- "I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
- ―Luke Skywalker
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is a 1983 science fantasy film directed by Richard Marquand and written by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas. It is the third film to be released in the Star Wars saga, and the sixth and final in terms of internal chronology.
The film is set in 4 ABY, one year after the Empire's occupation of Cloud City, when Luke Skywalker and friends travel to Tatooine to rescue their friend Han Solo from the vile Jabba the Hutt. The Empire prepares to crush the Rebellion with a more powerful Death Star, while the Rebel fleet mounts a massive attack on the space station. Luke Skywalker confronts his father, Darth Vader, in a final climactic duel before the evil Emperor.
The film debuted on May 25, 1983, and was released on VHS and LaserDisc in this form multiple times during the 1980s and 90s. The film was re-released with changes in 1997, and this version was later released on VHS and Laserdisc as well. The special edition arrived on DVD in 2004, but with further updates and changes to the 1997 versions. The original, unaltered version of the film was released as part of a new DVD set in September 2006.
Shadows of the Empire reveals that construction has begun on a new, Death Star, more powerful than the previous one. At the suggestion of Prince Xizor, Emperor Palpatine allowed the plans to this new station to "fall" into Rebel hands, at a deceptive price. Meanwhile Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewie had already one failed attempt to rescue Han from Boba Fett. In order to reach Xizor, Leia takes the guise of the Ubese bounty hunter Boushh, and Chewbacca is disguised as Snoova.
The Bothan spies discovered that the plans were to be sent in a small computer onboard a fertilizer freighter, the Suprosa. They mounted an attack which proved successful, albeit at the cost of the lives of several Bothans, allowing the plans to find their way to the Alliance, ready to be decoded.
On Tatooine, Boba Fett was successfull in delivering Han Solo to Jabba. Luke with Lando, Leia, Chewie and the two droids, prepares one final plan to rescue Han.
Darth Vader lands in the docking bay of an uncompleted second Death Star, which the Empire is creating, and is more powerful than the first. He is greeted by Moff Jerjerrod, but demands construction be put back on schedule in order to complete the Death Star on time. Jerjerrod argues that they need more men, but quickly agrees to double their efforts when he learns that Emperor Palpatine is coming.
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker and his company have arrived on Tatooine in the latest attempt to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt's desert palace. First the droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, arrive with a holographic message from Skywalker pleading Jabba to release Solo, but they end up as slaves. That evening, Jabba's Palace Band (led by Sy Snootles and Max Rebo) entertains the slug-like creature's guests. Jabba is captivated by the graceful gyrations of his slave girl Oola. Oola resists his demands and is thrown into the pit of the rancor monster where she is immediately killed. Suddenly, Princess Leia Organa (in the guise of bounty hunter Boushh) arrives with "prisoner" Chewbacca to collect part of the bounty Jabba himself sought after years earlier when he put a price on Solo's head. Jabba then sends Chewbacca to the prisons. That night, Leia/Boushh releases Solo from his carbonite coffin, only to be overseen by Jabba, his minions, and newly stolen droids. Both Solo and Leia are captured; Solo is put in the prison with the Wookiee while Jabba takes Leia as his personal entertainment slave, donning a special dancing girl outfit and replacing Oola as the subject of his affections. To Leia's humiliation, she is then chained by the neck to Jabba's throne.
Luke eventually arrives, coming at dawn to make one final plea to Jabba to release Solo, but Jabba rejects the offer. Luke then Force-attracts a nearby blaster, tries to shoot Jabba, but falls into the Rancor pit. Leia unsure of what was happening struggled against Jabba. Luke successfully kills the rancor by crushing it with the gate of its compound and piercing its neck with the spikes at the bottom of the gate, but he too is captured by Jabba's minions. Jabba, furious, strangles Leia. As punishment, Jabba, using C-3PO as a translator, commands Luke and his friends to be destroyed (over a course of a thousand years) by the man-eating Sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon meanwhile Leia is kept on a very short leash in front of Jabba. Only Leia is not sentenced to death, as Jabba was attracted to her, and had plans of gaining pleasure from the enslaved princess.
Luke and his companions (with Lando Calrissian disguised as one of Jabba's prison guards) are taken to the Pit of Carkoon. Leia is kept on a short leash and reluctantly but obediently stands by Jabba to watch her friends prepare for death. With the help of R2-D2, Luke then retrieves his recently built lightsaber to battle his captors. Solo, by this time blinded from the aftereffects of carbonization, accidentally activates the jetpack of bounty hunter Boba Fett when he turns around and smashes an axe in it. Fett then flies out of control, crashes and falls in the pit to be digested by the Sarlacc. Leia, meanwhile, with chain in hand, strangles Jabba to death. The droids are then set free, and jump off the sail barge. They land in the Tatooinian sand. Luke and Lando kill the remaining captors, then Luke rescues Leia, and both point the guns toward the heart of Jabba's Sail Barge. Luke and company escape with their lives before the gun discharges, destroying the sail barge. All of the crew (except for Luke) depart Tatooine for the rendezvous point near Sullust (mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back) where the Rebel Alliance is assembling, while Luke and R2-D2 (in their X-wing) head for Dagobah to fulfill a promise made some time earlier.
On the Death Star, the Emperor arrives, praising Lord Vader on his efforts in the construction of the Death Star, assuring him that everything is going as he has planned.
Luke and Artoo arrive on Dagobah to find a terminally-ill Yoda. 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).
As Luke approaches his X-wing, the spirit form of Kenobi confirms that Vader was once Anakin Skywalker, a former Jedi Knight who turned to the dark side of the Force. Kenobi also reveals that Luke has a twin sister, hidden from Luke at birth as protection from the Emperor. Luke senses that his sister is actually Princess Leia. Kenobi warns Luke to bury his feelings, for they could in time "serve the Emperor."
