Star Wars, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (Part VI)
The day has finally arrived: with today’s entry, I will have completed recapping all six of the Lucas-Era Star Wars Films. I started this endeavor in DECEMBER OF 2016, not even sure if I’d get through one film, let alone six.
I’ll admit that I’m sad to reach this point (and not just because of the fact that it means I now get this particular indelible badge on my Embarrassing Nerd Scout Sash). I’ve been sort of dragging my feet on this recap because, aside from the fact that everything, uh, you know, everywhere has been decidedly unfunny lately which has put a serious cramp in my ability to write these recaps in the first place, once it’s over…it’s over. These six movies are so special to me, with all their weirdness, charming silliness, batshit crazy moments, and DELIGHTFUL CORNY DIALOGUE YES I AM STILL DYING ON THIS HILL AND NO, I WILL NOT CHANGE MY MIND. (Just try and tell me those scripts aren’t eminently quotable. TRY AND TELL ME THAT AT LEAST THREE-QUARTERS OF THEM AREN’T TATTOOED ON YOUR BRAIN, NERDS.) There is a vibe to these films that I just have never entirely felt in the content outside of them (despite my love for the TV shows, and many of the books and comics and hilarious virtual reality content where you get to go rifle through stuff in Vader’s breathtakingly dramatic and enormous basement.) It’s just not quite the same outside of these sort of…”core” Star Wars components, for me.
But forward we must go, I suppose, and so that’s what we’re gonna do. Last time, on Scenery Chewing with Sheev Palpatine, Luke had gone off to meet up with Anakin and have a bunch of Dramatic Dialogue with him about how he’s Only Forgotten Who He Used to Be, which gave Anakin a chance to attempt some father-son bonding and talk about Obi-Wan again for the forty-seven-thousandth time, despite the fact that Obi-Wan has been dead for multiple years at this point and that Luke absolutely was not the one to bring him up first (big fucking surprise). The two of them then went to go meet up with Sidious, who is as villainous and in love with his own lines as ever. Our guy Sheev had basically cackled his way through this first meeting with Luke, revealing that everything up to this point Was All Part of His Plan (sigh, of course), and that the rebels are totally about to be destroyed and Luke should probably just panic and cry and become a Sith just like his old man did. Vader, predictably, had been all “his proposal seems legit to me, son”. Meanwhile, Leia and Han had continued to walk into Sheev’s Spiderweb yet again, making their way to a control bunker connected to Death Star II (“Bet You Thought It Was Funny When We’d Only Done This Twice“) in an attempt to disable a shield, blahblahblah, Ewoks, yelling, etc, you know the drill.
All right! So Luke and his friends look like they’re sure in some major trouble again, huh? I sure hope they defeat the Emperor forever and Anakin Skywalker fulfills his destiny unquestionably and we wrap everything up in a pretty nice little package where everyone’s grown and changed and lives happily ever after NEVER TO BE TORN OPEN AGAIN BECAUSE THEY ALL WORKED REALLY HARD AND I LIKED THIS ENDING AND IT WAS KIND OF A NICE STOPPING POINT FOR ALL THESE CHARACTERS I AM JUST SAYING.
…I promise I will go easy on the nerd angst here, and when I can’t help myself I solemnly swear to be making fun of myself at least 10 times more than I am complaining about anything in Star Wars. You guys know how I roll.
All right, then! Return of the Jedi. This last one is a LONG ONE. Let’s send Anakin Skywalker home to Obi-Wan, where he will no longer be allowed to roam the galaxy unsupervised ever again, thank God.
Recurring Theme: It’s Superdork To The Rescue!
So, with Sidious’ absolutely A+ delivery of that “quite operational” line, which I am not and never will be over, we’re back on Endor, and Leia and Han are busting into that control bunker thingamabob.
LOL. I love when Han “Easily Among the Galaxy’s Biggest Doofuses” Solo does the whole Cool Guy Here To Kick Ass routine. Sometimes I think about how there are whole swaths of the Star Wars fandom that genuinely think characters like Han Solo are cool guys and not just gigantic dorks, and my mind reels.
