50 Reasons Why Return of the Jedi Sucks Image

50 Reasons Why Return of the Jedi Sucks

By Dan Vebber | May 15, 2001

On its own accord, “Return of the Jedi” has a lot of problems. But compared to “Star Wars” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” it’s just plain bad. Search your feelings-you know it to be true. Like most of you out there, we love Star Wars more than words can say, and will always respect and thank George Lucas for providing a generation of moviegoers with the most significant mythos of the last 25 years.

But also like most of you out there, whenever we watch the Trilogy, the awed reverence with which we watch Wars and Empire is replaced during Jedi by laughing, moaning and shouted insults that make MST3K look tame by comparison. Nearly 14 years after its release, it’s become sadly evident that Jedi hasn’t aged well at all, while Wars and Empire increasingly gain acceptance as cinema classics. (We could have just as easily made a list of 100 reasons Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back are two of the greatest films ever made, but where’s the fun in that?)

It would be easy to put the blame for Jedi’s failure squarely on the shoulders of its director, the late Richard Marquand. But while few would argue that Marquand wasn’t the greatest choice to inherit the franchise, the fact remains that it was Executive Producer Lucas who hired him, who told him how to handle the material, and who always had the final say. So we’ll let Marquand rest in peace; chances are he did the best he could.

What Lucas was thinking is another story. Whether Jedi’s faults are a result of his sincere artistic vision or of something more sinister (read: “marketable”) may never truly be known. But by comparing the genesis of each of the three films, we can make a pretty good educated guess. When Star Wars was conceived, no one had any idea how much money it would eventually pull in. Empire was still a risk, as successful sequels were rare at that point in time.

When it came time to do Jedi, however, the machinery was fully in place to sell it to the hilt. Lucas knew he could make far more money from merchandise than from theater grosses, so it’s likely that the question, “How easily will this translate into a Kenner toy?” figured more prominently in many of his Jedi decisions than it did in those that formed the first two Star Wars films. (And honestly, who can blame him? If we had the chance to build a ranch estate and media empire as vast as those owned by Lucas, we’d sell out in less time than it takes to shut one of those pressure doors on the Death Star.)

There are plenty of fervent fans who argue that by mere nature of its being part of the Trilogy, Jedi should be above criticism. We’d ask those people whose initial response to this list is one of anger to and apply the 50 points below to their next Jedi viewing, and join us in hoping that Jedi’s problems were the result of a fluke, and not of downward trends that will continue into the new films.

1. Ewoks, Ewoks, Ewoks – One of the miracles of the Star Wars Trilogy is that Lucas’ bizarre and ever-present fascination with little people didn’t hurt the first two films. The Jawas were cool. The Ugnaughts were cool. Kenny Baker as Artoo was cool. But George had to push his luck. The Ewoks are not cool. Period. In circles of die-hard Star Wars fans, to say you hate the Ewoks is like saying you enjoy breathing air. The Ewoks are the primary example of many of the points on this list: their unapologetic cuddliness is uncharacteristic and unwelcome; they look fake; they engage in constant physical comedy; their teddy bear design is wholly uninteresting; they live in boring surroundings; several of the film’s dumbest scenes revolve around them; they were originally supposed to have been Wookies and they sing that damn song at the end.

But aside from what we see onscreen, the Ewoks are miserable little creatures for a completely different reason: they are the single clearest example of Lucas’ willingness to compromise the integrity of his Trilogy in favor of merchandising dollars. How intensely were the Ewoks marketed? Consider this: “Ewok” is a household word, despite the fact that it’s never once spoken in the film.

2. The Tone is Inconsistent – The Rebellion is in ruins, Darth Vader is Luke’s father and Han is frozen. Why Lucas decided to smother these ambitious plot elements under a load of feel-good clichés and textbook plot structure is anyone’s guess (it’s our theory that he was infected with the same mania that caused Spielberg to make Hook eight years later). Jedi never has any idea what it’s trying to be.
Throughout, the mood and pacing is herky-jerked back and forth between dramatic and lighthearted. The scenes with Vader look and feel like they’re taking place in a different film than those with our heroes, and no amount of special effects or nostalgia for Wars and Empire can make the pieces fit together. Lacking any consistent driving force (pun intended), Jedi is impossible to take seriously, and has little to none of the mythic, transporting feel of its predecessors. We’re always aware we’re watching a big-budget movie.

3. The Look is All Wrong – After the second film, did the Empire celebrate its trouncing of the Rebellion by going through the galaxy with a big bottle of Windex? Everything in Jedi looks clean and polished, from the ships to the costumes to the backgrounds. One of the triumphs of the first two films was the fact that it was next to impossible to imagine they were filmed right here on Earth. In contrast, Jedi’s sets look like sets. We can picture cameras, plywood and the key grip eating a sandwich just outside the frame. Marquand never seems to know where to put the camera, and is constrained by the space his scenes inhabit instead of inspired by it. In the end, it’s surprising that Jedi doesn’t have any cardboard tombstones falling over, or a brief appearance by Vampira as the ghoul’s wife.