At the rendezvous point near Sullust, the Rebel Alliance gathers to reveal plans to attack the Death Star. As part of the plans, Luke, Leia, Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and a strike team must penetrate the shield generator on the fourth moon of Endor in order to deactivate the shield if the Rebel fleet is to attack the Death Star.
The strike team lands on Endor only to be discovered by scout troopers. A speeder bike chase ensues, only for Leia to be thrown off her speeder and knocked unconscious. Luke and Han discover Leia's helmet, then both try to find her. Leia is awakened by one of Endor's forest creatures, an Ewok named Wicket W. Warrick. Suddenly, another stormtrooper discovers Leia, but Wicket does away with the trooper before rescuing Leia.
Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and the droids, meanwhile, fall into a booby trap set by the Ewoks. Artoo cuts open the net setting them free, but the Ewok tribe discovers Threepio and proclaims him to be their god. The droid's Human and Wookiee friends are taken prisoner, and the Ewoks proclaim Han to be the main course in a banquet in Threepio's honor. Discovered by Leia, Luke then uses the Force to levitate Threepio to show off his "great magic." Convinced of the Rebels' good intentions, the Ewoks set them free and later that evening makes them "part of the tribe," thereby the Ewoks agree to join the fight against the Empire.
But Luke decides the time has come to leave Endor and face Darth Vader. Leia follows Luke out of the tribal gathering before she is revealed the truth that Vader is Luke's father and Leia is his sister. Leia is utterly speechless and shocked, but is comforted by Solo.
Vader arrives in his shuttle to a docking bay, and Luke, having already surrendered to the Empire, talks with Vader in an attempt to bring the Sith Lord out of the dark side of the Force, but to no avail. The Empire takes Luke into custody for transportation to the Death Star.
The next day, the Rebels attempt to locate the shield generator, and the Rebel fleet enters hyperspace from Sullust to prepare for the final attack.
Luke and Vader finally enter the Death Star and confront the Emperor, who reveals that it was the Emperor himself that coordinated the Rebels finding the secret plans and locating the shield generator so that the Alliance can fall into a trap of Palpatine's devising.
The Rebels enter the heart of the shield generator, only to be taken prisoner by the Imperial forces. The fleet emerges from hyperspace for the battle, but discovers the shield is still up. As they contemplate their options, the Imperial fleet, which they were led to believe was away, appears and an intense battle begins.
Solo and company are led out of the bunker by the stormtroopers, but the droids and the Ewoks have already orchestrated the attack on the Empire, and another intense battle commences with the Rebels and Ewoks on one side, the Empire on another.
Palpatine shows to Luke the full power of the Death Star, and the station, now fully operational, destroys one of the Alliance's ships. Meanwhile, on Endor, the battle continues, with casualties (Rebel, stormtrooper, and Ewok) already mounting. Eventually, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca gain access to the bunker.
On the Death Star, Luke, already fueled by anger, lashes out at the Emperor with his lightsaber, only to be deflected by his Father Darth Vader, and thus the final duel between father and son begins. After a while, Vader stalks for a hidden Luke to let down his guard, while quietly sensing within his son's mind that Luke has a sister. Vader threatens to turn her to the dark side if Luke will not, but Luke responds viciously in intense saber fighting of Djem So, up to the point where Luke strikes off Vader's right mechanical hand (just as Vader cut off Luke's in The Empire Strikes Back). The Emperor encourages Luke to kill his father so the young Jedi can take Vader's place alongside Palpatine. But Luke controls his anger and throws aside his lightsaber. He declares himself to be a Jedi Knight as his father Anakin was before he turned to Darth Vader.
Han, Leia, and Chewbacca escape from the bunker, just in time for its destruction, thus bringing down the shield. The Alliance is now free to attack the half-completed Death Star.
Back on board the Death Star, an enraged Palpatine declares that if Luke cannot be turned to the dark side, he will be killed, and uses Force lightning against Luke. Palpatine slowly increases the intensity of the lightning, slowly torturing Luke to death. But the sight of seeing Luke dying causes Vader's heart to melt, relating back to the pain he endured due to the Force Lightning Count Dooku bolted himself with, thus beginning the touching and dramatic redemption of Anakin Skywalker. Vader finally ceases to exist as Anakin turns on Palpatine, lifting the Emperor off his feet with the great strength of his cybernetic right arm, and despite the deadly Force lightning now surging on Anakin, he hurls his former master into a reactor shaft, destroying the Emperor.
The Millennium Falcon and its remaining Rebel fighters enter the bowels of the Death Star, and some fighters engage in a point-blank attack on the Super Star Destroyer, causing the Imperial flagship's destruction.
Back on the Death Star, in the middle of an evacuation, Luke has carried his father's ravaged body to the foot of the former Vader's shuttle. Anakin asks Luke to remove his mask so that he can look upon the face of his son, just for once, with his "own eyes." Anakin's face is revealed to be pale white (from not seeing natural sunlight in 23 years), and his head severely scarred from his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi (as depicted in Revenge of the Sith). Anakin tells Luke that his son was right, and asks him to tell his sister the same. With that, Anakin Skywalker dies.
The Millennium Falcon and its strike force (in the last Rebel fighter inside) reach the Death Star's main reactor and fire concussion missiles and proton torpedoes at it, causing it to collapse. Luke escapes the Death Star with his father's body and flies out through the flames, and so do Wedge Antilles and the Millennium Falcon before the Death Star explodes.
Seeing the destruction from above, Han senses Leia's love for Luke. He offers to step aside when Luke arrives, but she tells Han that Luke is her brother. After a moment of shock and/or surprise, Han and Leia engage in a passionate kiss.That evening, Luke sets a funeral pyre ablaze to burn the body of his father, still encased in the armor of Darth Vader. His father's organic body had become one with the Force. Luke Skywalker as written was believed to have only burnt the armor of his father, along with his cybernetics. Through the midst of the rising flames and fireworks, Rebel fighters streak across the sky in celebration of one of the greatest Rebel victories in the Galactic Civil War. The planets, Bespin, Tatooine, Naboo, and Coruscant also celebrated. Luke is reunited with his companions Han, Lando, the droids, Chewbacca, the surviving Rebel fleet, the Ewoks, and his sister Leia. Luke then catches sight of the spirit figures of Ben Kenobi, Yoda, and the redeemed Anakin Skywalker. Leia takes Luke by the hand and they rejoin their friends and colleagues as the spirits continue to look on with pride.