They clear out some of the Imperials, but outside, Threepio can see that there’s more Imps on their way in and because Threepio is Anakin’s eldest son he’s immediately like MY GOD THEY’LL BE CAPTURED and starts panicking. Please enjoy the captioning on this screenshot as he conferences with Wicket:
Wicket goes tearing off to Plans Unknown while Threepio continues to flip out, hilariously entreating Artoo to stay with him. Again: Threepio is absolutely a Skywalker.
Inside the bunker, things are taking their traditional turn for the worse as bad guys ruin Han’s party, complete with Classic Star Wars Line:
Awww. Han’s first move is to protectively throw a hand out towards Leia. AWWW. I sure hope they get married and LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER, JJ ABRAMS.
Chewie gets roughed up a bit, and everyone looks concerned.
Recurring Theme: Sidious Done Fucked Us Over Again
We then cut to Lando and the rebel fleet. Lando’s looking around with unease, and asks for the wings to report in. Obi-Wan’s Uncle Wedge is on hand!
After roll call, Admiral Ackbar solemnly hopes the Force is taking their calls:
…and, well…let’s just bust out that Sad Trombone, because no sooner has the good admiral said this, when Lando is informed that they can’t get a reading on the shield: they’re being jammed! GASP:
Sometimes I’m kind of sad that Sidious doesn’t really ever get to SEE the looks on peoples’ faces when they discover that he’s absolutely fucked them over. He works so hard to ruin everyone’s lives all the time and yet rarely gets that ultimate payoff. Like, how much would he have PAID to witness, say, this moment?
Or this one?
I’m just SAYING. I know he got the galaxy and won the 4-dimensional chess match and all, but you know he’d have RELISHED these moments. At least he (er, sort of) got to be there to inform Anakin’s dumbass grandkid that he’d been his puppetmaster this whole time, I guess.
ANYWAYS. At this, Lando is like OH SHIT THEY KNOW WE’RE COMING, the shield is still up, and starts yelling at everyone to pull back. Everyone starts taking evasive maneuvers, and that’s when Admiral Ackbar gets the bad news: enemy ships are all up in this joint! Why, that means…
Recurring Theme: Storytime With Sheev
Back in Palps’…office? I guess it’s a throne room? But like, his away throne room? His Travel Throne Room? At any rate, we’re there and Luke is looking with dismay out the window as his friends get shot at by his dad’s coworkers. Sidious? Is here for it, goading him to look, and behold the end of the Rebel Alliance…
…I mean, Luke DID already completely destroy Death Star I, which even if Sheev doesn’t give a shit about the Imperials who died on it definitely had to have COST an absolute fuckton of money and, as we know, took like 30 years to build. So like, it wasn’t a TOTALLY insignificant rebellion, even if they’d lost right now.
Luke looks at him forlornly, then eyes his lightsaber sitting on Sidious’ armrest. At this, ol’ Sheev is doing that thing he does when a Skywalker gets mad and he basically gets a Dark Side Contact High, smugly asking Luke if he wants his lightsaber, and being like heeeellllllll yessss…
He starts goading Luke to take the weapon and end him:
LOL. Is this the One True Recurring Theme here? Every single trilogy must end with this guy trying to bully someone into killing him? Maybe he never wanted to own the galaxy after all. He just wanted a really, really spectacular and incredibly dramatic death and he figured the best way to get that would be to have a Jedi do it.
He goes on: Luke should totally use his anger! Why, with each passing second Luke becomes more and more his servant! At this, Anakin? Is looking like he’s maybe FINALLY starting to think about some things, kind of turning towards Luke as Sheev rambles:
Luke shoots him down with a simple “no”, and Sidious is unimpressed: it’s his destiny! He can’t escape it! Luke AND his father are now…
Oh please, dude. You think a Skywalker is gonna fall for that routine a second time? That’d be as ridiculous as there being a third Death Star ha ha ha ha ha, oh, I’m tired.
Low Speed Chase
Back on Endor, like AAAAALLLLLL the Nazis have turned out for Han, Leia, and Chewie’s capture:
Threepio sees them being taken into custody from afar, and starts waving his arms around and drawing attention to himself to create a diversion. HILARIOUSLY, the Imperials send like 10 guys after Artoo and Threepio, TWO DROIDS, who both generally move at about .5 miles an hour and aren’t even really trying to get away from them here anyways:
I mean I get why they’d want the Rebel Droids or whatever, but good Lord, guys. This mission doesn’t exactly require half the Imperial armed forces.
