Saga RETURN OF THE JEDI VS. REVENGE OF THE SITH

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darthman1992, Oct 16, 2011.

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  1. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    This has been touched upon a few times in other boards, so I decided to finally give it a board of its own, because I think it is a topic that merits a thorough discussion.

    I personally love all of the STAR WARS movies, and always will. But objectively the three greats in my view are A NEW HOPE, EMPIRE STIKES BACK, and REVENGE OF THE SITH. The other three THE PHANTOM MENACE, ATTACK OF THE CLONES, and RETURN OF THE JEDI I don't think are quite as good. This isn't a debate about the two trilogies, or one trilogy sucking and the other not. But I feel that SITH and JEDI have had the most interesting views and shifts in reception. RETURN OF THE JEDI upon original release to my understanding was very polarizing with the audience and a much more mixed critical reaction. Many bashing it fo being musch more kid-marketed, with weaker performances, too happy of an ending, and less originality. Basically a lot fo the criticisms the first two had. But by the Special Edition release it was cemented as being a classic almost at the caliber, though not quite as good, as the first two.


    Flash forward 8 years and we have REVENGE OF THE SITH. After the polarizing PHANTOM MENACE and ATTACK OF THE CLONES, REVENGE ssemed to rise above the expectations and was a great critical success and a very good reaction from the audience as well. People loving how it deepend and darkened the story as well as givin gthe series a rousing close. Give it a few years and now from what many say about the film you'd think it was always as hated/controversial as it's predocessors. Anyone else notice the reversal? It would seem that as time went both became more or less judged based upon what trilogy they were a part of rather than as standalone films.

    Now I just want to hear from the two sides on this about which film you think is truly superior. And don't take me as saying that anyone who likes JEDI and not SITH are hypocrites. I was just making observations about the histories of both movies' receptions as that is hat inspired me to do this.

    I will start by giving my own thoughts. As I said I love all 6 movies, but as you probably could tell from how I described them I think that SITH is superior. It to me felt the closest in darkness and level of drama to EMPIRE than any of the others. While I don't mind the lighter tone in JEDI it is pretty noticable. With more kiddy elemnts like the Ewoks and some of the more ludicrus creatures in Jabba's palace (most promintently to me the puffy blue piano playing elephant). Overall upon re-watching the films and finding some online articles I think JEDI overall has more story problems. Such as the nature of Luke's training. Yoda tells him that it isn' complete and even has a hard time in his first showdown with Vader seemed to be having a hard time keeping up. In JEDI he is much more confident, hold himself better in the duel with Vader, and even Yoda kind of contradicts himself by saying he has leared all he needed to. The other one is the Deus Ex Machine concerning the love triangle with the sister angle coming left field and clearly unplanned when copmared with the fact that they kiss twice in the previous films. Say what you will about the Prequel Trilogy's overall story, but in the end of SITH it did feel more thoroughly planned out than the Original Trilogy did. With Palpatine's overaching plan coming to frution gloriously. And I thought that they managed to do a great job finally showing the friendship between Obi-Wan and Anakin that Old Ben spoke so fondly of in A NEW HOPE. And while the romance still wasn't the best it was for me it was more blievable than itw as in CLONES. Overall towards the beginnign Anakin just seemed like a nicer guy, which probably came with his character's maturing.. And while on that note I want to address the acting. Mark Hamill to me was the only actor who had improved in RETURN OF THE JEDI (despite the strange quick shift in the character's personality). Billly Dee was as good as he was in EMPIRE and in our first glimpse of Ian McDiarmid as Palpatin
  2. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    LOL, with all due respect, the debate is not going to be "settled." Which film is better is entirely a matter of taste and viewer preference.

    That being said, Return of the Jedi is my favorite of all six films, hands down, whereas Revenge of the Sith--let's just say I've only seen it all the way through once. I've watched bits and pieces since then; I usually watch until the opera scene, skip it, watch until Anakin decides to leave the Council chambers against Mace's orders, and then skip until the birth of Luke and Leia.