4. It’s Just A Bunch of Muppets! – Admittedly, Wars had its share of fake-looking aliens in the Mos Eisley Cantina scene, but many of them were genuinely innovative at the time (Hammerhead is STILL impressive) and none of them crossed the not-so-thin line between costume and (shudder) Muppet. Even Yoda in Empire was constructed, filmed and voiced well enough that we never thought to look for the hand up his rear.
Don’t get us wrong-we love Muppets, just not in the Star Wars universe. And Jedi’s Gamorrean Guards (only slightly less realistic than a Tor Johnson Halloween mask), Salacious Crumb (it’s good to see the Great Gonzo is still getting work) and Max Rebo (the blue piano-playing elephant with the oft-visible wire controlling his trunk) are proof that you can take the Henson Studio out of Sesame Street, but you can’t take Sesame Street out of the Henson Studio. Will the Criterion Edition laserdisc include the deleted footage of Statler and Waldorf cracking wise from the balcony?

5. Painful Lack of Innovation – When it comes to scavenging, Lucas could teach even the Jawas a thing or two. Jedi borrows from Wars on levels ranging from conceptual to minute. There’s another opening scene with a Star Destroyer (though this time it isn’t even permitted to finish its awesome crawl across the top of the screen). There’s another Imperial stronghold to infiltrate, and another energy beam to turn off. And of course, there’s another Death Star to blow up for the film’s climax (though at least the Emperor had enough brains to plug up that pesky exhaust port).
Most of the creatures and droids seen on Tatooine in Wars make background appearances in Jabba’s court-even Greedo’s alive and well! (Okay, maybe it’s a different Rodian. They all look the same to us.) Finally, little thought seems to have been given to developing or maturing any of the main characters in a realistic manner. Han and Threepio suffer most, coming across as catchphrase-spouting caricatures of their previous selves.

6. Witty banter – Note to writer Lawrence Kasdan: If you must fill your script with witty banter, at least try and make it, well, witty. With one or two exceptions, the humor in Wars and Empire was subtle, based around throwaway lines and the personality quirks of well-written characters. Jedi’s overly contrived “humor” too often seems inspired by the setup-to-punchline wordplay found in a typical episode of Three’s Company. In what is probably the film’s single most painful moment, Solo requests Threepio do a number of chores. After continually tapping him on the shoulder and preventing him from leaving to complete his duties, Solo quips, “Hurry up, will ya? I haven’t got all day.” Har-dee-har-har. Based on witticisms like that, it’s amazing that Luke never rebuked the Emperor by stating, “Up your nose with a rubber hose.”

7. Physical comedy – This is a Galactic rebellion, for heaven’s sake! Yet an Ewok clocks himself with his own slingshot. Threepio’s legs point skyward after he falls off the skiff into the sand. Countless adorable muppets zanily cover their eyes or flip-duck off their perches when faced with tense situations. Worst of all, there are two solid instances where burps are used for cheap laughs. Burps! And where are the fart jokes? Well, maybe in the next film. Jedi is as good a parody of the Trilogy as one could hope for; there was really no need for Mel Brooks to make Spaceballs.

8. Uninteresting Locales – Wars and Empire took us to locales that many of us have never been to in real-life, namely a vast desert, a run-down spaceport, an enormous space battle station, a planet of ice and snow, a dense, slithering swamp and a floating cloud city. Jedi just rehashes what we’ve already seen (though Jedi’s Tatooine looks significantly less exotic than it did in Wars, having been filmed in California instead of Tunisia), adding only one new biome: the woods (Oh, so THAT’S what trees look like).
If this pattern continues, expect the next Star Wars film to be set on the mysterious planet of sidewalks and suburban ranch homes.

9. The Forest Battle on Endor – If we wanted to see improbable jungle shenanigans, we’d have rented Battle For The Planet of the Apes. The myriad traps and offensive weapons constructed by the Ewoks (apparently over the course of one night) work with such predictable precision against the Imperials, the “battle” is little more than scene after predictable scene of sticks and stones taking out high-tech weaponry and forest-trained stormtroopers. Jedi may be a fantasy film, but the Ewoks’ victory still flies in the face of all reason, logic and precedent. It’s a cute little war in which dozens of human stormtroopers are beaten to death, but we’re only treated to one dead Ewok.

Happily, audiences have always responded to the stupidity of this imbalance: in screening after screening, the Ewok’s groaning demise is typically met with more cheers and applause than the destruction of the Death Star.

10. Solo – In Empire, Threepio stated that the carbonite would keep Solo safe, provided he survived the freezing process. Safe, yes, but Threepio said nothing about the side-effects. Namely, that people in carbon-freeze gain 20 pounds and take on the demeanor of Ward Cleaver on Quaaludes. Wars and Empire established Solo as a braggart, pirate and all-around scoundrel. In Jedi, he’s just a good-hearted, slack-jawed simp whose comments and actions are almost exclusively played for laughs.

In not a single scene does Solo have the same acerbic edge he possessed in the previous films. Harrison Ford does nothing to help the situation (perhaps to his credit), acting with a boredom rarely paralleled as he kills time waiting for another Indiana Jones installment.

