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.
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.
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.
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