CT The "RotJ sucks" meme

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

  1. JediofJade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5
    See, my understanding of ROTJ was never qualified with that information. It was the first SW film I saw, and then I watched the other two with a, "OMG, there's more?!" kind of attitude. I was a kid, and I was gobsmacked. After viewing the entire trilogy in chronological order, I never got the feeling that ROTJ was "rushed." It was the perfect conclusion, where the heroes win in every possible way - not without losses, but they win.

    Plus, there's lots of Luke angst, which I adore (sorry, Luke!). His redemption of his father was, IMO, perfectly paced and plotted. What a beautiful note on which to end the saga.

    Speaking of Vader's redemption, your information about George's plans conflicts a bit with what I understood from his comments that SW was always Anakin's story. I knew he had another trilogy planned, but I don't really see how their existence as an idea meant that Jedi was rushed, since, if we're to believe Lucas, the entire arc of the first two trilogies centered on Anakin - his rise, his fall, and his redemption (though I consider the OT to be about Luke, but, whatever). If you look at it that way, then ROTJ ends exactly as it should have.
  2. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    It's funny: My reaction to the OT is antithetical to the one I had to the Harry Potter franchise.

    ?Only three movies to tell THAT story! C'mon!?

    vs.

    ?C'mon! It took eight bloody movies to tell THAT story!?


    I dunno. If Anakin always was intended to be the focal point of the narrative, I would imagine that he'd have a more dynamic presence in ROTJ. All he really does is stand around and genuflect to Palpatine.

    ROTJ is very much Luke's story. Not a terribly interesting one, IMO, but still...
  3. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Star Wars wasn't always about Anakin's rise & fall, as GL claims. That was spin conjured up in the 1990s to sell the PT. Initially the twelve part vision was referred to officially as 'The Adventures Of Luke Skywalker'.

    That was a much vaguer vision, however. When GL decided that the prequels would comprise their own trilogy and decided that there would be another trilogy after the current one, the 'Saga' would be a 'trilogy of trilogies' - separate, but connected. The OT was about Luke, the PT (as envisioned c1980) would have been focused somewhat more on Obi-Wan, the ST would have most likely followed another, unknown character altogether - perhaps someone originally intended to debut in ROTJ or even the PT somehow.

    Of course, this all kept changing. The Sequel Trilogy began being described as following the heroes of the OT when they were much older, then it was then abandoned altogether. The vision of the PT became more heavily focused on Anakin (yes, I know his story was central to it, but it's likely that it would have been told through Obi-Wan's eyes).

    What was once a 12-part serial had become a trilogy of trilogies, then two trilogies, then GL wanted a single six-part narrative, hence the constant tweaks to the OT, right up to the notorious "NOOOOO!!!" on the ROTJ Blu-Ray. The continuing shift in focus even occurred while the PT itself was being made - Anakin is more of a supporting character in TPM while Obi-Wan barely gets a look-in, then the story is split somewhat evenly between Anakin & Obi-Wan in AOTC (although leaning towards Anakin), then Anakin is clearly the focus of ROTS.

    It's not a criticism of GL, far from it, but his claims in recent years that the entire SW Saga was really 'The Tragedy Of Darth Vader' is complete hogwash. It might be now, but it wasn't back in the 1970s & 1980s. After all, Darth Vader wasn't originally Luke's father anyway...
  4. JediofJade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5
    There are some fanboys though that are mighty convinced otherwise. I've argued about it several times, since I choose to see the OT as being all about Luke (which it is. Harrumph.)

    I still don't see it as being rushed, though. I have to say, from where I'm standing, these complaints largely pile up to, "I wanted ROTJ to not be anything at all like Episode IV. I wanted it to be like ESB, except not because I wanted it darker and with less Carrie Fisher."

    I am exaggerating, of course, but I'm still scratching my head a bit. ROTJ is, IMO, quintessential Star Wars.
  5. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Actually, I would have preferred more Carrie Fisher.* One of my other prevailing critiques of ROTJ is the consigning of Leia to the periphery of the story. If she's a Skywalker, then her place is with her monumentally screwed-up family!