    I really, really loathe Murphy's Law type movies in which every possible thing that could go wrong, does; the bad guys win, and the ending is sad. And it was really frustrating to me to see Palpatine win and everyone's dreams shatter because all the other characters were too ****ing stupid to see what Palpatine really was. When I watch a movie, the guy I want to throw out of an office window--needs to be the one who gets thrown out of an office window. Not the one who takes over the galaxy and manipulates a sad, vulnerable kid to go along with him.

    I will say, however, that it was a well-done film and as you said, the acting was excellent.

    Why I loved ROTJ, the short version: The good guys won, Palpatine got thrown down the reactor core of the Death Star, and Anakin Skywalker was saved from darkness by the unconditional love of his son--who never gave up on him, in spite of being encouraged in the worst way to do so.

    And I like the Ewoks. They worshipped 3PO. They kicked the asses of the "legion of the Emperor's best men." With that in mind I can even forgive them for trying to eat Han for dinner.
  3. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    Yeah, thanks for reigning me back into reality on this one. I was kind on a high about this one so I made it sound a lot more important than this really is, and I should've known better than to do it (I have removed it from the Original Post). And in the process making me feel like a total hypocrite, because I've been someone who's been advocating respect for opinion, and I think I even say that in the actual post even. What I just want and expect is a civil argument about the merits of both films, and maybe even a discussion concerning the reception shifts I was talking about. Not exactly sure what got into me. We all go a little crazy sometimes.

    Anyway, good argument as well. As I said I don't mind the overt happy ending to JEDI, in fact I like that it ended that way. A NEW HOPE itself started the series on a nice softer more whimsical note, and I"m glad the chacters we got to care about all ended nicely. That being said I also to a similar effect don't mind the overt darkness to SITH. It's a space opera inspired by the likes of FLASH GORDON so it's not exactly aiming to match reality, so I don't think it's bad to have a movie where most things go badly and one where everyone seems to get an ideal ending (or everything basically going right).
  4. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    No harm no foul. [face_peace]

    I can see why people like ROTS. As I said, it is a well done film; Palpatine is very, very good at what he does--finding exactly where Anakin's buttons are, and pushing them hard--and Ian McDiarmid was fantastic. It's just not a movie I enjoy watching.

  5. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    That's understandable. Your reasoning is sound, and it isn't just "Oh it's Part of the Prequel Trilogy which automatically makes it utter garbage" like I've seen others do. Not that there can't be other legit reaons for not caring about the film, but that's how it comes off to me a lot of the time. Again, thanks.
  6. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    If I were to compare virtues: ROTS showcases a more committed ensemble, a musical score that verges on the Wagnerian, a merciless narrative thrust, and Lucas's most dynamic work since THX-1138; Return of the Jedi boasts a better performance by its lead actor.

    Popular opinion seems to once again favor the '83 capper, but I feel that Revenge of the Sith wipes the floor with it...and then discards it by the Mustafar shoreline to burn.
  7. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    Wow, I decided to look back at my Original Post, and it must have some record for the most spelling eorrors of any post on this site. And I'm not being sarcastic, it's that bad! Doesn't really help me when I'm trying to make an analytical argument against a norm now does it?
  8. Drewton Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 8, 2009
    star 4
    Darthman1992, I agree with pretty much everything you said.

    I watched TESB and ROTJ back-to-back, and I thought that the characters had become much less human.

    Also think that Hayden's acting, especially on my last viewing, was just awful in AOTC...and there really was a significant improvement in ROTS. Not a great performance, but I liked it.
  9. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    In case anyone could not figure it out, I meant the first two prequels.
  10. DRush76 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2008
    star 4

    The only STAR WARS movies that really impress me are ATTACK OF THE CLONES, REVENGE OF THE SITH and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. I love the other three, but they don't impress me as much as the movies I have mentioned.
  11. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4
    ROTS for me was second only to ESB, I just love the movie. ROTJ I have fourth, it has the "Star Wars" feel, but it just feels like everyone (especially Harrison Ford) just wanted to get the damn thing over with.
  12. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    I did a saga view last night and as amazing as Episode III is, and it really is, Return of the Jedi ends up working on more levels.

