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Film / Return of the Jedi

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Due to the sheer volume of spoilers, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Luke Skywalker: I am a Jedi, like my father before me.note 

Luke Skywalker has returned to
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 Jedinote  is the sequel to The Empire Strikes Back and the third and final film in the Star Wars original trilogy. It is directed by Richard Marquand, with the screenplay written by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas and the story written by Lucas. It was released on May 25, 1983.

The story opens a year after the previous film, with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) on a mission to rescue Han Solo (Harrison Ford) from the alien crime lord Jabba the Hutt, alongside a repentant Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams). Returning victorious to the Rebel Alliance, they discover that the evil Emperor (Ian McDiarmid) is personally overseeing the construction of a new Death Star alongside Darth Vader (David Prowse, with voice dubbing by James Earl Jones).

Seizing on the opportunity, the Alliance sends the heroes to lead a covert strike team on the moon of Endor and disable the Death Star's defenses, while the Rebel fleet prepares to assault the station itself in orbit. All the while, Luke wrestles with yet another revelation about his family's history and prepares for what is sure to be his last confrontation with his father...

The film also stars Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Kenny Baker as R2-D2 and Frank Oz as Yoda.

The film's story is followed in chronological order by The Mandalorian (which begins five years later) and The Force Awakens (which takes places thirty years later). The film is followed in production order by The Phantom Menace.

I am a troper, like my father before me.

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    Tropes # to B 
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
    • Luke and Vader's final conversation, followed the latter'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.
  • Act of True Love: Vader fulfills his destiny and succeeds where both Yoda and Mace Windu failed in finally destroying the Emperor, free from hate and fear, as he was motivated by nothing but pure love for his son.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Boushh demands double the listed bounty on Chewbacca from Jabba the Hutt. Jabba bursts out laughing and asks why. Boushh replies, "Because I'm holding a thermal detonator."i.e. Everybody in the throne room immediately panics... except Jabba, who laughs even harder and then coolly offers to meet Boushh halfway.
    Jabba: This bounty hunter is my kind of scum: Fearless and inventive.
  • 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.
  • Against My Religion: Played with. C-3PO is mistaken by the Ewoks as one of their gods, so Han asks him to order the Ewoks to let them go. Threepio responds "It's against my programming to impersonate a deity." Later on, though, he does order the Ewoks to let them go, but they don't care... until Luke helps by using the Force to make Threepio "display" godly powers.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Leia and Han Solo have consumated their bond by the start of this film, wherein Leia and Han Solo are twenty-three and thirty-six respectively
  • Aggressive Negotiations: When Leia (pretending to be a male bounty hunter) demands double the reward for bringing in Chewbacca:
    C-3PO: The mighty Jabba asks why he must pay fifty thousand. [Leia pulls out and arms a grenade] Because he's holding a thermal detonator!
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When the Emperor tortures Luke with Force lightning and it has become clear that Luke has no way to fight back or even survive, he begs his father for help.
  • Airstrike Impossible: Since the new Death Star's reactor is protected in such a way that an attack from outside won't work like it did on its predecessor, the Rebels have to fly inside the station and blow up the reactor at close range.
  • 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 figuring 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 little choice but 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.
  • Alice Allusion: The film's costume designer acknowledged the Caterpillar from Alice as an inspiration for Jabba the Hutt (although Roger Ebert pointed out that Jabba's face looks more like the Cheshire Cat).
  • Alike and Antithetical Adversaries: The movie has the multi-species Rebels and the implied in costume fascist Empire. EU material confirms the Empire to be speciesist, employing (mostly) only white male humans.
  • All According to Plan: The Emperor is quite fond of this. He tells Luke that "everything that has transpired has done so according to my design."
  • Allegiance Affirmation: During their confrontation aboard the second Death Star, Luke Skywalker tells Palpatine where to stick it.
    Luke: You've failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.
  • Alliterative Name: Heroic Ewok warrior Wicket Wystri Warrick. Also, his siblings Weechee, Willy, and Winda.
  • All There in the Manual: Even though the names "Palpatine" and "Ewok" are widely known, they are never uttered once in this movie. Although Palpatine's name was first mentioned in the novelization of A New Hope, it wouldn't be mentioned in the movies until the prequels. The word "Ewok" appears in Return of the Jedi's end credits and in its novelization, despite it never being spoken onscreen. Jedi's credits and novelization also specify that the Ewok whom Leia befriends (the one played by Warwick Davis) is named Wicket, which is also never mentioned in the film proper.
  • Alpha Strike: In the final battle, Ackbar orders a full assault on the Super Star Destroyer, taking out the most senior staff of the enemy Navy fleet above the forest planet of Endor.
  • Already the Case: Darth Vader, who has killed the Emperor and gotten zapped by Force Lightning in the process, asks Luke to remove his helmet so Anakin Skywalker can look on his son with his own eyes. Luke protests that Anakin will die, but Anakin points out he's already dying. Then, Luke says he must save his father, but Anakin says Luke has done that as well.
  • And I Must Scream: In the novelization, Han describes the carbon freezing as "not just sleeping, but a big wide awake nothing." Also, if you get eaten by a Sarlacc, you are slowly digested for 1,000 years.
  • And Mission Control Rejoiced: Twice:
    • The Rebel Base's mission control celebrates the destruction of the Death Star, much like in A New Hope.
    • The bridge of the Raddus does this after the Dreadnought is taken down.
  • Androcles' Lion: Since Luke convinces his friends not to harm the Ewoks and surrender, they return the favor by saving the Rebels from the Imperials during the planetside part of the final battle.
  • And Starring: The cast roll ends with "and Alec Guinness as Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi".
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: When the Emperor dies, we see no one mourn, but hundreds dancing and singing, including the "Nations of the World" Montage in the Special Edition.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: In an attempt to rile Luke into turning bad, Vader starts to threaten his friends. He doesn't faze Luke until he discovers his love for Leia and starts to talk about what he'll do to her.
    Vader: If you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps she will.
    Luke: Never!
  • 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.
  • Anti-Vehicle: The Ewoks employ, among their arsenal of creatively improvised weapons and booby traps, lassos and clotheslines to snag Imperial speeder bikes and their riders.
  • Antlion Monster: The Sarlacc is a plant-like monster whose body is mostly buried underground, exposing only a beaklike mouth and a set of tentacles at the bottom of a steep pit.
  • Any Last Words?: Jabba the Hut gives our heroes the opportunity to grovel for mercy before being thrown to the Sarlacc. Han Solo replies for them all.
    Han: 3PO, you tell that slimy piece of worm-ridden...filth he'll get no such pleasure from us! (uncertain look at Chewbacca) Right?
  • Appeal to Force: As Boushh demonstrates, armed hand grenades make great negotiation aids.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Jabba and Boussh, after the latter threatens the former into giving him more money:
    Jabba: "Hohoho! This bounty hunter is my kind of scum! Fearless and inventive!"
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: While on Endor, Leia demonstrates terrible trigger discipline to the extent that she could have easily killed Wicket through a negligent discharge — all due to her having her finger in the trigger guard. She could have easily shot herself when holstering her weapon as well.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Yoda, and then Anakin, become one with the Force.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: Like in Empire Strikes Back, the Rebel flagship Home One is shown to share the clean regal asthetics of the Tantine IV.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Alien language examples abound in the movie. The Ewok speak Tagalog, a Philippine language. Huttese spoken by Greedo, Jabba, and others is bad Quechua, spoken in a variety of dialects. Lando's copilot Nien Nunb speaks the Tanzanian language of Haya.
  • Assurance Backfire: When Han Solo prepares to ambush a group of Stormtroopers on the forest moon, he tells Luke and Leia, "Hey... it's me." They roll their eyes, telling the viewers succinctly that that's exactly what they're worried about.
  • The Atoner: Lando Calrissian, after his deceptiveness led to Han being imprisoned in frozen carbonite, lends his aid on Tatooine as well as leading the Rebel fleet.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The Empire learns from the first Death Star when building the second. Instead of having a small number of exhaust ports big enough to shoot through, it has lots of tiny ones across its surface, all too small to be targeted. Unfortunately for them, the Battle of Endor takes place before the outer shell is finished, allowing the Rebels to fly starfighters straight into the reactor as soon as the planetside shield generator fails.
  • Attack of the Monster Appendage: When Threepio is being led down into the dungeon, something's tentacle emerges from a cell and grabs his neck. One of the Gamorrean guards escorting him beats the thing back. Return of the Jedi also features the Sarlacc, which is only ever seen as a giant, tentacle-filled mouth (and in the Special Edition an inner mouth with a beak) that grab victims and drag them down into the mouth to eat.
  • Attempted Rape: After being entranced by his slave girl Oola's dance, Jabba the Hutt pulls on the chain around her neck with intention to perform sexual advances on her. But she starts fighting back, which (at first) only arouses Jabba even more. But when she has not surrendered, he grows very spiteful of her and drops her down the trapdoor to be eaten by the rancor.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: There's a lot of tension between Leia and Han throughout the movie over Leia's love for Luke, but when Han sees Leia get one over on some Stormtroopers, he can't help but finally say he loves her.
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: When captured by Jabba, the male Luke gets to keep his usual clothes, but the female Leia is forced to change into a very revealing metal bikini.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: Implied. Jabba never orders Leia's change in wardrobe from Bounty Hunter to odalisque on screen, but there is little question as to which of the two desired the change.
  • Batman Gambit: Emperor Palpatine. So the Rebel Alliance was willing to risk everything to destroy the first Death Star? Good...
  • Battle Bolas: Makeshift bolas made of stones and ropes are among the primitive weapons used by the Ewoks. They're mostly used for incapacitating the Empire's ground troops during the Battle of Endor, with at least one random Ewok accidentally tangling himself with an ill-timed swing.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Out-of-universe example. Carrie Fisher complained about her costumes being boring. The costuming department promptly returned with a golden bikini.
  • 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.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Darth Vader lets Moff Jerjerrod know that the Emperor is not as forgiving as he is. As Vader is the Trope Namer for You Have Failed Me, Jerjerrod's reaction is an understated (but very definite) Oh, Crap!
  • 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 are the ones who come from nowhere to save the day when the Rebels were ambushed by Imperial forces by the shield generator.
  • Big "NEVER!": When Vader threatens to turn Leia to the Dark Side instead of him, Luke jumps out of hiding yelling "Never" and acts his father.
  • Big "NO!": The new Blu-Ray edition of the film adds a "No...NO!" (a retroactive callback to Revenge of the Sith according to George Lucas) 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.
    • Some of C-3PO's Huttese dialogue is actually Polish (albeit very poorly pronounced). Specifically, during his conversation with the mechanical "eye" guarding Jabba's palace, he says "Tutaj mieszka Jabba the Hutt?" which means "Does Jabba the Hutt live here?"
  • Bittersweet Ending: Luke's faith in his father is ultimately rewarded as Anakin saves him from Palpatine, but he dies of his injuries shortly afterward. It's made more bittersweet with hindsight — though the Empire begins to collapse, it will reform generations later with a resurrected Palpatine pulling its strings.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Darth Vader turns against Palpatine himself upon seeing Luke gets tortured by him.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: The Emperor has the impressive looking Imperial Guards, and as we see, is perfectly capable of effortlessly killing them all.
  • 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 note  might not like seeing his son tortured to death in front of him.
  • Bonding over Missing Parents: Luke and Leia talk on Endor about their real mother and Luke learns a little about her from what little Leia can remember.
  • 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.
  • Boss-Arena Idiocy: Palpatine has a pit in his throne room leading all the way to the reactor, with seemingly no purpose other than for him to eventually get thrown in. A downplayed example, as Luke or Vader could conceivably kill him in other ways (although the explosion when he dies might kill them as well.)
  • Boulder Bludgeon: The Ewoks toss large rocks down upon a squad of Imperial troops. Though their Imperial armor mitigates the damage, the impacts nonetheless knock them off their feet.
  • 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.
  • Bring Him to Me: The Emperor has Vader bring Luke to his throne room inside the new Death Star. Compounded by sending all the Emperor's usual guards out of the room. The Emperor really needs to see Luke in person to make a new Sith of him, and plans to blast his morale by showing him the Rebel fleet getting trashed; on the other hand, that's the same young man who was responsible for wiping out the last Death Star... maybe showing him around the new one isn't such a great plan.
  • Brutal Brawl: The final lightsaber battle between Luke and Darth Vader is notably smaller and more intense than previous battles in the series, especially when Luke gives into his rage and viciously hammers with his lightsaber, cutting off Vader's hand.
  • Building Swing: An oft-talked about gaffe is that Luke and Leia's building swing off of Jabba's skiff involved a rope that could not physically be attached to either Jabba's skiff or the rescue speeder.
  • Burp of Finality: After the bounty hunter Boba Fett slides into the Sarlacc's mouth, it burps to show he's started to (to quote Jabba the Hutt) "find a new definition of pain and suffering" as he's "slowly digested over 1,000 years". Although it ultimately turns out to be not so final.