The troopers move in on the droids after 5 whole seconds of pursuit, which honestly should probably have tipped these guys off that they were walking into an ambush, but as we know no one in Star Wars has ever been in possession of more than 5 brain cells at any given time in galactic history, so unsurprisingly these guys are Taken Aback when a group of angry Ewoks start wailing on them:
The next thing we know, Ewoks are coming out from EVERY DIRECTION, shooting arrows and causing mayhem and I sincerely enjoy this and I will not be apologizing for it.
In the resulting chaos, Han and Chewie just start straight-up throwing people around…
…while Leia kicks some guy and goes Full Warrior Princess Mode, and somewhere in the great beyond Bail, Breha and Padme are popping Champagne bottles:
I know that they’re supposed to have had the element of surprise here and all, but it is extremely amusing how quickly so many of the Imperials just start RUNNING AWAY here. Granted, if someone told me I was target of Anakin Skywalker’s Armed Daughter and Her Army of Furious Bears, I mean, I’d probably pee my pants and flee, too.
So Han and Leia make their way back to the control bunker, and the Ewoks continue to wreak havoc all over the place, throwing rocks, shooting arrows, and doing the old tripwire maneuver on the chickenwalkers. Leia attempts to open the door to the bunker again, but is locked out:
LOL. Again: if the prequels and original trilogy have a true hero upon whom everyone’s life depends, it is WITHOUT QUESTION Artoo. She comms Artoo, and he immediately starts making his way over there, much to Threepio’s dismay:
Recurring Theme: Outgunned, Outmanned, Outnumbered, Outplanned
Up above, the battle in space is raging:
Lando, taking this all in from the bridge, observes:
Curiouser and curiouser, Calrissian! Could it be that there is a Patented Palpatine Plan afoot?
Why, yes! No attacking from the star destroyers…
Eesh. That’s never good. Typically when that guy’s got something special planned for you, it’s your planet getting blown to smithereens or a genocide or a dead wife or a crying Obi-Wan. (Although let’s be real: Palpatine was pretty fancy, and he also had to schmooze a ton of rich people at one point. He probably DID throw some very swanky parties back in the day.)
Luke, still in Sidious’ Man Cave, continues to watch this all go down in horror. Sheev, for his part, is delighted: Luke’s friends have failed! The rebels suck! And now…
I love that this sounds like a sales pitch. Witness the power! It’s like 500 battle stations in one! Tell your friends (I mean, the ones that aren’t about to die)!
We go into the Super Ultra Technology Yes Indeed sequence, and…uh oh. You never wanna see this thing charging up:
I have…a lot of questions about Death Star II. Didn’t it take them forever to get all the kyber crystals for the first one? Did they recycle parts from the wreckage? COULD they? Or is the galaxy THAT flush with crystals that they could just go get more relatively easily? (I’m laughing at the idea of the Jedi Order’s Very Special Magic Crystals that they make children go on a ridiculous and slightly dangerous quest inside an ice cave to obtain also being available in those giant bins in the garden center at Space Home Depot.)
So the Empire blows the absolute crap out of a ship, and at this, Lando is like OH WE ARE FUCKED:
He insists to Admiral Ackbar that Han can still get the shield down before they’re all blown to bits, they’ve just gotta give him more time! Awww. Lando loves Han.
Recurring Theme: C-3PO Skywalker
While the Ewoks continue to just completely beat the shit out of some troopers (LOL), Han and Leia’s savior Artoo has arrived and quickly gets to work:
It, uh, doesn’t exactly go perfectly, as Artoo lets out a scream and then goes haywire:
Thank GOD Vader’s too busy listening to Sidious’ grandstanding right now and does not have to witness this. He would be BEREFT. Threepio ONCE AGAIN invokes the Skywalkerian Drama Routine that Anakin surely programmed into him here by desperately asking Artoo “why did you have to be so brave?!” LOL. God. THIS FAMILY.
Han, with that hilarious face he makes when he is clearly once again asking himself why literally any of his life is happening to him, tries to devise a Plan B:
He gets to work as Leia covers him, and as Star Wars makes sure that not even something as flat-out goofball as “planet of small teddy bears fighting The Man” goes un-tragic, we also see a bunch of Ewoks getting hurt or killed:
Fight! Fight! Fight!