11. Music – The soundtrack to Wars is a unquestioned classic. Empire’s soundtrack gave us the Trilogy’s best piece of music: The Imperial March. What does Jedi have to offer? Some playful “Peter and the Wolf”-esque Ewok tunes and Jabba’s foam-and-latex band. The song “Lapti Nek” was translated into English for an MTV video, and we learned that “Lapti Nek” actually means “workin’ out.” That whole Flashdance craze was certainly popular back in ’83, but now it’s just embarrassing. Jabba’s band is a pale imitation of Wars’ cantina musicians. The Muppets look fake, and the music they play is truly wretched.

(Yet one of the scenes being added to this spring’s “updated” Jedi release is another song by the band!)

Even more insipid, though, is the Ewoks’ celebratory “Yub-yub” number at the end (cut from the Special Edition), which sounds suspiciously as if it’s sung not by Ewoks, but by humans. The theme to the Alien Nation TV show sounded more authentic.

12. Threepio – Threepio was bearable in Wars because he and Artoo played an integral role in the unfolding of the plot. He got on our nerves in Empire, but we could at least sympathize with the human characters, who were more or less stuck with him and expressed their irritation. In Jedi, Threepio’s along by choice, and everyone just loves chuckling at the way he screws everything up. They decide to bring him along to Endor for no good reason, and we’re all forced to endure another barrage of predictable outbursts highlighting the shiny droid’s cowardice, ego and annoying verbosity. Shut him up or shut him down.

13. Obi Wan’s Appearance to Luke – In case you missed the first two films, Obi-Wan Kenobi is supposed to be dead. In Wars and Empire, he made himself known to Luke through an occasional voice in the head or in a floating vision. In Jedi, all of Obi-Wan’s street credibility as a wizened spiritual guide is thrown out the window when he appears on Dagobah and shuffles around like Fred G. Sanford in a coat of glow paint.

Rather than floating in one place, he fades in 20 feet away and walks up to Luke, eventually resting his non-corporeal butt on a rock. The ensuing two-way conversation scrambles to tie up too many loose ends at once, made worse by the fact that the character saying it all shouldn’t even be there on such a literal level. And unlike his similarly flawed Dagobah appearance in Empire, Jedi never lets us see Obi-Wan fade back into oblivion once his message is delivered. For all we know, he and Luke could have spent hours hanging out and gossiping like housewives.

14. Luke – We like Mark Hamill, really. But though he was perfectly cast as the wet-behind-the-ears student in the first two films, he simply lacks the dignity to pull off a believable Jedi Knight. To top things off, he has Aunt Beru’s haircut from the first film. We forget-was Jedi released before or after the advent of the Supercuts salon chain?

15. Surprise! They’re Brother and Sister! – After Jedi came out, Lucas would routinely go on record stating that in his mind, Star Wars was always first and foremost a story about a brother and a sister. Does anybody really buy this? Wars and Empire both had sexually charged scenes that play significantly creepier when watched with the knowledge that Luke and Leia are siblings. It seems unlikely that Lucas would have included those scenes if he knew that one day people would be seeing them from such a different perspective. What seems likely, however, is that when Jedi came around, Lucas was grasping at straws, searching desperately for a plot revelation to equal Empire’s classic father/son moment. Oh, well-even if Lucas is telling the truth (Yoda did, after all, say in Empire that there was “another”), the issue could have been handled in a less clumsy fashion. Having Luke and Leia learn about their relationship through means other than spur-of-the-moment (albeit Force-guided) guesses would have been a start.

16. Unforgivable Dialogue – Threepio approaching Jabba’s palace: “I have a bad feeling about this.”

Han Solo, when confronted by Ewoks: “I have a bad feeling about this.”

Leia, after releasing Solo from carbon freeze: “I gotta get you outta here.”

Leia, after being freed from Jabba’s chains: “We gotta get outta here.”

Leia, after she and an Ewok are ambushed on Endor: “Let’s get outta here.”

With dialogue like this, it seems Lucas finally put that “million monkeys at a million typewriters” theory to the test.

17. Horrible Exposition – “Artoo, look! It’s Captain Solo-and he’s still frozen in carbonite!” Lines like this are for those people who somehow missed the first two movies. Threepio is the main offender throughout, even going so far as to offer a long, Ewokese summary of the Trilogy’s plot thus far (with sound effects, no less). Of course, Lucas would probably say that scene was to show “the entrancing magic of storytelling.” Call us cynical, but entrancing magic makes us want to puke.

18. Jabba the Muppet – Er-Hutt. Jabba isn’t all that scary. It seems Lucas became so enamored of his technology that he forgot humans are far more ominous than any shop-built alien lifeform could ever hope to be. Remember Grand Moff Tarkin? Now THERE was a creepy villain. We were so busy trying to figure out where all the puppeteers were hiding beneath Jabba’s frame that we’re never able to accept him as a living, breathing character.

And no matter how you cut it, his eyelids still look fake. If only they hadn’t lost the phone number of that fat, Irish guy who originally played him in that deleted Wars scene.

