Star Wars “The Force Looks Back”: ‘Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi’ (1983)
Written by: J. Johnson
Today is the official release of Star Wars “Episode VII: The Force Awakens”, breaking many records and more in the near future. So we have our final look-back in the “Return Of the Jedi” as the final battle from Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader ends not just a trilogy, but an era of the Skywalker-Saga defining a franchise for over many decades even before the release of “The Force Awakens”. Here we go for the last installment of “The Force Looks Back”.
As the Empire has been back on course with striking back against the Rebel Alliance, they have started the construction on the second Death Star; that will be more powerful than the first. Vader orders the construction be put back on schedule.
At the end of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, Luke & Leia along with the others contemplate their plans to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. Even with the attempt from the droids (C-3PO & RD-D2) they were possessed and slaved under the mastery of Jabba the Hutt.
Later, Princess Leia Organa (in the guise of bounty hunter Boushh) arrives with Chewbacca as her “prisoner” to collect part of the bounty Jabba himself sought after years earlier when he put a price on Solo’s head. After much bargaining (including Leia threatening Jabba with a thermal detonator), Jabba settles on a deal, and has Chewbacca imprisoned. That night, Leia releases Han Solo from his carbonite coffin, and after revealing her identity to him, she kisses him. As they prepare to escape, they are caught by Jabba and his minions. Ignoring Han’s pleas, Jabba has the captain thrown in prison with Chewbacca. Although Lando Calrissian (disguised as one of Jabba’s prison guards) tries to sneak off with Leia, Jabba stops them and orders a Gamorrean guard to bring Leia to him. Leia is forced to become Jabba’s new slave girl, and chained to the dais as a trophy.
Luke arrives to negotiate his friends release from being Jabba’s slave, but Jabba drops Luke into a pit to fight the Rancor. Luke defeats the Rancor by dropping a door onto it, but Jabba is furious and chokes Leia. Jabba sentences Luke and his friends to be taken to the Dune Sea for termination (over a course of a thousand years) by the man-eating Sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon. As they are sentenced to death and a few gestures of going ahead with the plan Luke and his companions unleash a full out assault on Jabba’s hunters.
Boba Fett uses his jetpack to fly off of the Barge and land on the skiff as Luke is in the act of freeing Han and Chewbacca. Luke uses his lightsaber to cut Fett’s blaster in half, and Chewbacca pushes the bounty hunter onto the deck. Luke then jumps onto another of the accompanying skiffs to fight off the guards and minions there.
While fighting a guard, Lando accidentally falls off the side of the skiff, and although he manages to hold onto a wire, one of the Sarlaac’s tentacles begins to pull him to his death, and Han and Chewbacca have to carefully rescue him. Han accidentally activates Fett’s backpack when he turns around and smashes the butt of an axe against it. Fett subsequently flies out of control from the skiff, crashing against the hull of the Barge before falling int the Sarlacc’s open mouth, making it belch.
On the Death Star, Emperor Palpatine arrives and praises Lord Vader on his efforts in the construction of the Death Star. He also senses that Vader craves for the continuation of his search for his son, Luke. The old Sith Lord assured his apprentice that Luke would seek Vader out and that only together would the Sith be able to turn Luke to the dark side of the force and that everything was proceeding as Palpatine had foreseen. Luke has returned to complete his Jedi training, but Yoda declares no further training is required. All that remains for Luke is to confront Vader. Yoda then reveals that Vader is indeed his father. The 900-year-old Jedi Master gives one last mention of wisdom to the young Jedi before he dies (and disappears the way Ben Kenobi did in A New Hope, thereby becoming one with the force).
(Next page: The Battle Of Endor, Meet The Emperor, & The Final Skywalker Act, & A 32 Year Awakening Prologue )