    Tropes C to E 
  • Cadre of Foreign Bodyguards: Jabba the Hutt relies on brutish Gamorrean guards for security. Justified because Hutts aren't exactly fit for combat, as shown by this image of what passes for "fit" among the Hutts.
  • Call-Back:
    • "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.
    • At the beginning of the film, R2 is insistent that he deliver Luke's message to Jabba directly, just like in A New Hope.
      C3P0: "I'm terribly sorry. I'm afraid he's ever so stubborn about these sorts of things."
    • Also, the droid duo once again trek across the Tatooine sands.
    • A retroactive one. When Palpatine tortures Luke with Force lightning, Vader lets out a Big "NO!", just like he did in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Calm Before the Storm: The night before the assault on the second Death Star, Luke and Leia have a moment where they have a talk about various things, Luke telling her he intends to go confront Vader personally, that he's Vader's son and that Leia is also his sister. He then leaves to surrender himself to the Imperials and the rest of the Rebel team makes preparations to attack the shield generator protecting the station.
  • Cannot Kill Their Loved Ones: After confirming that Darth Vader is his father, Luke says he can't kill him. After Luke surrenders to Vader and Palpatine, he's determined to convince Vader to renounce the Dark Side, and when the two end up dueling, generally sticks to defense and trying to withdraw. He only outright attacks Vader when he threatens Leia.
  • 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.
  • Cargo Cult: The Ewoks bowing down to worship C-3PO, due to him being a robot (though one with emotions).
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: When Han and Luke are reunited for the first time since Cloud City, they have a nice chat despite being captives of Jabba with a death sentence hanging over their heads.
    Han: Together again, huh?
    Luke: Wouldn't miss it.
    Han: How we doing?
    Luke: Same as always.
  • Catch a Falling Star: The Ewoks diving from far above in a hang glider to make a midair catch.
  • Caught in a Snare: Luke, Han, Chewie, and the droids get caught in a net trap set up by the Ewoks.
  • Chair Reveal: It's not the first time the audience sees him, but when Luke is brought before the Emperor, the Emperor is facing out of the observation window before turning his chair to face him.
  • 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 Stormtroopers, 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.
  • A Chat with Satan: The Emperor tries to seduce Luke into joining the Dark Side by confronting him with the darkness inside himself. Luke, in turn, plays an inverted Satan for Darth Vader, confronting him with his own hidden goodness.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Luke's mechanical right hand. After defeating Vader, Luke looks at his own right prosthetic limb, and then down to Vader's severed arm stump. This makes Luke realize he is becoming more like his father.
  • Chekhov's Skill: C-3P0's interpreter skills come in handy when the Rebels recruit the Ewoks to their side against the Empire.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Implied. C3PO's programming forbids him from ever impersonating a deity.
  • Climax Boss: Jabba the Hutt, who serves as the Arc Villain for the heroes' Tatooine arc. The rest of the film is the Rebels' last stand against the Empire, led by The Reveal of their leader, The Emperor himself.
  • Clothing Damage: A non-fanservice example. During the final battle, Luke gets the collar of his black suit torn open, showing the light gray lining of his jacket underneath. This is to show us that he's overcome the Dark Side that was building up since the beginning of the movie.
  • 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 and 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: The last part of Vader and Luke's duel sees Vader stalking through the shadows with his lightsaber out, reading the boy's thoughts and threatening his loved ones in a bid to get Luke to fight back with the power of the Dark Side.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Marvel Comics adapted the movie as a standalone miniseries.
  • Complexity Addiction:
    • After becoming Emperor, Palpatine develops a frankly ridiculous plan due to Skewed Priorities, leaking schematics of the Death Star II and putting himself personally at risk in order to trap the Rebels and methodically destroy them with the Death Star II. This is highlighted by the fact that, per Vader, Imperial Intelligence knew where the Rebels were assembling their fleet. A strike right then and there by a couple dozen battle squadrons from the local sector fleet could have crippled the Rebellion. But Palpy was more interested in seducing Luke to the Dark Side than in winning a military victory, and kept pursuing his overcomplicated plan even after it became apparent the Rebels were not playing ball.
    • The plan to rescue Han from Jabba the Hutt at the beginning of Jedi is also ridiculously complex, to the point where there is still considerable debate among fans as to what the original plan was, and how much was planned and how much was improvised, or if there were possibly several different plans going on at once. First Lando infiltrates the palace as a guard, then Luke sends the droids to Jabba as a "gift", then Leia arrives disguised as a bounty hunter with Chewie as her prisoner, then Leia frees Han from the carbonite but is discovered and taken captive, then Luke arrives and attempts to negotiate only to be forced to fight the rancor, then Jabba gets mad and sentences everyone to death, then they're taken to the Sarlacc Pit, then they kill everyone and go home. One wonders why any step besides that last one was necessary. Luke does seem to want to give Jabba the opportunity to resolve things peacefully, but that still makes everything that happened before Luke arrived pointless.
  • Connected All Along: Luke and Leia turn out to be twins Separated at Birth.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Jabba The Hutt runs a criminal empire on Tatooine, where most people are slaves, farmers, peasants, and thieves struggling to make a living in the sandy wastes. Jabba by contrast lives in a cool, air-conditioned palace where he's perpetually entertained by dancers, musicians, scantily-clad slave women, his personal jester, lavish meals that he gobbles down greedily, and a small collection of monsters he regularly feeds people to for his amusement. He's constantly in need of new droids because he keeps having his old ones destroyed (read: tortured to death) for petty reasons, like a toddler breaking his toys. When he plans to execute our heroes, he does so in a massive sand barge that roars over the barren planet blaring loud music and serving exotic drinks. Even Jabba's design as a grotesque, morbidly obese slug who can barely move under his own power is designed to indicate the worst excesses of greed, gluttony, and selfishness.
  • Contrasting Sequel Setting: The movie spends much of its time on the forest moon of Endor, contrasting both the barren wastelands of Tatooine and Hoth.
  • 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.
  • Cooking the Live Meal: After capturing Luke, Chewie and Han Solo, the Ewoks carry them into their village tied to poles and place them over fire pits strewn with bones. As the Ewoks pile up wood beneath them, 3PO (who is the only one to understand their language) informs Han that he is going to be the main course of the coming banquet. The Ewoks are about to kindle the fire under Han when Luke scares them into submission by use of the force.
  • 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 Calamari 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.
    • The Polish 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 
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Director Richard Marquand and co-producer Robert Watts portray the crewmen of the AT-ST that is captured by Chewie and some Ewoks.
    • Ben Burtt, the sound designer for the original trilogy and other Star Wars entries, has a cameo as Colonel Dyer, the Imperial officer Han kills by knocking off a balcony in the shield generator bunker. During Dyer's death, Burtt imitated the Wilhelm Scream he helped popularize in his sound design work.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Leia kills Jabba by strangling him with the chain he used to bind her to him. We get almost 30 seconds of him desperately gasping for air and trying to pull the chain off before he perishes. Even considering he completely deserved it, it's still probably the most disturbing death in the whole original trilogy.
  • Cryo Sickness: When Han Solo is thawed out from the brick of carbonite, he's too weak to stand, and blind on top of it. It takes him all the rest of Act 1 to get better.
  • 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 the Death Star II's shield is brought down. In particular we see it use its superlaser (which, unlike the first Death Star's, doesn't take hours to recharge and has at least some aiming ability, allowing it to blow up several capital ships).
    • 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.
    • The Emperor in turn effortlessly defeats Luke, who doesn't land a single blow on 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.
  • Dance Party Ending: The movie concludes with the famous scene when the heroes party with their new Ewok friends. Yub Nub! The George Lucas Altered Version (which replaced the original music for this) coupled this with a lot of other parties from various planets that have suffered under the Empire.
  • Dangerous Drowsiness: When Yoda is on his deathbed, he's very lethargic and talks about wanting to sleep.
  • Dark Reprise: Yoda's death music is a sad reprise of his theme and the Force theme.
  • Darker and Edgier:
  • David Versus Goliath: The Rebel Alliance in general, but in particular, A-wing vs. Super Star Destroyer. His squadron decimated and his own ship crippled, a courageous/desperate A-wing pilot lets out a scream as he points his nose at the exposed bridge of the Executor and plows right into it as other elements of the leviathan warship's bridge tower also burn. 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.
  • Deadly Force Field: Narrowly avoided. Palpatine lured the Rebels to Endor with the hope of getting most of their fleet to crash into the Death Star II's deflector shield, which the Rebels thought Han's team had brought down. Lando Calrissian and Nien Nunb deduce that the shield is still up with seconds to spare and order the fleet to break off. According to the novelization, not everyone pulled up in time.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Han Solo once again has his moments of sarcasm and snark:
    • "Good! I hate long waits" when C-3PO translates him that Luke and Chewbacca will be executed on Jabba's orders.
    • "Well, why don't you use your divine influence and get us out of this?" to C-3PO when they get captured by Ewoks.
    • Jabba himself also has his moments: "Oh, I am sure I will" Jabba says sarcastically to Leia after she says he will regret his actions before he kisses her.
    • Luke delivers this gem towards Palpatine: "Your confidence is your weakness".
  • Dead Person Conversation: Luke talks to the spirit of Obi-Wan on Dagobah after Yoda dies.
  • Deathbed Confession: Just before he dies, Yoda tells Luke that he must confront Darth Vader before he can become a Jedi and that there is another Skywalker. Yoda also confirms to Luke what the latter was told from Vader but struggled to believe: Vader is Luke's father.
  • Death Is Dramatic: Boba Fett is killed off by accident by being pushed onto the maws of a Sarlacc, despite having been hyped as a force to be reckoned in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Deathly Unmasking: In the finale, Darth Vader, having been turned back to the Light Side of the Force by his love for his son Luke and mortally wounded in the process of defeating Emperor Palpatine, asks Luke to help him remove his mask so he can see him with his own eyes before he dies. In this case, he's not just revealing his true face and finally reclaiming his former identity as Anakin Skywalker, but also cutting short what little remains of his life; without his mask's life-support functions, he will die — though, as he points out, this would have happened anyway sooner or later thanks to his wounds.
  • 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.
  • Decapitation Strike: The Emperor lures the Rebel Alliance into attempting one against him as bait for a trap, which in turn would have let the Empire destroy most of the Alliance's military. Unfortunately for him, his foresight proves fallible, and the Rebels' strike is ultimately successful, taking out the Emperor and a number of high-ranking admirals and generals (Darth Vader — the closest thing to a potential successor for Palpatine — also died, although only after his Heel–Face Turn and not due to the Rebel attack) and dealing the Empire a crushing defeat they never recover from.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The Emperor explodes on impact after being thrown down the reactor shaft at the climax of the film.
  • Defensive Feint Trap:
    • The attack on the second Death Star. The Rebels attacked because they believed the Emperor's Defensive Feint Trap — that the station was incomplete and vulnerable. Instead, not only was the station fully operational, but the arriving Rebels were ambushed by the Imperial fleet behind Endor.
    • It's also done to a stormtrooper by the rebels on Endor; Han walks up to the guard, taps him on the shoulder, and runs around the corner. The guard follows, into a pack of rebels.
    • After that, C-3PO lures a squad of stormtroopers who went in to capture them, then the Ewoks ambushed them from behind.
    • Lastly, the Rebels trick the bunker into opening its doors with a false transmission claiming that they were retreating. Immediately after the bunker sends reinforcements to pursue, said reinforcements are surrounded by Ewoks and a smirking, shrugging Han.
  • 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, "Jabba, 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:
  • Den of Iniquity: Jabba's audience chamber, complete with conveniently-located Rancor pit.
  • Dialogue Reversal: In The Empire Strikes Back, Leia tells Han, "I love you," to which he answers (in an ad-libbed line), "I know." In this movie, Han tells Leia, "I love you," to which she replies, "I know."
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Palpatine mocks Luke for thinking he was ignorant of the Rebels attack on the Empire's greatest weapon.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Yoda is briefly taken aback when Luke's questioning on his deathbed reveals he now knows Vader's true identity. Yoda admits this is unexpected; he and Obi-Wan didn't anticipate that Vader would tell Luke the secret.
  • 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 had he not turned back.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Darth Vader dies in Luke's arms, shortly after he defeated Palpatine.
  • Diegetic Switch: The movie ends with a celebratory song by the Ewoks, which blends into a glorious choral crescendo well out of the little aliens' vocal range. (At least it used to.)
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Jabba the Hutt serves as the antagonist during the first third of the movie, being the one who originally ordered Han's capture and eventually order his (and the other characters') execution in the desert of Tatooine. Neither Darth Vader nor the Emperor make their moves (nor do the good guys think of them yet due to the bigger urgency they have at hand) until after Jabba is gotten rid of.
  • Disease Bleach: While not directly mentioned, it is obvious that the stress of being Darth Vader's fleet commander for just six months to a year has not been good for Admiral Piett.
  • Dispense with the Pleasantries: 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, while the deleted scene later turned up in Expanded Universe materials.
  • Distract and Disarm: In a close variant, an Imperial scout trooper has Leia at gunpoint. Wicket the Ewok sneaks up and smacks the trooper's leg with his spear. The trooper goes "What the—" and looks down, and Leia grabs a handy branch and brains the trooper with it, then grabs her gun back from him and kills his partner before he can escape.
  • Dodge by Braking: Luke does this during the speeder bike chase on Endor
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Although the battle between the Stormtroopers and Ewoks was said by Lucas to be a subtle reference to the Vietnam War, from a more overt perspective the scenario of sophisticated colonial soldiers with British accents fighting a desperate battle against determined natives with spears, could be interpreted as being a reference to the Battle of Rourke's Drift that occurred during the Anglo-Zulu War in the late 1870s, most famously depicted in the movie Zulu.
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: In his hologram message, Luke tells Jabba "You can profit by this, or be destroyed." The unusually convoluted plan to rescue Han from Jabba's palace can be explained by Luke wanting to keep violence to a minimum, but if Jabba keeps refusing to release Han, Luke and his friends have to keep escalating until they end up killing Jabba as well as everyone else on the sail barge and both guard skiffs.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title could refer to Luke, who just became a Jedi Knight and is returning for the sequel; Anakin, who returns to being a Jedi when he redeems himself; or the return of the Jedi Order.
  • Downer Beginning: The disaster carried over from the previous film sees Han Solo a prisoner of Jabba the Hutt, and a new Death Star being built, although the scrolling text is more optimistic.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: The plan is to stop the completion of the second Death Star. When it all goes to hell, it's revealed that the Death Star's superlaser is already operational, at which point it starts picking off the Rebel Alliance's capital ships one shot at a time. Lando Calrissian then suggests engaging the Imperial Fleet directly in ship-to-ship combat, correctly guessing that the Death Star would hold its fire to avoid destroying friendly ships.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Princess Leia reveals herself to Han Solo and to the audience early in the movie, as she'd been masquerading as a mysterious bounty hunter until then.
  • Dressing as the Enemy:
    • Lando dresses as one of Jabba's guards to infiltrate the palace.
    • On Endor, Han wears an AT-ST commander's helmet and requests reinforcements to get the Imperial troops in the bunker to open the door.
    • Hard to see, but the bearded Rebel commando takes the captured scout trooper's armor.
  • Drone of Dread: The theme for the Emperor becomes very creepy due to the droning chorus.
  • Due to the Dead: Luke gives Anakin a Jedi's funeral on Endor.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Special Edition added a scene with Coruscant as part of the new ending montage, which gave fans a good look at the Empire's capitol planet about two years before The Phantom Menace came out, with the Jedi Temple (the Imperial Palace at the time) prominently featured in the background. Later revisions of the Special Edition from 2004 onward gave audiences a look at Hayden Christensen's appearance as Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith months before that movie was released.
  • 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 giving him a happy farewell. The Force Awakens unfortunately shows that it didn't last forever, as the First Order took the Empire's place and managed to take over a significant amount of the galaxy, but legacy of the heroes that fought in this war is ultimately protected at great cost.
  • Easily Forgiven: After telling Luke that he had to kill his father, who they believed to be beyond redemption, Obi-Wan and Yoda's Force Spirits seem to be surprisingly chill with Anakin suddenly joining them from beyond in spite of the fact that he was instrumental in the fall of the Jedi Order.
  • Ending Memorial Service: The movie's ending shows Luke as the only attendee of Darth Vader's funeral pyre.
  • 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.
  • Establishing Character Music: The first time we see the Emperor in person we hear first a bombastic take on the Imperial March as his forces are assembled in a grand spectacle as Vader kneels before his master, then as Palpatine descends his shuttle's ramp a low men's chorus takes over with a tune of quiet malice.
  • "Everyone Comes Back" Fantasy Party Ending: Anakin's shade is standing, smiling — albeit reticently — with Obi-Wan and Yoda.
  • 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 Cannot Comprehend Good: The idea the Vader still loves his son and can be redeemed, never occurs to the Emperor.
  • 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."
  • Explosive Instrumentation: Inverted when an A-wing kamikazes into the bridge of a Star Destroyer, it causes explosions to break out in other parts of the ship.
  • Eye Scream: Salacious B. Crumb nearly tore C-3PO's right eye out.