19. Stupid Coincidences – “We have been without an interpreter since our master got angry with our last protocol droid and disintegrated him.” Pan over to said droid being pulled apart in a machine, to allow for a startled reaction shot by Threepio. Numerous scenes like this further damage Jedi’s ability to convince us this stuff is really happening. Jabba and his minions silently hiding behind the “Let’s Make A Deal” curtain and the fact that the escape skiff just happens to have two magnetic retrieval devices to pluck the fallen droids out of the sand are further examples of this problem.

None of these scenes needed to center around such ridiculous leaps in logic; more often than not, they’re simply indicative of lazy screenwriting, or inserted for excessive rimshot-ready moments.

20. Boba Fett’s Death – It’s inexcusable that such an imposing figure as Boba Fett-the one bounty hunter good enough to capture Solo-flies clumsily to his death in the Sarlaac pit while screaming like Shemp from the Three Stooges. Any Star Wars geek worth his weight in trading cards will tell you that Boba Fett is the Trilogy’s most underused character. His brief but badass appearance in Empire had us all anxiously awaiting the next film, assuming his role would be greatly expanded by the events surrounding what we then thought would be an incredible escape by Han.

Not only does Fett have nothing to do in Jedi, but in the ultimate indignity, he’s killed off without ceremony or honor for no better reason than another damn burp joke. According to the novels and comics, Fett survived. But that’s not what’s implied in the film itself, and it doesn’t make the scene any less shameful.

21. Terrible, Terrible Post-Production Looping – In about half of Jedi’s scenes, little attempt is made to match the dialogue with the characters’ lip movements-it’s almost like watching a Mothra flick. If Lucas were smart, he’d blame this on the film’s being dubbed from its original language. You know-the one they spoke a long time ago in that galaxy far, far away.

22: Sub-Par Special Effects – It’s strange that the film that gave us sci-fi’s most intricate and well-choreographed space battle to date also gave us so many effects that just look plain silly. The Rancor aside (see below), consider Han’s light-streaming release from the carbonite, the seemingly magic-markered shadow under Jabba’s sail barge and the explosion of the shield generator on Endor (in which Han and his team, about twenty feet from the bunker, aren’t affected in the slightest by its explosion, which from our viewpoint engulfs several square miles of forest).

23. The Rancor Effects – Quite probably the worst use of a blue screen in the history of big-budget film, the Rancor looks so awful it deserves its own separate mention. Planning this sequence, the ILM team seems to have been inspired by old episodes of Lidsville, as the admittedly well-designed puppet appears at all times either flat and two-dimensional, or surrounded by an unearthly glow. This is one effect we won’t mind seeing cleaned up in the re-release.

24. Leia and Han’s Relationship – It’s A Galaxy Far, Far Away 90210! The subtle, repressed passion of Empire is simplified to high-school relationship levels in Jedi. They kiss, they say “I love you,” Han throws a hissy fit and gets jealous of Luke. The couple play off each other in such obvious ways, we’re reminded of the Screenwriting 101 rule of show, don’t tell. Han and Leia never look or act like two adults in love – and no amount of gushy language can cover up that fact.

25. Carrie Fisher’s “Acting” – Han: Who are you?- Leia: Someone who LOVES you!- When Carrie Fisher isn’t staring vacantly into space, she’s emoting to degrees previously seen only in Mexican soap operas. At least today she’s cool enough to admit that she was zoned out on coke the entire time.

26. Obvious missed opportunities – Putting aside the fact that the entire movie is a missed opportunity in the context of the Trilogy, Jedi has specific missed opportunities too numerous to count within its own structure. These range from major (Lucas’ throwaway admission that he had originally intended Endor to be a planet of Wookies; the fact that Lando doesn’t die in the Death Star assault, as Jedi’s original script dictated) to picayune (when the Alliance fleet suddenly realizes the Death Star’s shield is still functional, it would have been nice to see one or two X-Wings crash into said shield and explode, having not had enough time to pull up).

27. Yoda – In Empire, Yoda was a sagacious sprite who brought to mind Gælic legend. In Jedi, he’s an annoying toad who sounds like Super Grover (thanks to Frank Oz’s forgetting how to do the voice) and looks about as realistic as his Kenner action figure likeness (thanks to bad, overlit cinematography, see point #3).

Like the movie he’s stuck in, Jedi’s Yoda is lacking in wisdom and festering with cuteness. Get out your laserdiscs (okay, or your videotapes) and compare the two Yodas head-to-head. You’ll be surprised.

28. The Opening Text Crawl – In which we are given our first taste of each of the three films. Let’s compare their opening sentences, shall we?

WARS: “It is a period of civil war….”

EMPIRE: “It is a dark time for the Rebellion…”

JEDI: “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. Charro guest stars.”

Okay, we threw in the part about Charro. But the point is, we’re talking mythic tracts versus a blurb from TV Guide. The first sentence in Jedi centers around the word “friend.” Well, that’s just peachy, but we much prefer the first two films’ implications that we’re about to see something a bit larger than a buddy picture.

29. Imperial Technology – Imperial engineers should really figure out a way to keep their vehicles from blowing up so easily, both in space and on the ground. In Jedi, not only does a single crashed A-wing take out an entire eight-kilometer super star destroyer, but several scout walkers explode like Pintos whenever something taps them a little too hard. (True, the Imperial walkers in Empire could be tripped up a bit easily, but at least they didn’t burst into fireballs until hit by Rebel blaster fire.)

