This page contains unmarked spoilers. You Have Been Warned!
his home planet of Tatooine in
an attempt to rescue his
friend Han Solo from the
clutches of the vile gangster
Jabba the Hutt.
Little does Luke know that the
GALACTIC EMPIRE has secretly
begun construction on a new
armored space station even
more powerful than the first
dreaded Death Star.
When completed, this ultimate
weapon will spell certain doom
for the small band of rebels
struggling to restore freedom
to the galaxy...
Return of the Jedi provides examples of:
- 2-D Space: During the space portion of the Battle of Endor, all of the participants operate under this principle. The Death Star, along with the Rebel and Imperial fleets, are arrayed on a narrow plane parallel to the surface of the moon of Endor. Nobody appears to consider the possibility of moving in any direction other than towards the Death Star or the Imperial fleet formation. Even lateral movement away from the two Imperial obstacles is seemingly unfathomable. Also, During landing at Endor, Luke's party and the stormtroopers ignored that there is a sky right above them, and it nearly ends disastrously for Luke's party.
- Acting Unnatural: During the approach to Endor in a stolen Imperial shuttle with a Star Destroyer watching their every move, Han tells Chewbacca: "I don't know... fly casual."
- Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene:
- Luke and Leia's conversation about their mother where Luke reveals to her that they're brother and sister, and Vader is their father.
- Vader and Luke's verbal duel on Endor. In that scene, Luke shows just how much he has matured in how he can fight with logic and rhetoric against his father with as much skill as with his lightsaber to the point that Vader now has to fend off Luke's mind games.
- Luke being brought before the Emperor is this up until Luke's rage at the Rebellion falling apart in the battle boils over and he draws his saber on the Emperor.
- Vader's funeral pyre at the end, establishing a sense of closure on Luke and his feelings towards his father before going on to the big celebration scene.
- Aerial Canyon Chase: Flying into the Death Star, seeing as the Millennium Falcon is a rather skinny ship despite its width, whereas most Imperial fighters are as wide as they are tall.
- Alas, Poor Villain:
- Vader's Redemption Equals Death scene at the end.
- The Rancor's death, with its handler weeping over its body. It even whimpers pitifully as it dies. The novelization expands on this, with Luke realizing that not only is the Rancor just an animal following its instincts, but that it's been malnourished, mistreated, and abused just so it will be more vicious when Jabba decides to feed people to it for entertainment. Luke rationalizes that the best way to deal with it would be to give it the means to put itself out of its misery, but that the beast can't comprehend that level of mercy, so Luke has to kill it.
- The TIE Interceptor pilot that was following the Millennium Falcon as it flees the destruction of the death star. Normally, the TIE Interceptor is fast enough in sublight to easily overtake the Falcon, but with no room to maneuver (and likely no plans loaded into the navigation), the poor pilot has no choice but to follow the much slower YT-1300 out of the Death Star... he doesn't make it.
- All There in the Manual: Even though the names Ewoks and Palpatine are widely known, they are never uttered once in this movie. They are only known through merchandising and Expanded Universe literature. Palpatine's name is first mentioned in the novelization of A New Hope and would at least get his name mentioned in the movies once the prequels came out.
- And I Must Scream: In the novelization, Han describes the carbon freezing as "not just sleeping, but a big wide awake nothing."
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: When the Emperor dies (including the Nations of the World Montage in the Special Edition).
- And Your Little Dog, Too!:Vader: If you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps she will.
- Animal Motifs: The director's commentary mentions that the window in Palpatine's room on the Death Star is designed to resemble a spider's web, because the Emperor is the plotter at the center.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Yoda, and then Anakin, become one with the Force.
- Assurance Backfire: When Han Solo prepares to ambush a group of Stormtroopers on the forest moon, he tells Luke and Leia "Relax, it's me." They roll their eyes, telling the viewers succinctly that that's exactly what they're worried about.
- The Atoner: Lando Carlissian, after his deceptiveness led to Han being imprisoned in frozen carbonite, lends his aid on Tattooine as well as leading the Rebel fleet.
- Attack Pattern Alpha: All over the place during the Battle of Endor.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Han and Leia at the end of the film.
- Batman Gambit: Emperor Palpatine. So the Rebel Alliance was willing to risk everything to destroy the first Death Star? Good...
- Because Destiny Says So:
- Obi-Wan tells Luke he must face Vader again because they are fated to duel.
- Palpatine tells Luke it is his destiny to join the Dark Side.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Ewoks. Little teddy bear-like aliens who beat Imperial troops to death with clubs and blow up AT-STs with primitive traps made from ropes and logs.
- Big Bad: Emperor Palpatine oversees the construction of the second Death Star and sets up a trap to eliminate the entire Rebel Alliance. The Emperor also plays off Luke's emotions and desires to try and turn him to the Dark Side.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: Two thirds of the finale are the rebels on Endor trying to destroy the shield around the death star, and the rebel fleet in space trying to last against the imperial fleet until that shield goes down.
- Big Damn Heroes: Ironically, the Ewoks were these when the Rebels were ambushed by Imperial forces by the shield generator.
- Big "NEVER!": Luke, when Vader threatens to turn Leia to the Dark Side instead of him.
- Big "NO!": The new Blu-Ray edition of the film adds a "No...NO!" (supposedly as a retroactive callback to Revenge of the Sith) when Vader throws Palpatine to his death.
- Bilingual Bonus: Nien Nunb, Lando's co-pilot, speaks a Kenyan dialect called Haya. The lines were delivered by Kipsang Rotich, a Kenyan student living in the US, and are actually correct Hayan translations of the English text.
- Bond Villain Stupidity:
- Jabba's love of theatrics backfires with both the Rancor pit and the Sarlacc. In the Rancor's case, the concept is sound but the switch that controls the gate was left within reach of its victims. With the Sarlacc, he insists on executing Luke and company in the most dramatic way possible despite having just seen another Gladiator Games-style demise fail.
- Palpatine plans his strategy around breaking the morale of the Rebellion before destroying them utterly, which he sees as a means to the end of turning Luke to the Dark Side. At no point does he take into account the possibility that the Rebels might defeat his inefficiently deployed fleet, nor that Anakin might not like seeing his son tortured to death in front of him.
- Bonding Over Missing Parents: Luke and Leia's conversation on Endor where they realize they're twins.
- Book Ends:
- The first and last lightsabers de/activated onscreen in the original trilogy are both Luke's: Anakin's former lightsaber (the first ever activated onscreen) in A New Hope, and his own in this movie.
- Linking The Phantom Menace and this film, a Sith Lord is defeated by a Jedi wielding a green-bladed lightsaber.
- Boom, Headshot: Han scores one while fighting off the Stormtroopers at the Empire's bunker on Endor.
- Break Them by Talking: Palpatine tries to do this to Luke on the Death Star. He does a good enough job to goad Luke into trying to attack him, at which point Vader steps in.
- "I love you." "I know."
- In the last movie, after Han rescued Luke, he says "That's two you owe me, junior!" After he gets saved by Luke, he tells him "Now, I owe you one."