The Thrawn Trilogy and The Truce at Bakura were the first novels to reveal that the Battle of Endor was by no means the end of the story. The destruction of the second Death Star, the loss of Darth Vader and the Emperor, and the defeat of the Imperial fleet represented a major turning point in the war, however. But immediately following the Rebel's victory, Luke Skywalker and his friends went off to defend the people of Bakura from the deadly incursions of the Ssi-Ruuk invaders threatening to turn their citizens into a slave army. They were but the first, as the post-Return of the Jedi Marvel Star Wars series soon revealed that following a brief respite, the Nagai were to invade, followed on their heels by the Tof invasion. Their final defeat marked the start of the New Republic and the end of outside alien invasions until 25 ABY when the Yuuzhan Vong struck. In the interim, however, there was plenty of Imperial mopping up to do and lots of adventures.
Within five years, well over half of what was Imperial space was under the control of the New Republic. The war continued for another 15 years. The New Republic would be challenged by Imperial commanders, such as Ysanne Isard, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Admiral Daala, and Admiral Pellaeon. The New Republic would even be challenged by the Reborn Emperor—the spirit of Palpatine in a new clone body. But the New Republic would weather all these storms.
Fifteen years after the Battle of Endor Admiral Pellaeon and the other Imperial leaders realized that further military conflict with the New Republic would be fruitless. The remnants of the Imperial forces signed a peace treaty with the New Republic. The decades-long Galactic Civil War was finally over.
Also, after Jabba's death, Luke was held in high respect for deleting all the debts the Hutt posted on his unfortunate undertakers. Zorba the Hutt, Jabba's father, was furious when he heard of his son's demise. He took over Cloud City, and in the long run, posted bounties on whomever was responsible for Jabba's death, primarily Luke Skywalker and his sister, Leia Organa.
- Luke Skywalker - Mark Hamill
- Han Solo - Harrison Ford
- Princess Leia Organa - Carrie Fisher
- Lando Calrissian - Billy Dee Williams
- C-3PO - Anthony Daniels
- Chewbacca - Peter Mayhew
- Anakin Skywalker - Sebastian Shaw, Hayden Christensen (uncredited, DVD Edition only)
- Palpatine - Ian McDiarmid
- Yoda - Frank Oz
- Voice of Darth Vader - James Earl Jones
- Darth Vader - David Prowse
- Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi - Alec Guinness
- R2-D2 - Kenny Baker
- Moff Jerjerrod - Michael Pennington
- Admiral Piett - Kenneth Colley
- Bib Fortuna - Michael Carter
- Wedge Antilles - Denis Lawson
- Admiral Ackbar - Tim Rose
- Barada, Stormtrooper and Biker Scout .... Dickey Beer
- Amanaman .... Ailsa Berk
- Barquin D'an and Boba Fett .... Don Bies (special edition)
- Stormtrooper, Mon Calamari, Ree Yees, Mosep, z-winged fighter and tie pilot .... Richard Bonehill
- Malakili .... Paul Brooke
- Salacious Crumb .... Mark Dodson
- Doda Bodonawieedo and Boba Fett .... Nelson Hall
- Karie Neth and Gray Squadron .... Lynne Hazelden
- Renz .... Barrie Holland
- Tessek and Mon Calamari Officer .... Gerald Home
- Hoover .... Swim Lee
- Arvel Crynyd .... Hilton McRae
- Nien Nunb, Ree-Yees, Sy Snootles, Yoda and Wol Cabbashite .... Mike Quinn
- Droopy McCool .... Deep Roy
- Lieutenant Watts .... Robert Watts
- Vedain .... Paul Weston
- Max Rebo .... Simon Williamson
- Voice of Bib Fortuna .... Erik Bauersfeld
- Voice of Boushh .... Pat Welsh
- Voice of EV-9D9 and Marquand .... Richard Marquand
- Voice of Jabba the Hutt .... Larry Ward
- Voice of Malakili and Giran .... Ernie Fosselius
- Voice of Nien Nunb .... Kipsang Rotich
- Voice of Tortured Power Droid and Col.Dyer .... Ben Burtt
- Jabba Puppeteers - Toby Philpott, David Barclay, Mike Edmonds
- Puppeteers - Michael McCormick, Simon Williamson, Swim Lee, Richard Robinson, Deep Roy, Hugh Spirit, Michael Quinn
- Ewoks - Margo Apostolos, Ray Armstrong, Eileen Baker, Michael H. Balham, Bobby Bell, Patty Bell, Alan Bennett, Sarah Bennett, Pamela Betts, Danny Blackner, Linda Bowley, Peter Burroughs, Debbie Lee Carrington, Maureen Charlton, William Coppen, Sadie Corrie, Tony Cox, John Cumming, Jean D'agostino, Luis De Jesus, Debbie Dixon, Margarita Fernandez, Phil Fondacaro, Sal Fondacaro, Tony Friel, Dan Frishman, John Gavam, Michael Gilden, Paul Grant, Lydia Green, Lars Green, Pam Grizz, Andrew Herd, J.J. Jackson, Richard Jones, Trevor Jones, Glynn Jones, Karen Lay, John Lummiss, Nancy MacLean, Peter Mandell, Carole Morris, Stacy Nichols, Chris Nunn, Barbara O'Laughlin, Brian Orenstein, Harrell Parker Jr., John Pedrick, April Perkins, Ronnie Phillips, Katie Purvis, Carol Read, Nicholas Read, Diana Reynolds, Daniel Rodgers, Chris Romano, Dean Shackenford, Kiran Shah, Felix Silla, Linda Spriggs, Gerald Staddon, Josephine Staddon, Kevin Thompson, Kendra Wall, Brian Wheeler, Butch Wilhelm
- Mime Artists - Franki Anderson, Ailsa Berk, Sean Crawford, Andy Cunningham, Tim Dry, Graeme Hattrick, Phil Herbert, Gerald Home, Paul Springer
- Stunt Performers - Bob Anderson, Dirk Yohan Beer, Marc Boyle, Mike Cassidy, Tracy Eddon, Sandra Gross, Ted Grossman, Frank Henson, Larry Holt, Bill Horrigan, Alf Joint, Julius Leflore, Colin Skeaping, Malcom Weaver, Paul Weston, Bob Yerkes, Dan Zormeier