As Lando and the rest of the aerial crew do their best to stay alive for another few minutes, Sidious is STILL blathering on about how the fleet is dead, Luke’s friends suck, everyone’s laughing at them, the Dark Side is the Only Way, blahblahblahblahBLAH. This is the most boring attempted Dark Side recruitment ever. Someone bust out a holocron or a story about Darth Plagueis or a SONG or SOMETHING, for Christ’s sake.
Sids keeps at it with exhorting Luke to kill him while Luke continues to throw the odd “you gonna do anything about this, or…?” face at Vader:
Luke, of course, ultimately grabs his saber and Vader stupidly immediately engages him. GUESS WHO’S HAVING A BALL?
Yes, it’s Skywalker v Skywalker: Round 2! (…ish. I think they tussled a few times in the comics too. Whatever.)
Recurring Theme: Han Loves Leia
On Endor, Chewie and some Ewoks hijack an AT-ST:
…which they use to promptly blow another one up. The Ewoks are in favor of this!
Then it’s still MORE mayhem, as they shoot at troopers left and right, and the Ewoks have a few tricks of their own:
Han’s little hotwire experiment isn’t going so well — in fact, he’s somehow managed to make the door MORE closed, and he makes a face to himself that I DEEPLY identify with:
Leia gets shot at and he immediately reaches for her. Awww. While they’re crouching, some troopers come up behind them. Leia smirks, and shows off the gun she’s got hidden. Han Solo, my buddy, you are so gone:
I AM SO GLAD THEY LIVED A LONG AND HAPPY LIFE TOGETHER FOREVER.
You heard me.
Han slowly puts his hands up as the troopers demand, and Leia sneaks in a shot at just the right time:
No sooner have they cleared this threat, when an AT-ST approaches. Uh oh!
…but of course, we all know who’s in control of it:
Han, looking ADORABLY happy to see him, begins to tell him to come down because Leia’s wounded — but wait! No!
LOL. Oh sure, Mr. I’ll-Hotwire-This-Thing. By all means. Tell us your idea.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Skywalker, Embarrassing Own Self
Luke and Anakin continue to slash at each other, and at one point Vader goes flying backwards down a flight of stairs and honestly? Literally no one with the exception of Sheev MORE deserves a comical fall down a flight of stairs at this point in the story, so I’m good with this:
I will never ever stop laughing at how Sidious just sits there and does nothing so much of the time when he’s scrambling these doofus’ brains. Look at him:
Dude might as well have a popcorn and a soda with him over there.
Recurring Theme: Anakin Loves Obi-Wan
Luke, looking stricken, deactivates his lightsaber and stares down at Vader.
And. Well. Would you like to guess what’s on Anakin’s mind? Hmmm? I will give you a multiple choice question:
A) The Dark Side
B) The Emperor
C) Literally anything else that might be expected in this situation
D) Obi-Wan Kenobi
If you guessed anything but D, I am sorry but I am going to have to ask you to leave this recap right damn now and go back and read every single other entry I have ever written in this blog for the past 4 years, because clearly you have not been paying attention. This is honestly almost more embarrassing for you than it is for Anakin. Almost.
Yes, it’s true: once again, Anakin’s got Obi-Wan on the brain (same, Skywalker, same):
Yeah, Anakin: at least ONE of Obi-Wan’s students isn’t a total teardown of a human being, amirite?
Luke, the Goodest Boy, replies:
He’s so sweet and full of compassion??? I’m FEELING WAYS. I LOVE YOU LUKE SKYWALKER.
At this, Vader stalks his way back up the stairs that he fell ass-backwards down hahahahaha and informs Luke that he’s “unwise to lower [his] defenses”:
Recurring Theme: That’s How They Get Ya
After a little back and forth, Luke takes a few steps back and then FLINGS himself up onto a raised platform, thus giving him the Hallowed High Ground. I refuse to accept any version of canon where this was not, in fact, something Obi-Wan DIRECTLY taught him how to do.
Luke recognizes that Sheev ain’t the only one in this place who can do a little mind-reading, and he stares Vader down:
He continues: the feels the conflict in Vader!