It seems strange that the Rebels even bothered procuring spaceships and blasters-based on what Jedi shows us, the Empire could have been defeated with a couple of well-placed safety pins.

30. Jabba’s Droid Torture Room – First of all, torturing droids is stupid on a purely conceptual level, seeing as how they’re machines and all. But what on earth was going through Lucas and Marquand’s heads when they decided to play the scene in Jabba’s droid room for laughs? Wars and Empire both have torture scenes. They’re pretty unsettling. Know why? BECAUSE THEY’RE TORTURE SCENES, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! Torture’s not supposed to be funny-no one wants to laugh at a screaming power droid as a bad steam effect shoots out of its feet to simulate the application of intense heat. But to the makers of Jedi, there’s nothing like a little humor at the sake of torture victims, even if they are mechanical.

Following the release of Jedi, Amnesty International must have logged hundreds of reports of people flogging their waffle irons and blenders.

31. Use of Earth Slang and Pop Culture – We were almost willing to forgive the fact that an Ewok exclaims “yahoo,” or that Threepio uses the supposedly Ewokese word “boom” until we saw the abominable scene where an Ewok swings from a vine and lets out a note-for-note copy of Tarzan’s famous yell. Have we mentioned that we hate the Ewoks?

32. Jedi Afterlife – The Jedis apparently have a lot in common with the Catholics. You can screw up your entire life, strangle scores of people and oversee the construction of a planet-destroying battle station, but as long as you repent with your last breath, you get to party with Yoda and Ben in the nether-world. Speaking of that, Yoda seems to have gotten the short end of the afterlife stick-why does Anakin’s ghost get to regrow his hair and get all spiffed up and nice looking, while Yoda, who managed to resist the Dark Side all his 900-plus years, still looks like a crumpled old salamander?

33. Unrealistic, Boring Fight Sequences – But why stage an elaborate hand-to-hand fight with a scout trooper when you can just have Solo use the old “shoulder tap” trick? Or when you can throw a duffel bag at an Imperial guard and he’ll backflip over a railing and into the shield generator’s energy core? Not since Charlton Heston took out a gorilla bare-handed have we been asked to swallow such nonsense.

34. Stormtroopers Have Become P*****s – “Look out-teddy bear creatures! And they’ve got primitive handmade weapons! Let’s forget our years of intense military training, put down our high-tech weaponry and run away!”

35. Vader’s Real Face – You know, Darth, that scar will never heal unless you stop scratching it. But enough with the clever bon-mots: it should have been David Prowse under that helmet. Period. He deserved at least that much, and probably would have been willing to shave his head. Sebastian Whatsisname (Shaw) delivers an acceptable acting job (actually, one of Jedi’s only acceptable acting jobs), but that pudgy head just doesn’t match up with the body we see on Vader throughout the rest of the Trilogy.

36. Bad Editing – It seems that the folks at Supercuts were hired on by Lucasfilm not only to style the actors’ coifs, but to hack and splice the film, as well. That Jedi has problems with its editing is largely a subjective opinion and hard to quantify, but we base our belief on the fact that certain scenes just plain lack the punch and pacing we know they could and should have had. (Though whether this is the director’s fault or the editor’s isn’t always clear.)

37. The Alien Languages Are Badly Presented – Bib Fortuna repeatedly lapses from Huttese into English for no apparent reason, and we learn from Leia’s bounty hunter alter-ego that at least one translation of “Thirty-thousand, no less” is “Yoto. Yoto.” Huh?

And while we’re on the subject, if Threepio is Jabba’s translator, why does he translate what others are saying into English rather than Huttese? The precedent is there to employ subtitles, but they’re only rarely used to suggest some iota of realism.

38. Inconsistency Within the Established Universe – It can always be argued that the Star Wars universe contains a wide array of peoples and languages. Still, it strikes us as sloppy that codes on Jedi’s computer screens are in alien gobbledygook language, while the tractor beam controls in Wars were in English. And speaking of English, almost all the Imperials in Wars and Empire have an English accent. Jedi doesn’t continue this trend-unfortunate, because as everyone knows, the British are inherently terrifying.

39. Yoda’s Death Sequence – Yoda says, “Soon will I rest. Yes, forever sleep.” Less than four minutes later-Bam! He’s a goner. And what does Luke do while his beloved master lays choking and gasping for his final breaths? Well, he just sort of sits there like a doofus and watches him writhe in pain. Not that dialing 911 is an option on Dagobah, but a simple “Hey, Master-you okay?” would have been a nice gesture.

40. The Alliance Briefing – In Wars, the briefing before the attack on the Death Star had the feel of a serious military operation. In Jedi, the briefing is a forum for witty repartee, attended by chuckling, smirking buddies and a medical droid who has no business being there other than to fill a vacant seat. It’s no wonder the Rebels got their a***s kicked in Empire if this is how their top military leaders conduct themselves when the Galaxy is at stake. Eventually, Luke barges in unannounced and the “meeting” breaks up with all the Parliamentary Procedure of porno night at the Elk’s Club.