Special Edition Crew
|Sound Designer||Ben Burtt|
|Re-Recording Mixer||Gary Summers|
|First Assistant Editor||Samuel Hinckley|
|Assistant Editor||Robert Marty|
|Assistant Avid Editors|| Mike Jackson|
|Sound Editor||Teresa Eckton|
|Assistant Sound Editor||Lisa Storer|
|Re-Recordist||Ronald G. Roumas|
|Digital Mix Technician||Gary A. Rizzo|
|Optical Supervisors|| Phillip Feiner|
|Film Restoration Supervisor||Pete Comandini|
|Color Timer||Robert J. Raring|
|Negative Continuity||Ray Sabo|
|Negative Cutter||Bob Hart|
|Special Edition Digital Remastering Provided By Skywalker Sound A Lucas Digital Ltd. Company|
|Film Restoration Consultant||Leon Briggs|
|Optical Restoration||Pacific Title|
|Film Restoration By||Ycm Laboratories|
|Industrial Light And Magic|
|Visual Effects Supervisor||Dave Carson|
|Visual Effects Producer||Tom Kennedy|
|Computer Graphics Supervisor||Tom Hutchinson|
|Visual Effects Art Director||George Hull|
|Visual Effects Editor||Michael McGovern|
|Color Timing Supervisor||Bruce Vecchitto|
|Visual Effects Coordinator||Lisa Todd|
|Digital Effects Artists|| Don Butler|
|Digital Matte Artists|| Ronn Brown|
|3d Matchmove Artist||James Hagedorn|
|Digital Paint & Roto Artists|| Lisa Drostova|
|Chief Creature Maker||Howie Weed|
|Model & Creature Makers|| Carol Bauman|
|Sabre Group Supervisor||Daniel McNamara|
|Sabre Artists|| Rita Zimmerman|
|Software Research And Development|| David Benson|
|Digital Scanning Supervisor||Joshua Pines|
|Digital Scanning Operators|| Randall Bean|
|Negative Supervisor||Doug Jones|
|Negative Line-Up|| Andrea Biklian|
|Digital Plate Restoration|| Melissa Monterrosa|
Mike Van Eps
|Assistant Visual Effects Art Director||Alex Laurant|
|Assistant Visual Effects Editor||John Bartle|
|Video Editor||Angela Leaper|
|Animatic Artist||Jonathan Rothbart|
|Digital Effects Technical Assistants|| Okan Ataman|
|Digital Effects Resource Assistant||Daniel Brimer|
|Visual Effects Production Staff|| Julie Creighton|
|Video Assistants|| Dawn Martin|
|Production Engineering|| Ken Beyer|
|Aerial Camera System By Wesscam Camera Systems (Europe)|
|Aerial Cameraman Assistant|| Ron Goodman|
|Helicopter Supplied By Dollar Air Services Limited|
| Cloud Plates Photographed With Astrovision(c) By Continental Camera Systems Inc.|
Snow Vehicles Supplied ByAktiv Fischer
R2 Bodies Fabricated By White Horse Toy Company
Special Assistance From Giltspur Engineering And Compair
Photographed On The Hardengerjekulan Glacier, Finse, Norway And At Emi - Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, England
Music Recorded At Anvil Studios, Denham, England
Re-Recording At Samuel Goldwyn Studios, Los Angeles, California
Special Visual Effects Produced At Industrial Light And Magic, Marin County, California
- Cane Adiss
- Sim Aloo
- Padmé Amidala (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- Unidentified Aqualish
- Dansra Beezer
- Nizuc Bek
- Bib Fortuna
- Walex Blissex
- Kren Blista-Vanee
- Doda Bodonawieedo
- Olander Brit
- Bron Burs (cut)
- Brooks Carlson
- Tycho Celchu
- Airen Cracken
- Ardon Crell
- Salacious B. Crumb
- Arvel Crynyd
- Barquin D'an
- Ars Dangor
- R'kik D'nec
- Taym Dren-garen
- Ephant Mon
- Ewok AT-ST drivers
- Thul Fain
- Boba Fett
- Grizz Frix
- Bib Fortuna
- Gamall Wironicc
- Ghana Gleemort
- Unidentified Gray Squadron Y-wing pilot
- Unidentified Gray Squadron Y-wing pilot (II)
- Janus Greejatus
- Unidentified Green Squadron A-wing pilots
- Harc Seff
- Hermi Odle
- Unidentified H'nemthe
- Unidentified Imperial officer (Executor)
- Unidentified Imperial officers (Endor)
- Unidentified Imperial personnel (Death Star II)
- Jabba Desilijic Tiure
- Greeata Jendowanian
- Joh Yowza
- Davod Jon
- Unidentified Kadas'sa'Nikto
- Unidentified Kajain'sa'Nikto
- Kin Kian
- Myn Kyneugh
- Loje Nella
- Aved Luun
- Crix Madine
- Bane Malar
- Unidentified man in green firing turret
- Unidentified man in red pants
- Unidentified man wearing Doallyn armor
- Droopy McCool
- Lyn Me
- Unidentified mercenary pilot
- Mon Mothma
- Gauron Nas Tal
- Karie Neth
- Ten Numb
- Nien Nunb
- Unidentified Nimbanel
- Judder Page
- Pipe-smoking Ewok
- Turr Phennir
- Rapotwanalantonee Tivtotolon
- Unidentified Rebel commandos
- Unidentified Rebel dignitaries (female)
- Unidentified Rebel dignitaries (male)
- Unidentified Rebel Ishi Tib
- Unidentified Rebel mechanics
- Unidentified Rebel officers
- Unidentified Rebel pilot (Endor)
- Palejo Reshad
- Loci Rosen
- Rayc Ryjerd
- Horton Salm
- Nik Sant
- Rystáll Sant
- Keir Santage
- Unidentified shirtless man
- Unidentified Sic-Six
- Anakin Skywalker
- Pote Snitkin
- Sy Snootles
- Leslomy Tacema
- Tanus Spijek
- Vul Tazaene
- Velken Tezeri
- Pucumir Thryss
- Shasa Tiel
- Tortured Droid
- s'Too Vees
- Wam Lufba
- Wicket Wystri Warrick
- Weeba Weeba
- Unidentified Weequay Skiff Master
- Unidentified Weequay thrown out of Sail Barge
- Yarna d'al' Gargan
- Murttoc Yine
- Yotts Orren
- Naboo (post-DVD releases)
- Sullust (Mentioned only)
- Taanab (Mentioned only)
Organizations and titles
- Alliance to Restore the Republic
- Alliance Commander-in-Chief
- Alliance High Command
- Alliance Military
- Alliance Supreme Allied Commanders
- Alliance Army
