YMMV: Return of the Jedi


  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Two Ewoks are sent flying by an explosion. One rolls to his feet and tries to pull his friend (family member?) to his feet, only to realize that the other Ewok won't ever be getting up.
  • Ass Pull: Yoda's mention of "The Other" in Empire was just a means of removing Luke's Plot Armor before sending him off to his duel with Vader. Lucas had a vague idea of what the character was and what they would do but that was for later in the series. Then Empire's production was so stressful that Lucas decided to make Jedi the final film. With only one film to wrap up the story Lucas decided Leia would be The Other because she was the most convenient choice in the cast.
  • Awesome Music: "If you will not turn to the dark side, then perhaps she will!" Cue Luke going berserk, and the music going right along with him.
  • Badass Decay: Boba Fett. Although strictly speaking he didn't do anything particularly badass in the previous movie, he at least looked cool and imposing. In this one, he's defeated fairly easily (by a blind man, no less) and in the Special Edition he does what might be seen as flirting with some strippers, which annoyed some fans (and his original actor) greatly for ruining his mystique.
    • Han Solo actually becomes a bit of a load, though this is more so to show how much Luke and Leia have progressed while he was frozen in carbonite.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: This entry in the Star Wars series consists of Leia in a metal bikini and...something about some teddy bears.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The band sequence in the special edition, which was really just an extension of the original sequence that was trimmed down to just the part where Jabba threw Oola into the Rancor pen (30 seconds vs about 2 minutes). In the Making Of featurette that preceded the movie, Lucas admitted that he just thought it would be funny to have a random musical number in an otherwise serious movie.
  • Complete Monster: Emperor Palpatine, in contrast to Vader as the Tragic Monster.
    • The novelization has its version of Moff Jerjerrod. Portrayed as an arrogant, self-important Sociopathic Soldier who joined the military for the violence, Jerjerrod saw the Rebel Alliance as something smaller and weaker than himself that he could bully with impunity. As commanding officer of the second Death Star, Jerjerrod was an enthusiastic participant in Emperor Palpatine's plan to exterminate the Rebels, viewing it as an exercise in total annihilation; his one regret was that the end of the Rebellion would mean the end of the war he loved. When the Emperor and Darth Vader were slain, Jerjerrod, enraged at the Rebels for fighting back, ordered Death Star II to obliterate Endor, intending to butcher not only the Rebels and the Ewoks, but his own men, and every other sentient lifeform on the moon, out of a desire "to incinerate something green and living, gratuitously, meanly, toward no end but that of wanton destruction. A small act, but deliciously satisfying." A petty, sadistic man with a big gun, Jerjerrod was among the cruelest and most vindictive officers the Imperial Navy had to offer. This characterization is completely absent from the movie however, where he merely comes across as put-upon and out of his depth, and in a deleted scene he even objects to the Emperor's order to blow up Endor with Imperial forces still on it, though he does that in the novelization as well. At the very least, he's professional enough not to act in this manner as a matter of course, as we mainly find this out during an Internal Monologue while he's suffering a Villainous Breakdown as the Rebels have penetrated the Death Star's defences.
  • Ear Worm: Both "Lapti Nek" (the song which plays in Jabba's place in the original) and "Jedi Rocks" (in the remastered version.)
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Admiral Ackbar, thanks to the line "It's a trap!"
  • Fight Scene Failure: A funny little mistake left in that fans affectionately call, "The Force Kick."
  • Fountain of Memes: The Emperor. The deliciously evil delivery of his hate filled lines makes him extremely quotable.
    • Admiral Ackbar thanks to his hammy lines like "It's a trap!" and "Our cruisers can't repel firepower of that magnitude!".
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: An Expanded Universe version. Remember that little bit in the Special Edition, where a mob on Coruscant is toppling a statue of Emperor Palpatine? Well, in the novel Iron Fist, it's revealed that immediately afterward, a massive number of stormtroopers entered that plaza to "restore order"...by opening up on the crowd on full-auto. No, their blasters weren't set for stun, why do you ask?
  • Heartwarming In Hindsight: While Shaw being replaced by Hayden Christensen as Anakin's ghost might be Base Breaker, after watching the entire saga, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars in chronological order, it becomes a very powerful moment. Especially true for younger audiences:
    Youtube comment on Victory celebration: Hayden as Anakin at the end isn't a change I agree with... But it's one I understand. After seeing my younger sister watch Star Wars in chronological order, including Clone Wars, the ending had an enormous impact. Hayden's Anakin was her hero and she finally got to see him return to the side of good. The ending was incredible to her and it really made me appreciate it a lot more too. When you look at something through the eyes of a child, it's an incredible thing to see.
    • Anakin's decision to Face Death with Dignity towards the end becomes more moving when, in Revenge of the Sith, we see that he was lured to the Dark Side with the promise of discovering a way of stopping death entirely.
  • He's Just Hiding: For a guy who pretty much was eaten by the Rancor, Jubnuk the Gammorrean was heavily speculated to have actually survived, which also caused some edit wars on Wookieepedia. The fact that the popup book Jabba's Palace shows Jubnuk being cut out alive and well from the Rancor's carcass does not help matters, either.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In MAD's parody of this film, Lando derides the planned assault on the second Death Star as a "Mickey Mouse Operation," and even depicted Mickey himself as Lando's copilot. Cue October 2012 and the franchise is now in Disney's hands.