    Tropes F to I 
  • Face Death with Dignity: Anakin would rather die more quickly while looking his son in the eyes than push it off a little longer to pass in the back of some Imperial ship.
    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 Framed in Shadow: Luke Skywalker gets this while hiding during the duel with Vader, while Vader is taunting him about his sister. Presumably intended to demonstrate Luke being conflicted and tempted to give in to his anger.
  • Face, Nod, Action: Luke and a disguised Lando Calrissian nod heads just before Luke springs their escape plan.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: Han responds to Jabba's final ultimatum at the Sarlacc pit with a bitter insult.
    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.
  • Fake Arm Disarm:
  • 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. Even worse when you consider she has almost nothing between her and Jabba's slimy body.
  • Fanservice: Why else would you have Carrie Fisher laying around in a gold metal bikini?
  • 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: Luke accurately identifies the Emperor's over-confidence as being this, with his hubris ending up leading to his own death, along with that of much of the Imperial admiralty, the destruction of the Death Star II, and the end of the Galactic Empire itself. For his part, the Emperor claims that Luke's own fatal flaw is his faith in his friends; this turns out to be a case of Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, however, as not only does said faith turn out to be 100% justified, but so does Luke's faith that there's still some good left in Vader.
  • Fed to the Beast:
  • A Fête Worse than Death: Han is spared this ONLY because Luke sets up C-3PO as a shiny, flying, wrathful god-being of his own (much to C-3PO's surprise) with a little help from Force-levitation and Force-shoves. It is noted that the Ewoks do get their feast at the end of the movie.
  • 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: Before dying, Yoda tells Luke more of the truth about his father, his destiny as a Jedi, and finally, that there is another Skywalker blessed in the Force as him.
  • Finish Him!: When Luke has Vader at swordpoint, Palpatine practically hisses at Luke to finish the job.
  • Fireworks of Victory: In the extended editions, scenes featuring various planets around the galaxy celebrating the death of the Empire were added to the end of the movie, fireworks and all (despite the final battle taking place somewhere very isolated where no-one outside of the combatants should have known - however, an episode of The Mandalorian, released in 2020, shows that the destruction of the second Death Star was holo-recorded and broadcast across the galaxy).
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
  • Flaunting Your Fleets: One particular shot shows that the Imperial armada over Endor is positively gigantic. The Rebel Fleet is also treated to a number of establishing shots of their massed assortment of starships and fighters. Of note is the shot of the Fleet just before jumping to Hyperspace, and the shot of the Fleet arriving over Endor just before they realize it's a trap.
  • Flowery Elizabethan English: There's an odd use of the style ("What is thy bidding, my master?") by Darth Vader. His speech is formal and articulate, but these are the only occasions he speaks this particular way. Perhaps it's an ancient Sith greeting.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: According to New Canon EU material, Jabba's pet rancor was called 'Pateesa', Huttese for "friend". It was apparently a birthday present from Bib Fortuna.
  • Forced to Watch: When Luke is taken to Palpatine's throne room the Emperor makes him look out the window and see the battle going on and watch his friend's ships being destroyed. All of this is done in order to provoke Luke into acting on his hatred.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Threepio presents Luke's message to Jabba, his new lightsaber is visibly clipped to his belt. But when Luke finally enters Jabba's Palace himself, there's no sign at all of the weapon. This quietly sets up the reveal that Artoo's been carrying the weapon inside his storage compartment; it was a precaution if (and more likely when) negotiations with Jabba broke down and they had to get Han out by force.
    • Subverted when Han is leaving for the Endor mission and says with great gravity as he stares at the Millennium Falcon, "I just got this funny feeling, like I'm not gonna see her again." It ends up making it through the battle with just a few scratches! This may be related to rumors of alternate endings that were originally considered and not completely written out.
    • Played straight in the next scene when Vader and Palpatine are conferring in his Throne Room. Palpatine orders the Imperial flotilla detached to Endor to shift position to elsewhere in the system until called for. Vader also mentions reports of the Rebel Fleet massing near Sullust, but Palpatine isn't concerned and states the Rebellion will be crushed. These are all clues that Endor isn't just a construction site, but a trap for the Rebels that's about to be sprung.
    • Vader warns Jerjerrod that the Emperor is most insistent that construction on the Death Star is up to speed when he arrives. The reason why becomes clear when the battle begins.
  • 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. 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 Jabba reveals himself while Leia tries to rescue Han, one of his minions can be seen covering Threepio's mouth to keep him from shouting a warning.
    • 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.
    • invokedWhen 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.
      Han: 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.
    • When Han and the strike team invade the shield generator compound, one of the rebels can be seen changing into the garb of one of the felled scout troopers. When the captured rebels are led outside, this character can be spotted among a group being held at gunpoint, still wearing the armor but without the helmet.
    • When Ackbar orders fire to be concentrated on the Executor, one of the normal Star Destroyers in the background explodes into a giant fireball. (More of a Meaningful Background Event, but it may count since absolutely nobody points it out.)
  • Gate Guardian: Jabba the Hutt has a gatekeeper droid that threateningly scrutinizes Artoo and Threepio before letting them into his palace.
  • Generation Xerox: Palpatine makes the same mistake Yoda made with Luke in the last film (and while it was there in the original release, it's retroactively more evident thanks to the Prequels). Having corrupted Anakin decades ago, it's clear Palpatine thinks Luke is just Anakin 2.0 and that corrupting the Son of Skywalker will be no serious challenge. He doesn't realize that while Luke is like Anakin in many ways, he's also not a carbon copy of his father (and if anything, takes more after Padme).
  • Geo Effects: Darth Vader then learns from his experience: When Luke gains the high ground in their fight in the Emperor's throne room, instead of jumping up, Vader stays where he is and throws his lightsaber at him, severing the walkway's supports and forcing Luke back to normal ground.
  • 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 Twi'lek 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 spirit 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.
  • Ghost Reunion Ending: The most famous example. Luke steps away from the celebrations on Endor for a moment to smile at the "Force spirits" of Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin 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).
  • "Good Luck" Gesture: Before they embark on their respective missions, Lando gives Han the same two finger extended version that he and L3-37 exchanged in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Lando even accompanies it with an actual "good luck", which is returned by Han.
  • 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.
  • Gunship Rescue:
    • Just after hijacking it an AT-ST Scout Walker, Chewie started blowing away other Scout Walkers that had been chewing up the Ewoks pretty badly.
    • When Han and Leia manage to take care of a couple of storm troopers giving them trouble, only for a AT-ST Scout Walker to approach them. They give the Oh, Crap! look, only to find out it was the one Chewbacca and the Ewoks hijacked earlier. And in the end they used the communications link in the walker to draw the base guards out rather than just blast open the doors.
  • Gut Feeling: Justified with Luke and Vader, since they can both sense things through the Force.
  • Hand Signals: Luke's salute to R2-D2 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.
  • Hanging by the Fingers: Lando is left hanging by his fingers onto a blaster rifle that Han Solo extended over a Sarlacc that would love nothing more than to consume Lando for dinner.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Luke is able to hold his own against Vader, but Vader was already wavering in his resolve to convert Luke, as evidenced by the regret in his voice during his earlier conversation with Luke in the lift. Luke, however, did get at least several months of more grueling training under Yoda and he was dead set on killing Vader after being pushed off the edge. But he still refuses to kill Vader, and the latter sacrifices himself to kill the Emperor so that Luke might live. So, if anything, it showed that Yoda was right and that Luke was definitely not prepared to face either Vader or the Emperor, while Vader ended up being the one to defeat the Emperor and save the Galaxy.
  • Harmless Electrocution: When the Emperor tortures Luke with Force lightning, he seems to recover from it just fine, although it's clear his life was in danger moments before. Darth Vader, on the other hand, doesn't.
  • He Knows Too Much: This is the reason why the speeder-bike chase happens. While infiltrating Endor near the bunker and the planetary shield, Han steps on a dry twig behind a scout trooper, who tells his comrades to go for help. Chewie kills one, but Luke and Leia have to chase down the other two (and two more who join the chase).
  • 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.
  • Heroic Rematch: After being systematically demolished and having his hand cut off by Darth Vader before learning that Vader is his father in The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker gets his rematch and defeats the dark lord in this movie. In a twist, Luke doesn't actually want to fight Vader, and his real victory comes in convincing his opponent to make a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Luke Skywalker's big counter-offensive during his fight against Darth Vader. In turn, Anakin Skywalker gets his own when he musters just enough energy left in him to hoist Palpatine and toss him to his death, at the cost of his life.
  • Hey, Catch!: Han Solo does this to an Imperial officer, tossing him one of the explosives the Rebels were bringing in, and the unprepared officer is knocked backwards off of a catwalk.
  • 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.
    • As the Emperor tortures Luke with lightning blasts while the latter cries out for help, "Now, young Skywalker, you will die," the Emperor charges up a full blast to kill him once and for all; but Vader, seeing what is happening, can't stand to see his son in pain and hoists the Emperor into the air, causing the Emperor to zap himself with his own lightning, before being thrown to his death in the Death Star's reactor.
    • During the ground battle on Endor, Chewbacca hijacks one of the Imperial AT-STs and turns its guns on another walker and several squads of Stormtroopers, turning the tide of the battle in the rebels' favour. A few scenes later, Han uses the walker and an Imperial uniform to trick the garrison into leaving the bunker, giving them a chance to blow up the shield generator.
  • Hologram Projection Imperfection: When Luke's message to Jabba (stored in R2-D2) plays, it starts off with a burst of static and ends with one too. During the movie's making, Lucas decided that since the signal had been bouncing halfway across the galaxy it'd be unbelievable for it not to have picked up some interference along the way. Though that doesn't explain why the recordings R2 carried, made by people standing right in front of him, suffered the same problem.
  • 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. Unfortunately, the station's shields are still active and the Imperial Fleet appears soon after to trap the Rebel fleet.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Han tells Threepio to hurry up and tell the Ewoks what they need, after interrupting him several times to add more things.
  • I Am X, Son of Y: After Luke realizes that killing Vader would be a grave mistake on his part, he puts away his lightsaber and reminds the Emperor that he's a Jedi:
    Luke: Never. I'll never turn to the Dark Side. You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: In the original cuts of the movies, Jabba the Hutt was never seen until this one, though he was mentioned in the original. A scene with him was filmed for A New Hope, but never made it to the post-production phase until the Special Edition in 1997, which included a finished version of the scene with a CGI Jabbanote .
  • If I Do Not Return: Luke has a brief conversation with Leia before going off to face Vader. One of the things he tells her is, "If I don't make it back, you're the only hope for the Rebel Alliance." Luckily, thanks to a certain Heel–Face Turn, it doesn't come to that.
  • 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: During Luke and Vader's lightsaber duel.
    Luke: Your thoughts betray you, father. I feel the good in you... the conflict.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: The Luke/Leia/Han Love Triangle is probably the Trope Codifier, at least by the time this movie rolls around. Once we find out Luke and Leia are siblings, their branch disappears, though Han doesn't know that until the end of the movie.
  • Imminent Danger Clue:
    • Wicket senses an unusual scent in the air seconds before a stormtrooper begins shooting at him and Leia.
    • When Lando realizes that the Imperials are jamming their sensors, despite the fact that the attack should be a complete surprise, he immediately concludes that the shield is still up, allowing the fleet to narrowly avoid crashing headlong into it.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Yoda's imminent death is heralded by his rather nasty cough in his last scene while alive, although he apparently dies of simple old age.
  • Inescapable Net: The protagonists find themselves suspended in snare-nets laid by the Ewoks. They are able to quickly escape (thanks to R2D2 producing a small circular saw from its many compartments) but not before the Ewoks arrive in force to surround them.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: At the climax of the movie, Luke deliberately goes without the aid of his comrades to confront Darth Vader and the Emperor. Though as the Emperor disdainfully pointed out, Luke had faith that his friends would succeed.
  • Internal Reveal: The scene where Luke tells Leia that Darth Vader is his father (which he found out last movie) and she is his sister (which he figured out earlier in this one), as well as the scene later on when Leia tells Han are internal reveals.
  • 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.
  • Ironic Last Words: The Emperor has Luke down for the count and decides to torture him while talking about the futility of defying him. This is just before Darth Vader's Heel–Face Turn where he tosses him to his death. All of his Evil Gloating before it comes to a rather ironic conclusion with his demise.
    "If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed! Young fool. Only now, at the end, do you understand. Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side! You have paid the price for your lack of vision! Now, young Skywalker... you will die."
  • 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.
  • Informed Ability: Zig-Zagged. The Emperor tells Luke that an entire legion of his best troops are waiting on the Endor moon for his friends. They are ultimately defeated by the Ewoks, who are armed with rocks and pointy sticks. That said, the stormtroopers actually are winning the battle up until the moment Chewie commandeers one of the AT-ST walkers and turns it against them, allowing the Ewok to gain the upper hand in the confusion.
  • 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.
  • Irony: Vader never achieves the power to save others from death using the Force, like Plagueis reportedly had. However, when Vader saves Luke from Palpatine, he ends up dying in the process. In other words, in his final moments Vader had the power to save others, but not himself.
  • It Only Works Once: The film doesn't directly state it, but the briefing room scene 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.