- Alliance Special Forces
- Rebel Wilderness Fighters
- Endor Strike Team
- Alliance Fleet
- Rebel Command Fleet
- Alliance Starfighter Corps
- Blue Squadron
- Gold Squadron
- Gray Squadron
- Green Squadron
- Red Squadron
- High Command Advisory Council
- Chief of State
- Cloud City Control (post-1997 releases)
- Bespin Wing Guard
- Dornean Navy
- Galactic Empire
- Galactic Emperor
- Imperial Advisor
- Imperial Ruling Council
- Imperial Military
- Emperor's Royal Guard
- Supreme Commander
- Imperial Army
- Imperial Army pilot
- Imperial Navy
- Death Squadron
- Onyx Squadron
- 181st Imperial Fighter Group
- Saber Squadron
- Scimitar Squadron
- Scythe Squadron
- Tempest Force
- Stormtrooper Corps
- Coruscant Security Force (post-1997 releases)
- Gungan Grand Army (post-DVD releases)
- Jedi Order
- Jedi Grand Master
- Jedi Master
- Jedi Knight
- Jabba Desilijic Tiure's Criminal Empire
- Royal Naboo Security Forces (post-DVD releases)
- Naboo Royal Space Fighter Corps
- Dark Lord of the Sith
- Order of the Sith Lords
- Sith Master
- Sith apprentice
- Sith Lord
Vehicles and vessels
- 74-Z speeder bike
- All Terrain Armored Transport
- All Terrain Scout Transport
- Bantha-II cargo skiff
- Braha'tok-class gunship
- BTL Y-wing starfighter
- B-wing starfighter
- Coruscant air bus (post-1997 releases)
- CR90 corvette
- Death Star II
- EasyRide passenger airspeeder (post-1997 releases)
- EF76 Nebulon-B escort frigate
- Ewok hang glider
- Executor-class Star Dreadnought
- GR-75 medium transport
- Imperial I-class Star Destroyer
- Imperial II-class Star Destroyer
- Lambda-class T-4a shuttle
- Luxury sail barge
- Main communications ship
- MC80 Home One type Star Cruiser
- MC80 Liberty type Star Cruiser
- N-1 starfighter (post-DVD releases)
- Rebel personnel carrier
- RZ-1 A-wing interceptor
- Storm IV Twin-Pod cloud car (post-1997 releases)
- T-16 skyhopper (post-1997 releases)
- T-65 X-wing starfighter
- Tector-class Star Destroyer
- TIE/sa bomber
- TIE/In interceptor
- TIE/ln starfighter
- YT-1300 light freighter
- Z-6 jet pack
- 84-U hunting rifle
- A280 blaster rifle
- BD-1 Cutter vibro-ax
- Class-A thermal detonator
- Controller FP
- Defender sporting blaster
- DL-44 heavy blaster pistol
- Double magazine canister
- Dur-24 wrist laser
- E-11 blaster rifle
- EE-3 carbine rifle
- Fighting club
- HM-6 concussion missile
- Hunting knife
- Lance blade
- Light target pistol
- MM9 mini concussion rocket
- Noslo-19 slug rifle
- Scout trooper blaster pistol
- Sidearm blaster
- ST2 concussion missile rack
- Twi’lek dagger (possible appearance)
- Vibroaxe polearm
- Whipcord launcher
- ZX miniature flame projector
- ANq-51 sensor array computer
- Brain jar
- Broadband antenna
- Centressar strings
- Churi bird caller
- Communications badge
- CS-Mark 12 holoprojector
- Cybernetic hand
- Death Star II plans
- Drumheller harp
- Ewok pipe
- Ewok Swiss horn
- frequency jammer
- Growdi Harmonique
- Handsfree comlink
- Healing wand (possible appearance)
- Hookah pipe
- Impact armor
- Kloo horn
- magnetic ring
- Mandalorian gauntlet
- Naal thorn burner
- Neurix tube
- O'Tawa cymbal
- Plandl horn
- Projectile detonator
- Power drum
- Quadanium steel
- Radion modulator
- Restraining bolt
- Screamer gong
- Shaman’s ghost rattle (possible appearance)
- SLD-26 planetary shield generator
- Speech scrambler
- Stormtrooper armor
- Survival kit
- Tactical system
- Tactical glove
- Targeting laser
- Thunder drum
- Troomic sound tube
- Tryna chime
- Village drum
- Vision-plus scanner
- Wrist link
- Xloff horn
- Abyssin ornament
- Authority stick
- Bantha fodder (First mentioned)
- Chall granules (possible appearance)
- Chandrillian freedom medal
- Chief’s medallion
- Churi feather
- Churi skull headdress
- Coruscant headware
- Dance shoe
- Desilijic tattoo
- Flak vest
- Gimer stick
- Glove spike
- Gurreck skull headdress
- Jalavash worm silk
- Jerba leather boots
- Krayt dragon venom (possible appearance)
- Lashaa silk
- Medicine bag
- Mon Calamari jerkin
- Ogygian cloak
- Palpatine's cane
- Positive grip shoe
- Rank insignia
- Rock wart sting juice (possible appearance)
- Ryloth robe
- Sensua binding
- Selith music charm
- Shata leather pants
- Slave girl harness
- Slaver bracelet
- Sounding cymbal
- Staff of Power
- Stomach (First mentioned)
- Szana body glove
- Talisman bag (possible appearance)
- Trophy spine
- Tydirium (ore) (Indirect mention only)
- Ubese boot
- Ubese clan-clasp
- Utility belt
- Vand belt
- Yoro root pigment
Behind the scenes
The film's director was the late Richard Marquand, who passed away in 1987 of a heart ailment, but reports have suggested that George Lucas was still heavily involved in the shooting of Return of the Jedi and likely directed some of the second unit work personally when shooting threatened to go over schedule. Lucas admits in the documentary Empire of Dreams that he had to often be on the set due to Marquand's relative inexperience with special effects, but comments by The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner on that film's DVD audio commentary track suggests that Lucas, who acted more as an advisor on The Empire Strikes Back, had a similar role on the production of Return of the Jedi. Moreover, George Lucas, according to Kershner, called The Empire Strikes Back Kershner's movie, not his.
