Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by Feelicks, Feb 19, 2013.
This, I do just outright disagree with.
Listen, I love the Ewoks. I really do. They're hilarious. But they don't fit in Return of the Jedi at all.
ROTJ is supposed be the big finale. The epic conclusion to the entire saga. And for the most part, it is... Until the Ewoks. If they were just in the film for a few scenes, like an odd little detour to inject some humor into the film, it would have been fine. But no... The Ewoks dominate the Endor story from the moment they come on screen. And they just don't fit, regardless of how funny they are.
The last stand of the Stormtroopers, "palpatines best troops", was getting hit with rocks and sticks by a bunch of teddy bears. I don't care how you try to rationalize it, saying how the arrows hit between the plates of armor, its still stupid, and its still way, way to silly for the epic ending of a 6 part space opera.
I don't think ROTJ is a bad film. Far from it; many of its scenes are some of my favorite moments of the entire saga. But it does have the largest flaws of the OT, easily.
I agree with you. That's just what I've heard said.
You wish. The Gungans are much more believable warriors/aliens/threat than Ewoks.
I like Ewoks but I agree.
Here are the classic, original 50 reasons...
Uh, no the Gungans are stupid cartoon characters.
Uh, no. They weren't.
Why couldn't Luke be training with Yoda during ESB and ROTJ they could of had the Yoda death scene right at the start. I don't think we had to know who Lukes sister was even if there were no more movies Leia being Lukes sister is just too convenient. We would of known about Lukes sisters fate in ROTS anyways. They should of used wookies instead of ewoks, and show how the alliance was getting more powerful so we can understand why the emperors death meant so much. Did the movie really have to conclude everything it could of just shown that things are about to turn around
I thonk it's because the material feels less weighty after ESB and there was no way you were topping the previous film. Everything feels very light-hearted even when it's supposed to feel dramatic it doesn't. These traits do not necessarily make it a bad film--it's just on the whole its light-heartedness made it feel as ifnothing was truly at stake. You knew the good guys were winning this one and the Ewoks were the comic relief as well as 3P0 and Chewie, to an extent.
Also since the special editions I actually feel embarrassment while watching the Jedi Rocks scene. Sure, the original band scene was lame, but it never felt childish. You just always assumed that Jabba had crap taste in music.
The Ewoks are not the worst part of ROTJ, imo. In fact, they're not that bad...in theory. It's the comical way in which they dispose of the stormtroopers that's horrible. If they'd been a bit more fierce and bloodthirsty (instead of just running around giggling), they would have been more interesting and not just "cute."
Come to think of it, there's almost nothing that redeems Jedi; even Yoda's death is a lackluster scene. The Jabba sequence isn't just overly lengthy; Luke's plan simply doesn't make any sense. The Vader-Luke duel, which I used to think was the greatest SW sequence of all, now strikes me as ridiculous. Between Vader's nonsensical ramblings ("Now his failure is complete") and the Emperor cackling like a caricature of a bad guy, it's like a parody of the elegant duels in ANH and ESB.
Of course, Death Star Redux is pretty lame, and the happy-go-lucky ending just seems too forced. I personally would have preferred to see Gary Kurtz's proposed ending (even if it never did make it to the storyboarding stage), but if Jedi did have to have a happy ending, we didn't need to see an Ewok party (complete with one of them drumming on stormtroopers' helmets). ANH was a happy ending that worked because the destruction of the Death Star was followed by a quick, genuine scene between the lead actors, and then the film closed with that elegant ceremony (and John Williams' brilliant score taking the place of dialogue). As with so many aspects of the film, the end of Jedi prefers to force-feed us emotions, rather than showing us interesting characters and inviting us to relate to their emotions.
Which leads me to what I think is the movie's biggest flaw, namely the character development (or lack thereof). Although Mark put in an excellent performance, you'd be hard-pressed to draw parallels between the Leia and Han of the first two movies and the wooden props we see in Jedi. One of the great aspects of ESB was the way it developed Han and Leia; they were still recognizable, but we saw new aspects of their personalities. Jedi takes the reverse tactic, draining them of their individuality. As with the droids, they seem as if they're there just because they have to be. And with such little to work off of, the actors turned in utterly lifeless performances. Even Yoda has transformed from the mystical sage that everyone wants to follow to a dreary character who has, at best, one good line ("When 900 years old you age, look as good, you will not...hmm?").
So much of Jedi is just wrapping up loose ends, and because so many of the scenes are "forced," the characters aren't given room to breathe. Let's see, we've gotta rescue Han, Luke has to return to Dagobah, the Emperor has to be defeated, etc. In Empire, there aren't quite as many "big" scenes, and so we get to know the characters more intimately. The film is, to a large degree, more about the characters than the plot. In Jedi, the characters are used as props to advance a somewhat wooden plot...and the movie suffers for it.
The original trilogy does place the blame on Obiwan, including Obi blaming himself for failing Anakin. That line makes perfect sense.
Although I do agree that Jedi has a "rushed" feel in the way the plot is resolved. I still think it's a pretty strong movie though.
Perhaps "nonsensical" wasn't the right word. I get the point of the line, but it's horribly worded. And Jones' delivery doesn't do it any favors (how melodramatic can you get?). Yes, I know SW dialogue is famously (and deliciously) cheesy, but that line just sounds so forced compared to the wonderful dialogue we hear in the ESB duel. ("Obi-Wan has taught you well," "But you are not a Jedi yet," etc.)