    Tropes J to O 
  • Jet Pack: Boba Fett 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.
  • Join or Die: Palpatine aims to persuade Luke to join the Dark Side just as the latter is about to kill Vader. When Luke refuses (and also spares Vader), Palpatine warns him that refusing to join him will lead to death:
Emperor Palpatine: If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed!
  • Jungle Warfare: Endor, where the Ewoks make effective use of their knowledge of the jungle environment to lure Imperial troops into their traps.
  • 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. 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.
  • Just in Time: The Death Star II is destroyed just before it's about to destroy Endor.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Palpatine orders Luke to strike down his father Vader, but he sorely underestimates Luke's willpower.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: The Ewoks were intended to be these, even though they're willing to eat sapient life.
  • Kill Him Already!:
  • Kill Sat: The Death Star II. Like its predecessor, it acts like a large artificial satellite capable of obliterating planets with a large energy projectile.
  • Klaatu Barada Nikto: Klaatu the Nikto and Barada of the planet Tatooine are two of Jabba's guards.
  • 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 Princess Leia a slimy lick when she's captured by him.
  • Leg Focus: Leia's Go-Go Enslavement outfit has just two thin strips for a skirt, so they definitely weren't made for covering up her legs.
  • Leitmotif upon Death:
    • After Vader saves Luke from The Emperor's attacks, his suit is badly damaged. When he is about to die a gentler, less sinister version of The Imperial March plays representing his return to the light side of the force.
    • Luke visits Yoda and in the scene his theme plays during it. At the end, he succumbs to his old age.
  • Lethally Expensive: "Many Bothans died to bring us this information." And even then, the Emperor let it happen.
  • Life Will Kill You: After 900 years of adventures, fighting bad guys, and leading the Jedi Order through war and peace, what finally gets Master Yoda is just old age.
    Yoda: Now, will I rest. Yes, forever sleep. Earned it, I have.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Empire Strikes Back is strikingly dark in tone. This one has teddy bears.
  • Literal Disarming: During the Final Battle, Vader loses his hand (chronologically for the second time) to Luke, which allows the latter to win the duel between them through making Luke realize just how close to The Dark Side he's coming.
  • Little Did I Know: The phrase appears in the Opening Scroll regarding Luke not knowing about the construction of the second Death Star. As it turns out, this would lead him to the final battle against the Emperor and Darth Vader.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Threepio is the only member of the team not briefed on the plan for Jabba's palace (as shown by his shock and horror when Luke "gifts" the droids to Jabba in his message). Justifed, as Luke knows Threepio can't lie or keep his vocoder shut if his life depended upon it.
    • Retoractive instance thanks to the Prequels when Obi-Wan and Luke speak on Dagobah. While coming clean about Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader, Obi-Wan does not tell Luke about the Prophecy of the Chosen One (nor does Yoda). In-universe, this can be justified by Obi-Wan and Yoda no longer believing in the Prophecy or that Anakin was the Chosen One (and that it was also irrelevant in the face of stopping Vader and Sidious). The real-life reason, of course, is that George Lucas (probably) hadn't developed that element of Anakin's backstory until he began pre-production on the Prequels a decade later.
  • 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.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: Jabba the Hutt is a crime lord unaffiliated with The Empire. However, he's the main antagonist in Han Solo's personal story arc who plays a prominent role early in the film.
  • 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.
  • Love Redeems: What is it that finally destroys Darth Vader and brings Anakin Skywalker back to the light? His paternal love for his son, Luke.
  • 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.
  • Lured into a Trap: Not only is the shield still up, and not only is the Imperial Fleet on the scene to pin the Rebel Fleet down, but it turns out that the half-completed Death Star is quite operational when they arrive. Thanks to the efforts of the heroes, the Rebels win anyway.
  • Machine Worship: The Ewoks do treat to C-3PO as a golden god at first.
  • Made of Explodium:
    • Jabba's barge deck, since it takes only one shot at it to make the entire barge combust.
      Luke: Point it at the deck!
    • 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. It's practically a Running Gag that every speeder bike in the film crashes, and even the toy was made to "pop apart" to simulate exploding.
  • Manly Tears:
    • Luke sheds several as he exchanges parting words with Anakin after trying and failing to get him off of the Death Star alive. Anakin's eyes are also noticeably moist during this exchange.
    • Malikili, the rancor keeper, breaks down sobbing after the death of his pet at the hands of Luke Skywalker.
  • Mars Needs Women: Jabba the Hutt's apparent sexual desire to chain scantily-clad human and humanoid females to him.
  • 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: Returning to the light side, Anakin Skywalker sacrifices himself to save his son Luke. As Anakin's organic body disappeared into the Force after he died, Luke takes his armor to Endor and holds a Jedi funeral, cremating the armor. Luke carefully held the funeral well away others, knowing that the death of the man known as Darth Vader would be a cause for celebration and not mourning. The Force Awakens reveals that Vader's helmet was scavenged some time after the funeral and came into the possession of Anakin's grandson Kylo Ren.
  • Memorial for the Antagonist: At the end of the film, Luke holds a traditional Jedi funeral for Darth Vader, burning his body on a pyre until it disappears to become one with the Force. It helps that Vader's death had been a Heroic Sacrifice that doubles as Redemption Equals Death to kill the Emperor and save Luke's life.
  • Men of Sherwood: Dozens of unnamed, barely appearing members of the Ewok tribe are primarily responsible for winning the surface portion of the Battle of Endor and only take one or two onscreen casualties.
  • Metaphorically True:
    • Obi-Wan's explanation of what happened to Luke's father; as far as he's concerned, Anakin and Vader literally are two separate people that shared the same body, and 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're going to 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.
  • Middle-Management Mook: Moff Jerjerrod, the Imperial officer in charge of the Death Star. It sounds like an important job, but he's mostly a Beleaguered Bureaucrat Punch-Clock Villain that gets relegated to the background once Darth Vader and the Emperor show up.
  • Million Mook March: Displayed when the Imperials greet Palpatine.
  • Mirror Character: Luke and Vader are moved fully into this position for each other during this film. The arc began way back in A New Hope, when Luke expressed his desire to "learn the ways of the Force, and become a Jedi like my father." The Empire Strikes Back starts emphasizing the dichotomy of this goal: Luke can become a Jedi, and Luke can become like his father, but he cannot do both. This is then underlined in the Emperor's Throne Room in this film, emphasizing Luke's and Vader's parity: anything that is true of one, is true of the other. This is, in fact, the crux of the Emperor's plan: as Vader was seduced by evil, so Luke can too, by both defeating and becoming what he hates. Anything Anakin did, Luke can too. But it's also the crux of Luke's plan: He Takes a Third Option and, instead of defeating or becoming Vader, Sheathes His Sword... and becomes "a Jedi, like my father before me." Anything Anakin did, Luke can too... and, with this action, Luke reminds his father that anything Luke can do, Anakin can too. See this YouTube analysis for detail.
  • Mission Briefing: Mon Mothma leads a briefing on the Rebel Alliance plans for their assault on the second Death Star.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: A third-person version when it is Palpatine slowly killing Luke with 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.
  • Mood Whiplash: A somewhat lighthearted moment in Jabba's palace with lots of music and dancing takes a much darker turn when poor Oola ends up in the rancor pit.
  • Mook Horror Show:
    • The moment Luke Skywalker and his lightsaber are reunited at the Pit of Carkoon, everything goes downhill fast for Jabba the Hutt's assorted gangsters as they are blasted, sliced, sent flying headlong into the Sarlaac's gaping maw, or all three. Jabba himself is strangled to death in the dark by Princess Leia. It doesn't go much better for the Imperial stormtroopers on Endor's moon once the Ewoks get into the fight as they go from having the "Rebel scum" dead to rights to being massacred by a swarm of waist-high teddy bears and their booby traps.
    • There's also the crew of the Executor after a kamikaze Rebel fighter crashes into their bridge and sends them plummeting into the Death Star II.
  • Motile Vehicular Components:
    • The B-Wing fighter-bomber has a pair of fold-away stabilizers, and the whole ship swings around the cockpit from a horizontal to a vertical configuration when they're deployed.
    • Imperial Shuttles have very long dorsal, port, and starboard stabilizers that give the ship an inverted "Y" shape. The two ventral wings swivel upwards when the ship lands.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Jabba captures Leia Organa at the beginning of the film and keeps her as his personal slave. He tries to have her love interest Han Solo fed to the Sarlacc not long afterward, intending to force her to watch. Then again, he wants Han dead or suffering regardless; getting rid of Leia's love interest is just a bonus.
  • 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 Significance Sense Is Tingling:
    • Luke and Vader can sense each other's presence when Luke arrives at Endor.
    • Inverted when the Death Star explodes and Leia doesn't sense anything wrong, meaning that Luke wasn't killed.
  • 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.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Done retroactively. The scene in which Vader chooses to save Luke for good reasons is almost identical to one where he chooses to save Palpatine for selfish reasons in Revenge of the Sith. As such, when both films are taken into account Vader does what he should have done all along: kill Palpatine.
  • "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.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: What's the plot of A New Hope? The Empire has constructed a super-weapon called the Death Star, and the Rebel Alliance has to exploit a fatal flaw to destroy it. What's the plot of 'this film? The Empire has constructed a second Death Star without that fatal flaw, so the Rebel Alliance has to destroy it before it's complete or it will be basically unstoppable.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A subverted example occurs when Chewbacca's hunger for a piece of dangling meat gets the Rebel party trapped by the Ewoks on Endor. It leads 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:
    • Darth Vader trying to provoke Luke by implying Leia would be more susceptible to turning to the Dark Side sends Luke into an Unstoppable Rage that completely overwhelms Vader.
    • The Emperor encouraging Luke to 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. The true mistake from Palpatine's side was believing Luke was like his father. Luke, while having some features of Anakin, was way more like Padmé. And seeing what Anakin had become helped Luke come into his senses. So truthfully, Sidious' attempt to turn Luke was doomed to fail from the beginning.
    • 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 Palpatine to his Disney Villain Death.
  • No Animosity in the Afterlife: After Darth Vader sacrifices himself to save his son Luke and destroy the Emperor, his redeemed self appears as a Force Ghost in the movie's final scene alongside Obi-Wan and Yoda. Neither of them seem to bear him any enmity, despite him having previously aided the Empire in slaughtering their entire order and sort of killed Obi-Wan. Although forgiving is part of the Jedi's way, and Anakin's redemption was genuine.
  • No Endor Holocaust: According to George Lucas, 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.
  • No Name Given:
    • The Emperor is referred to only as such in this and the previous two films; it takes until the prequels for both his true name, Palpatine, and his Sith moniker, "Darth Sidious," to be used.note 
    • The Ewoks are never actually referred to as such in the film itself.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver:
    • Zigzagged. While Luke does go to face the Emperor, it is Vader who throws the Emperor to his death by redeeming himself. Now, that only qualifies for the movie alone. For the entire saga, it is clear Anakin is the protagonist, and the final resolver of the conflict.
    • The Death Star isn't destroyed by any of the main characters; that honor belongs to Lando Calrissian and Wedge Antilles (though Han, Leia and Chewie's group helped by disabling its energy shield).
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Subverted with Palpatine. While the previous movie established him as a Force user, he's an old man who moves slowly and needs a cane to walk, which would make the audience think he wouldn't do well on a battle, and keeps Vader around to do the actual fighting. Then he "shocks" both Luke and the audience when he nearly kills Luke with Force Lightning, an extremely powerful never seen before Dark Side ability.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Lando credits his promotion to Alliance General and Gold Leader thanks to a little manuever he pulled at the Battle of Tanaab.
    • 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. Similarly, Jabba's sail barge has a gun that can be aimed at the barge itself, something that mounted gun design has avoided since people started putting guns on things.
  • 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.
  • The Not-So-Harmless Punishment: Jabba sentences Luke and Han to be fed to the Sarlaac. Han quips that it doesn't sound so bad, until C3PO translates the bit about, "in his belly, you will find a new definition of 'pain and suffering' as you are slowly digested over a... thousand years."
    Han: On second thought, let's pass on that, huh?
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: What has been said about the Emperor so far makes it clear he's very evil, and this film makes it clear that he's a terrifying competent planner; but he doesn't look threatening, he looks like a harmless old man. He's not, he's terrifying powerful, and effortlessly defeats Luke. Yoda even warns Luke "Do not underestimate the powers of the Emperor".
  • 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!:
    • Moff Jerjerrod in the beginning.
      Jerjerrod: [The Emperor] asks the impossible! I need more men!
      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!
      Vader: I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.
    • "I know that laugh."
    • Leia when she realizes what Jabba has planned for her
    • Luke when the Rancor emerges.
    • A subtle one from Yoda on his deathbed when Luke asks if Vader is his father. Realizing Luke now knows the secret, Yoda tries to quietly weasel his way out of it before resignedly confirming it.
    • Downplayed example with Luke on Endor when he surrendesrs and reunites with Vader. Luke's confident Vader's internal conflict means he won't kill him or hand him over to the Emperor. He turns away...and then Vader ignites Luke's lightsaber. The young Jedi unsurprisingly gets visibly nervous for a few moments. He's gambling everything on his father being redeemable, but he also clearly fears he just overrplayed his hand. However, Vader's reponse is thankfully more thoughtful and observational rather than angry.
    • 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.
      C-3PO: Master Luke, you're standing on—
      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 Focus: Han is much less important to the overall narrative than in the previous two films, and has no real arc other than being rescued.
  • 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.