- Luke successfully deflects several blaster bolts in the Sail Barge fight and at the end of the speeder bike chase.
- Chewie is cuffed and led to a prison as part of a plan to rescue someone currently detained. Just like in A New Hope.
- Captured on Purpose: Chewie pretends to be captured by a bounty hunter to get into Jabba's palace. It's unstated how many others in the rescue team got deliberately captured or were just adjusting the plan accordingly.
- After realizing that Vader can sense his presence, Luke turns himself in on Endor, hoping that the Empire won't notice the rest of the team.
- Caught in a Snare: Luke, Han, Chewie, and the droids get caught in a net trap set up by the Ewoks.
- Character Development: At this point in the saga Luke has completed his training with Yoda. It shows; he's become a patient, disciplined warrior who can match Darth Vader physically and intellectually. One notable example goes to Luke using the Force to lift C-3PO after his inability to lift his X-Wing in the previous film.
- Chase Scene: Luke and Leia are sneaking through the forests of Endor, looking to find the secret Imperial base, only to get caught by two Stromtroopers, who board hover-bikes and speed away to inform the Empire of the Rebels' whereabouts. From there, the two heroes board their own bikes and dodge hundreds of trees in their ways to take down the two Stormtroopers, although Leia ends up separated from Luke and the main Rebel group in the process.
- Chekhov's Skill: C-3P0's interpreter skills come in handy when the Rebels recruit the Ewoks to their side against the Empire.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Any droids that displease Jabba the Hutt are sent to be branded and burned as punishment. Don't ask how exactly the droids feel pain.
- Color Motif: The tradition of white clothes signifying good amd black clothes signifying evil continues with Luke. For most of the film, he seems dangerously close to the Dark Side, and wears all black, but after he finally solidifies his identity as a Jedi, a flap on his suit opens to reveal a white inner lining.
- Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Luke hiding from Vader during their final battle.
- Comic-Book Adaptation: Marvel Comics adapted the movie as a standalone miniseries.
- Connected All Along: Luke and Leia turn out to be twins separated at birth.
- Convenient Cranny: Luke getting a breather from the Rancor... just long enough to plan his exit.
- Convenient Weakness Placement: The Emperor's throne room is surrounded by tantalizing bottomless pits. Oops.
- Cool Bike: The speeder bikes.
- Cool Starship: This entry in the series introduces several new ones; the Imperial Shuttle, the A-Wing, the B-Wing, and several new Mon Calamari capital warships in the Rebel fleet. Especially Admiral Ackbar's flagship, which based on size comparison to other ships is not only bigger than the average Mon Calimari cruiser but also at least twice the size of an Imperial Star Destroyer.
- Covers Always Lie:
- The film's promotional posters showed Luke with a blue lightsaber instead of the green one he wields in the film. It was originally supposed to be blue, but in post production they found that the blue was too difficult to see against the blue sky during the sail barge scenes, so they changed it to green, but the posters had already been created. And one famous example◊ had the film's scrapped title Revenge of the Jedi; it showed Luke with a red lightsaber fighting Vader, who has a blue one.
- One foreign poster for the film shows Darth Vader's head exploding. It's meant to foreshadow Vader's death, but his death wasn't nearly as extreme in the actual film.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Realizing that they won't have a second chance at destroying the Death Star, the Rebel Fleet closes to point blank range with the Imperials. In this case, they don't even think it'll work, it's just that they'll survive longer going toe to toe with the Star Destroyers than they will hanging out in the open for the Death Star to pick off. And they'll take a few of the Imperials down with them. The novelization goes the extra mile to explain that this was, tactically speaking, a sound choice when compared to the alternative. Cruisers vs. Star Destroyers aside, either the Death Star will fire on the Rebel ships, risking hitting its own Star Destroyers and clearing a path for the Rebels to escape, or it will hold its fire, allowing the Rebels and Star Destroyers to fight in peace.note
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Several.
- Luke and his friends tear through Jabba's guards on the sail barge.
- The Imperial navy curbstomps the Rebel fleet until they figure out a strategy to counter-attack.
- Luke holds back against Vader for a long time and tries to avoid fighting him, but finally get provoked into an Unstoppable Rage and defeats him.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Obi-Wan calls Darth Vader "more machine now than man; twisted and evil", with the clear implication that his cybernetics have damaged his humanity. In the end, Luke stares at his father's cybernetic hand and his own; this triggers the realization that if he kills Vader, he will become just as evil.
- Dark Reprise: Yoda's death music is a sad reprise of his theme and the Force theme.
- Darker and Edgier: A character example. Luke's entrance sees him Force-choking two guards to get them out of his way, just to emphasize how much he has changed since his first appearance in the saga. Though unlike his father and all his You Have Failed Me moments, Luke appears to only render the guards unconscious.
- David vs. Goliath: The Rebel Alliance in general, but in particular, A-wing vs. Super Star Destroyer. As Admiral Ackbar and his bridge crew watch the massive starship plummet into the Death Star with its bridge tower aflame, Ackbar just flops into his chair, jaw agape in disbelief, while everyone else cheers.
- Dead Person Conversation: Luke talks to the ghost of Obi-Wan on Dagobah after Yoda dies.
- Death-or-Glory Attack: Once the second Death Star is revealed to be both operational and capable of targeting individual ships, the Alliance leadership realizes that their only chance for survival — slim as it is — lies in attacking the Executor and its supporting fleet head-on.
- Defeat Equals Explosion: The Emperor explodes on impact after being thrown down the reactor shaft at the climax of the film.
- Defiant to the End:
- Han to Jabba when the gangster demands they beg for mercy.
- Jabba as well, though he doesn't take the threat Luke poses seriously. His mistake. That includes Luke's supposedly last statement to Jabba above the mouth of the Sarlacc, "This is your last chance; free us or die!" Jabba laughs at the absurd thought of the Jedi being so defiant in the face of his own death as to threaten him. However Jabba sees to his shock Luke beginning to carry out that threat with overwhelming force.
- Luke to Vader and Palpatine, refusing to turn to the dark side, despite their persistent efforts.
- Deflector Shields:
- The new Death Star is protected by one, generated by a station on Endor.
- Right before the Executor goes down: "Sir! We've lost our bridge deflector shield!"
- Den of Iniquity: Jabba's audience chamber, complete with conveniently-located Rancor pit.
- Did You Actually Believe...?: Palpatine gives Luke this speech after revealing his baiting the Rebels' attack.
- Died Happily Ever After: Anakin, Yoda, and Obi-Wan are all one with the Force. This is especially important for Anakin, who would have been lost to the Dark Side in death.
- Dispense with the Pleasantries: Trope Namer, when Vader tells Jerjerrod to get right to business, as the construction of the base is falling behind.Vader: I'm here to put you back on schedule.
- Distinctive Appearances: The reason why Luke's lightsaber blade is green in the finished cut of the film. In the early stages of rotoscoping, Luke's saber had a blue energy blade. However, his blue lightsaber didn't show up well against the blue sky during the Tatooine sail barge battle. Changing the saber to green fixed the problem. The fact that the green blade is obviously brand-new (unlike the blue one, where it wasn't obvious) also allowed the deletion of an early scene in the film, where we would've seen Luke finishing work on his new lightsaber. Luke's blue saber can still be seen in the original trailers, plus all the poster art for the film.
