Three Reasons Why Return of the Jedi is My Favorite Star Wars Film

Three Reasons Why Return of the Jedi is My Favorite Star Wars Film

Scott Murray's Star Wars Blog

When I talk to Star Wars fans about their favorite film in the saga, I think it’s safe to say that The Empire Strikes Back the most popular pick. I like Empire as well. I am a big fan of the Battle of Hoth, Yoda’s first trilogy appearance, the asteroid field and of course, Lando. However, Return of the Jedi is my favorite. Here are three reasons why:

I remember this experience the best
My mom took me to see Star Wars in 1977 and I don’t remember the experience. However, she said I was running up and down the aisle before the movie started, and when the opening space battle hit the screen…I froze.

I vaguely remember going to see The Empire Strikes Back.

I was about 10 years old when Return of the Jedi came out in 1983. I was already an avid collector of toys, shirts and anything that had Star Wars on it (some things never change), and I couldn’t wait to see this film. My little kid brain couldn’t wait to see how the rebellion would defeat this empire once and for all. I struggled to predict a way Luke would fight and possibly even kill his father in order for victory to be achieved. I had hopes that maybe he could turn him back to the good side, yet I had doubts that it was possible.

I remember standing in a line that stretched into the parking lot in Fort Worth, Texas to see the movie. All of those people waited with the same anticipation and questions that I had.

It involves my favorite scene
Most people know that Luke Skywalker is my favorite character. He was my childhood hero. I was so ready for him to become a badass Jedi, so you can imagine my excitement when he first appears in Jabba’s palace – once as a hologram proclaiming his Jedi status, and physically walking into the palace in a cloak.

Nonetheless, he found himself walking the plank that hovered over the Sarlacc Pit. He lost his blue lightsaber in the last movie, he and his friends had no weapons and he was surrounded by desert! My fanboy head couldn’t figure out a way out of this mess!

Then suddenly, Luke flips up into the air, R2-D2 launches a new lightsaber, Luke catches it and it lights up GREEN. Holy crap! My fanboy head might as well have exploded right there as my force-powered hero was taking on everyone.

Luke saber

It’s this scene, along with Luke’s rise as a Jedi Knight that make GREEN my favorite lightsaber color.

It was a satisfying conclusion
As I said, I had so many questions going in and I was happy with the answers I got. This includes the Ewoks. I continue to be an Ewok fan and love their role in defeating the Empire.

ewok speeder

Yep. This scene still makes me laugh.

I was so wanting Luke to turn his father back. Each time the Emperor taunted him, he might have felt the anger in me as well. I loved the lightsaber duel, to this day, I still feel a similar rush of emotion hit me when Vader threatens to turn Leia to the dark side and Luke bursts out of hiding to end the fight. I just wish he hadn’t thrown his lightsaber away!
Finally, I loved the moment (without the “Nooooooooooooooo!”) when Vader saved his son by throwing the Emperor over the ledge.

Being a big Luke Skywalker fan, it was awesome to see him fulfill his destiny of becoming a mature adult, a powerful Jedi and a loving redeemer.

When I rank the movies, there’s always a little shuffling at times. However, Return of the Jedi has always been on top of my list.

Contact Scott at or on Twitter @MrScottMurray.

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1 Comment

  1. Melinda
    June 24, 2015 at 08:41 Reply

    Scott, I am right there with you! “Return of the Jedi” is my FAVORITE Star Wars film, too! 🙂 For many of the same reasons you cited…

    1) Luke is my favorite character, and ROTJ shows his maturity and growth — and that he finally has become a full-fledged Jedi;

    2) It contains my favorite scene from the Saga — when Luke stands up to the Emperor, tosses aside his lightsaber, and proclaims he is a Jedi, “like my father before me.”‘ Thus, making it perfectly clear he is not going to succumb to the evils of Palpatine’s mechanizations;

    3) I love the Ewoks, and what they represent. Sure, George Lucas may have hoped they would be Wookiees, but in retrospect, the Ewoks send a better message — that size matters not; don’t judge a book by its cover. Obi-Wan Kenobi was so right when he said, “Your eyes can deceive you.” Indeed. 🙂

    4) Despite all the odds against you — yet again — it is possible to emerge victorious. The important factor is — never give up!

    5) I may have some reservations about Darth Vader’s/Anakin’s ONE unselfish act leading to redemption, but I DO like the fact that Anakin returned to the Light Side, that he found his true self despite all the evil that once ruled his heart. I’m a sap for happy endings, but I do like them. 😉

    6) There is hope — always. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this very fine movie. 🙂

    MTFBWY 🙂

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