    *Provided she could deliver a decent performance--which is doubtful, as only Kershner managed that feat.
  6. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Then I take it that twelve-part vision didn't involve prequels?

    As soon as TESB was labeled Episode V and ANH was retroactively labeled Episode IV, it was clear that some parts of this saga weren't going to be about Luke's adventures.
  7. JediofJade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5

    See, that's part of why I like ROTJ so much. We get to see Luke and Leia working together (the speeder bike chase) - just the two of them, takin' down the Imps, and doing it with style. :p In the other two films, it was all about the trio - Han, Luke, and Leia - bouncing off of each other, but ROTJ is really the only movie that gives us some bona fide (non-grody) Luke/Leia material (excepting the end of ESB, when Leia rescues Luke in the Falcon).
  8. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    From all accounts, the 12 part serial would most likely have had one film about the adventures of a young Ben Kenobi, and possibly another set around the formation of the Republic and the Jedi Order.

    But yeah, as soon as the episode numbers were attached to ESB and ANH, that changed - the prequel trilogy was established (largely due to the backstory taking on a new dimension with the creation of Father Vader). It was at this time that the 12 part serial became the nine-part Saga.
    GL claims that the other three episodes were 'tangential' to the story - at the time, he mentioned a film about Wookiees and one about droids. The other was probably the one about the formation of the Republic.

    It's very confusing, especially considering that the overall story of the 12 part serial wouldn't have been the same as the 9 part Saga - most likely 8 of the 12 episodes would have been following Luke & co.
  9. Padmes_love_slave24 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2003
    star 2
    I have ZERO problem with ROTJ and frankly I don't give any thoughts to the so called "criticisms" of the movie a second thought. First off Star Wars became so a part of pop culture it has become hard to differentiate people who enjoyed the movies just "because" and real fans who don't give a dam about the popularity of the films and enjoy them regardless of what others think. Really when it all boils down to it this movie is about the redemption of Darth Vader(Anakin) and Lukes journey to become a jedi. The scenes with the rebellion are secondary to the main plot and focus of the film, I would say one hour into the movie the film is all about the throne room scenes, the battle on endor with the ewoks on ground and the attack on the second death star are wonderful and entertaining, but we all know if the Emperor succeeds it is all for nothing. It is baffling to me that some people don't understand that the reason the imperials lost to the ewoks is because of one thing and one thing only ARROGANCE, arrogance that came from the Emperor himself, Luke said himself that he was overconfident, and I don't care if the ewoks are indigenous species that don't appear to be to menacing you shouldn't take for granted that you don't know their land and you are fighting in a land that you are completely not familiar with and anything can happen in the heat of battle. I always considered the Star Wars movies as a kid about the story of the Skywalkers even while watching ANH I could catch that, I am sorry some people wanted it to be different than what it is, if you feel that way you should reevaluate your feelings on why you watch these movies in the first place.......
  10. JediofJade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5
    ITA, slave. I don't care if ROTJ had an hour-long sequence of Han doing a hoe-down with Ackbar, the scenes on the Death Star with Luke, Vader, and the Emperor are simply the best in the entire saga and make ROTJ the best film (IMO)- it just so happens that everything else in the movie is awesome, too.

    You bring up a good point, too, about the Emperor's arrogance. Luke said it plainly: "Your overconfidence is your weakness." Which is a theme repeated somewhat more subtly in the Emperor and Vader's attempts to turn Luke to the Dark Side - it was obvious that Palpatine, despite understanding how powerful in the Force Luke was, thought that turning Luke would be a simple matter, and if he didn't turn, then killing him would be even easier (which, it kind almost was, but I contend that if Luke hadn't been so focused on his father then Palpatine's lightning attack wouldn't have been nearly so successful). This farmboy with a few months of training under his belt couldn't possibly defeat the Dark Side. And, oh, how wrong he was.

    WRT to the Empire's attitude toward Endor, it's always struck me as kind of funny that such arrogance continues to exist IRL, since we have several examples in recent history showing that an indigenous people's familiarity with terrain can, practically by itself, overcome an invading army's far superior numbers and more advanced war technology.