Some have noted the differences between Richard Marquand's direction style and Lucas's direction style and say that they're dissimilar. The screenplay was written by Lawrence Kasdan and Lucas (with uncredited contributions by David Webb Peoples), based on Lucas's story. Howard Kazanjian served as producer.
The film was originally named Revenge of the Jedi until it was pointed out that a Jedi taking revenge is contrary to the strict Jedi Code, though many speculate that George Lucas had planned to call the film Return of the Jedi all along, and only used "Revenge" as a means to throw off merchandise counterfeiters. It has also been claimed that the original title of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was originally The Vengeance of Khan, and that the title was changed because of its similarity to Revenge of the Jedi. In any event, the original title was partially reused for Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
For several reasons, the working title of the project was Blue Harvest and dubbed "Horror Beyond Imagination" to engender no interest whatsoever in order to disguise what the production crew was really filming from fans and the prying eyes of the press. George Lucas had severed all his remaining ties to the Hollywood system out of a feeling of persecution after the success of The Empire Strikes Back and had become a truly independent filmmaker. Lucasfilm is a non-union company, and despite George Lucas's stature and clout, that, says Howard Kazanjian in Empire of Dreams, made acquiring shooting locations more difficult and more expensive, even though A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were mammoth hits.
A serious wardrobe problem was present in the film in that all Imperial characters, regardless of rank, are shown wearing identical rank insignia, being that of an Imperial Navy Commander. This was not recognized by the production staff until halfway through the film's shooting and the error remained uncorrected in the final version of the film.
Major musical themes:
With a massive worldwide marketing campaign, Star Wars series artist Drew Struzan created the iconic and distinctive images for the movie posters and other advertising.
While critical reception of the film was generally positive, Return of the Jedi is considered by some critics and many fans as the weakest film of the original trilogy. Some indication of public opinion can be gleaned by its relatively modest 109th place ranking in the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 films list. As a comparison, A New Hope is ranked at #12, and The Empire Strikes Back is ranked #9, as of September 18, 2008.
While the entire Jabba the Hutt sequence and the action set pieces, particularly the breathtaking speeder bike chase on the Endor moon, the space battle between Rebel and Imperial pilots, and Luke Skywalker's duel against Darth Vader are well-regarded, the ground battle between the Ewoks and the Stormtroopers remains a bone of contention. A large number of fans believe George Lucas pushed the "cutesy" factor with the Ewoks. However, fans seem to be rather divided on the premise that an extremely primitive race of small creatures could, albeit with minimal aid, defeat an armed ground force comprising the Empire's best troops. Some fans call it ludicrous, while others credit the Ewoks' bravery, ingenuity, and determination, and draw comparisons between modern warfare in which familiarity with the terrain and guerrilla tactics can results in the defeat of a numerically and technologically superior force.
However, contemporary critics seem to have been largely complimentary. In 1983, Roger Ebert gave the film a four-star rating, and Gary Arnold of the Washington Post described Return of the Jedi as "a triumph."
In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker is played by Hayden Christensen. However, in the original and Special Edition version of Return of the Jedi, a much older actor named Sebastian Shaw played both the dying Anakin Skywalker and his Force ghost. In the DVD release, Anakin's ghost has become a young man, played by Hayden Christensen, and this is considered the canon version of the ghost.
Lucas explains in the DVD commentary that Anakin has learned to control his life force beyond death, just as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda had before him. (This is very briefly explained in Revenge of the Sith). So rather than appear as the older man who was Darth Vader, Anakin is able to return to the young man he once was before turning to the dark side.
The basic controversy arises from critics of Lucas's ongoing changes to all of the Star Wars films. On one hand, the redemption of Luke's father as an older man suggests that this is the image that should represent him after death. On the other, the older man was arguably never Anakin Skywalker until his final moments, and the vision of Hayden Christensen brings the story full circle - Darth Vader defeated, Anakin Skywalker at rest. Many fans argue that the insertion of Christensen is disrespectful towards Shaw.
As with the other two films of his original trilogy, Lucas issued a Special Edition of Return of the Jedi in 1997, making a number of cosmetic changes and additions, including replacing a piece of music from the closing scene.