41. Paradoxical Lessons in the Force – Yoda says the only way Luke can become a Jedi is to face Vader. Minutes later, he says it’s unfortunate that Luke rushes to face Vader. This in addition to Yoda’s assertion in Empire that if Luke faces Vader, he’ll become an agent of evil. So he needs to face Vader to become a Jedi, but he can’t face Vader or else he’ll become a slave to the Dark Side. This is a paradox on par with the one Kirk used to confuse and blow up Nomad.

42. Vader’s Not-So-Special Shuttle – When we first saw Vader’s shuttle with its clean lines and sleek, tri-wing design, it seemed a fitting vessel to transport a leader of his stature. But later, we find out that apparently every Imperial shuttle-even the ones that transport supplies to work sites-look just like Vader’s.

One explanation: After Vader damaged that fancy bent-wing TIE fighter they gave him in Wars, he lost his special ship privileges. The more likely explanation: Someone at Lucasfilm was too lazy or cheap to just design and build a model for a different style of shuttlecraft.

43. Sloppy Continuity Errors – In quick cuts between two different views of a character, it’s a good bet that his or her expression and/or stance will be jarringly inconsistent. Check out Bib Fortuna in the scene where Jabba refers to the newly defrosted Solo as “bantha fodder.”
Our favorite slip, however, is the starfield behind the Emperor’s throne, which in every shot consists of the same group of stars crawling slowly to the left of the screen.

44. That Scene with the Ewok on the Speeder Bike – This scene doesn’t really exemplify any of the larger points in this article, but we hate it so much that we couldn’t just ignore it. If Jedi weren’t so darned cutesy, that Ewok would have been splattered into tree pizza, and we’d have been a lot happier. Have we mentioned we hate Ewoks?

45. Generally Dumb Dialogue– A couple of examples:

Vader, upon seeing that Luke has constructed a lightsaber: “Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are powerful as the Emperor has foreseen.”

(Wait a second-all because he read a Time/Life book on electronics and soldered together some transistors? Does this mean Tim Allen is a Jedi?)

Yoda, near death, to Luke: “Remember: A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force.” (That’s more of a first-day lesson, isn’t it, Yoda? Something tells us Luke had that particular bit of wisdom written on a Post-It-Note and stuck to his X-Wing cockpit long ago.)

46. Admiral Ackbar – Sure, Admiral Ackbar looks neat, but he’s quite the wishy-washy leader, judging from how Lando continually questions, ignores and overrides his orders. Dumbest of all (though never actually mentioned in the film), Admiral Ackbar’s fish-like race is called the Mon Calamari. Ha ha ha! (The joke isn’t quite so funny when you realize there are more fish people in Jedi than there are black people or female people.)

47. Dumb Resolution of Problems – The most pathetic example of this is the “secret backdoor” on the shield generator base, which means our team won’t have to be bothered with devising an interesting way to break in. Luckily for them, the base is apparently staffed by the one garrison in the Empire commanded by Colonel Klink.

48. Artoo – Of all the main characters, Artoo is the only one who isn’t handled in a totally embarrassing fashion, but there are still some inconsistencies in how his personality is presented. He’s supposed to be the brave, assured one to Threepio’s sissy-boy, but in a couple scenes he whimsically shakes and shivers with fear like Scooby-Doo. Is he into this whole Rebellion thing or not?

49. The WIZARD OF OZ Homage at Jabba’s Front Door – Anyone who’s ever seen MGM’s seminal musical fantasy experiences more than a little deja-vu when Threepio knocks on Jabba’s door and asks the whimsical attendant to admit him to the Emerald City-er…rusty palace. Had there been a precedent of scene-specific homage in Wars or Empire, we might have been more forgiving on this point, but the scene as presented in Jedi sticks out and degrades the overall integrity of the mythos established in the first two films. (Sure, Wars mimicked Kurasawa’s The Hidden Fortress almost scene-for-scene, but only socially maladapted film geeks noticed that.)

50. The Sarlaac Pit as Freud’s Vagina Dentate – Come on, like it never occurred to you.

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  1. John Walkingman says:

    You’re wrong. I don’t have anything else to say but you’re wrong. Please go and never watch a movie again.

  2. Adam Tradk says:

    Return of the Jedi is the best movie of the saga and let me guess your favorite is rise of Skywalker? And the movies were made in the 80s and no CGI were used, all of the ships, animals, and land speeders were all made. No CGI were used and the marks you made are terrible.

  3. Koko Naz-D says:

    Did you write the title and then scramble to pad your list out to 50? Being a nerd can be very fun, but “bitter nerd” isn’t a good look. Was an Ewok to blame for your parents’ divorce or something?

    • Steve o says:

      Looks like the truth hurts komo him outing down a crappy movie you like with very good points.

    • Steve o says:

      Great list.I am so happy that he included the most important in there why jedi sucks.Leia andLuke being brother and sisters especially after there was some serious romantic feelings with each other in the first two films just ruined the whole thing for me.this poster was spot on,he only did it to try and have something to follow up on as being as dramatic as empire when Luke learns Vader is his father and a way to settle the love triangle with Luke,Leia,and Ha.total wimp cop out.