    Yet, in ROTJ, such a reality is considered far-fetched because the indigenous people in this case are short and furry. Le sigh.
  11. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    You can't assume that everyone who regards ROTJ as the least of the OT do so solely because of the Ewoks - personally, my main gripe is with Harrison Ford's lazy, over-it-all performance. Hating on the Ewoks tended to come up in hindsight during the 1990s, when the fans of the OT had grown up and forgotten how much they'd enjoyed the little critters when they were kids.

    I always regarded ROTJ as the least of the three, even as a kid - it just didn't have the same effort put into it that the previous two had when it came to the writing, and when a film is flawed at that stage, nothing can fix the flaws. As a kid, I couldn't explain why, but its inferiority came through in its impact on me. Even my parents thought thought it was "nowhere near as good as the other two". My dad was particularly disappointed with ROTJ - he was pleasantly blown away when the chore of taking his two boys to see a double feature of SW & ESB in 1982 turned out to be such an enjoyable experience (he always said ESB was terrific and meant it).

    My own opinion is that GL's desire to wind up this ongoing nightmare that was ruining his life led to ROTJ being a bit rushed, with certain plot elements being changed and/or brought forward simply because the future of the SW franchise was uncertain and would have to be postponed regardless - Leia becoming "the Other" mentioned by Yoda in ESB, and Luke's sister to boot, is the most glaring example. No loose ends, and the ongoing love triangle was resolved.
    It's also quite possible the Emperor wasn't originally intended to appear in ROTJ and meet his end, although the statements that suggest he wasn't are unclear.

    Don't get me wrong - I loved ROTJ, and still do, just not as much as SW & ESB. Saying it was the 'worst' of the OT is a bit rough, it just came third in a race of three. One had to.
  12. JediofJade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5


    I don't assume that. I was responding to the previous poster's comments about the people who do complain about the Ewoks - of which there are many, and it was one of the main gripes listed at the beginning of this thread.

    Maybe the perceived problems with Ford and Fisher's lackluster acting don't bother me because I don't see this film as being about them. I like their acting just fine, especially since the focus, for me, is always on Luke and the far more thematically important drama going on with him and his growth into a Jedi.
  13. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    I know there were other circumstances at the time that may have contributed to poor performances from both Fisher and Ford, but overall, I agree that it didn't bother me all that much. In terms of a "dumbed down" Han, I always interpreted that as his character arc coming full circle. This was a character that actually cared about his friends and the cause he was fighting for - he's no longer the cynical space pirate we met back in ANH. I know that may have bothered some people and it could explain some of the animosity towards the film itself, but it is what it is. It works for me.

    Overall, I guess I fall into the minority as I actually enjoy ROTJ and at one point, considered it my favorite film out of the bunch. It was constantly jockeying for the number one spot alongside ESB and depending on my mood at the time, won out on more than one occasion. I have no issues with the Ewoks or how they overcame the more technologically advanced Empire. The idea of the little guy coming out on top worked for me and it was a satisfying conclusion to Luke's story.
  14. JediofJade Force Ghost

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    Aug 25, 1999
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    Well put, Solo. I agree completely with your comments in regard to Han - and SW is, if nothing else, all about the underdog.
  15. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    I don't have a problem with the character as written, it certainly wasn't 'dumbed-down' - I just think it's fairly obvious that the actor was phoning most of his performance in and didn't want to be there. The fact that he's watchable at all is testament to Harrison Ford's talent & presence.

    Carrie Fisher was fine as Leia, not sure why she was brought up (although yes, at the time she had loads of issues).
  16. JediofJade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5
    I think someone a few pages back mentioned her as well. I don't see the problem. I also don't see the problem with Ford's acting. It seems pretty much the same the whole way through the trilogy (although he does seem to have a slightly more energetic presence in ANH, but then again, everyone had a more energetic presence in ANH).