On September 21, 2004 the three original movies were finally released on DVD. There have a few further minor changes to the film on this release—such as sound effects and improvements to the visual quality of the film.
During the sequence when the Emperor's defeat at Endor is announced to the galaxy, an additional scene showing the celebrations on Theed, Naboo was shown. A Gungan can be heard yelling "Wesa free" in this scene.
In the scene showing the people of Coruscant celebrating, the Senate Building and the Jedi Temple have been added in the background.
Sebastian Shaw played Anakin in the hangar bay and in the final celebration scene in the original film. In the DVD release, Shaw continued to be Anakin in the hangar bay scene. Look closely and you will see that Shaw's bushy eyebrows have now been digitally removed. However, during the final celebration, Shaw was replaced by Hayden Christensen. In this release Anakin appeared as he did in Episode III. Instead of simply reshooting the Force ghost of Anakin with Hayden, test footage of Hayden's head was digitally grafted to the body of Sebastian Shaw playing the role. Thus, Anakin is seen wearing the robes of a Jedi Master, even though he did not achieve that rank in reality (though some might argue that he changed to a Master upon being redeemed by Luke). This has been retconned by saying that because Force ghosts are spirits, they may appear however the Force allows them to.
With the release of the third episode that depicts how and why Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side of the Force, George Lucas once again altered Return of the Jedi to strengthen the relationship between the original trilogy to the prequel trilogy.
The novelization of Return of the Jedi was written by James Kahn. While it contains many scenes that were deleted from the final cut, with the release of Episode III, Kahn's assertion that Anakin Skywalker's memories of "lava crawling up his back" have proved to be in error. In the novelization of Return of the Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi recounts to Luke Skywalker that he and Anakin Skywalker had battled and that his father "fell into a molten pit."
The novelization also erroneously refers to Owen Lars as Obi-Wan Kenobi's brother. Owen Lars is, in fact, Anakin Skywalker's step brother.
At the beginning of the confrontation in Palpatine's throne room, the Emperor reads Luke's mind and discovers that Yoda completed Luke's Jedi training, and that Yoda is now dead. However, he gives no sign of recognition on hearing Yoda's name.
A radio drama adaptation of the film was written by Brian Daley and was produced for and broadcast on the National Public Radio in 1996. While the first two Star Wars movies were adapted for radio in the early 1980s, but it was not until 1996 that a radio version of Return of the Jedi was heard. See Star Wars (radio) for details.
The film was adapted into comics form by Marvel Comics. Unlike the earlier film adaptations, it was not released as part of the ongoing Star Wars series, but as a four-part (1 2 3 4) mini-series of its own. The adaptation was scripted by Archie Goodwin and illustrated by Al Williamson.
- At the end of the film's 1997 Special Edition release, a crowd on Coruscant topples a statue of the Emperor, which may be a reference to the toppling of statues of Stalin with the collapse of the Soviet Union, or other similar events. Also, this marks Coruscant's first appearance, though Lucas had been trying to use it since Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. It was added in anticipation of its appearance in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Naboo, designed after the release of the 1997 Special Editions, was added among the celebration scenes in the 2004 DVD release.[source?]
- A serious wardrobe problem was present in the film in that all Imperial characters, regardless of rank, are shown wearing identical rank insignia, being that of an Imperial Navy Commander. This was not recognized by the production staff until halfway through the film's shooting and the error remained uncorrected in the final version of the film. However, there are two extras wearing the rank of lieutenant in the scene where the Emperor arrives.[source?]
- Kenneth Colley (Admiral Piett) and Michael Pennington (Moff Jerjerrod) are the only actors to play the same Imperial officer in two Star Wars films. Grand Moff Tarkin appeared in both Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith but played by different actors. Piett is the only Imperial officer with a speaking role in more than one film (Jerjerrod appears in the special edition of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, but he does not say a word).
- In the original Return of the Jedi script when Obi-Wan Kenobi explains what happened to both Luke and Leia after their birth, the character we now know as Padmé was said to have survived and became a handmaiden to Bail Organa's wife, secretly raising Leia as her own child. She later died three or four years after the birth. However, this part was deleted to shorten the scene because Lucas did not think it was necessary for the plot at the time.[source?]
- This is the only film in the trilogy in which Denis Lawson's name is spelled correctly in the ending credits. In the other films, his name is misspelled "Dennis."
- A legend among fans holds that Lando and the Millennium Falcon were originally scripted to perish in the Death Star explosion. However, Lando was always intended to escape the Death Star, as has been evidenced in past scripts for the movie. The legend had been fueled by the fact that before the Death Star attack, Han tells Leia that he has a feeling he isn't going to see his ship again.[source?]
- In the novelization of Return of the Jedi, Han Solo makes reference to Luke Skywalker's initial impression of the Millennium Falcon, calling it "the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy." However, in the film, Solo refers to it simply as "the fastest ship in the fleet."
- The word "Ewok" is never mentioned in the film, apart from deleted scenes.
- The name "Palpatine" is never mentioned in the film.
- The name "Jerjerrod" is never mentioned in the film.
- This is the only film in both trilogies without a blue lightsaber vs. red lightsaber fight. Also, this is the only movie featuring a green lightsaber where no green sabers lose to red sabers. In The Phantom Menace, however, a green saber does win, although it is a green saber loss as well, because in Episode I, the wielder of the green saber (Qui-Gon Jinn) dies.
- This is the only film where a Sith Lord is shown holding a green lightsaber; Vader tests Luke's new saber on Endor.
- During the Endor shooting, the Ewok actors apparently got upset about the working conditions and stormed off the set. One of the crew members raced off to get them back, and it turned out to be a hoax. The actors came back laughing with t-shirts that read "Revenge of the Ewoks."[source?]
- This is the first film to use THX. Ironically, it is the only Star Wars film that contains no reference to THX 1138. Recently, Sideshow collectibles released their 12" Princess Leia as Boushh figure; on the side of the helmet there is an 1138. As Sideshow is noted for using studio source material from Lucasfilm as reference for their products, it is possible that the solution to this 20 year-old Easter egg treasure hunt has been solved.