      I hated Jedi from beginning to end from the start of Leia in a slave outfit to the end of obi one standing around having a jolly old good time with darth Vader,hey Ben,remember the time I killed you.lol Sorry that slave outfit is just not Star Wars.make another movie if you want Leia in a bikini.

      The acting from Hamilton,Fisher,and Ford was just atrocious and unacceptable.nothing on par like the first two.

      Something else that needs to be added on here to his excellent review here is it suffers from dejuvu. He had already faught Darth Vader so that took away the enjoyment plus it was not exciting as the first one was.why not something new like maybe fight the emperor,come on man. Let’s also not forget we already saw them blow up the Death Star the first time so this was not exciting knowing the outcome would be the same as last.

      The emperor tells Luke to grab the light saber and strike him down.Luke gets so angry when he sees the rebels have fallen into a trap he goes for his saber and tries to do just that,had it not been for Vader stopping him with his lightsaber which was done only so we could have another lightsaber fight of course,he would have gone over to the dark side as Vader did sense he would have tried to strike him down had vader not interfered.

      Then we have Luke trying to kill Jabba which goes against eveything a Jedi knight is taught After Luke’s uses the force to take a gun from one of his henchmen firing at jabba trying to kill him only failing when he fell through the secret trap door. I also thought the creatures were fake in this film where they are Were all believable in the first two films. I hear people say the prequals Don’t have the magic the original trilogy did,agreed except they should say instead they don’t have the magic and appeal the original FIRST TWO FILMS did.

  4. Terence P says:

    whenever im bored i google reasons why star wars movies ‘suck’ and have read this list a few times over the years. it is pretty good. i must say the comment about Vader’s ship (the more likely explanation one) is probably the best observation though.

  5. CRAIG M. DAVIS says:

    Geez….reading through this 19 year old article, it’s like someone back in the day needed a Snickers. Did ROTJ have it’s flaws? Yes. Was it quite as good as it’s two predecessors? No. However it’s original 1983 version was a satisfying wrap up to the Star Wars trilogy (now known as OT), and is heads and tails better than any of the subsequent Star Wars films (with the arguable exception of Episode III). Nitpicking over the opening words of the opening crawl, Obi Wan sitting on a rock, and countless other trivial matters do not make for an entertaining article, nor does it change my opinion about ROTJ in the slightest.

  6. Mark says:

    Spot on! Especially the top 10. ROTJ was a completely different kind of movie than the first two and a serious let down, for all the reasons you gave. Loved some of the humor you included.
    Have been looking for a list like this for quite a while. Thank you!

  7. Saoirse McLeod says:

    Well, here’s an idea. Don’t f’ing watch it if you don’t like it. Jedi happens to be my favorite of the 9. And stop comparing movies from the original trilogy to more modern ones. You’re probably a Millennial, so I’ll forgive your loud-mouthed, know-it-all-yet-nothing arrogance toward masterfully made productions that were here before you were, simply because you think they should have been something else. You want a piece of cinematic garbage, watch The Last Jedi. As for the Ewoks, I know you’re not going to be able to comprehend this. But the movie had to appeal to children too. Most of us, at the time, liked the Ewoks. At least they served a purpose. How did a Porg contribute to the story? You’re opinion means very little to intelligent people. You sound like a mouthy a*****e! Most critics do. But you do not get to decide for other people if a movie is good or not. You’re pointing out trivial crap that in no way affects the movie for people who want a sci-fi fantasy adventure to escape from the reality that you so desperately need in a work of fiction. Get a life, dude! Better yet, just shut up!

    • Kevin says:

      What an ignorant wretch you are, Saoirse. This article was written in 2001, not 2020, you space cadet. As for ROTJ, it’s not a good film, and most of these reasons are valid. As for the TLJ, a flawed film, but better than most whiners/ cinematic illiterates like you can’t give credit for because of bandwagon hate. Great thematic material; the folly of hero worship, identity and war, black and white morality, selflessness etc. And critics have spent their life understanding and analysing the processes of film-making. Critics are always better educated about film and understand it much, much better than pathetic, whiny fanboy such as you. Now go back and watch your cartoons and Mel Gibson torture porn.

  8. Chris Guerrero says:

    Things I would’ve liked to see in ROTJ:
    • Sebastian Shaw remaining as a Force Ghost at the end of the special edition.
    •Somwhere, revelation and Luke’s Jedi- training of his sister since there was “another” hope.

    • Fiercer-looking Ewoks along the lines of the original concept design for Chewbecca in SW-the scary lemur-thing.

    • A creepier, more foreboding Endor landscape where vicious, lightning-quick man-eating creatures could drop out of the trees at any time. Would’ve been cool to go along with a nervous Stormtrooper squad carefully communicating during a night patrol there aka PREDATOR. Remember the suspense of dangerous lurking Sand People and the eerie semi-demonic Jawa presence build-up in SW? Spooky planet Dagobah and the inside of the space slug in ESB?

  9. Ajax Plunkett says:

    It’s not just the nit picks but the overall lack of seriousness that Jedi fails. The look and feel of the film is one thing but script problems and just bad ideas add up to many strikes against Jedi.

    Film aficionados / film historians who like Star Wars and Empire all dislike this movie.