I guess I just don't see it. The VAder/Luke scenes are my favorite of the movie
I didn't get that sense about Han and Leia at all. Han had just been given back his life and the woman he loved was the one that helped it happen which made the bond between them stronger in a non-verbal way. Like when she readies her blaster for the stormtrooper and Han just gives her this smile and says, "I love you." I think it hinted at their closer connection in that scene. I don't think ROTJ was as tightly focused as the original and it focused too much on everyone's moments within the movie. The red herring that was Lando was all about, "Will he die and destroy the Falcon or not?" Of course we already knew the answer, because this was a sugary happy film. No bad could happen except to the bad guys and the no-names.
There are classic reasons why ROTJ is the weakest OT film?
Actually, I personally feel that ROTJ is the weakest of both the OT and the PT films. But I don't believe it is a terrible film. It still has great action, the conclusion of Anakin/Vader's story arc gave it a great emotional punch, and Mark Hamill's performance managed to keep it afloat.
All the prequels are weaker films by far.
For me, ROTJ is my second least favorite because it's so tonally schizophrenic and bipolar as a film. The stuff with the Jedi, Sith, Luke, Palpatine, Vader, Obi-Wan, and Yoda is gold. It's a wonderful build-up that acts as a great conclusion to the Saga and I feel really invested in all the characters' fates. A lot of the themes and struggles crescendo at this point and while it's not perfect (nothing is), I do find it to be a fitting conclusion that says a lot about the redemptive power of love and letting go of fear.
The rest of the film, though, is rather...well...meh (for me at least -- lots of people love it, like my little brother).
To start with, the "rescuing Han" subplot is very poorly integrated into the narrative and seems utterly useless. I think it should have been scrapped from the get-go because it's nonsensical -- the Rebellion paid Han in ANH, so why is he still indebted to Jabba the Hutt?
Then, there's the destruction of the Second Death Star. It's not that bad, it's just that it (as a plot) renders the Rebellion kind of meaningless -- if the destruction of the first Death Star didn't free the galaxy, then why would the second one's destruction achieve this effect? The only difference seems to be Palpatine, but considering it was a trap and he had plenty of time to escape, it largely comes down to Anakin's decision to save his son that saves the galaxy, rather than any action on the Rebellion's part. It seems like a rather marginalized story, just there to provide the space battles.
Then, there's the unexplored relationship between Han and Lando, which I felt would have been a really fun and tense set up (especially if Han was separated from Leia). And why, oh why, is Han leading the mission on Endor? Leia has more experience with the Rebellion, likely received at least some military training as a princess, and has seniority. Oh yeah, and Han is a smuggler for goodness' sake!
Then there's the Ewoks -- I like the idea in theory, but it's played in a rather...cutesy manner (just listen to the music for example) that clashes horrifically with Luke's struggle against the Dark Side.
For me, I am more invested in Luke's character in ROTJ (which is why I prefer it a tad over ANH) and it has some complexity (compared to the fairytale-like atmosphere of the original film), but I feel like Lucas was trying to meld ANH and ESB together and I don't feel he was entirely successful. Just my opinion, of course.
Him still being indebted is a big plot point in Empire Strikes Back :
"If I don't pay off Jabba the Hutt I'm a dead man."
"A death mark's not an easy thing to live with."
Why- possibly because Marvel made a point of depriving him of the money early on (via pirates).
In fairness to Lucas, as great a plot point as the carbonite freezing was in ESB (and as much as it contributed to the incredible emotional finale of that film), I think he also wrote himself into a corner with it. It couldn't be ignored in Jedi, and it would be incredibly difficult to seamlessly integrate it with the rest of the film (as we saw).
I think the main reason it doesn't work in the film as released is because it seems so inconsequential compared to the goal of saving the galaxy by destroying Death Star II. (It also goes on too long and Luke's plan doesn't make much sense, but that's another story.)
Perhaps it would have worked better if it had been, say, cross-cut with scenes of Luke receiving further training on Dagobah (and then perhaps leaving to rendezvous with leaders of the Rebellion to organize the assault on the Death Star). The best SW sequences tend to be those that constantly cut between different stories. Focusing on the dreary Jabba scenes for the first 45 minutes of the film that follows ESB's cliffhangers was not a good decision, imo.
Ewoks. Worse than Gungans.
I disagree. Ewoks and Gungans are equally awful until Gungans begin talking. Then Ewoks become kind of cool. If there's one thing OT fans can be thankful to the PT for, it's that they definitely upped Jedi's "not so bad" factor.
Mostly Ewoks+Death Star again, as a independent movie it's the weakest.
However, if we view it as a trilogy, EP VI is quite strong, the consequences of the "bomb" Vader dropped in the end of EP V were seen in EP VI. It's no longer some morally black and white conflicts. Obi Wan and Yoda were no longer perfect, they showed they are stubborn at some point and ignored humans' emotion, you can see the Emperor wanted Luke to do exactly what Obi Wand and Yoda wanted Luke to do. We can see why did the old Jedi fail at that time. Luke's goal totally changed, from simply take down evil became make a hard choice between the hope of his father and the "greater good", after so much struggle and nearly fall to the Dark Side, he chose to believe there was still good in Vader and he was right. Most of the Luke and Vader's character development took place in EP VI.
If you watch the PT first then watch EP VI again you will be more touched since the PT did a good job to show the old Jedi's stubbornness and Anakin's actions mirrored Luke while he didn't make the right choice.
Of course, one flaw is Leia was keeping out of this conflict, completely, that made her character development the weakest among the three, actually worse than Padme.
No, Gungans have their technology like the barrier and still lost, Ewoks got some stone age level of weapon and beat the imperials.
I realize that it was still an issue in ESB, but it shouldn't have been. Where did the money Han got from the Rebellion go? He indicates in ANH that this will be enough to pay off Jabba, but it's not mentioned again. And then consider how Leia says that he's important to them and they need him -- well couldn't the Rebellion pay off his debt in exchange for his service? It's utterly nonsensical.