Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

 
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Release date: May 25, 1983

Directed by: Richard Marquand

Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz

Budget: $32.5-42.7 million

Box office: $475.1-572.7 million

 

The rebellion regroups to destroy an even more powerful superweapon as Luke Skywalker moves closer to his destiny.

Closing out the original trilogy, Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi ends the tale well as a great film in and of itself, though it’s not as good as the the two which came before it. The film provides a good capstone to the trilogy-long conflict by presenting audiences with a climactic battle on three different fronts including a ground battle reminiscent of Vietnam and a space battle featuring desperate last-ditch ideas put into action out of a desire to survive. Both demonstrate the struggle and resilience the rebels have quite well, especially after where the last film left off.

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Additionally, though the prior film introduced the Emperor, following a mention of him in the first, his true self is seen on screen for the first time. This proper introduction characterizes him as a monster who is so evil he is either unable to comprehend the very notion of goodness and love or views them as inferior to the power of darkness and hate. The environment the Emperor places himself is a good addition to his characterization. His throne room is muted and angular with the only color coming from his royal guards and the window behind him is like a web, as if to establish him as a master manipulator.

The film also produces a satisfying conclusion to the character arc Luke started as a farm boy so long ago along with successfully turning Darth Vader into a tragic anti-villain who receives a chance at redemption despite him believing it is impossible.  It’s fascinating to see both of these paths converging due to the both of them needing each other in order to complete their stories. Their final clash is not only the gratifying climax that had been building up for audiences over the course of three films, but it also a fascinating display of storytelling considering what happens within the fight itself.

It may not be the best of the trilogy, but this film is definitely an enjoyable way for it to end.

Awards

Won

Academy Awards

  • Special Achievement Award (for visual effects)

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA - Saturn Awards

  • Best DVD Collection (As a part of “Star Wars Trilogy”)

  • Best Science Fiction Film

  • Best Actor (Mark Hamill)

  • Best Costumes

  • Best Make-Up

  • Best Special Effects

BAFTA Awards

  • Best Special Visual Effects

DVD Exclusive Awards

  • Best Menu Design (For “Star Wars Trilogy”)

  • Best Overall DVD, Classic Film (For “Star Wars Trilogy”)

Golden Screen Awards, Germany

  • Golden Screen

Guinness World Record Awards

  • Highest box-office gross for a screenwriter

  • Biggest opening weekend ever for a re-released film

Hugo Awards

  • Best Dramatic Presentation

IGN Summer Movie Awards

  • Best Movie Blu-Ray (For the “Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI)” on Blu-Ray)

  • IGN People’s Choice Award (For the “Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Episodes I-VI)” on Blu-Ray)

Jupiter Award

  • Best International Film

People’s Choice Awards, USA

  • Favorite Motion Picture

Satellite Awards

  • Best DVD Extras (Star Wars: The Complete Saga)

Young Artist Awards

  • Best Family Feature Motion Picture

Nominated

Academy Awards

  • Best Art Direction-Set Decoration

  • Best Sound

  • Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing

  • Best Music, Original Score

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA - Saturn Awards

  • Best DVD Collection (As part of the collection “Star Wars: The Complete Saga”)

  • Best Actress (Carrie Fisher)

  • Best Supporting Actor (Billy Dee Williams)

  • Best Director

  • Best Writing

  • Best Music

BAFTA Awards

  • Best Make Up Artist

  • Best Production Design/Art Direction

  • Best Sound

Golden Schmoes Awards

  • Best DVD/Blu-Ray of the Year (The Complete Saga)

  • Best DVD/Blu-Ray of the Year (“Trilogy”)

Golden Trailer Awards

  • Most Innovative Advertising for a Brand/Product (For Star Wars: The Complete Saga “Every Moment :30”)

Grammy Awards

  • Best Pop Instrumental Performance (For the “Star Wars Trilogy”)

  • Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special

Satellite Awards

  • Best Overall DVD (For the Star Wars Trilogy)

  • Best Classic DVD (For the Star Wars Trilogy)