Return of the Jedi (1983)

Return of the Jedi (1983), directed by Richard Marquand.

The first act is rescuing Han Solo (that's a plan?), then we catch up with Yoda and it's off to the forest moon. The final third proceeds on three tracks: a exciting space battle, comical Ewok combat, and the overblown confrontation between Luke, Vader, and the Emperor.

Disappointment begins early when Vader arrives at Death Star II and says "I'm here to put you back on schedule." Roustabout foreman, taking names and inspecting schedules; that's a come down.

It's has good aspects, particularly in the action scenes, and Carrie Fisher provides fan service with her bondage bikini. It's really Darth Vader's story: he's the only character showing any development. Lucas liked this part so much he made three more movies about it.

Of course, once the pieces are all on the board and the mythology established, fans just want to see it keep going, more of the same. It provides that, but overall is a let down after the previous film:

The customary revisions serve to spiff up some special effects, modify the mythology, and add clutter to the images. We get new imperial scenes of celebration at the end and they replace (thank you!) the original Ewok "yip-yip" song.

Maybe it was new gear in the theater, but I noticed a big jump in surround sound effects when I first saw this. During the cycle chase through the forest you could hear individual branches and leaves rushing by. That was new!

Available on Blu-ray.