- Dramatic Irony: In hindsight, the plot twist of Leia being Luke's twin sister becomes dramatic irony thanks to the prequel trilogy.
- Dressing as the Enemy:
- Lando dresses as one of Jabba's guards to infiltrate the palace.
- On Endor, Han dresses as an Imperial soldier and request reinforcements to get the Imperial troops in the bunker to open it.
- Hard to see, but the bearded Rebel commando takes the captured scout trooper's armor.
- Due to the Dead: Luke gives Anakin a Jedi's funeral on Endor.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The special edition added a scene with Coruscant, which gave fans a good look at the Empire's capitol planet about two years before The Phantom Menace came out.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After much hardship throughout the movies (both the original and prequel trilogies), Palpatine and his Empire have been defeated and the Galaxy is now free from the tyranny of the Dark Lord of the Sith. Luke may have lost his father, Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker, but he had managed to bring him back to the good side, and at the end he could see the spirits of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin again, smiling and baring him a happy farewell. The Force Awakens downplays this somewhat as the First Order has succeeded the Empire 30 years since this film's end, though they have nowhere near the amount of control over the Galaxy that their predecessors did.
- Environmental Symbolism: Emperor Palpatine's throne room features muted colors and angular structures. The only splashes of colors, the red Royal Guards, were pointedly sent away. The only colors in the fight are the lightsabers and Luke's face.
- Everything Is an Instrument: The Ewok celebration scene at the end of the movie shows one Ewok using sticks hitting stormtrooper helmets as a drum set.
- Evil Is Not Well-Lit:
- Palpatine's observation tower has no visible lighting and every piece of architecture is black or gray.
- Jabba's palace is quite dim and smoky.
- Evil Overlord List:
- Jabba forgot to check number 122 when he had his sail barge built: "The gun turrets on my fortress will not rotate enough so that they may direct fire inward or at each other."
- Palpatine forgot many of them, but a key one would be 77: "If I have a fit of temporary insanity and decide to give the hero the chance to reject a job as my trusted lieutenant, I will retain enough sanity to wait until my current trusted lieutenant is out of earshot before making the offer." Not that Vader turned on the Emperor because he didn't want to lose his job.
- Evil Plan: Everything that transpires before the final act does so according to the Emperor's design, as he is the one who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator so they would walk into a trap just when Luke is facing him.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: "But how they could be jamming us if they don't know . . . if we're coming."
- Face Death with Dignity: Anakin towards the end.Anakin: (in Vader mask) Luke, help me take this mask off.
Luke: But, you'll die.
Anakin: Nothing can stop that now. Just for once, let me look on you with my own eyes.
- Face, Nod, Action: Luke and a disguised Lando Calrissian nod heads just before Luke springs their escape plan.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Han's response to Jabba's final ultimatum at the Sarlacc pit.Han: Threepio, you tell that slimy piece of worm-ridden... filth, that he'll get no such pleasure from us!
- Failsafe Failure: Executor is 19 kilometers long and has inhabitable space comparable to a major city. Yet destroying the main bridge, conveniently positioned prominently at the front of the highest tower on the ship, can apparently send the entire thing into a nosedive, with the many thousands of crew members aboard unable to do anything to stop it. Even worse, there is apparently no backup bridge, because Admiral Piett's reaction to being told that their deflector shield is down is to order increased firepower focused on defense, which technically might have stopped the incoming fighter had they reacted a bit faster, but would have done nothing to protect against turbolaser or ion cannon fire from Rebel capital ships. It is possible that the backups themselves were destroyed, given that Ackbar just ordered the entire Rebel fleet to fire on it.
- In the EU, imperial engineers are aware of the vulnerability of Star Destroyer Bridges, and compensate with a more centrally located combat information center to serve as a backup. Unfortunately, it takes several minutes to transfer command of the Destroyer from the bridge to the CIC, which the Executor didn't have due to its close proximity to the Death Star when its bridge was destroyed.
- Fan Disservice:
- One of Jabba's dancing girls is quite lithe and lovely; the other is... not.
- Sure, Leia's slave outfit is Fanservice in and of itself, but also consider that she's forced to wear this outfit as part of her slave duties with the lecherous Jabba the Hutt.
- Fanservice: Why else would you have Carrie Fisher laying around in a gold metal bikini? Be Careful What You Wish For: Word of God says it's because Carrie Fisher had complained about how boring her wardrobe from the two previous films was. She would describe it as "what supermodels will eventually wear in the 7th ring of hell".
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: More than one writer has commented on The Vietnam War parallels in the Battle of Endor, with supposedly backwoods natives outsmarting a superior armed force.
- Fed to the Beast: Luke getting trapdoor'd into the Rancor pit. Additionally, the Sarlacc pit serves as the current page image.
- Final Battle: In the a battle to decide whether the a galaxy will be free or continue to live under the Empire, the Rebels attack the Empire's shield base on Endor, launch an aerial offensive on the Death Star, and send Luke Skywalker to battle his evil father, Darth Vader, and the man behind all the wars in the galaxy, the Galactic Emperor himself.
- Final Speech: Yoda gives one to Luke before dying, and later, Vader does too.
- Finish Him!: Palpatine to Luke when he has Vader at swordpoint.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: When the Rebel fleet arrives to find that the Imperials are jamming their scanners.Lando: But how could they be jamming us if they don't know... we're coming? Break off the attack! The shield is still up!
- Luke tells Jabba that trying to execute him and his friends is "the last mistake you'll ever make!" Jabba laughs it off. Minutes later, Leia strangles him to death and he is incinerated in a fiery explosion.
- Flaunting Your Fleets: One particular shot shows that the Imperial armada over Endor is positively gigantic.
- Fluffy the Terrible: According to EU material, Jabba's pet rancor was called 'Pateesa', Huttese for "friend". It was apparently a birthday present from Bib Fortuna.
- Forgot About His Powers: When Leia goes missing it never seems to even occur to Luke to try to reach her through the Force, the way that he did on Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back. Instead he recommends a physical search and the use of Artoo's scanners. Justified that, since he was half dead on Bespin when he did it, he may not even remember he's able to do it.
- Fragile Speedster: The speeder bikes. Very fast. Also Made of Explodium.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Vader is shocked by the Force Lightning, not only can you see his skeleton, but also surgical rods and screws.
- Funny Background Event:
- When Luke is being escorted back to the turbolift after his talk with Vader on Endor, a stormtrooper, who apparently overheard the conversation, can be seen turning to stare at him.
- When Threepio explains that the Ewoks think he is a god, Luke is seen trying not to laugh. Especially during the following exchange, where either Mark Hamill is Corpsing terribly, or Luke finds the whole situation hilarious:Han: Then why don't you use your divine influence and get us out of this?
Threepio: I beg your pardon, General Solo, but that just wouldn't be proper.