    It's fair to compete these movies against another, because they're both proper endings to their trilogies as well as the saga.

    To keep it short though, while III has tragedy as its focus and remains serious for the majority of the time, VI has to tackle various emotional situations and does so in a pretty concise and memorable manner.

    Also, consider that most of what happens in REVENGE OF THE SITH was based on plot elements taken from RETURN OF THE JEDI!
  13. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    True. IMO these movies are not stand-alone episodes without each other.
    I watch Revenge much more than Return, and although I usually follow with the OT, Ep3 really does feel more final than Return. Watching Revenge of the Sith as a conclusion is depressing, I like that quality in it. Not sure how to explain why I say this, because ROTJ also obviously feels like an end as well.

    Something this thread got me thinking about was Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope's place in their respective trilogies. To me, they do a lot of the same things for each trilogy. ROTS basically introduces to the darkside, ANH to the light. Revenge Ends everything, and in a circle, A New Hope begins it. We have the much lighter story of a wise old man starting Luke on the path to being a Jedi, where in Ep3 Palpatine fulfills the Sith equivalent of this role. It's very hard to put in words, but they are as symbiotic and opposite as Revenge and Return.
  14. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    @ OP
    I like both movies a lot and I am undecided which I like better.

    Some critique for your analysis.
    1) Yes, ROTJ had a few plot issues. However, ROTS definitely had just as much issues regarding the plot/logic.
    Palpatines whole gamble resembles a Xanatos Roulette. One domino falls in the wrong direction and his whole ploy is over. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/XanatosRoulette
    Why didn't Anakin notice that Palps was the Sith Lord? He was quite obvious in the Opera Scene, can't be any more obvious without outright telling he is a Sith Lord. I sometimes explain to myself that Anakin was lying to himself about that, but that answer isn't very satisfactory.
    Why didn't Obi-Wan finish Vader off? It was excessively cruel to leave him to burn and doesn't really fit the charakter.
    Why don't Yoda and Obi-Wan team up against the Sith Lords?
    Grievous felt like an obvious plot device.

    2) Dark doesn't equal "more mature". Sin City was dark, but was it mature? ROTJ has some heavy stuff going on.
  15. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 4
    Luke's final words with Yoda followed by his confronting Vader and the Emperor are my favorite parts of Jedi. Sith takes this essence of deeply personal conflict expanding to vaster and vaster consequences and spreads it out over what I feel is the majority of the film. Therefore the nod goes to ROTS. For a further "tie-breaker", I look to the rumination sequence. There's honestly something Malick-like about this scene to me, although with the Reason For It All ode being played not to the tune of nature, but rather a soaring urban landscape, an endless man made labyrinth of isolation.

    Although that preference is not to take too much away from ROTJ. The Jabba stuff is weirdly iconic, the previously mentioned personal conflicts very moving, and the action well-conceived and executed. I have my issues with a Death Star II from a plot stance, but once I'm actually watching the film the space battle is so well done (even better than ANH's, imo) I can't help but appreciate it.
  16. Mange Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2003
    star 4
    The problem with ROTJ as I see it is that it's a rehash of ANH (really, Lucas couldn't come up with something else other than a new Death Star?). The final installment was also somewhat unsatisfactory in light of TESB.