  17. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 5
    I think I actually prefer the mellowed out leader Han of ROTJ over the more hyper, bad boy version of the first two films. The loud quip exchanging with Leia can seem a bit gratingly forced at times, but with ROTJ I really dig the slightly more subtle brand of Han's attitude and how it was applied to situations in a manner that didn't feel limited to showing off for Leia. "I hate long waits," "Fly casually," and Han flooding 3PO with requests are some of the character's best moments.

    Leia might suffer a bit from having a less engaging role in Jedi than in the previous films, but performance-wise Fisher's most cringe-worthy line deliveries are found in the first film.

    As for ROTJ sucking, no, but then again maybe I'm just biased. ROTJ was always my favorite as a kid, and thus even though some aspects of the plot seem problematic these days, usually I can't help but view it through a nostalgic lens. ANH kind of came across as too dated, and ESB lacked the best action spectacle moments of Jedi. So yeah, for many years growing up, and sometimes today, to me Star Wars was and is Return of the Jedi.
  18. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    :oops: To each their own, I guess. That's got to be the only scene in the saga where I think to myself every time "Aawwwghh.. who the hell wrote this?"
  19. JediofJade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 1999
    star 5
    Really? I thought it was adorable. Anytime Han is irritated, it's adorable. Being irritated at Threepio is just icing on the cake.
  20. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    Haha, totally agree with that!

    Like I said, I don't mind his character at all in ROTJ - in fact, I enjoy that whole slow section between Jabba's Palace and the start of the Battle of Endor where it's nothing but character development. I absolutely love these characters and anytime we get to see them interacting together is pure gold.

    As for the term "dumbed-down," I wasn't placing blame on anyone in particular, it was just a generalization since that's one of the things I keep hearing over and over again when someone says they don't like the film.
  21. Jedi_Ford_Prefect Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2003
    star 4
    For me, the only moment like that is in ESB, the whole "laser brain" bit. For years, I thought of THAT as "the poorly written SW movie".
  22. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    The writing is absolutely abysmal in that scene, but Kershner and the actors just barely make it work.

    You know what ROTJ passage really rankles me? The Rebel briefing scene, where Han tells Lando, "Good luck! You're guuunnnnna need it!" I deplore everything about it. The hunky-dory, John Wayne-ish tone of Harrison Ford's voice. The disgusted glare of Carrie Fisher (Geez, Han's only been free for a day and already she can't stand him!) The way it defuses any scintilla of dramatic tension.

    I just...hate it. :mad:
  23. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Are you serious? Apart from a few corny lines to make it sound a bit more sci-fi ("I don't know where you get your delusions, laser brain", "Laugh it up fuzzball", "scruffy looking nerf-herder"), it's a great scene. Han's cocky attitude - "I think you just can't bear to let a gorgeous guy like me out of your sight" etc - is 100% note perfect, then Leia smacks him down good & proper by kissing Luke, followed by Han barely managing to keep himself together as his entire persona of irresistible space pirate disintegrates before his very eyes. It all works brilliantly. Even Chewie's mumbling at the end adds to it as if it was an appropriately dry remark.
    It's old-school romantic comedy, set in the medical wing of Echo Base.

    No arguments there, but the following scene with Han granting Lando the use of the Falcon is even worse. A big fat zero on all levels. The total lack of connection between the two makes it look as if each actor's shots were shot separately, with a script girl reading the other's lines off camera. Rotten writing, rotten directing, rotten acting, even rotten editing (and being an editor, I don't make that call lightly). Just awful.
  24. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    I dunno, but the ?Would it help if I got out and pushed??/ ?It might!? exchange would be at home in any Capra, Hawks or Lubitsch classic.

    Once and a while, there'll be a SW passage that makes me forget I'm watching a SW movie.
  25. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    ROTJ is kind of like TPM and AOTC: good, but could have been so much better. In fact, it's even more true in case of ROTJ since it's got almost the same team that created the previous two masterpieces and yet almost everyone (except John Williams and Mark Hamill and, of course, ILM) dropped the ball. I guess they got tired of the franchise and wanted to wrap it up as neatly as they could.