Threepio: It's against my programming to impersonate a deity.
- When Admiral Ackbar is ordering the jump to hyperspace, an extra in the background is having trouble finding one of the monitors.
- George Lucas Altered Version:
- For the Special Edition and onward: They added in a bizarre musical number in Jabba's palace in place of the original, which leads into the original scene of the Twilek dancer being fed to the rancor.note The sarlacc was given extra tentacles and a beak. And the final musical number was replaced, playing over an extensive Nations of the World Montage that included Bespin, Tatooine, and Coruscant (the latter never visited in the original trilogy) celebrating the massive victory against the Empire.
- For the DVD version and onward, Hayden Christensen was spliced into the footage where Anakin's force ghost appears next to Obi-Wan and Yoda, replacing Sebastian Shaw. This same edit also burned off Anakin's eyebrows in his unmasking since he lost them in his immolation scene in Revenge of the Sith. Shaw, however, still speaks and is seen in the unmasking in all versions. A shot of Naboo (like Coruscant, never visited in the original trilogy) was added to the Nations of the World Montage at the end.
- For the Blu-ray version, Vader lets out a Big "NO!" while saving Luke from the Emperor, as a callback to Revenge of the Sith.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Jabba and his... pleasure slaves. This film is rated G and U in the U.K.
- Just before Oola falls into the Rancor pit, her desperate struggles cause one of her breasts to fall out of her "dress." Not that her outfit left much to the imagination anyway.
- When the A-wing pilot crashes into the Executor's bridge, on the Rebel ship, someone in the background can be heard yelling something that sure sounds like, "Die, dickheads!"
- Ghost Reunion Ending: The most famous example. As Luke is giving Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker a Viking Funeral, he looks up and sees the "Force ghosts" of Anakin, Obi-wan, and Yoda watching him.
- Gladiator Games: The Rancor pit, which Jabba enjoys dropping people in and watching them be devoured.
- Go Back to the Source: Luke must return to his home of Tatooine in order to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt.
- God Guise: The Ewoks think 3PO is a god. Luke uses his Force powers to reinforce this idea.
- Go-Go Enslavement: The captured women at Jabba's palace are put in skimpy outfits. The usual form is a metal bra and either harem pants or thin strips of fabric that barely count as a skirt (Carrie Fisher joked that having her wear that outfit was just to get her to go to the gym more).
- Grand Finale: Of the Original Trilogy. The vile Emperor has been defeated and Anakin Skywalker has been redeemed. Gets a Happy Ending Override by The Force Awakens.
- Hand Signals: Luke's salute to R2D2 as he is being made to Walk the Plank lets the robot know Luke is ready to have his weapon fired to him so he can begin the escape mission.
- Heroic Lineage: Invoked when Luke tells Leia about their real relationship.Luke: If I don't make it back, you're the only hope for the Alliance.
Leia: Luke, don't talk that way! You have a power I don't understand and could never have.
Luke: You're wrong, Leia. You have that power too. In time you'll learn to use it as I have. ...The Force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And... my sister has it. Yes. It's you, Leia.
- High-Speed Hijack: During the speeder bike chase, Luke rides second seat on Leia's bike as they pursue the scout troopers. He has her get up next to the trailing bike, whereupon he jumps to the other bike, throws the mook off, and takes the controls. The trooper smashes backwards and upside-down into a tree.
- History Repeats: Just like the start of Revenge of the Sith that heralded the fall of the Old Republic, the end of Return of the Jedi features a gigantic space battle with Palpatine, the brilliant mastermind orchestrating events to his advantage, sitting back on his throne and observing it all as his agents, now Darth Vader rather than Count Dooku, oppose the forces of good trying to hold back the darkness, now Luke Skywalker rather than Anakin Skywalker, and like his father before him, Luke is confronted with a choice, to spare the villain, though unlike his father, he chooses the right path and rejects the dark side, which leads to Vader's redemption and finally restoring peace to the galaxy and bringing balance to the Force.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The chain Jabba uses to control and humiliate Leia becomes the thing she uses to kill him.
- Hope Spot: Luke manages to carry and drag an injured Vader to a working ship to escape the crumbling Death Star, but Vader dies before he can get him proper medical attention.
- Hyperspeed Ambush: The Rebel fleet comes out of hyperspace en masse near the Death Star II in order to surround it and cover the attack squadrons that will fly inside the half-constructed space station to destroy it. The Imperial Fleet appears soon after to trap the Rebel fleet.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: This what Palpatine is counting on when he tells Luke to take back his lightsaber and strike him down with all of his hatred so his journey towards the Dark Side will be complete.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Luke and Vader's lightsaber duel.Luke: Your thoughts betray you, father. I feel the good in you... the conflict.
- I Surrender, Suckers: C-3P0 and R2-D2 dupe a pack of stormtroopers into walking into an Ewok ambush.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Han tells Leia that "when Luke comes back, [he] won't get in the way." Leia quickly corrects his mistake.
- Imaginary Love Triangle: Han mistakenly thinks Leia is secretly in love with Luke, and is relieved to find out at the end that she was only upset from finding out they're twins and Vader is her father.
- Inescapable Net: The Ewoks' trap. The heroes DO manage to escape... only for the Ewoks to ambush them seconds afterwards.
- I Owe You My Life: Han Solo, after Luke rescues him from the Sarlacc pit:Han Solo: Hey, Luke, thanks. Thanks for coming after me. I owe you one.
- Leia also played a crucial part in ransoming Han Solo from Jabba's dungeon, as well as Lando, who is making amends for deceiving Han at Cloud City.
- Ironic Echo: Vader does this to Luke during the I Shall Taunt You portion of their duel.Vader: Yes. Your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong, especially for...sister. So...you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her too.
- It Only Works Once: The film doesn't directly state it, but the briefing room scene pretty much implies that the Exhaust Port weakness used to bring down the first Death Star isn't gonna work this time, forcing the rebels to make a daring suicide mission by having their starfighters fly directly inside of the unfinished space station to attack the reactor.
- Jet Pack: Boba Fet has one as part of his armor. He uses it to fly around during the protagonists' escape from Jabba the Hutt, and it's accidentally activated by Han Solo hitting it.
- Just Between You and Me: Just before the battle begins, the Emperor brags to Luke that there is an entire legion of his best troops on Endor who will handle his friends and the Imperial Fleet knows the Rebels are coming. This is actually a subversion, as there is absolutely nothing Luke can do to change the outcome. In addition, this serves to make Luke angry, upset, and hating enough for the Dark Side to kick in.
- Kneel Before Zod:
- Jabba tries to make the heroes kneel to him when they come to his palace requesting their friend's freedom.
- Palpatine does this to Luke as well. "In time you will call me master."
- Know When to Fold 'Em: The surviving Imperial bunker personnel, realizing they're surrounded, are implied to give up without a fight (the novelization confirms they all surrender).
- Lecherous Licking: Jabba, a slug mobster, gives the female lead a slimy lick when she's captured by him.
- Lethally Expensive: "Many Bothans died to bring us this information."