Anakin is like NUH UH I AM A CREATURE OF PURE MALEVOLENCE; I AM THE VERY NIGHT ITSELF:
As if Anakin doesn’t desperately just wanna go home right now and watch TV and not have to be Darth Vader anymore. You can practically see it in his posture. Anakin Skywalker you dumb depressed bastard JUST GIVE IT UP ALREADY.
Luke goes on and claims Vader won’t kill him, and Vader, looking up at him, is like “oh shit not this” and FLINGS HIS LIGHTSABER AT HIM like Luke is a spider on the ceiling that he’s trying to knock down with a shoe:
As he falls, Sheev is so entertained HE ACTUALLY GETS UP FOR A BETTER VIEW while laughing. What an absolute jackass.
Recurring Theme: Han Solo, Man With a Plan
Out in the space battle, Lando is crossing his fingers and betting it all on Han, which is…a gamble, but I guess they didn’t have many other options here, hahaha:
Turns out, Han’s brilliant plan involves giving the Imperials a phoney baloney rebels-retreating story:
The Empire (again: dumb) is like SWEET! Let’s send some troops to go help them with the cleanup! FLING THAT BACK DOOR WIDE OPEN BOYS:
The place gets surrounded by rebels and Ewoks, and Han would 100% make out with himself right now if he could:
With that, the gang takes over the control bunker and gets to work. Hurry up, guys!
Vader, meanwhile, is stalking around like the creeper he is in pursuit of Luke:
Look here, Skywalker. You have two choices. One, you can stay here and murder one of the only living connections to your beloved late wife and serve a wrinkled old goblin who more or less hates you for another 30 years, periodically murdering your coworkers and floating in a bacta tank at Dramatic Bullshit Manor and bringing up Obi-Wan in every other conversation you have with uninterested parties. Or, you can defect, save Padme’s baby, AND you won’t have to work here anymore AND you’ll get your hair back AND you’ll get to live with Obi-Wan FOREVER. Like. How is this even a choice. The one to pick seems so obvious, and yet we all know HOW VERY MUCH YOU SUCK AT OBVIOUS CHOICES, ANAKIN, so even though I’ve seen this movie a time or thirty I’m still gonna hold my breath over here.
Vader starts cajoling Luke to give in to the Dark Side:
LOL FOR-EVER that this is the tactic Vader’s going with. Oh yeah, Luke! If you turn to the Dark Side absolutely no one you love will die, and also none of your friends will be so disappointed in you that their heart almost visibly snaps in half or anything! LOOK HOW GREAT EVERYTHING WORKED OUT FOR YOUR OLD MAN!!!
Vader then correctly observes that Luke loves his friends and has strong feelings for them…especially…
Ha! That’s right Anakin: why settle for just accidentally impregnating your secret wife with ONE baby when you can have TWINS instead? Congrats on your Force-Fueled Supersperm. Does this mean Vader knows it’s Leia? If so, no wonder he was so intent on making sure Luke told her that he turned good once for 30 seconds at the end of this thing, because he KNOWS Leia Organa HATES HIS FUCKING GUTS possibly more than anybody in the entire universe. Like. I’m dying here. OF ALL THE WOMEN IN THE ENTIRE GALAXY for him to find out is his child. I love how even within the first like 10 seconds of A New Hope they both obviously already know and hate each other. AND THIS IS HIS KID.
Obi-Wan Kenobi, Please Just Come Pick Him Up Already
Vader is like ah-HA! A sister! I definitely probably would have figured that out on my own! Your thoughts have betrayed her now, too! And then. AND THEN. DO YOU KNOW WHAT VADER SAYS NEXT?? DO YOU? I’m not even going to give you another multiple choice question because honestly it would be insulting to us all at this point. Here, look at this absolutely hopeless trainwreck:
I am DYING that the MAJORITY of the things Vader says about Obi-Wan in the OT ARE ACTUALLY MOSTLY COMPLIMENTS. For the love of God, Anakin. PLEASE. I also can’t get over that damn near every villain in this whole dumbass series is obsessed with Obi-Wan. Some of them are not only obsessed with him, THEY SEEM LEGIT HAPPY TO SEE HIM WHEN HE’S THERE. Maul devoted HIS ENTIRE WHOLE-ASS LIFE to “hating” him. Ventress would definitely not have kicked him out of bed. Dooku was not at all subtle about who HIS favorite Jedi was. It’s amazing, hilarious, and extremely understandable.