    Tropes P to T 
  • Palate Propping: Luke braces the Rancor's jaws open with a large bone from the floor of its pit. This buys him a few seconds, but not much, as the Rancor's bite is powerful enough to snap it in two.
  • Papa Wolf: Vader kills Palpatine to protect his son, Luke, from being electrocuted to death.
  • Paradise Planet: The forest moon of Endor appears to be one of these, particularly by the end of the film, consisting mainly of tranquil forests and villages of cuddly Ewoks.
  • Parallel Conflict Sequence: The Battle of Endor takes place on three fronts: the ground battle to destroy the second Death Star's shield generator, the space battle to destroy the DS II itself, and the lightsaber battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.
  • 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 whom it fights. Like if Luke was thrown into a lion pit and had to kill it.
  • Planet England: The movie doesn't make it clear if Endor is the name of the forest moon or the planet it orbits. According to the Expanded Universe, they're both called Endor.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: Inverted. As he's dying, Anakin/Vader tells Luke to leave him (which Luke initially refuses to do).
  • 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.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Jabba is a minor obstacle that the heroes have to deal with before getting back to the war against the Empire.
  • Poking Dead Things with a Stick: Played With. Wicket, the Ewok, certainly thinks Leia might be dead when he discovers her unconscious body and pokes her with his spear to check on her status. He is immediately startled when Leia wakes up.
  • Post-Defeat Explosion Chain: The second Death Star is destroyed when the Rebels' attack on its main reactor initiates a chain reaction of explosions that quickly spread through the battlestation before culminating in a larger detonation that destroys it.
  • The Power of Love: This is how Luke helps his father Darth Vader get out of the Dark Side and become Anakin Skywalker again.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Explosion Glow: The second Death Star in flashes lights, minor explosions and gouts of flame all over before it blows up.
  • Prepare to Die: When Luke refuses to give in to the Emperor's demands to succumb to the Dark Side and disarms himself, the Emperor decides to kill him instead.
    Emperor: If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed. (zaps Luke with lightning) Young fool. Only now, at the end, do you understand. (zaps him again) Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the Dark Side! You will pay the price for your lack of vision. (zaps him some more as he cries out for help) Now, young Skywalker... you will die.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Emperor's Imperial Guard, dressed in blood red robes and armed with "force pikes". They mostly serve as set dressing, looking scary in the background but never actually doing anything.
  • Prophecy Twist:
    • The Emperor has it right when he foresees that Skywalker's compassion will be his undoing. His error is in misinterpreting which Skywalker his foresight referred to.
    • There's also a retroactive instance here thanks to the Prequel Trilogy. The Prophecy of the Chosen One stated he or she would destroy the Sith. After Anakin became Vader, Obi-Wan and Yoda believed the Prophecy was wrong... until now. Anakin does destroy the Sith when he turns back to the Light Side. He tosses Palpatine down the reactor shaft and succumbs to his injuries, thereby taking the Sith teachings with him and ending their line. Of course, this is only within the context of George Lucas' films (as the Disney Canon invalidates this).
  • Prosthetic Limb Reveal: Near the end of the Sarlacc pit rescue, one of Jabba's goons manages to shoot Luke's lightsaber hand, which makes him flinch but otherwise doesn't slow him down. After the rescue, a close-up reveals that the hand has wires and metal under the skin that got shot off, a reminder of how he lost his real hand at the end of The Empire Strikes Back and had to get a replacement.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Luke and his friends blowing up Jabba's sail barge to facilitate their escape can seem a bit extreme considering that Jabba is already dead and many of Jabba's servants and underlings are openly depicted as enslaved and thus having to serve Jabba and his entourage against their will. But no effort is made to free Jabba's slaves and captives beyond Han, Leia, and the droids, and the slaves and servants who were brought on the sail barge were all presumably killed in the explosion. As well as presumably innocent civilians such as Max Rebo's band who really just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • 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.
  • Pull The Trigger Provocation: In the climax, Luke is hiding from Vader, refusing to fight him or be goaded anymore. When Vader susses out his sister's existence and brags that they can just turn her instead, Luke flies into a rage, starts channeling The Dark Side (which Yoda and Kenobi both told him was a point of no return,) and brutally curb stomps Vader. Fortunately, after cutting off Vader's hand, Luke manages to regain control of himself and pull back to the light side.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Ackbar sees the Imperials this way. While the other rebels are cheering in celebration, he watches the explosions and sits silently with no joy. It's entirely possible that some of the Imperials were people Ackbar fought alongside during the Clone Wars.
  • Punctuality Is for Peasants: The novelization reveals that Jerjerrod (the commander of the second Death Star) is an arrogant bully who wholeheartedly subscribes to this school of thought. As he sees it, important people, such as himself, don't hurry for others, other people hurry for them. However Jerjerrod does have enough common sense to know that the meeting with Darth Vader from near the start of the film is something he needs to be on time for, even if he tries to appear unconcerned and unhurried. When Vader announces that the Emperor will be coming to the station, however, Jerjerrod basically decides to temporarily ditch the attitude, because there are times when even very important men have to hurry, and trying to make sure he doesn't disappoint The Emperor is one of them.
  • 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.
  • Putting on the Reich: The shot of thousands of troops lined up to welcome the Emperor. Ironically, George Lucas stated in the commentary that that scene in particular was actually intended to reference the May Day Parades of what was at the time the Soviet Union.
  • Quizzical Tilt: The Ewok whom Princess Leia befriends headtilts at her when she tries to talk to him. The child actor (Warwick Davis, in fact) who played the Ewok stated that he purposefully modeled this behavior from his own pet pooch.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Downplayed. Luke is clearly miffed at Obi-Wan for not telling him the whole truth about Vader, but he's also had a year to process the revelation from the last movie, and he gives Obi-Wan a chance to explain himself in a fairly civil conversation.
  • 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.
    Vader: If you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps she will.
    Luke: (igniting his lightsaber) NEVER!
  • Ramming Always Works: A lone A-Wing manages to slip through the Super Star Destroyer Executor's defensive fire and smash into its momentarily unshielded bridge, causing it to lose thruster power after the engineering control was lost and crash into the Death Star before anybody on board could react. The pilot, Arvel Crynyd, had been hit seconds before by defensive fire and had a critically damaged fighter. He thus decided to take as much down with him as he could, which ended up being quite a lot.
    Bridge officer: Sir, we've lost our bridge deflector shield.
    Admiral Piett: Intensify the forward batteries. I don't want anything to get through...
    [sees an out of control fighter coming right at them]
    Admiral Piett: Intensify forward firepower!!
    Crynyd: RHAAAAAAAAA!!!!
    Commander Gherant: TOO LATE!!
  • Reality Has No Subtitles:
    • When C-3PO talks with Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt's Twi'lek majordomo, C-3PO makes an introduction in an untranslated language. After this, everything he says is in English and Bib Fortuna's responses are in the same language, also untranslated.
    • When Luke Skywalker arrives at Jabba's palace, he talks with Bib Fortuna in English, and Fortuna responds in an untranslated language to him.
    • The Ewoks are incomprehensible to all but some of the characters who share the screen with them. (Their language is actually the Jawa language reused for the film.)
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Emperor scornfully condemns Luke for his "feeble skills" and "lack of vision" as he burns him with his lightning.
  • Recognizable by Sound: Leia has just freed Han from carbon-freeze, but before they can get anywhere, they hear a slow, low-pitched Evil Laugh. Han mutters, "I know that laugh." Cue Jabba the Hutt.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: John Williams reused some of his battle music from A New Hope for the Battle of Endor. The attack on the Executor is reused from when the TIE Fighter deployed in the Battle of Yavin.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Emperor's guards wear these colors, which reference their alignment with the Emperor (a Sith himself).
  • Red/Green Contrast: The movie does this twice, but in opposing ways.
    • On the one hand, Rebel ships fire red laser bolts, while Imperial TIE fighters and Star Destroyers fire green ones. Ground troopers on both sides use red blaster bolts, however.
    • On the other, the Sith exclusively use red lightsabers while the Jedi use a variety of colors, most notably green (such as Luke's lightsaber in this movie) and light blue.
  • Reestablishing Character Moment: Luke Skywalker is introduced entering Jabba's palace wearing a black hooded cloak, and easily dealing with his guards with Force chokes and a Jedi mind trick. His effortless entrance demonstrates that he's grown more skilled since his defeat in The Empire Strikes Back, but also, by using the signature power of Darth Vader, that he's grown closer to the Dark Side.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • A bounty hunter barges into Jabba's presence with a chained Chewbacca and threatens to blow everyone up with a thermal detonator unless paid the price he wants. Jabba finds this Actually Pretty Funny, and even Boba Fett gives the bounty hunter a respectful nod. Even more so when you find the bounty hunter is Leia in disguise.
    • 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 attempting to threaten her is the one thing that sets him off.
    • Palpatine attempting to kill Luke is what finally drives Vader to send him falling to his death.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: The Second Death Star is planned to be built without the weakness of the first one. Instead of a single thermal exhaust port large enough for a pair of proton torpedoes to enter, its reactor would instead dissipate heat through millions of millimeter-sized heat dispersion tubes, which would render it immune to that tactic. Fortunately, it is destroyed before it gets fully completed, when there are still many openings in its superstructure leading to the reactor.
  • Request for Privacy: When Darth Vader brings Luke to Emperor Palpatine's throne room on the Death Star, Palpatine orders the guards to leave. His Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred! ploy to turn Luke to the dark side would presumably have been less effective with the heavily armed Imperial Guardsmen present.
  • Rescue Arc: Following the abduction of Han Solo at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, the beginning of this movie revolves around rescuing him and eventually escaping from their planned execution in Tatooine.
  • Restrained Revenge: Vader is not pleased with Moff Jerjerrod's lack of progress in constructing the second Death Star when he arrives and urges his crew to hasten their efforts since Emperor Palpatine is even less tolerant of failure than Darth Vader is. Later depictions of The Emperor make it clear how serious of a threat this was. Vader merely killed those that displeased him; his Master made them suffer.
  • Retcon: Obi-Wan reveals that his claim in A New Hope that Darth Vader betrayed and killed Luke's father was only Metaphorically True. As originally written, the line was meant to be the literal truth; this change set up additional ambiguity about Obi-Wan and Anakin/Vader's mental states on the subject, which would go on to be used in the prequel era.
  • Retroactive Idiot Ball: Leia kissed Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. Then this film has her reveal that she's always known they were siblings.
  • 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.
    • Darth Vader's full name prior to turning was Anakin Skywalker.
  • 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, through booby traps, ambushes and one captured walker manned by Chewbacca. The fact that they had that giant log-based trap set up and ready to go also means they had been preparing something for weeks at a bare minimum, so they would have had a lot of stuff stockpiled.
  • Rocket Ride: The speeder bikes are low-slung hover vehicles that travel at dangerously high speeds, causing them to somewhat resemble rockets as they're going on by any onlookers.
  • 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.
  • Saying Too Much: Palpatine, mastermind of two sides of a galactic war, commander of The Empire… and yet can't resist gloating like a third-rate comic book villain when Luke is about to finish off Vader, which causes Luke to realize just how close to The Dark Side he's going and stop himself.
  • 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 facing his blaster directly at the audience in the poster.
  • Secret Compartment: Artoo and Threepio were donated to Jabba the Hutt as goodwill gifts. Nobody thought much of Artoo, a lowly astrodroid repair 'bot. However, when it seems that Luke Skywalker is about to be fed to the sarlacc, Artoo opens a compartment in his head, from which it ejects a lightsaber. Luke grabs it with the Force to start cutting up Jabba's mooks.
  • 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 are 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: Long believed to be the final chronological chapter of the Star Wars saga, or at least the films. Up until three decades later with Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012, leading to production of the Sequel Trilogy and The Mandalorian which continued the story in live-action.
  • 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.
  • Shock and Awe: This is the first movie to introduce the dangerous Force Lightning, in this case performed by the Emperor onto Luke when the latter refuses to join the Dark Side. The zapping is so harmful that the target is unable to make a comeback for a long time (and the Emperor has no intention of restraining except when gloating about Luke's failure and "lack of vision"). It takes Vader's interruption to save Luke; and even then, because the lightning also ends up harming Vader himself (since the Emperor never stopped casting it even after being interrupted), it ends up costing his life.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: The Battle of Endor was supposed to be a coup de grace to the weakened Alliance to solidify the Empire's control over the galaxy, which utterly backfired. After falling into the Emperor's trap, the Rebels destroyed the Second Death Star, smashed the Empire's best fleet, and, most importantly, killed the Emperor and Darth Vader, causing the collapse of the Empire's chain of command. The resulting power struggles caused the Empire's forces to splinter to the point the badly outnumbered Rebel Alliance could take over much of the galaxy and proclaim the New Republic.