- Lighter and Softer: The Empire Strikes Back is strikingly dark in tone. This one has teddy bears.
- Lonely Funeral: Luke is the only one at Anakin's pyre, since he's the only person who saw what happened in the Emperor's throne room and knows that Anakin died a good person.
- Look Behind You: Played for Laughs. In the skiff battle, Chewbacca warns the still half-blind Han that Boba Fett is behind him. He's telling the truth, and when Han whirls around to check, he accidentally strikes Boba Fett's jetpack, causing it to misfire and send him flying off of the skiff.
- Low Clearance: A Storm Trooper falls victim to a rope strung between two trees on Endor, which violently snags him off of his speederbike.
- Loyalty Mission: Han Solo is unable to commit fully to the Rebellion due to the bounty placed on his head by Jabba the Hutt. It's not until the debt is... rather forcibly cleared by Luke, Leia, and the gang that he's free and clear to kick Imperial ass and woo beautiful princesses.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Leia was shocked to learn that Vader is Luke's father, but is more shocked when Luke tells her they're siblings. After he left to face him, Leia was in tears because: Darth Vader, the man who represents the evils of the Empire she's fighting against (and who has tortured her and Han), is her father. And that the man she kissed was her brother.
- Machine Worship: The Ewoks do this to C-3PO at first.
- Made of Explodium:
Luke: Point it at the deck!
- Jabba's barge deck, since it takes only one shot at it to make the entire barge combust.
- The AT-ST walker that is toppled by the Ewoks explodes when the cockpit hits the ground.
- Also apparently the Emperor, who explodes for some reason when thrown down the reactor shaft.
- Apparently every speeder is a Pinto.
- Meaningful Echo:
- Han and Leia reverse the famous "I love you," "I know," from The Empire Strikes Back.
- At the end of Empire, Vader cuts off Luke's hand, signaling Luke's defeat by the Dark Side. At the end of this film, Luke cuts off Vader's hand... signaling that Luke is dangerously close to succumbing to the Dark Side. (For bonus symbolism points, Vader's hand is already cybernetic.) It's also the same hand Vader cut off Luke, and Luke's wearing a black glove to cover damage to the covering of his prosthetic hand sustained in the barge fight earlier in the film, and Luke finds himself staring at the gloved prosthetic hand when he's got Vader at his mercy. Just in case anyone in the audience didn't get the point.
- In Empire Vader tells Luke that he doesn't know the power of the Dark Side to tempt him with great strength. In Jedi he says it again, this time to tell Luke that he can't side with him and betray the Emperor because he doesn't stand a chance against the Dark Side's power.
- Meaningful Funeral: Luke gives Anakin a Jedi's funeral on Endor, cremating his armor.
- Metaphorically True: Obi-Wan's explanation of what happened to Luke's father; as far as he's concerned, the good man that was Anakin Skywalker died when he betrayed the Jedi Order, so he was technically telling the truth.Luke: Obi-Wan? Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father.
Obi-Wan: Your father was seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true, from a certain point of view.
Luke: A certain point of view?
Obi-Wan: Luke, you will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.
- Luke later uses this to Vader during the former's surrender as a last low blow, and it works, leaving Vader hurt that his son would think that way.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: A subversion in that it is Palpatine slowly killing Luke with the force lightning that eventually pushes Vader to betray him. Palpatine urging Luke to kill his father and take his place as his apprentice probably helped him make up his mind too.
- Mohs Scale of Violence Hardness: It rated a 3, primarily due to some droid torture, Oola and Jubnuk the Gamorrean guard being eaten by the Rancor, and plenty of other explosive mayhem that's fairly tame compared to the other Star Wars episodes.
- Mutual Kill: Darth Vader throws the Emperor into a pit to his death, but ends up short-circuiting his suit and sealing his fate.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- So, Vader has finally captured his son and is ready to convert him to the Dark Side. As he gloats about the Emperor's victory, Luke replies "Then my father is truly dead." After Luke is escorted to a turbolift, Vader leans on a railing, conflicted over what to do next.
- Luke also has one near the end when he snaps out of his Unstoppable Rage and realises just how close he came to killing Vader and falling to the Dark Side.
- Nations of the World Montage: At the end of the special edition, with the planets of the galaxy celebrating the downfall of the Empire. Naboo's celebration was added with the DVD release.
- Near Villain Victory: The Emperor says to Vader, "His [Luke's] compassion for you will be his undoing." Actually, it turns out to be his own undoing.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Chewbacca's hunger for a piece of dangling meat gets the Rebel party trapped by the Ewoks on Endor.Han: Nice job, Chewie. Real nice. Always thinking with your stomach!
- Subverted in the long run; it led to the Ewoks agreeing to help the Rebels and without the Ewoks to bolster them by sheer numbers, there's no way the Rebel party would have made it past the Imperials guarding the bunker.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
- The Emperor encouraging Luke be aggressive and kill Vader is not this trope. While killing his father in a moment of passion might have worked, to do so deliberately and knowingly would have been more effective. However, his gleefully telling Luke to finish him does cause Luke to have his Heel Realization - and Palpatine had no problems TRICKING people into the Dark Side before anyway.
- Emperor Palpatine attempting to torture Luke to death via Force Lightning is what finally got Vader/Anakin to redeem himself and turn away from the Dark Side, starting with hurling Palaptine to his Disney Villain Death.
- No Endor Holocaust: Trope Namer. Word of God stated that popular Internet fan theories — namely, that the destruction of the Death Star would have caused massive destruction on Endor as well due to the falling debris — are not correct.
- No More Lies: Obi-Wan has no choice but to at last tell Luke the real truth on Dagobah.
- Non-Protagonist Resolver: While Luke does go to face the Emperor, it is Vader who throws the Emperor to his death by redeeming himself.
- Noodle Incident: Mon Mothma doesn't elaborate on how exactly they got the intel about the Second Death Star, other than to mention that it involved the deaths of many Bothans. She looks particularly distraught when she brings it up.note
- No OSHA Compliance: Zig-zagged. The Emperor's throne room does have railings over the 90km chasm. On the other hand, superlaser control still has two guys standing next to the planet-destroying laser without a railing.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted in that it is heavily implied that the Empire figured out how Luke managed to destroy the first Death Star and redesigned the second one with thick anti-fighter defenses and no two-meter wide exhaust port. However, these advances are negated by tricking the Rebels into attacking when the superstructure is still open enough to allow ships into the interior of the station. All part of the plan. The Death Star and the Emperor himself were the bait to lure the Rebel fleet into a position where it could easily be destroyed. The Death Star had to be vulnerable enough for the Rebels to think they had a realistic shot at destroying it.
- No-Sell: Luke's mind powers do not work on Jabba.
- Not So Different: Luke realizes this upon seeing that he cut off Vader's hand the exact same way Vader cut off his hand in the last movie, only to see Vader's hand was already cybernetic. This was enough of a shock that shows him what he would become if he gave in to the Dark Side.
- Off-the-Shelf FX: At least one of the X-wings seen in the Battle of Endor was an officially licensed model kit from MPC.