- On Endor, Han Solo says "We'll meet at the bunker at 0300 hours", which is military time for 3:00 A.M. However, it is clearly light out when they meet. However, they may not have been using local time. It is possible that they were using Coruscant Standard Time. Additionally, they were separated by the Ewoks, which may have altered their original plans.
- Filming began on January 11, 1982 and ended on May 20, 1982.
- With a massive worldwide marketing campaign, Star Wars series artist Drew Struzan created the iconic and distinctive images for the movie posters and other advertising. (In the film's release poster, Luke Skywalker is depicted holding a blue lightsaber—a lightsaber color that does not appear in the film. His new lightsaber is green—although it is blue in one trailer, suggesting the decision to make it green was taken late in production. In fact, the decision was made to make Luke's blade contrast with the blue sky of Tatooine and make it more visible during the skirmish at Carkoon.
- During space shuttle Discovery mission STS-120, the lightsaber used by Mark Hamill was flown to the Wikipedia:International Space Station, and returned to Earth. Stowed on-board Discovery for the length of the mission, the prop was flown in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars franchise. In a bit of coincidence, Lucas's first film was titled THX 1138, and STS-120 launched at 11:38 a.m.
- The first two Star Wars movies were adapted for National Public Radio in the early 1980s, but it was not until 1996 that a radio version of Return of the Jedi was heard. See Star Wars (radio) for details.
- George Lucas included the scene in which Yoda confirms that Darth Vader is Luke's father because, after a discussion with a children's psychologist, he didn't want younger moviegoers to dismiss Vader's claim as a lie.
- The 1997 CD-ROM Star Wars: Behind the Magic confirms that the sequence showing the cremation of Vader's body/armor was directed by Lucas himself.
- George Lucas reportedly took over direction with Irvin Kershner's former assistant toward the end of production, reportedly because the actors weren't responding well to director Richard Marquand. The working relationship between George Lucas and Marquand was said to be bad, and that the main camera operator left the project because he felt Lucas was mistreating Marquand. In his audio commentary for the 2004 film, however, Lucas, insists that he and Marquand had a good working relationship, and praises Marquand for being a very nice guy who was good with actors.
- Harrison Ford suggested that Han Solo sacrifice his life to save his friends in order to give the film more emotional weight, but George Lucas disagreed with him, as revealed in an Interview with Ford on the Extras-DVD.
- David Lynch, with a Best Director nomination for the 1980 film The Elephant Man, was approached by Lucas to helm Return of the Jedi, but he declined the next day, later going on to direct Dune.
- Director David Cronenberg was also offered Jedi.
- George Lucas originally intended for his friend Steven Spielberg to direct the film.[source?]
- Although George Lucas originally intended Boba Fett to die in ROTJ upon falling into the Sarlacc, he has recently stated that he doesn't have a problem with Fett surviving, as the EU has shown.[source?]
- Robotic mime & music duo Tik and Tok played J'Quille the Whiphid and Saeltmarae (Yakface).
- This is the first Star Wars film to show a lightsaber combat something other than another lightsaber. Luke on the Sail Barge fights guards with staffs and blasters. In A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, a lightsaber is seen only fighting another lightsaber. It should be noted that Obi-Wan's removal of Ponda Baba's arm does not count as a fight - but could be considered combat between a lightsaber and another weapon. Also, in A New Hope Luke spars with a training droid aboard the Falcon.
- Near the end of the film, during the Luke/Vader duel, Luke does a backflip up onto a platform above Vader. Instead of attempting to do the same, Vader stays on the ground and throws his lightsaber at Luke. This may be due to the fact that Vader has learned his lesson from a similar situation during his duel with Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith.
- During the scene where the shuttle Tydirium is flying over Endor's forests (1997-DVD release only?) at the lower right hand corner of the screen, between two trees, is a section of power line that stops just behind the left tree.
- When a Y-wing pilot destroys a TIE/In interceptor, Wedge Antilles acknowledges it by replying "Good shot, Red 2" but a cockpit closeup of the pilot shows that it is Horton Salm of Gold squadron.
- On board the second Death Star when Luke takes his lightsaber to try and strike down the Emperor, Darth Vader blocks his attempt. If you look closely you'll notice that Luke's saber looks like it is going through Vader's.
- First movie where the term "TIE Fighter" is used.
- The ground battle on Endor was filmed in California's Redwood Forest.
- Actor Peter Mayhew was advised to stay close to the crew so that tourists to the forests would not mistake him as Bigfoot and take photographs that could reveal the existence of the movie.[source?]
- This is the only movie where Darth Vader does not Force choke someone. A scene did exist in the initial cut that showed Vader Force choke an Imperial Officer in order to gain access to the Emperor's throne room. This scene was cut because George Lucas felt that this point had been made clearly enough in The Empire Strikes Back.
- When Darth Vader is throwing his lightsaber at Luke, if you freeze-frame as it is spinning toward Luke, you can see clearly that the blade is coming from the pommel, not the emitter.
- The 2004 DVD release added the Jedi Temple and Senate buildings to Coruscant's celebration.
- In the interchange between Lando Calrissian and Han Solo you see Lando's shoulder strap going from right to left, then moments later left to right.
- In the entire trilogy the word Sith is never used, although "Darth" means "Dark Lord of the Sith" it was seen as the first name of Darth Vader. In the prequel trilogy it is used as a title for the Sith.
- When Luke is arriving at celebration on Endor at the end of the film, his lightsaber can be seen hanging on his belt, yet earlier when he was trying to escape the Death Star II with the dying Vader, his weapon was not on his belt, as if he had left it behind on the floor in the Emperor's throne room.
Notes and references
- Return of the Ewok
- Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
- Ewoks (Marvel comic books)
- Star Wars: Ewoks
- Template:Imdb title
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi on Wikipedia
- Episode VI Script
- The Star Wars Actors Database