  • 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."
  • Shoot the Rope: Han does shoot the tentacle trying to drag Lando into the Sarlacc's mouth on the first try while nearly blind. While his near-blindness at the time makes the accuracy quite implausible, the fact that it's a tentacle rather than a rope means severing it wasn't necessary; merely inflicting pain was enough to make it release its grip.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Lucas stated that the scene depicting Palpatine's arrival is based on the May Day military marches in Soviet Russia.
    • The novelization and merchandising note that among Jabba's guards are a Klatoonian named Barada and a Nikto named Klaatu.
    • 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.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Just before Luke falls to the Dark Side in his final duel with Vader, he realizes what he's about to do (largely thanks to Palpatine goading him on) and pulls himself back, telling Palps to shove it once and for all.
    Luke: Never. (tosses his lightsaber) I'll never turn to the Dark Side. You've failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.
    Palpatine: (smile twists into an angry frown) So be it...Jedi.
  • Sidekick Ex Machina: Chewbacca hijacks an Imperial walker and rescues Han and Leia from Stormtroopers during the Battle of Endor.
  • Siding with the Suffering: In one of the most famous Heel–Face Turn scenes of all time, Darth Vader turns on Emperor Palpatine and kills him (fatally injuring himself in the process) after seeing his son, Luke Skywalker, being slowly tortured to death by the Emperor's Force lightning attacks.
  • Silence Is Golden: The speederbike chase scene has about one line of dialogue and, unusually for the series, no music; only the sound effects.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: The movie takes place around the same time as the 2017 Battlefront game, Blade Squadron, The Levers of Power, and Lost Stars for the Battle of Endor, in addition to Emperor Palpatine's visit to the Death Star II in the latter.
  • Single-Episode Handicap: Han Solo is blind for the first third of the movie due to hibernation sickness.
  • Slimeball: Jabba the Hutt is a literal example, being both a total sleazebag and dripping with slime.
  • Smash the Symbol: In the finale, the Ewoks are using Stormtrooper helmets for percussion. In the Special Edition, we get a view of Coruscant where a statue of the Emperor is pulled down.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: In Anakin's final moments a slowed down quieter version of the Imperial March plays as Luke peels of his mask and has Anakin slumps to the floor dead, symbolizing the end of Vader and the end of the Empire. When Luke cremates Vader's empty armor, a solemn reprise of "Binary Sunset" (AKA the Force theme) from A New Hope plays.
  • 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. This sentiment can also be seen in the faces of Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin's force ghosts when they show up at the celebrations on Endor. None of them say a word, but the way they watch Luke, they don't need to.
  • Space Base: The second Death Star is another massive space station for the Empire. The big difference here is that it also comes with a throne room for the Emperor, with a control pad switched him allowing him to directly control the station's planet-destroying laser.
  • 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 AT-ST 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.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Luke does a gratuitous front-flip at the beginning of the sail barge fight.
  • Spikes of Doom: The Sarlacc Pit has spikes around its edges.
  • Spinoff: This movie introduced the Ewoks, who became the focus of television spin-offs in ​the mid-'80s. These consisted of the live-action Made-for-TV Movie duology Star Wars: Ewok Adventures and the animated TV series Ewoks. The Ewok spin-offs are now considered non-canon.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: George Lucas was involved with the production of Apocalypse Now and at one point was tapped to direct it. Four years after the release of that dark, brooding film about the madness of venturing into a hostile foreign land, Lucas made his own film about primitive jungle dwellers worshiping outsiders as gods and wrecking a technologically superior foreign force but played it all as unambiguously heroic and positive.
  • 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.
  • State Visit: Emperor Palpatine travels to the Death Star II's construction site, officially to personally oversee the final stages of construction. The visit is secretly part of a Batman Gambit to lure the Rebel Alliance to attack and try to kill him along with the Death Star, so that he can wipe them out with its Wave-Motion Gun and drive Luke Skywalker to fall to the dark side via the Despair Event Horizon in the bargain.
  • Stock Footage: The activation sequence of the Death Star's superlaser is recycled from A New Hope, albeit with new sound effects to make it clear that this weapon is far more powerful.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: It's against C-3PO's programming to impersonate a deity.
  • Storming the Castle: In this case, Storming The Shield Generator. A third of the climax is dedicated to the Rebels led by Han, Leia, and Chewbacca trying to take control of the Imperial facility projecting the Death Star's shields from the forest moon below it.
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!: The Emperor says 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.
  • Suicide Attack: The A-Wing of Rebel pilot Arvel Crynyd is critically damaged during the battle over Endor and he happens to be close to the Executor's command bridge, so what does he do? Crashes his ship into said command bridge, causing the gigantic Star Dreadnought to crash on the new Death Star, which turns the tide of the battle as a result.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: It's possible for a Jedi to temporarily become stronger by tapping into The Dark Side, but with the consequence that it can become permanent. It's also not guaranteed to work since it can backfire and lead to their making stupid mistakes due to being Drunk on the Dark Side. For example, this is how Luke Skywalker defeats Darth Vader in this movie after being provoked into an Unstoppable Rage by Vader's use of the Relative Button. Palpatine even says it: "Your hate has made you powerful." Luke refuses to kill Vader after defeating him, though he comes very close, and if he had that would have led to becoming the new Vader.
  • 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.
  • Surprise Multiple Birth: Obi-Wan tells Luke that he has a twin sister, and Luke senses that Leia is that sister. As Kenobi explains, they were separated at birth in order to protect them both from Darth Vader's reach.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: The heroes manage to get past the Empire's security using one of their ships and outdated clearance codes. While Vader gives the ultimate go ahead because he can sense Luke onboard, the commanding officer, Admiral Piett, was about to do so anyway despite the codes being out of datenote .
  • 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.
  • Symbolic Weapon Discarding: Rather than listening to the Emperor and falling to the dark side by killing Vader, Luke chooses to turn off his lightsaber and toss it away.
    Luke: Never. I'll never turn to the dark side. You've failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Luke Skywalker to Darth Vader, which is made stronger because of his relationship to him.
  • Tableau The movie's ending features the main cast gathered around an Ewok campfire.
  • 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:
    • The Emperor mocks Luke for counting on their mutual destruction aboard the Death Star II, as he'd already anticipated the Rebels' plan of attack and ensured the battle station's protection.
    • 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). A few scenes later, Lando's optimism proves true with some much-needed interest for the Rebels courtesy of the aforementioned A-Wing fighter, piloted by Arvel Crynyd, going kamikaze on the Executor's bridge in its final moments, leading to a decisive blow against the Death Star itself.
    • Lando's reasoning for engaging the Star Destroyers at close range after it's revealed that the Death Star's main weapon is operational.
    Lando: Yes, I said closer! Move as close as you can, and engage those Star Destroyers at point blank range!
    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!
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Luke turns this trope around by trying to convince Vader to return to the Light Side, while Vader tries to do the opposite to him. Ultimately, Luke is successful.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Leia and Wicket bond over food Leia shares with the little Ewok.
  • Taught by Experience: Chronologically, Darth Vader shows this during his fight against Luke. In Revenge of the Sith, we see Anakin falling into an "I have the high ground" trap by Obi-Wan, which leads to his defeat and relying on Life Support and Artificial Limbs to survive. Come this movie, Luke gets the high ground on Darth Vader to try and finish him quickly, but an Older and Wiser Vader simply destroys the platform, robbing Luke of his advantage.
  • 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.
  • Temporary Blindness: Han Solo is temporarily blinded after being freed from the carbonite, and takes part in the battle against Jabba almost completely blind, just proving what a badass he is.
  • 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 Sarlacc.
    • During the initial stages of the battle, Lando comments that only the TIE fighters were attacking and the assembled Star Destroyers weren't really doing anything. A few minutes later it becomes clear why the Star Destroyers were holding back.
    • 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.
    • Han again, while trying to hotwire the Endor bunker door:
      Han: I think I've got it. I got it! [A second, thicker blast door closes over the first one.]
  • Terms of Endangerment: The Emperor repeatedly calls Luke "my young apprentice" as he's fighting for his life against his father, and this creeps Luke out so much that he stops descending into the Dark Side every time Palpatine does it.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Palpatine tries to persuade Luke to kill him so he can become a Sith: "Strike me down with all of your hatred, and your journey toward the dark side will be complete." That one didn't turn out exactly as planned, though (since, rather than Luke killing Palpatine to solidify his turn, his father does so to leave it).
  • Thanks for the Mammary: While helping her recover from a blaster-bolt shot to the inside of her left elbow, Han Solo also briefly grabs onto Leia Organa's left boob, and for reasons unknown, Carrie Fisher wasn't even informed about the situation until after the film's production was finished.
  • 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 Sarlacc pit, and then starts attacking the guards.
    • The Emperor gets one as well when his rather creepy theme plays as he electrocutes Luke with Force lightning. Has elements of The Day the Music Lied, though, since that's when Darth Vader returns to the Light side of the Force and saves Luke.
    • 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.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Luke has an instance of this, though it's because he cut through Darth Vader's prosthetic arm in anger, has his own, and grasps what he's doing.
  • Third Time's The Charm: Combining The Empire Strikes Back and this movie, Luke Skywalker directly encounters Darth Vader three times: the first time in Cloud City, the second time on Endor (where Luke fails to redeem Vader and is instead taken to the Emperor), and the third in the Emperor's throne room. Luke is outskilled by Vader in the first encounter (he even loses a hand) and gets captured at the end of the second, but he finally defeats him (but also saves him from the Dark Side) in the third. The two never get close enough in A New Hope for it to count.
  • 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?
  • This Way to Certain Death: Luke Skywalker gets thrown into the Rancor pit. He is only able to escape its clutches by wedging the femur of a previous victim in the beast's jaws, and after running towards the emergency escape door, he uses the skull of yet another previous victim to activate the great door, which closes on the monster's neck, killing it.
  • Throne Room Throwdown: Emperor Palpatine has Luke brought up to his throne room on the Death Star II, where he tests him against Darth Vader.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Darth Vader cannot reach Luke, so he cuts down the catwalk Luke's standing on and effortlessly retrieves his lightsaber off-screen. It helps a lot in retrieving your weapon if you're telekinetic.
  • Thwarted Coup de Grâce: A Double Subversion. Luke tries to kill Palpatine when the latter tempts him to grab his lightsaber, but Vader blocks the attack. Later, when Luke ultimately refuses to kill Vader, Palpatine uses Force Lightning on Luke, and Vader stops him. Unusual in that the last part doesn't involve any weapons.
  • Time Skip: The movie takes place a year after The Empire Strikes Back.
  • Toppled Statue: The special edition adds a scene with a mob tearing down a statue of the Emperor on Coruscant.
  • Trap Door: Jabba has a secret compartment right in front of his throne that he can open up and send whoever's standing over it directly onto his giant monster's dinner plate.
  • Treated Worse than the Pet: After getting captured by Jabba the Hutt, Princess Leia is kept on a short leash throughout her enslavement while Salacious B. Crumb, Jabba's Kowakian monkey lizard, is able to wander freely.
  • Treehouse of Fun: The Ewok village. Based of a Finca Bellavista in Venezuela, the Ewoks live in villages suspended in the tall trees of the forest moon of Endor. Bonus points for not only being a village, but also connecting by rope swings and ziplines.
  • Treetop Town: The Ewoks' village is built in the canopy of one of their world's vast forests, with rope bridges connecting its homes and platforms. While, unlike the much larger Wookiees, Ewoks aren't particularly adapted for tree-dwelling and would've been unable to do so before they developed rudimentary technology, the Expanded Universe shows that the forests of Endor have many predators and that the diminutive Ewoks build their homes in trees to stay out of their reach. Given the size of some of the local predators, this takes some doing — Goraxes, for instance, are big enough to easily pull down huts built in a tree's lower branches.
  • 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.
  • Trip Trap: The Ewoks set up a thick rope trap to trip Imperial AT-STs and send them crashing to the ground
  • 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.
  • Transparent Tech: There are round, transparent display screens on the bridge of the rebel flagship.
  • Troll: Palpatine taunting Luke to provoke an attack. When he delivers the line, "Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive," he sounds like he's barely choking back a laugh.
  • 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.