- Oh, Crap!:
Jerjerrod: [The Emperor] asks the impossible! I need more men!
- "I know that laugh."
- Leia when she realizes what Jabba has planned for her
- Luke when the Rancor emerges.
- Moff Jerjerrod in the beginning.
Vader: Then perhaps you can tell him when he arrives.
Jerjerrod: (shocked) The Emperor's coming here?!
Vader: That is correct, Commander. And he is most displeased with your apparent lack of progress.
Jerjerrod: We shall double our efforts! The station will be completed on time!
Vader: I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.
C-3PO: Master Luke, you're standing on—
- Lando's "Well, how could they be jamming us if they don't know ... (dawning realization) ...if we're coming? Break off the attack! The shield is still up!"
- "It's a trap!"
- Luke as the Emperor shows that he has predicted the entire Rebel plan and outlines how easily he ought to be able to defeat it decisively.
- "That blast came from the Death Star... That thing's operational!"
- Han when the AT-ST walker approaches him. Subverted; Chewbacca's hijacked the walker.
- "Intensify forward firepower!" "TOO LATE!"
- While we obviously can't see Vader's reaction, he clearly has one of these when Luke taps into the Dark Side at the thought of Leia being corrupted and turned and comes after him, determined to kill him.
- "Now, young Skywalker ... you will die."
- While Luke demands that Jabba free his friends, C-3PO noticed Luke was standing on the trap door to the Rancor's Pit and tried to warm him. But was interrupted by Jabba. Notice that Luke's eyes drifted to 3PO, then back to Jabba.
Jabba: (in Huttese) There will be no bargain, young Jedi!
- Only a Flesh Wound:
- Luke gets a blaster bolt to his cybernetic hand during the melee over the Sarlacc pit, but apparently covering it up with a glove was sufficient treatment.
- Leia gets pegged in the shoulder by an (unusually lucky) Stormtrooper blast.
- R2-D2 takes a hit as well and is momentarily deactivated, which for a droid is probably the equivalent.
- Out of the Inferno: The Death Star explosion blows out the exit first, but the Millennium Falcon emerges from it.
- Outrun the Fireball:
- The heroes escaping from Jabba's exploding sail barge on a skiff.
- The Millennium Falcon, piloted by Lando, while outrunning the explosion from the reactor destroying the Death Star.
- Paid Harem: The slave girls in Jabba's palace. "Paid" may be a bit generous. . . some of them (Oola, notably) are established in the EU to be slaves.
- Palate Propping: Luke used this trope on the Rancor with a large bone, albeit not very successfully due to its jaw strength.
- Passed in Their Sleep: Defied. Yoda heads to bed to try to avoid Luke's questions, then fights to stay awake to give him some last words of advice before (literally) fading off mid-sentence.
- Pet the Dog: The Rancor keeper's inconsolable reaction to Luke killing the monster, although more played for laughs, managed to garner a bit more sympathy than expected. As Roger Ebert said, "Everybody loves somebody." Think about it: the Rancor is just an animal, it doesn't have any choice in who it fights. Like if Luke was thrown into a lion pit and had to kill it.
- Please Wake Up: During the battle on Endor, an Ewok is shot dead and another one comes up to it, crying and pushing the dead one to wake up.
- Precision Crash: During the final battle, an A-Wing is hit, loses control, veers off quite a ways, and crashes into the bridge of the Executor, which then crashes into the Death Star and explodes.
- Prophecy Twist: The Emperor had it right when he foresaw that Skywalker's compassion would be his undoing. His error was in misinterpreting which Skywalker his foresight referred to.
- Psychic Strangle: Luke, of all people, does this non-fatally to a pair of Jabba's Gamorrean guards to get them out of his way.
- Psycho Strings: High-pitched violins are heard when Luke reaches his Rage Breaking Point.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Inverted. By Darth Vader himself of all people!
- Putting the Band Back Together: Twice, actually. The gang reunites on Tatooine to save Han, and later they formally get back together for Han's planned strike against the shield generator on the forest moon of Endor.
- Rage Breaking Point: Luke really tries not to let his anger get in the way when he's confronting Vader, but Vader then threatens to take the last of his family from him.
- Reality Ensues: During the Battle of Endor, the Ewoks attempt their own version of the trick the Rebels used to destroy AT-ATs in the previous film, by trying to trip up an AT-ST with a rope. Unfortunately, a bunch of small animals holding onto a rope isn't quite comparable to a harpoon and steel cable, and they just get dragged along for the ride (though the same method does have more success unseating scouts from their speeder bikes).
- Reality Has No Subtitles: The Ewoks are incomprehensible to all but some of the characters who share the screen with them.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Luke gets one from Palpatine while undergoing his electroshock therapy.
- Refuge in Audacity: You have to give Luke credit, he told Jabba he would die unless he let them go...
- Relative Button: Luke lost most of his family, either dead or turned evil. His sister is all he has left, so attempt to threaten that she would do either is the one thing that sets him off.
- The Reveal:
- Obi-Wan revealing that Luke and Leia are brother and sister.
- Also, a confirmation of the reveal in the previous film when Yoda tells Luke (and the audience) the Vader is indeed his father.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: Between C-3PO and R2-D2.C-3PO: Artoo, what are you doing here?!
R2-D2: [beeping noises]
C-3PO: Well, I can see you're serving drinks...
- Robotic Reveal: Granted we'd heard earlier that Vader is "more machine now than man," but it's still a shock when Luke slices his hand off and we see it was already cybernetic.
- Rock Beats Laser: The Ewoks, armed with slingshots and batter rams, defeat the Empire's troops, even with all their lasers and walker robots.
- Rocket Ride: The speeder bikes.
- Samus Is a Girl: The "bounty hunter" who brings Chewbacca to Jabba the Hutt turns out to be Leia.
- Sapient Eat Sapient: The Ewoks nearly try to cook and eat most of the main characters, other than C-3PO (assumed to be a god) and Leia, before Luke convinces C-3PO to convince them he'll use his "magic" (actually Luke employing Jedi Force-manipulation techniques) on the Ewoks unless they free them.
- Schizo Tech: The Ewoks, despite being apparently stone-aged primitives managed to have come up with a hang-glider and quite sophisticated-looking catapults.
- Schmuck Bait: Chewie paws at a hanging slab of meat, triggering an Ewok trap net which entangles himself, Han, Luke, R2-D2 and 3PO. Outstanding.Han: Great, Chewie! Great! Always thinking with your stomach!
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once the Endor Shield array is destroyed and the Emperor is killed, Imperial crewmen, guards, stormtroopers, officers, and pilots begin to flee the doomed Death Star. They are seen running to evacuate the station when Luke and Anakin make it to the escape shuttle.
- Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Han is doing this pose in the poster.
- See the Whites of Their Eyes: Lando orders the Rebel fleet to close with the Imperial fleet, figuring their odds of surviving a knife fight with the Star Destroyers is much better than their odds of surviving being Sitting Ducks for the Death Star.Lando: Yes, I said closer! Move as close as you can, and engage those Star Destroyers at point-blank range!
Ackbar: At that range, we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!
