Return of the Jedi
How’s that for a nice how-do-you-do? A few months earlier, as Luke lay recovering in a hospital bed on Hoth, Leia walked over and planted a big, wet juicy kiss on him. Ewwwww!
Of course on that Friday in May 1983 when we walked into the theater to witness the long-awaited third chapter of the Star Wars saga, the whole Luke/Leia/Han dynamic was the last thing on our minds. No, we were still trying to make sense of the whole Darth-Vader-is-Luke’s-Father bit.
Was he serious? No… he had to be lying, right? After all, back in Star Wars, Ben told Luke that Darth Vader betrayed and murdered his father. And since we’re not quite sure how you could kill yourself and survive, it must have been a lie just to get Luke to join him in the Empire. Right? RIGHT???
Let’s just say it was a looong three years waiting for Jedi to mosey its way into theaters. When we last left our heroes, Han was frozen and shipped off to Jabba. Lando and Chewie went off to rescue their buddy, and Luke and Leia were just glad to have a little ‘quality time’ to themselves. Ewwwww!
Sure enough, we arrive on Tatooine to meet Jabba the Hutt (surly fellow, if you ask us), and then we get the image that launched a million pop culture references: Leia in the gold bikini. Heck, if we were Luke we’d want to ‘rescue’ that, too! Ewwwww!
Eventually, Jabba meets his maker, Boba Fett begins the tedious process of slowly being digested over a thousand years in the Sarlacc, and our heroes split up for continued, fun adventures: Luke’s off to deal with his ‘daddy’ issues, and the rest of our trusty gang gets to pal around with teddy bears in Redwood National Park.
Plus, we also get our first (short-lived) glimpses of the new Death Star under construction, Admiral Akbar’s famous announcement that “It’s a trap!”, and (sniff!) we bid a fond farewell to our beloved Yoda.
Once Luke told Leia the truth, and once she and Han enjoyed a little kissy-face at the end (Ewwwww!), we knew that all was right with the world. And while we’d have loved for Lucas to make good on the rumor of a follow-up trilogy, we’re actually okay with how things wrapped up. (Who knew we’d actually feel a little bad for Darth Vader when all was said and done. Right?)
Directed by Richard Marquand and written by Lawrence Kasdan and ol’ Mr. Lucas himself, Jedi blew away the box office, easily becoming the biggest movie of 1983. All told, it brought in more than $250M that year. By comparison, the second-place flick, Terms of Endearment, brought in $108M.
Yes, the Force is strong with this one.
We ♥ Return of the Jedi.