    Tropes U to Y 
  • Under Crank: The backgrounds for the speeder bike chase are the result of an undercranked camera (so much so that it's moving at one frame per second) and a Steadicam.
  • Unpleasant Parent Reveal: Luke has the task of sharing the information about Darth Vader being his father with his recently-revealed twin sister Leia (who , logically, is also Vader's daughter), who doesn't take it much better than Luke did.
  • Unseen No More:
    • The Emperor is referenced multiple times in A New Hope, but is not seen in the film. He appears via hologram in The Empire Strikes Back, looking very different than he would later on and mostly hidden in shadows.note  The Emperor appears in person for the first time in this movie.
    • Darth Vader is finally unmasked at the end of the movie, after Luke turned him good.
    • Jabba the Hutt is mentioned often throughout the original trilogy as the crime lord whom Han Solo owes money, he doesn't appear until this film (excluding a deleted scene that was remade with Jabba's final design and inserted into the Special Edition of A New Hope).
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Luke doesn't share any specifics about his plan to save Han, but despite his worries, succeeds after all. Among the good guys, the only ones who don't know the plan are Han and Threepio. Everyone else knows what to do and are ready when Luke goes on the attack at the Sarlacc pit. It's strongly implied that Luke formulated his plans around Force Clarvoyiance meditations and the Sarlacc Pit Showdown was an entirely foreseen outcome.
  • 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".
  • Viking Funeral: Luke pays his respects to his deceased father by cremating his dead body.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Salacious Crumb is a tiny bird/monkey creature that laughs at Jabba's victims. He's no threat, himself, and gets a Butt-Monkey moment when R2D2 electrocutes him, but Jabba is a powerful and wealthy Hutt gangster who keeps Crumb around for no other reason than because he finds him amusing.
  • "The Villain Knows" Moment: Palaptine tells Luke, who is a prisoner, that he is fully aware of the Rebel fleet approaching, as it was he who allowed the Death Star's location to be leaked to the Rebel Alliance, and that he has an entire legion of troops waiting on Endor to deal with the team assigned to destroy the deflector shield generator.
  • Villainous Demotivator: 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.
  • Villain Respect: Boba Fett gives Leia a respectful nod when the princess, disguised as a bounty hunter, pulls off a spectacularly ballsy gambit to drive up the price on her captive's head.
  • Villain Reveals the Secret: Palpatine gleefully explains his trap to Luke... But there isn't anything Luke can do and the Rebels fall into it. And not only that, Palpatine's gloating is not just for fun; he needs to get Luke angry, upset, and hating him for the Dark Side to kick in.
  • 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 note . Luke, and by extension the audience, needed a respected figure to get proof.
  • 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: Jabba the Hutt's minions force Luke Skywalker to walk the plank extended from a hover skiff over the Sarlacc pit. Luke spins and grabs the plank as he falls, springboarding back to the skiff to fight while R2-D2 launches his lightsaber to him.
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: There are three nip-slips during the scenes at Jabba's palace: one involving Oola's breast briefly swinging clear of her costume while she fights with Jabba, one involving Leia's metal bikini, and a third with Lyn Me's sideboob showing slightly more skin than intended. All were unintentional bloopers; the first two were edited out starting with the Definitive Collection but can still be seen with the Still/Step feature on the Japanese Special Collection CAV Laserdisc.
  • War Is Hell: A subtle example when a Rebel fighter plows into the Super Star Destroyer's control tower and sends the ship 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 All Die Someday: Luke Skywalker implores that Yoda must not die, causing the old Jedi to respond: "Twilight is upon me and soon night must fall. That is the way of things. The way of the Force."
  • 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.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Two scout troopers are knocked unconscious rather than killed (the one Han fights right before the speeder chase and the one who briefly takes Leia prisoner), then are never seen or mentioned again as the Rebels continue on.
  • Where It All Began: It doesn't conclude the movie, but Luke returns to his home planet of Tatooine for this movie.
    Luke: I used to live here, you know.
    Han: You're going to die here, you know. Convenient.
  • With Friends Like These...: C-3PO finds himself and R2D2 presented as a 'gift' to a ruthless crime boss who knocks about or disintegrates protocol droids whenever he doesn't like the message they're translating. It's all part of The Plan of course, but only R2D2 knows that.
  • Wham Line:
    • "Your father [Vader] is." This is also an interesing case, because it was a Wham Line for Luke and audiences during Episode VI's original release in 1983. It confirms Vader wasn't playing mind games in the previous film and had told the truth at Cloud City after all. However, with the subsequent release of the Prequels — and the dramatization of Anakin's rise and fall — this is now no longer a Wham Line for audiences (and even if it wasn't, the twist has since permeated every corner of pop culture). However, in-universe, it's still a Wham Line for Luke because, of course, he doesn't know any of this.
    • "". This also has the exact same situtation as the preceding example. It was a Wham Line for Luke and audiences in 1983 (in the case of the latter, revealing the full meaning of Yoda's final cryptic comment in the last film). 40+ years later, it's now only a Wham Line in-universe for Luke thanks to the release of the Prequels (and the Leia twist now being as well known as Vader's true identity).
    • "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!"
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Luke is angry with Obi-Wan for lying to him (or at least seriously misleading him) about Vader, and deliberately pitting him against his own father.
  • White Man's Burden : The heroes show up to save the Ewoks from the Empire. The first encounter is between Leia and Wicket, where she has to explain to him what hats are after she takes off her helmet. Wicket is wearing a hood.
  • Why Isn't It Attacking?: Played with. "Only the fighters are attacking, I wonder what those Star Destroyers are waiting for." Not entirely straight in that the Star Destroyers weren't the threat, the thing that they thought was incapable of attacking was. The Star Destroyers were just there to box the Rebel fleet in, making them easier targets for the Death Star's superlaser.
  • 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. In fact, the movie strongly implies that even the Rancor pit was part of the plan. When Jabba sentences the heroes to death by Sarlacc, Luke is smiling and nodding. He was expecting, even counting on, Jabba's actions, which get them out of the palace and in the open, where Luke would have an advantage. Luke had quite some time for meditative Force clairvoyance on the bid to rescue Han, and planned for all the situations he could foresee.
    • 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 its predecessor).
    • The Throne Room duel is intentionally set up as one by Palpatine. Ideally, Palpatine wants Luke to defeat Vader, as he'll gain a new servant with the level of power Vader had before Mustafar handicapped him. If Vader defeats Luke, that's an acceptable consolation as they'll have removed the greatest threat to the Sith (and with it, Vader's last chance of overthrowing Palpatine on his own). Palpatine never anticipated Luke might Take a Third Option.
  • 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 Are Better Than You Think You Are: At the end of the movie, Luke turns to the Emperor and states "I am a Jedi, like my father before me." You'd better believe Vader heard that.
  • You Bastard!: Leia's slave bikini is a subtle example of this. Yes, she looks hot in it, but keep in mind Jabba designed it to be as degrading and uncomfortable as possible, and according to Carrie Fisher, was every bit as uncomfortable as it looked.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The Rebels destroy the second Death Star while it's under construction, but it still counts because the Death Star is already operational, halfway through wiping out the Rebel fleet, and luring the Rebels there was the Emperor's plan all along.
  • You Have Failed Me: Vader heavily implies that Jerjerrod will be severely punished if he doesn't get the Death Star operational before Palpatine arrives.
  • You Have No Chance to Survive:
    • The Emperor tells Luke that the Rebel army will succumb in their attempt to destroy the Death Star.
      Emperor Palpatine: Your fleet is lost, and your friends on the Endor moon will not survive. There is no escape, my young apprentice. The alliance will die... as will your friends.
    • After Luke refuses to join the Dark Side, Palpatine repeats the trope on Luke specifically. And he would have been right if it hadn't been for Vader's Heel–Face Turn.
      Emperor Palpatine: So be it, Jedi. If you will not be turned, you will be ... destroyed!
  • You Owe Me: Inverted when after being rescued, Han doesn't just claim they're even but thanks Luke as follows: "Hey, Luke, thanks for coming after me - now I owe you one."
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: At the climax of the movie, the Emperor grabs the Villain Ball as tightly as he can by congratulating and encouraging Luke each time he lets his anger take control of him, and each time Luke realizes that he is falling into the dark side and stops himself. It can only be justified if it were somehow important that Luke not just give in to anger, but also be aware of doing so.
  • You Rebel Scum!: 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.
  • Yowies and Bunyips and Drop Bears, Oh My: just as Wookiees strongly resemble the North American cryptid Bigfoot, the Ewoks are man-eating teddy bears that live in trees and ambush unsuspecting intruders, not unlike drop bears. But while some of them are seen pouncing on foes from above, they're also fond of Bamboo Technology-based weapons and booby traps, which they ultimately use to take down The Empire in a distinctly Rock Beats Laser fashion.

"You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister... you were right."

Alternative Title(s): Star Wars Return Of The Jedi, Star Wars Episode VI Return Of The Jedi


Return of the Jedi

Luke crosses blades with his father once again while the Sith Lord observes with twisted enjoyment from his throne.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (20 votes)

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Main / ThroneRoomThrowdown

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