Lando: We'll last longer than we will against that Death Star! And we might just take a few of them with us!
- Separated at Birth: Luke and Leia discover that they were twins who were sent to live on different planets to protect them from their father, who helped to maintain the Empire's tyrannical rule and served as the main villain of the last film.
- Series Fauxnale: As of the announcement the films will continue for at least three more with the buying of Lucasfilm by Disney.
- Shark Pool: The Rancor pit and the Sarlacc pit.
- Sheathe Your Sword: Luke attempts to do this during his fight with Vader as Palpatine reminds him that as he becomes more aggressive he shifts more towards the Dark Side.
- Ship Sinking: Arguably the most famous application of the trope in modern-day pop culture as it's revealed that Luke and Leia are siblings, with the added side effect of transforming the Luke-Leia shippy moments from Episodes IV and V and spin-off works such as the novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye into Squick.
- Shoot the Messenger: Jabba thumps Threepio whenever he translates a response he doesn't like. Also implied in the earlier comment: "We have been without an interpreter since our master got angry at our last protocol droid and disintegrated him."
- Word of God stated that the scene depicting Palpatine's arrival is based on the May Day military marches in Soviet Russia.
- The Ewoks blow their horns similar to the scene where the Hebrews blow their horns after the Pharaoh frees them in The Ten Commandments. A horn sound from that film was even recycled.
- Chewbacca does a Vine Swing with the obligatory Tarzan yell.
- She's Got Legs: Leia's Go-Go Enslavement outfit has just two thin strips for a skirt, so they definitely weren't made for covering up.
- Sidekick Ex Machina: Chewbacca hijacks an Imperial walker and rescues Han and Leia from Stormtroopers during the Battle of Endor.
- So Proud of You: As the unmasked Vader dies, he tells Luke "You were right about me. Tell your sister...you were right". His smile says this trope more plainly than words ever could (See Go Out with a Smile above).
- Space Base: The second Death Star.
- Spanner in the Works: The Emperor would have gotten away with destroying the Rebel fleet and the ground troops on Endor if it weren't for those meddling Ewoks, and Chewie's brilliant idea to hijack one of the walkers. That's the real turning point of the ground battle (which trickled down [up?] to the space battle when the generator went up in flames). Now, as far as Luke was concerned, a total victory over the Alliance probably would not have been enough to save The Emperor from a Disney Villain Death anyway.
- Spikes of Doom: The Sarlacc Pit has spikes around its edges.
- Stand Your Ground: As Lando convinces Ackbar the rebels have to do until the team on Endor gets the Death Star's Deflector Shields down.
- Standard Starship Scuffle: The Battle of Endor starts out more as a Battle of Midway-style melee, with snub fighters attacking the enemy capital ships, but once the Death Star cranks up its superlaser the Rebel cruisers have no choice but to go in and engage the Imperial Star Destroyers toe-to-toe so that at least the Death Star can't get a clear shot at them - a move that is somewhat reminiscent of the Battle off Samar but could be compared to a lot of different surface ship engagements.
- Stop Worshipping Me: It's against C-3PO's programming to impersonate a deity.
- Storming the Castle: In this case, Storming The Shield Generator.
- Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: Trope Namer, with the Emperor saying this to Luke, as Luke doing that thing would turn him to the Dark Side.
- Suicidal "Gotcha!": Luke is willing to jump off a plank directly above a giant monster to fool the guards. With his Jedi reflexes, Luke has no problem grabbing the plank at the last second, jumping several feet in the air, grab his lightsaber as R2-D2 fires it at him, and land on the ship ready for a fight.
- Surprise Incest: Luke did not know. Leia apparently "always knew" on some level... yet she still kissed him, even if it was to tick off Han.
- Sword over Head: After Luke defeats Vader, he notices his father's mechanical hand (much like his own) and realizes how close he's coming to suffering the same fate.
- Tactful Translation: C-3PO translates Jabba the Hutt's discussion with a disguised Princess Leia in a friendlier tone than either party is using.
- Taking You with Me:
Lando: Yes, I said closer! Move as close as you can, and engage those Star Destroyers at point blank range!
- The doomed A-wing pilot flying his own ship into the bridge of the Executor. He succeeds in taking down the ship and taking fleet Admiral Piett with him (Piett is the last of the major villains in the film to lose; he barely outlives Anakin's redemption and the Emperor, though Anakin/Vader is the last villain to physically die, doing so after the Executor has already plowed into the Death Star and finished Piett off. No word on Moff Jerjerrod's fate).
- Lando's reasoning for engaging the Star Destroyers at close range after it's revealed that the Death Star's main weapon is operational.
Ackbar: At that close range, we won't last long against those Star Destroyers.
Lando We'll last longer than we will against that Death Star! (ship rocks) And we might just take a few of them with us!
- Tastes Like Friendship: Leia and Wicket bond over food Leia shares with the little Ewok.
- Tell Me About My Father: Luke asks Leia about her 'real' mother, hoping to find out more about the woman who gave birth to them. Unfortunately their mother died when Leia was very young (extremely young, according to Revenge of the Sith) and so she only has very vague memories of her, to Luke's disappointment.
- Tempting Fate:
- Han commenting "I hate long waits" and "That doesn't sound so bad", before being told he's up for an incredibly long and excruciating death by Sarlaac.
- Lando promises Han that the Falcon "won't get a scratch!". On the way into the Death Star the Falcon's communication dish is knocked off.
- Thanks for the Mammaries: Late in the film, there is a scene where Leia gets shot in the arm. Han rushes over to help her and tries to steady her arm, but he very briefly grabs something else...
- That Man Is Dead: As far as Obi-Wan is concerned, Anakin Skywalker died and Vader was born when his former friend turned to the dark side and betrayed the Jedi. Vader himself denies he has anything to do with Anakin anymore. He's wrong.Luke: I have accepted that truth that you were once Anakin Skywalker, my father.
Vader: That name no longer has any meaning for me.
Luke: It's the name of your true self. You've only forgotten.
- Later in that scene, Luke agrees with the "That Man Is Dead" interpretation to throw Vader off.
- Theme Music Power-Up:
- When Luke pretends to jump into the Sarlaac pit, and then starts attacking the guards.
- As Vader seizes the Emperor and throws him into the reactor shaft, the music changes from the Emperor's theme to the "Jedi/Force" motif.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Han's reaction to what he thinks is Luke's "attempt" to rescue him.Han: Together again, huh?
Luke: Wouldn't miss it.
Han: How we doing?
Luke: Same as always.
Han: That bad, huh?
- Toppled Statue: The special edition adds a scene with a mob tearing down a statue of the emperor on Coruscant.
- Trap Door: Jabba uses one to drop people into the Rancor pit.
- Tribal Carry: When the protagonists are captured by the Ewoks — with the exception of C-3PO, who gets a comfortable palanquin chair since they believe he's a god.
- Triumphant Reprise: The Jedi theme has a reprise when Darth Vader pulls a Heel–Face Turn and kills the Emperor at the cost of his own life and later at his Viking Funeral.
