Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
Director:- Richard Marquand
Producer:- Howard Kazanjian
Story by:- George Lucas
- Mark Hamill
- Harrison Ford
- Carrie Fisher
- Billy Dee Williams
- Anthony Daniels
- David Prowse
- Kenny Baker
- Peter Mayhew
- Frank Oz
Music by:- John Williams
- May 25, 1983
Country:- United States
Budget:- $32.5–42.7 Million
Box office:- $475.1–572.7 Million
Luke Skywalker initiates a plan to rescue Han Solo from the crime lord Jabba the Hutt with the help of Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2. Leia infiltrates Jabba’s palace on Tatooine, disguised as a bounty hunter, with Chewbacca as her prisoner. Leia releases Han from his carbonite prison, but she is captured and enslaved. Luke arrives soon afterward, but is also captured after a tense standoff. After Luke survives his battle with Jabba’s Rancor, Jabba sentences him and Han to death by feeding them to the Sarlacc. Luke frees himself and battles Jabba’s guards. During the chaos, Leia strangles Jabba to death, and Luke destroys Jabba’s sail barge as the group escapes. While the others rendezvous with the Rebel Alliance, Luke returns to Dagobah where he finds that Yoda is dying. Before he dies, Yoda confirms that Darth Vader, once known as Anakin Skywalker, is Luke’s father, and that there is “another Skywalker”. The spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi confirms that this other Skywalker is Luke’s twin sister, Leia. Obi-Wan tells Luke that he must fight Vader again to defeat the Empire.
The Rebel Alliance learns that the Empire has been constructing a new Death Star under the supervision of the Emperor himself. As the station is protected by an energy shield, Han leads a strike team to destroy the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor; doing so would allow a squadron of starfighters to destroy the Death Star. The strike team, accompanied by Luke and Leia, travels to Endor in a stolen Imperial shuttle. On Endor, Luke and his companions encounter a tribe of Ewoks and, after an initial conflict, gain their trust. Later, Luke tells Leia that she is his sister, Vader is their father, and that he must go and confront him. Surrendering to Imperial troops, Luke is brought to Vader and unsuccessfully tries to convince him to turn from the dark side of the Force.
Vader takes Luke to the Death Star to meet the Emperor, intent on turning him to the dark side. The Emperor reveals that the Death Star is actually fully operational and the Rebel fleet will fall into a trap. On Endor, Han’s strike team is captured by Imperial forces, but a surprise counterattack by the Ewoks allows the Rebels to battle the Imperials. Meanwhile, Lando, piloting the Millennium Falcon, leads the Rebel fleet to the Death Star, only to find out that the shield is still active, and the Imperial fleet is waiting for them. The Emperor tempts Luke to give in to his anger, and Luke engages Vader in a lightsaber duel. Vader senses that Luke has a sister, and threatens to turn her to the dark side. Enraged, Luke attacks Vader and severs his prosthetic right hand. The Emperor entreats Luke to kill Vader and take his place, but Luke refuses, declaring himself a Jedi as his father had been. Furious, the Emperor tortures Luke with Force lightning. Unwilling to let his son die, Vader throws the Emperor down a reactor chute to his death, but in the process Vader is mortally electrocuted. At his last request, Luke removes the redeemed Anakin’s mask before he dies in Luke’s arms.
As the battle between the Imperial and Alliance fleets continues, the strike team defeats the Imperial forces and destroys the shield generator, allowing the Rebel fleet to launch their assault on the Death Star. Lando leads a group of Rebel ships into the Death Star’s core and destroys the main reactor. As Luke escapes on a shuttle with his father’s body, the Falcon flies out of the Death Star’s superstructure as the station explodes. On Endor, Leia reveals to Han that Luke is her brother, and they kiss. Luke returns to Endor and cremates Anakin’s body on a pyre. As the Rebels celebrate their victory over the Empire, Luke smiles as he sees the spirits of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin watching over them.
- Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker: One of the last living Jedi, trained by Obi-Wan and Yoda, who is also a skilled X-wing fighter pilot allied with the Rebellion.
- Harrison Ford as Han Solo: A rogue smuggler, who aids the Rebellion against the Empire. Han is Luke and Leia’s friend, as well as Leia’s love interest.
- Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa: The former Princess of the destroyed planet Alderaan, who joins the Rebellion; Luke’s twin sister, and Han’s love interest.
- Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian: The former Baron Administrator of Cloud City and one of Han’s friends who aids the Rebellion.
- Anthony Daniels as C-3PO: A humanoid protocol droid, who sides with the Rebellion.
- Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca: A Wookiee who is Han’s longtime friend, who takes part in the Rebellion.
- Kenny Baker as R2-D2: An astromech droid, bought by Luke; and long-time friend to C-3PO. He also portrays a GONK power droid in the background.
- Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor: The evil founding supreme ruler of the Galactic Empire, and Vader’s Sith Master.
- Frank Oz as Yoda: The wise, centuries-old Grand Master of the Jedi, who is Luke’s self-exiled Jedi Master living on Dagobah. After dying, he reappears to Luke as a Force-ghost. Yoda’s Puppetry was assisted by Mike Quinn.
- David Prowse as Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker: A powerful Sith lord and the second in command of the Galactic Empire; Luke and Leia’s father.
- James Earl Jones as the voice of Darth Vader
- Sebastian Shaw as the unmasked Anakin: After fighting and defeating his friend, ally, and Sith Master, in order to save his son’s life, Vader is weakened and dying. Before he dies he asks Luke to take off his mask so he can see his son clearly before he dies, ultimately turning back to the goodness within himself. Originally, Shaw also appears as Anakin’s Force-ghost in the original theatrical and 1997 Special Edition releases.
- Hayden Christensen as the Force-ghost of Anakin Skywalker: In re-releases of the original Star Wars trilogy released after the prequel trilogy, Lucas made revisions. One of those revisions being the final shot of the film, in which the Force-ghosts of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Yoda are seen happily together. The addition of Christensen as the Force-ghost was explained to represent the fact that Anakin must return to his progress-point where he left off before turning to the dark side; Christensen portrayed Anakin in the second and third movies of the prequel trilogy, and the edits brought Return of the Jedi into consistency with the prequels.
- Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi: Luke’s deceased Jedi Master, who continues to teach him after death as a Force-ghost.
John Williams composed and conducted the film’s musical score with performances by the London Symphony Orchestra. Orchestration credits also include Thomas Newman. The initial release of the film’s soundtrack was on the RSO Records label in the United States. Sony Classical Records acquired the rights to the classic trilogy scores in 2004 after gaining the rights to release the second trilogy soundtracks (The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones). In the same year, Sony Classical re-pressed the 1997 RCA Victor release of Return of the Jedi along with the other two films in the trilogy. The set was released with the new artwork mirroring the first DVD release of the film. Despite the Sony digital re-mastering, which minimally improved the sound heard only on high-end stereos, this 2004 release is essentially the same as the 1997 RCA Victor release.
The original teaser trailer for the film carried the name Revenge of the Jedi. In December 1982, Lucas decided that “Revenge” was not appropriate as Jedi should not seek revenge and returned to his original title. By that time thousands of “Revenge” teaser posters (with artwork by Drew Struzan) had been printed and distributed. Lucasfilm stopped the shipping of the posters and sold the remaining stock of 6,800 posters to Star Wars fan club members for $9.50.
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, released in 2005 as part of the prequel trilogy, later alluded to the dismissed title Revenge of the Jedi.
Depending on sources, Return of the Jedi grossed between $475 million and $572 million worldwide. Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 80 million tickets in the US in its initial theatrical run. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 80% approval rating with an average score of 7.2/10 based on 84 reviews from critics. Its consensus states, “Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy”. On Metacritic, the film received a score of 53/100 based on 15 reviews from mainstream critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews.”