Awakens, but I think they thought the fans were happy to see Star Wars back, which they were. But the reaction to Han saying "Chewie, we're home..." was incredible and SOMEONE should have realized they need to get the Big Three together again on screen if possible. I realize it was too late since Han dies, but THAT was a huge mistake.

    Sorry for the rambling.
     
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