- Turn the Other Fist: Luke Skywalker seems to turn away from the Emperor's taunting but suddenly swings back to grab his saber and take a swipe at the Emperor. Vader blocks it.
- Tyrannicide: Darth Vader returns to the light and kills the Emperor by throwing him down the Death Star reactor shaft. His death signals the beginning of the end of the Empire's tyranny, sparking uprisings and celebrations on a number of planets. The Expanded Universe goes into more detail about it, showing that the Empire fractured without Palpatine or Vader's leadership, making it all the more easy for the Rebels, now known as the New Republic, to liberate Imperial-held space.
- Under Crank: Used to create the backgrounds for the speeder bike chase.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Luke doesn't share any specifics about his plan to save Han, but despite his worries, succeeds after all.
- Unstoppable Rage: Luke defeating Vader after he is about to threaten to take Leia away in some way.
- Unwanted False Faith: The Ewoks mistake C-3PO for a deity, much to his embarrassment.
- Vehicular Turnabout: Chewbacca and a pair of Ewoks famously commandeer an AT-ST, and essentially became the pivotal combatants who turned the whole fight around for the Rebels, both on the ground and in orbit.
- Victorious Chorus: The soundtrack has a choral piece when the fireworks are going off on Endor, celebrating the destruction of the second Death Star and the defeat of The Empire. Originally, this was an Ewok-flavored song called "Ewok Celebration", often known as "Yub Nub". Revised versions of the film from the Special Edition onward have a more traditional piece called "Victory Celebration".
- Villainous Demotivator:Vader: I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.
- Also, when Threepio gets shanghaied as Jabba's translator, EV-9D9 tells him that she is thrilled, since they've been without a protocol droid ever since Jabba got angry with the last one and disintegrated him.
- Villains Never Lie:
- George Lucas said that the reason Luke sought Yoda to confirm Vader's revelation was because discussing with a psychologist he learned that most people would assume that Vader was lying, and it was all just mind games. Luke needed a respected figure to get proof.
- James Earl Jones said that, when he first read the line, his first thought was, "Oh, [Vader's] lying!"
- Vine Swing: Chewbacca attacks an AT-ST walker during the battle of Endor by swinging at it on a vine. He even makes a sound similar to Tarzan's yell.
- Walk the Plank: The way for prisoners to be fed to the Sarlacc.
- War Is Hell: A subtle example when the Rebel fleet manages to send the Super Star Destroyer crashing into the Death Star; while Admiral Ackbar's staff cheer, Ackbar himself just slumps sadly in his command chairnote
- Watch Out for That Tree!:
- After Han Solo accidentally activates Boba Fett's jetpack, the bounty hunter goes flying and slams into the side of Jabba's barge in a way reminiscent of George's typical encounters with trees in George of the Jungle.
- Important to remember when you're on an ultra fast speeder bike flying through an incredibly thick forest. Also, don't turn around to check behind you, as one of the scout-troopers learned the hard way.
- Wave Motion Gun: The Death Star II is armed with a canon just as powerful as the first planet-destroyer, except this one only needs a few minutes to charge up and fire, though this could be from not charging to full power, as they are only shooting at ships. At full power, the superlaser would probably not just destroy any rebel ship, but punch straight through, keep on going, and possibly take out one of their own Star Destroyers behind them.
- We Can Rule Together: Emperor Palpatine to Luke.Palpatine: Your hate has made you powerful. Now, fulfill your destiny, and take your father's place at my side.
- We Need a Distraction: The Rebels use distractions several times on Endor to open up the stormtroopers to attack, including one time where R2-D2 and C-3PO reveal themselves to the Stormtroopers while the friendly natives rally to rescue the captured Rebels.
- Wham Line:
- "It was I who allowed the Alliance to learn the location of the shield generator. I assure you, it is quite safe from your pitiful little band."
- And then the Emperor ups the ante yet again: "Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battlestation!"
- The film drops the Wham Line even before that; much is made of the Rebel fleet rallying at the planet Sullust, believing that they're planning a surprise attack. Right after, the film cuts to Vader asking the Emperor, "What of the reports of the Rebel fleet massing near Sullust?"
- What the Hell, Hero?:
Yoda: Unexpected this is. And unfortunate.Luke: Unfortunate that I know the truth?Yoda: No. Unfortunate that you rushed to face him. That incomplete was your training. That not ready for the burden were you.
- Yoda gives this to Luke after confirming that Vader was indeed Luke's father, realizing the only way Luke could have suspected it is if Vader told him, and thus Vader could only have told him if Luke recklessly attacked Vader before his training was completed.
- Luke has his own to Yoda during the same exchange.
- Luke later is angry with Obi-Wan for lying to him about Vader, and deliberately pitting him against his own father.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Luke's declaration to the Emperor that he has become a Jedi. Everything about that sequence was about making Luke angry enough to kill Vader and become the new apprentice to Palpatine, thus demonstrating his skill and maturity by not making the killing blow and refusing to fight anymore; his character arc had become complete.
- Wretched Hive: As dangerous and seedy as Mos Eisley Cantina was, it's a knitting circle compared to Jabba's Palace. The worst criminals, psychopaths and misfits in the Galaxy, all in one bloody, lewd, booze-soaked cesspool.
- Xanatos Gambit:
- Pulled off by the heroes in Jabba's Palace. If Leia succeeds at getting Han out of the palace, Lando can get Chewbacca (and, presumably, C-3PO & R2-D2 out). If Leia is caught — Luke can go in. If Luke is captured, R2-D2 has Luke's lightsaber. Even if Jabba thinks things are going his way, they're really going Luke's. The only thing that goes out of place was when Luke gets kicked to the rancor pit, which he makes short work of anyway.
- Also the second death star itself. Either the Rebel Alliance attacks it while it's still under construction and gets destroyed in the process, or they don't and the Empire has another superweapon to terrorize the entire galaxy with (one that, according to EU materials, did not share the weaknesses of it's predecessor).
- X-Ray Sparks: Rare non-humorous example. When Vader lifts Palpatine over his head to save Luke, Palpatine inadvertently hits himself, but Vader also conducts it, revealing flashes of his skull, but not the Emperor's.
- "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: When Threepio is inducted into Jabba's droid pool:EV-9D9: Ah, good, new acquisitions! You are a protocol droid, are you not?
C-3PO: I am C-3PO, human/cyborg—
EV-9D9: Yes or no will do.
C-3PO: Umm... yes.
- You Answered Your Own Question: As the Rebel fleet is approaching the second Death Star, Lando gets word that they can't tell if the deflector shield protecting it is up or down because of jamming, prompting him to ask, "How could they be jamming us if they don't know...that we're coming. Break off! The shield is still up!"
- You Rebel Scum!: Trope Namer. An Imperial officer says this when the Rebels are captured during their raid on the shield generator. In a deleted scene, Han takes offense at that.
- Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: When Palpatine is trying to provoke Luke.Palpatine: It was I who allowed the Alliance to learn the location of the shield generator. I assure you, it is quite safe from your pitiful little band.
- Emperor Palpatine: So be it, Jedi.