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CT The "RotJ sucks" meme

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Mond, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    Just out of curiosity, when was the earliest any of you encountered the "Return of the Jedi sucks" meme? Be honest!

    It was 1997 for me, on the internet. I'd never heard anything but kind words for RotJ before then, other than a couple of negative professional critic reviews.

    For the record, I go back and forth between considering it either the worst or second worst film in the series, but it was my favorite when I was a lot younger.
  2. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    ROTJ is my favorite of the series, hands down. The first time I encountered that meme and the "how dare Lucas redeem Vader and give us a happy ending" meme was at about the same time--late 90s on the 'Net.
    TragicHeroLover132 likes this.
  3. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    Around the release of TPM. A lot of early reviews were saying "It's about on par with Jedi, but nowhere near the first two." At the time it was kind of a weird thing to read given that ROTJ was my favorite growing up. Seemed like a new episode being compared to Jedi should have been the best possible news.

    These days ROTJ is a strange bird for me. I still love it and the best portions of action still give me that same rush I felt back in the day, but as an episode in the six film saga it's kind of flat when I look beyond the Vader/Luke stuff. Visually it does the least for me as well.
  4. IG-85 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Jedi is an amazing film, but most people seem to hold it in regard as the 'worst' of the OT, but in my experience, by worst they went in in a good way, as in a great film, but not as good as ANH or ESB.
  5. Dark--Helmet Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 22, 2003
    star 2
    Pretty early on my dad and older brother hated it. Pop culture wise the earliest I can remember at the moment is the movie Clerks.
  6. EHT New Films Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 6
    I never thought of this as a meme, but instead just an opinion that some people (including SW fans) had. I never agreed with it either... ROTJ has its weaknesses, but they are made up for by its strengths, IMO.
  7. MrFantastic74 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2010
    star 4
    In all honesty, it wasn't until 2005 or so that I first heard about any widespread hated toward ROTJ.

    Growing up, ROTJ was my least favourite of the OT, but I still watched it often and thoroughly enjoyed it upon every viewing. In other words, it was my third favorite film of all time. I had friends (in the 80s) who professed that it was their favorite of the three films, and I understood their point of view and did not feel compelled to challenge them.
    I do recall some people complaining about the ewoks, but honestly, negative commentary was scarce in my world.

    In any case, I always thought of ROTJ as being accepted and beloved by SW fans everywhere, albeit the fairly universal redheaded step-child of the trilogy.

    I only began to notice ROTJ bashing/ hatred in very recent years. I can only conclude that what began as a small flame of animosity in the 80s has been fueled and fanned into a fiery blaze by the internet and the younger generation who can not help but compare the older films to the much flashier prequels that they grew up with. I have also noticed that those who defend TPM (the worst of the six, in my books) are often among the most vocal in directing hatred toward ROTJ. Perhaps it's a defence mechanism.

    In any case, ROTJ is flawed, and it has "lame" elements, such as the ewoks and some of the scenes from Tatooine/ Jabba's palace, but IMHO, it tells a far more compelling story than do any of the prequels. It's a darn entertaining movie. I would rank it above the prequels, and third overall.
  8. DarthMane2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 4
    ROTJ is a pretty good movie. It's just not as good as the first two. Ewoks and the recycles Death Star weapon bring it down, and the acting is some what off compared to Empire. However most people agree that the first 45 minutes, the Fleet Battle, and the Luke/Vader/Palpatine, stuff was great.

    If Lucas had went with the original ideas he had in the ROTJ draft it would have probably been a better movie, and even those drafts had two Death Stars. He should have included Corusant(had abbadon), lost the death stars, and included the wookies. Everything else could have remained the same in the movie. That way you have the Emperor and Vader dieing, the capital taken by the rebellion, and the home fleet being destroyed. Which makes for a lot more closure then what the original movie gave us.
  9. Artoo-Dion Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2009
    star 4
    It was around 1995 when I started reading the FidoNet Star Wars feeds on local BBSs that I realised how reviled ROTJ was in certain circles. It took me my surprise, I must admit.

    ROTJ was the first SW movie I taped off TV when we got a VCR in '86 (ROTJ premiered on TV here in '87), so I'm probably more familiar with it than with any other SW film. It's also the only OT film I remember being "new". It felt like a really cool new chapter back then, and I still can't fully shake that perception. Jabba, The Emperor, speeder bikes... It was just really fun, with some great payoffs.

    I see the flaws everyone talks about, and I get the criticisms on an intellectual level, but I can never fully get on-board. I was at just at the right age when ROTJ was released and so it'll always hold a special place for me.
  10. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    As others have noted, there really isn't an ?ROTJ-sucks? meme. It remains an immensely popular movie; criticism generally follows the ?(insert title) may not be Goldfinger, but it's still a Connery Bond movie? route.

    My first encounter with published ROTJ criticism came in '96/'97, when I saw an issue of SF Universe on the racks with the headline, ?50 Reasons Why We Hate Return of the Jedi.? As I was 13 at the time, said article went a long way in articulating vague, germinating misgivings.

