Return of the Jedi Turns 30!

by Ryan on May 25, 2013

in Anything Else,Culture,Pop Culture

Thirty years ago today, May 25, 1983, Return of the Jedi hit theaters, completing the original Star Wars trilogy.  Here’s the old-school trailer:

ROTJ was the first Star Wars movie I was actually old enough to see in the movie theaters — I saw it three times that summer!

But, it’s not a movie without controversy.

Approaching the first grade, I must admit that I liked the Ewoks at the time, even “Yub Nub” — the Ewoks moved the plot along and were fuzzy bears which any five-year-old could root for.  While I still accept them, in retrospect the Ewoks are intrinsically pretty terrible.  Star Wars fans had and continue to trash ROTJ for the Ewoks primarily among other reasons.  To many hard core fans, ROTJ is the considered the worst of the original trilogy.

Despite the harsh criticism, ROTJ did give us Carrie Fischer in a hot slave girl outfit, inspiring three decades of female Halloween costumes men everywhere will forever love.  That in and of itself cancels out the Ewoks in my book.  Plus, I loved the Luke/Vader duel and the Emperor’s hand lightning — that’s about as cool as anything could get back then and still kind of holds up.

At the end of the day, the cultural significance of the Star Wars films is self-evident and people will ignore, embrace, or argue about them for many years to come.  Return of the Jedi is an integral part of the Star Wars universe.  It’s not my favorite (that’s The Empire Strikes Back), but it’s still not Star Wars without it.

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