He goes on:
Uh, OK, except that technically this was LUKE’S failure, which basically just means that yet again a Skywalker has fucked up. But sure, Anakin. We know it’s all Obi-Wan’s fault, right?
He throws out that if Luke’s not interested in this Dark Side gig, maybe Leia will be! HAHAHAHA. OK, I’m not sure if this is a point against Vader having figured out it’s Leia or not. On the one hand, she hates him and will for sure hate him more if he also killed Luke and can you just even IMAGINE him trying to recruit her. BUT Leia is also a rageaholic just like her dad, so, ehhh. He could be thinking that that one might not need as much nudging to get to White Hot Murder levels as Luke does.
Luke is not happy about this and yells out a NEVER! while striking a pose:
Recurring Theme: Separation of Arm and Owner
Luke goes feral here and starts wailing on Vader pretty intently:
He eventually gets Vader on the ground and starts just repeatedly raining blows onto him. I got a pretty good shot of his face here, for your enjoyment:
Ah yes, that patented Skywalker grace and calm.
One of these strikes results in Anakin losing his arm for at least the second time:
Vader’s now defenseless (like unless you count his incredible psychic wizard powers and the fact that Space God was his actual dad and stuff):
Recurring Theme: You Poor Unfortunate Soul, Go Ahead, Make Your Choice
Luke stands there huffing and puffing and unsure of what to do next and probably also mildly mind-warped from Dark Side Raging the hell out of the place just now, and as Vader lays there uncertainly, Sheev strides down the stairs gleefully all but sarcastically clapping his hands:
Nobody has more fun than he does. NOBODY.
He congratulates Luke on being full of Hate Powah, and encourages him to fulfill his destiny…
It is entirely humorous to me that Sidious is doing the EXACT SAME FUCKING THING HE DID WITH DOOKU AND ANAKIN HERE. AND VADER IS RIGHT THERE. Maybe Anakin figured that even if this was the plan all along, the joke was on Sidious because it was a win-win-win situation for Vader: if Luke loses and dies, then the Empire wins and everything goes back to how it was, if Luke wins and teams up with him, then he gets to live his dream of having somebody who is slightly less of a disaster human than he is at last taking him up on the offer to overthrow the Emperor and rule the Galaxy together, and if Luke wins but kills Vader, someone will finally have put him out of his misery. There’s no bad options here!
The gears are grinding in Luke’s head, and then he stares down at his robotic hand:
…and at Vader’s severed arm:
Yes, Luke. You? Do not wanna be Darth Vader. DARTH VADER doesn’t want to be Darth Vader.
Recurring Theme: Luke Skywalker, Aceing the Test
LUKE SKYWALKER. He is THE BEST. Taking a moment to breathe, he pauses, and then tosses his lightsaber to the side, turning to the Emperor:
LUKE I AM SO PROUD OF YOU. Do…do you think Obi-Wan got to watch this from the Great Beyond? I WANT TO CRY JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.
He tells Sheev to get bent:
I mean…Anakin’s been SLACKING these last few decades, but sure, he was a damn good Jedi when he was a Jedi. (The, uh, village slaughter notwithstanding.)
The best part here is Sidious’ FACE. He has no goddamn idea what the fuck is going on here and he is NOT HAPPY about it:
Luke continues to just stand there like “…and that’s all I’ve got to say about that I guess”, and Sidious is like “all right, fine: I’ve killed a few of these losers in my lifetime, guess I’ll have to roll up my enormous sleeves and do it again — as you wish:”
He says “Jedi” like it’s the most offensive word in the universe; it’s amazing. My love for this evil creep truly knows no bounds.
Recurring Theme: He’s Beauty, He’s Grace
We then cut to Han hauling ass out of the control bunker, because she’s about to blow! He does so with his usual level of panache:
And blow up it certainly does!
I don’t wanna jinx anything but I think we might be getting invited to an Ewok party soon, guys!!!
Han momentarily looks like he’s surprised he actually accomplished a thing, and then scrambles to his feet.
