I've held back for decades in actually writing my thoughts down -- in proper review fashion -- for the Original Trilogy, mostly because as everyone knows so very, very, very much as been written about these pioneering films. Though I have promised that -- in my stewardship of SciFiHistory.Net -- I probably do owe readers my full and unblemished thoughts on each of the films, I've not done so as of yet. Maybe I'll put that in the hopper and finally get to it this year. As you can imagine, I try to keep my plate full, so revisiting some older classics does get second fiddle. But I will persevere and see if I can get that done before Jedi's forty-first birthday rolls around.
Without going into any great depths on its anniversary, I will say that -- like so many films -- there were parts that I loved and parts that I thought inferior. (I do always keep a watchful eye open, you know.) Some of it felt inspired, and then there were a few developments that didn't quite resonate the way I think some of us -- me included -- expected; but because the sheer weight of what we liked was vastly heavier than some of Jedi's goofier ideas I think it's easy to forgive the little things that got in the way of making it a perfect adventure. Don't think I was disappointed with it, folks: it's just that -- you know me -- some things do get in the way ... and I've always admitted in this space to never having been a fan of the so-obvious Ewoks.
Despite knowing that this was the end of that Original Trilogy, I think many of us who were serious, serious fans of the franchise from its beginning honestly thought we'd see these characters again on the silver screen. Capitalism being what it is, I think we did suspect that 20th Century Fox would press George Lucas for more; and then maybe not right away but eventually he'd wear down and come back for perhaps not another full trilogy of Skywalker-specific stories but something reasonably compelling. How could you not, at this point? Of course, we were well aware that there was something in Lucas's master plan involving what became the Prequel Trilogy ... and, yet, there had to be more for Luke ... right? For Leia? For good ol' Han? Chewie? Lando? The rest of the gang?
Ah ... it would appear -- at least in big screen form -- their time in the limelight truly ended.
Although the Sequel Trilogy resurrected the characters briefly -- only to essentially kill each of them off -- I'm not ashamed to feeling a bit robbed. With a galaxy so vast and rich as Star Wars, I guess I was still wanting more for and from them. Anything, really. Even if it would've been a feature with only one or two of them. It would've been nice to experience them more in their prime, now that the Empire would've been out of the way just a bit. (Yes, yes, yes, I know about all of the books and comics, but -- as I said -- I live for the movies.)
It sucks getting old, kids.
In any event, here are a few snaps ...
At some point -- maybe even in the near future -- those enterprising creators at Lucasfilm will provide fans like me (and us) exactly what we hope for; and they'll go to the ends of the Earth to utilize the finest CGI technology to give us even grander adventures of this original crew. I know that word on the street is that Filoni and Favreau are contemplating doing just that -- trust me, I've heard a great deal of it from following a few vlogs. Still, I'm not as enthusiastic as younger podcasters are these days: Walt Disney is still Lucasfilm's overlord, and they're losing money hand over fist these days. At some point, Disney+ is likely going to be either cut off from the diminishing money trough or told to cut back to greater lengths. Then where will we be? No one wants to watch Star Wars on a Babylon 5 budget, but that may be all we're given.
So in the meantime take a moment today to reflect on the state of Star Wars by celebrating Return Of The Jedi. Think about what it meant to you. Whether you were there on this day back in 1983 or you came to it on television or home video, it's a fabulous experience wherein old-fashioned good vs. evil is finally played out in this galaxy. Anakin Skywalker found a bit of redemption. A family was reunited. A second Death Star was stopped in its tracks. And Ewoks were, largely, given all the credit.