    Later, around the time of TPM's release, I stumbled upon a series of essays by writer David Brin, wherein he made an emphasis on scrutinizing the Darth Vader redemption plot. Having already found the redemption arc off-putting?-due mainly to personal Daddy issues-?his words were nothing short of revelatory (a nerd variation of Russell's infamous ?Why I Am Not A Christian?). Strangely enough, I have yet to read another critique in this vein.
  11. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    Totally off-topic. I laughed through the first scene in Antichrist. Should I consider not looking in the mirror?
  12. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    Yeah, that thing! I don't think it was an article that was actually original to that magazine; rather, it was a list of 50 reasons that ROTJ was "bad" that was floating around in 1997. I saw a lot of publications carry it as an "original" article, only the content was always the same for them; the text "framing" the list tended to vary, and the entries were often rewritten but included the same content. Someone correct me if I am wrong. I saw it in a book once, too (some cheesy "guide to Star Wars" thing at Borders).
  13. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Mond: I'm fairly certain that the article in question was an SF Universe exclusive. It was the most controversial piece that Chris Gore and co. ever published; soonafter, it would flourish through the Internet and various books.

    That baby was a nerd hydrogen bomb. Up to that point, no one had seen ROTJ eviscerated in such a brutal fashion.
  14. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    And yeah, if anyone raped my childhood, it's the people who wrote that 50 Reasons Jedi Sucks article. Found it in college around 2004. Hadn't seen Jedi in years. It was never the same.
  15. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Here's the article:

    http://www.filmthreat.com/features/172/

    From a quick search, it seems to have been originally printed in Sci-Fi Universe in February 1997. I wouldn't take it too seriously, but it was definitely an accurate refection of the rather cynical 1990s pre-SE/PT attitude of SW fans. One small quote I found particularly ironic:

    Presumably the article was written before the January 31, 1997 release of the SE - that writer may have been in for a nasty shock, after which he probably found himself remembering 'Yub Nub' nostalgically & wishing for its return.

    Point #4 is also somewhat telling, simply because of the title - 4. It?s Just A Bunch of Muppets! - which is a quote from Clerks (1994). As mentioned by Dark Helmet above, that's probably when the more widespread backlash against Jedi began - Clerks was one of the earliest films to bring back SW as a Generation X pop culture touchstone, & its influence on the article is obvious.
  16. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    By the way, I use "meme" because at the time I was acquainted with a number of people who loved ROTJ, but mysteriously started hating it in 1997, as if they had been "infected" with an idea (as opposed to coming up with it on their own). I didn't mean to say that everyone who dislikes ROTJ is just parroting the meme (I'm not too crazy about VI myself), but I'm fairly certain some people were.

    Actually, there is so much "orthodox opinion" conformance in nerddom that it's actually kind of jarring when you encounter someone who deviates (for example, all the mundanes I know who hate ESB).
  17. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    I join the consensus that RETURN OF THE JEDI was my favorite of the films growing up and while It's been knocked down a few pegs over the years I still love it. I'm 19 so I was not around during the days where from what I understand was the time it got the most bashing, which to my understanding was from its release up to the re-release of the Trilogy into theaters. I think my first real view at the large amount of JEDI hate was when I found the "50 Reasons Return of the Jedi Sucks" article somebody did. (Just as thorough as it but largely ignored by the RLM crowd I've noticed with nobody having to argue against every point it present in order to prove that they can legitimately like RETURN OF THE JEDI). My basic understanding was that it was a polarizing film to the fanbase back when it was first released but over time gained acceptance, but still has its dislikers out there (as almost every film does)
  18. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2009
    star 4
    Looking through that article, there's a few more ironically prophetic lines:


    Like I said above, the writer was in for some very nasty surprises over the next couple of years. I'm guessing he died of a stroke when watching the 2004 ROTJ DVD & Hayden Christensen appeared at the end.
  19. Darth_Gamek Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2009
    star 6
    Best of the OT and my overall second favorite SW film IMO. :)
  20. henderson Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2005
    star 2
    Read the article and the negative ROTJ post here while watching ROTJ. You know what? I love ROTJ! I love all 6 of the movies! Are they perfect...no. Not even TESB.....yeah I said it. TESB is NOT perfect! And after all the little changes over the years, including the addition of Hayden and the "NOOOO", I still love it! I sometimes wonder why some of you people even watch Star Wars in the first place. Problems I since in you.
    JainaSoloYJK likes this.
  21. Darthman1992 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2011
    star 1
    =D=
  22. Darth_Gamek Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2009
    star 6
    AMEN!!! =D= =D= =D=
  23. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    I think the real question is, why do some people STILL watch Star Wars?
    But yeah, that's a post with common sense. =D=
  24. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Personally, I don't think there's anything abhorrent in critiquing a work of art; what is abhorrent--and quite common in SW fandom--is when folks are disparaged and ridiculed for embracing the work in question.

    I'm glad you enjoy the Saga as a whole. Heck, if I had younglings, it would be a tremendous pleasure to watch them cheer and giggle and squeal through every minute, from Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan's breakout to the Ewok jamboree.
  25. Mond Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 21, 2009
    star 3
    THIS.

    I can certainly see why someone might hate, say, TPM or ROTJ. But please, don't call me "stupid" because I enjoy them. That is ridiculous.
    JainaSoloYJK likes this.