Admiral Ackbar is like WOOOT THE SHEILD IS DOWN A DOOFUS HAS SAVED THE DAY JUST LIKE THEY ALWAYS DO:
Lando, who’s like OBVIOUSLY I ALWAYS KNEW HAN WOULD DO IT, leads a group of fighters towards the reactor in our Legally-Mandated Trench Run Sequence:
Sheev informs Luke that if he won’t get on board with becoming a being of ultimate horror…
Why the fuck is Vader still just laying there? He’s not THAT hurt, is he? He loses his robo-limbs at least a couple of times in the comics. GET THE HELL UP, ANAKIN. If you could survive being dismembered and SET ON FIRE that one time you can handle this. Stop being a baby.
Luke stands there motionless, and then Sidious delivers a little Mace Windu Treatment and Luke is thrown to the side:
Vader FINALLY gets to his feet but like, in this really lumbering “UGH DO I HAVE TO” kind of way. I swear to God, this guy is SO DEPRESSED it’s like he’s mad that he’s still alive and thus has to keep doing things. Here he thought he was THISCLOSE to having Luke murder him, but noooo now he’s gotta stand up and move and save the day and all KINDS of bullshit.
Sheev is enjoying himself, narrating what he assumes is Luke’s demise:
For fuck’s sake. If this guy would have just gotten on with it Luke could be dead like 12 times already.
Anakin Skywalker, Taking Out The Trash
Vader watches this all go down, and MAN the best part about watching this the first time as a small child was that I wasn’t sophisticated enough to see the obvious place where this was going, but I was sitting there REALLY REALLY HOPING DARTH VADER WOULD HELP LUKE which made this sequence of events nail-biting and ultimately very satisfying:
Luke yells for his dad to come help him:
And Sheev? STILL TALKING:
He goes to strike a killing blow, and I’m laughing because holy crap Vader really lets this go on for a WHILE before actually doing anything about it. I guess in fairness he does know from A LOT of firsthand experience how much electrocution a Skywalker can withstand without dying.
At long last, this dumbass has a moment of clarity:
He picks up the Emperor and gets shocked as he does so:
And then dunks him into an abyss, surely and absolutely ending his existence for all time forever in perpetuity throughout the universe.
I SAID WHAT I SAID.
Aaaaaanyways, with Sidious now gone for all eternity forever and ever AMEN, Vader wheezes and stumbles, and Luke shakily gets to his feet and cradles him and it’s SAD and I love them:
Recurring Theme: Everything New Is Old Again
Out in space, Legally-Mandated Trench Run is underway as the rebels attempt to do basically the exact same thing they did last time:
You’ll never believe it, but thrilling things are happening! Some good guys die! Some bad guys die! Shit gets blown up!
Anakin Skywalker, Non-Apologist
As things get real out there, people are evacuating the Death Star, and Luke is attempting to haul his 11,000-pound dad off with him:
He manages to get them as far as a ramp up to a ship, before Vader stops him:
Luke is aghast: but if he does that, he’ll die! Vader is like “yeah well…that’s kind of a guarantee at this point anyways, kid, and I’m definitely not mad about it”. He asks Luke to just once…
Awww, Anakin you sappy fool. It takes Luke basically NO effort to get the top part of the mask off, which seems like a design flaw, but OK:
With the mask off, Anakin takes a moment to look at Luke, but quickly tells him to get moving:
Luke is not in agreement:
Luke goes Full Skywalker again and is like “no way pal! Nobody dies on my watch! I’m gonna SAVE YOU!”
AWWWW. I am fine. NO, YOU’RE CRYING.
Anakin’s parting message for Luke is that Luke was right:
He asks Luke to tell Leia that he was right, and then closes his eyes and dies.
So…no “sorry I tried to kill you”, no “sorry I killed Obi-Wan whom we all agree was the best person who has ever lived”, no “tell Leia I’m sorry I killed her parents and blew up her home”, no “sorry I ruined your mother’s life and prevented you from ever knowing her”, no “sorry for ALL OF IT”. Just…”you were right, I WAS always definitely secretly good and these past 4 minutes have obviously proven that btw I will not be issuing a statement about all the murdering and whatnot, Skywalker out, GOODNIGHT EVERYONE.” ANAKIN SKYWALKER. You jackass. I love you so much I can’t stand it.
Luke says again that he won’t leave him, but it dawns on him that his father is gone:
I…don’t think I ever noticed that Luke is crying??? Maybe I did and I just forgot. Either way: ME TOO LUKE.