  • It Was His Sled: Leia is Luke's sister. Yoda gives the confirmation of the It Was His Sled from The Empire Strikes Back when he tells Luke (and the audience) that Vader is indeed Luke's father as he claimed.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Palpatine not only managed to corrupt Vader, he almost succeeded with Luke and set up a pretty nifty trap for the Rebels to fall into.
  • Memetic Molester: Jabba the Hutt. Poor Leia...
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom: This isn't really the case with viewers as whole, but believe-it-or-not, there is a single instance where this happened to Emperor Palpatine, and by a public figure, no less. The Emperor was actually viewed as something of a personal role model by Real Life Serial Killer Jeffrey Dahmer because of the sheer power he was able to wield over others via his Force Lightning. Dahmer also admired the Gemini Killer from The Exorcist III movie for similar reasons.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
  • One-Scene Wonder: The rancor-keeper, crying over his dead pet. Roger Ebert pointed that out as "a moment that helps explain the special magic of the Star Wars movies."
  • The Scrappy: The Ewoks were obviously an attempt to introduce "cute" aliens into the film, but many older fans ended up hating them or at least finding them annoying for their ridiculous Rock Beats Laser victory. Their "cuteness" is supposed to be offset by the fact that they have no problem eating sentients (they WERE going to eat the heroes after all), but that gets lost in the shuffle when people remember them.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • The Max Rebo band in both versions, especially with Sy Snootles. In the original, she was a very static puppet. In the SE, she became a more detailed and mobile (albeit cartoonish) CG model that didn't blend properly. Max himself also looks nothing more than a cheap papier-mâché puppet in all versions.
    • A TIE fighter phases through the Millennium Falcon at one point during the climax. Fixed in the special edition.
    • The Rancor is an impressive looking creature, its integration with the actors... Not so much. This was not even addressed, let alone fixed, until the 2004 re-re-release. And then again for the Blu-Ray release.
    • There are times where you can see the eyes of the actors in the Ewok costumes. Unlike most failures, this never got corrected in any re-release.
    • As with A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back; in the unedited theatrical cut a number of shots featuring TIE Fighters have a faint silhouette of each model's garbage matte.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Not in the film itself, but the 2012 guidebook The Essential Guide to Warfare has a section about the Battle of Endor from an Imperial soldier's perspective, and the way he described the Ewoks and their actions during the battle reeked of Nightmare Fuel, almost painting them as being similar to a bunch of Sociopathic Soldiers.
  • Theiss Titillation Theory: Was there any more to Leia's slave girl costume beneath the panels of cloth hanging from front and back of the waistline? According to Carrie Fisher on the commentary, there wasn't, and at times, the cast and crew standing behind her could see "all the way to Florida", as it were. Oola suffers a wardrobe malfunction as she is being dragged towards Jabba the Hutt, and again as she falls through the trap door. You can still see a short bit of the first malfunction in the current special edition. Older editions have longer scenes.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • The musical number "Jedi Rocks", which replaced "Lapti Nek" in the 1997 version (see above) for no discernible reason except that the latter's disco and funk trappings may have made it seem a bit dated; not only do many fans consider it much more obnoxious and trying too hard to be funny, but complain that it's overly distracting in the scene itself. (Joh Yowza even gets up and yells right into the camera at one point.)
    • The 2004 rerelease changed the ending so that Hayden Christenson appears as Anakin Skywalker's force ghost instead of Sebastian Shaw, the original. This caused a LOT of hate to be spewed, particularly at Hayden. This has lessened of late, however, with the revelation that George Lucas made this change by himself with stock footage, and Hayden was apparently never told about this change or had any part in it.
      • Which does explain the creepy quasi-dark Anakin eyes Christenson is giving the camera.
    • On the other hand, the change in music for the ending from Yub Nub to Victory Celebration was widely praised by nearly everybody.
  • Tear Jerker: Vader's death and funeral at the end.
  • Ugly Cute: Anakin's face under the Darth Vader mask is horrendously scarred, but looks like a kindly old man otherwise.
  • Vindicated by History: After the near-universal backlash against Jar-Jar Binks in the Prequel Trilogy, many fans have looked more favorably upon the Ewoks.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • Of course this applies to all the films, but this one stands out for the Sarlacc Pit fight, the speeder bike chase, and the battle royale at the end, capped off with the Falcon outrunning a massive fireball, Raiders of the Lost Ark style.
    • The crew involved with the speeder bike chase said in particular that the script just said "They jump on the bikes and take off at 100 miles an hour." They had to make it happen using fairly crude 1980s blue-screen technology; so they did.
    • The Rancor holds up surprisingly well even after thirty years.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: ROTJ frequently gets derided as being "too kid-friendly", despite Leia getting turned into Jabba's pleasure slave, wearing next-to-nothing.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: The whole thing about the Ewoks is said (supposedly by Lucas himself) to be a deliberate parallel to Vietnam. Because, you know...the Viet Cong were adorable teddy bears of people driven to fight the "evil empire" of America, and...
  • The Woobie:
    • The Rancor keeper crying over his dead pet. And the Rancor itself, once you know it's backstory and the fact that Rancor are naturally a relatively peaceful species. They are essentially the pitbulls of the Star Wars universe: gentle animals that can, by cruel treatment, be turned into vicious monsters. This one here acts the way it does because Jabba doesn't feed it very much, hence why it eats everything thrown into the pit, it's horribly underfed, and he also made it fight other dangerous creatures as big as it was. The animal keeper was planning to escape with it because Jabba was planning to pit it against something bigger than it was, but then Luke showed up...
    • If you doubt that Oola is a woobie, read Tales from Jabba's Palace.