    While ROTJ does have some great scenes (the speeder bike chase, the space battle and the throne room scenes) ROTS is overall a better SW movie than ROTJ though it didn't tie up all of the loose ends (how did Obi-Wan know that Vader was alive in ANH? Dark Lord has an explanation but not everyone reads the EU).
  17. obi-arin-kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2005
    star 3
    ROTS is probably the better film. Jedi has its moments of brilliance--some the strongest of the entire saga--but if you look at things objectionally it probably has the most botched shots of the entire saga, as well. The entire pt is very very very well made. I won't ever understand how people say they are bad films.
  18. Bacon164 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2005
    star 7
    Heh.
  19. obi-arin-kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2005
    star 3
    Hey I gave my reasoning, and it isn't an opinion!:)
  20. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    I don't know. It depends entirely on my mood which I will grade "better". Objectively, they both have serious flaws. Which flaws are worse? Well, that's subjective. What do you hate more? Ewoks or Grievous? Death Star rehash or Padmé dying of a broken heart? And so on. Not easy to answer, at least for me.
  21. SambX Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2011
    star 1
    What makes Grievous/Ewoks objectively bad? Or Padmé dying of a broken heart and another Death Star?
    Creative dicisions. They can't be objetively bad. If these decisions were objetively bad, the creators wouldn't have made them. Right?
    But I found something objectiv: 134 vs. 140 runtime - what's better? And what about PAL/NTSC etc....? Help, I want more objectivity!

    My vote goes to Revenge Of The Sith.





  22. Darth_Pevra Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2008
    star 5
    Yes, I see my post was misleading. I apologize. I didn't mean to imply that Ewoks or Grievous or the Death Star or Padmés death were "objective" flaws.
  23. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    Same here. It's my second favorite after EMPIRE as well.

    Thematically they are similar, though that is common between the two trilogies.

    Interestingly I know of two elements that were taken from the original ideas for JEDI and recycled into SITH. The idea of a giant battle involving wookies, and the idea of a lightsaber duel taking place in a lava filled location.

    I felt it would be interesting to pit these two against each other because of their apparent shifts in reception that I mentioned in the Original Post, as well as the fact that they are the most mixed when it comes to some of the fans. For instance if there's a film in the OT that a major fan doesn't like it is usually JEDI. If there is one film in the PT that a usual PT basher will admit to liking it is SITH. Hard to explain what I'm trying to say, but I think you get the basic idea. They are essentially considered the middle ground films of the Saga by many.

    Very fair critiquing, but I personally wasn't trying to go for Plot Holes, per-se. If you've seen my posts in the plothole forums on this site I do try to make it clear that I do not care for picking out plothoes, 'cause if you really look hard enough, all of the films have them. The Luke suddenly being more skilled thing is a plothole, but Luke and Leia sibling add in I mentioned isn't really a plothole. To my knowledge there is nothing that contradicts it in the previous two. I was just saying I thought it was obvious it was added in later rather than being an idea since the genesis of the films. To be fair I don't think I made it clear as I only mentioned my "rushed ending" anecdote at the end, but to me Luke suddenly being much more skilled and the sibling relationship felt like Lucas cutting corners to get the story over with. Doing these things so Luke could defeat Vader and have the opportunity to turn down the Dark Side, and also take Luke out of the romantic equation to get that resolved smoothly as well as explain the "other hope" Yoda mentioned in EMPIRE without introducing a new character that would have to fleshed out. I think it's been made clear by others that Lucas did not originally intend to stop this
  24. OldTimeFan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2011
    star 1
    I find these kind of threads pointless.

    One Star Wars movie vs another?


    I watched the Saga in Episode order for the first time when I got the Blu Ray saga set and I enjoyed it.

    Revenge of the Sith shows the fall of the Republic and the Jedi getting almost wiped out.

    Return of the Jedi gives us the good guys winning in the end.

    The Saga was made out of order with Lucas changing his mind all over the place you have to expect the odd plot hole.

    I think the saga works sure it has it's faults but compare it to any other franchise?
  25. OldTimeFan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2011
    star 1
    To add to my post above I know we can all pick holes in all of the movies but I enjoy all six.

    Here are things I really enjoy in them all.


    Episode 1

    Pod race and the Duel

    Episode 2

    The sonic charges in the asteroid belt and the Clone War battle.

    Episode 3

    I love the acting and dark story in this one.

    Episode 4

    I just love this movie it is Star Wars

    Episode 5

    Again I love the acting and the strong dark story.

    Episode 6

    Father and son face to face with Evil and the best space battle of the saga.


    I could write a list with faults for all six but what I like about the saga makes me overlook the faults.
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