Recurring Theme: This Is Where The Fun Begins
You guys will NEVER guess what the rebel fleet did: they blew up the Death Star! Yes, the fleet is successful in blowing up the reactor, AND fortunately for us Luke manages to pilot himself out of there with not even a second to spare. He looks pretty proud of himself!
..also making a last-moment departure is the Falcon!
Lando’s pretty happy about this!
Yes, RIP Death Star II:
I just remembered that we see wreckage of this thing later in the saga. HOW THE FUCK IS THAT POSSIBLE. THIS IS HYSTERICAL. Star Wars why are you LIKE THIS. I should really be ashamed of myself for recapping so much of this stuff. STAR WARS IS THE DUMBEST THING IN EXISTENCE.
Recurring Theme: The Confused Dudes of Star Wars
On Endor, everyone’s watching this all go down and they’re ready to par-tay!
Han and Leia see the explosion and Han sweetly tries to reassure Leia:
Ah, but Leia needs no such comfort: she’s got a line in to the Force, pal!
Han, an idiot, is like “yeah OK I get it you guys are in love and I’ll just go be alone forever now” and Leia is like OH MY GOD YOU ARE SO STUPID TAKE ME NOW:
She reassures him that she is not, in fact, planning to ride off into the romantic sunset with her own brother. Han’s mind is blown AND I AM LAUGHING A LOT. HIS FACE:
…I appreciate that Leia has inherited her mother’s weakness for handsome dumbasses. Get it, girl.
Recurring Theme: Jedi Roasting On An Open Fire
While Leia and Han make out, Luke is taking care of Vader’s final arrangements and having himself a good ol’ fashioned Vader Roast:
RIP, Anakin, you absolute trainwreck. I am cackling and yet am not at all surprised at the fact that this isn’t even the first time you’ve canonically been on fire.
Uh, I hate to be That Guy, but you got a permit for this, Luke? That is a GIANT fire and we’re in a forest. You better have a good containment plan here.
Everyone Around the World, Come On!
And now? It’s PARTY TIME WOOOOOOOO! Eeeeeeeevvvvverybody’s getting in on the fun! Montage time!
Yep, everyone’s happy about kicking Sheev to the curb. The Ewoks are throwing one HELL of a rager:
Everybody’s dancing and doing cartwheels and hugging their boyfriends:
And their brothers:
And possibly their boyfriends again, haha:
OH HEY SPEAKING OF BOYFRIENDS, before we send everyone out of the theater, it’s time for the Force to show us one last time that it loves Anakin Skywalker more than anyone else in the entire universe. As everyone smiles and laughs and gets plastered on Ewok moonshine, Luke gazes out into the distance and SOME GUYS ARE HERE:
Where…where do I even start. That Anakin gets to be hot again and not in the “in literal flames” way this time? And that yeah yeah, he was remorseful in his heart or whatever and saved Luke obviously but Anakin DID NOT EVEN SAY HE WAS SORRY about anything, ever, even once, but he gets to be a Force Ghost? (This is made 10,000 times funnier by the word-of-God explanation I’ve seen that Obi-Wan may have helped him to the other side, because of fucking COURSE he did.) ANAKIN IS WEARING WHAT ARE CLEARLY OBI-WAN’S CLOTHES. Was he nude when he first arrived in the Force and Obes and Yoda had to scramble to get him decent before Luke saw him? I’m not even going to expand on the fact that Obi-Wan is checking him out. Whatever. I AM SO HAPPY FOR EVERYONE HERE and I am extremely jealous that Anakin gets to spend eternity with Obi-Wan despite having been one of the biggest pains in the ass in galactic history.
While Anakin and Obi-Wan go to live happily ever after and presumably drive Yoda completely insane once they start their married bickering again 45 seconds from now, the rest of the cast gets together to take a cute family photo as the FINAL IRIS WIPE of these six movies takes its cue:
They did it! They saved the day! I DID IT. The OT and the PT, done! I AM EXHAUSTED.
Thank you all for coming on this journey with me, and for all your wonderful feedback which has helped encourage me to stick it out and finish this beast. I hope you enjoyed my saga recaps, and I hope you’ll join me for whatever Star Wars nonsense I cover next. Til next time!