    Star Wars fans ( who are not film buffs ) who liked the first 2 are split on Jedi. That’s saying something.

    I don’t agree with all 50 reasons and each one has a varying degree of weight but at least 30 I agree with.

  10. Charles says:

    They definitely went too cutesy with ROTJ.

    I saw the movie recently, for free on an online video site. And I couldn’t get that cheesy Tarsan Foley effect, when the ewok swung on the vine, out of my mind for days.

    And torturing droids? Droids don’t have nerve endings; they don’t feel pain.

    And I think you forgot to mention that Leia remembers her mother, who were told died when she was 30 minutes old.

  11. R5D4 says:

    “Luke’s backflip off the diving board”???

    Really, are you kidding me? You think that one backflip makes up for lack of depth, poor characterization, inconsistent script???

    As a big fan of the films, I have to agree with pretty much everything this guy says. Such a great opportunity to do something amazing, and Lucas pretty much throws it away.

    51: Fireworks at the end. Where did they come from? You mean during the run up to the final battle some rebel soldier jumped in his ship, flew to the local store and bought some fireworks? Disney ending if ever there was one!

  12. Johan says:

    The problem with the 50 points is that it is about a lot of details, and so the overall main critique on the movie is lost. Why is the empire strikes back a better movie? because there is more development of character, interesting things happen between persons, because the empire is very strong and the good guys suffer, struggle, but make their way.

  13. IPFreely says:

    “I, too, was an Ewok-basher in my past, but an awesome story in the Star Wars Tales comics really changed my mind. A veteran storm trooper tells of the Ewoks being fiendish creatures that drummed through the night and picked-off troops at will through cunning guerilla warfare. ”

    Too bad that wasn’t in the movie, instead we got comical teddy bears. Lucas should have just stuck with the original thought of having Wookies.

  14. Reeper says:

    This is the most obnoxious and pathetic thing that I have ever read in my life. Whoever wrote this is an idiot and a whiner. I personally love the Star Wars franchise, and coincidently, I am right now watching Empire Strikes Back on Spike and right after that Return of the Jedi, which I WILL be watching (As petty as this may sound I really hope it offends the fragile f@@king sensibility of the author of this article.). I love all six films and I am so excited for VII, VIII, IX, and that J.J. Abrams will directing at least one (VII). It is quite mind boggling that someone actually sat down and took the time to compose this list, although, it is just as mind boggling that I actually took the time to read this toilet paper list.

  15. UsingtheForce says:

    I recently re-watched the trilogy. Have not seen the original films since the dates they came out. The versions I watched had the enhancements (Greedo shoots first, new explosions, etc.). Thoroughly enjoyed Wars and Empire. Empire was interesting because it played as a transition piece – left us in the middle of a story, anticipating the next chapter. Then came Jedi. It was out-of-place. Wrong movie. Wrong tone. Massive nonsense everywhere. It was pure Wookie dung. It takes a touch of sophistication to notice this – but only a small touch. Thus, for example, most 8 year olds liked Jedi – but also, most 8 year olds missed the interesting aspects of Wars and Empire. The explanation for Jedi’s wookie-poopyness is to me simple: It was designed to made enormous amounts of money. Scenes were designed with $ in mind. Like any movie designed by a committee of solely profit-motivated businessmen, it’s bound to be a piece of wookie do-do. Even though it was financially successful (mission accomplished guys!), it is still wookie diarrhea. Jedi is like the McDonalds on the Champs-Élysées in Paris — it’s designed to appeal (superficially) to the broadest possible range of customers, and it’s located in an area that — due to the area’s own hard-fought aesthetic characteristics — attracts large numbers of customers. Jedi, like McDonalds in Paris, is riding on the coattails of another’s success – while simultaneously killing the distinctive features of the area. This is of course an ancient business ploy. It’s a form of cheating. Trading on another’s good will, it’s sometimes called. The criticism in the article is dead on. If you don’t understand the criticisms — that is, if you don’t see the crucial differences in quality between Wars and Empire on one hand, and Jedi on the other, it’s because you are 8-13 years old, or, as is so common these days, you stopped developing and maturing and educating yourself at 8-13 years old, and are applying that brain power to the problem. If you can’t see the difference, it’s because the force ain’t with you. Sorry, it’s you. This is not a debate about whether Jedi sucked wookie turds — it does, that’s a fact. No reasonable person could think otherwise. What’s happening here is that someone took the time to create a nice catalog of what went wrong with the movie. 90% of the points are utterly irrefutable. For example, ever hear anyone over the age of 9 say: “that was awesome how Fett died! wow!” You haven’t. One point to add to this list, which is sort of there, is this: The dialogue between Luke and Vader at the end — the endless series of absurd one-sentence declarations. It was painful to watch. So clearly designed to appeal to 8 year olds, it was. And Yoda! In Empire Luke is implored not to leave his Jedi training — it’s critical he complete it, no matter what! He’s our only hope! He must complete training! In Jedi, Luke returns to complete the crucial training and Yoda says: “I’m dying. Your training is done. Have a nice day.” WTF. Why did they even bother dusting off the old Muppet?

  16. Randy says:

    You really nailed it for me. I’ve been thinking about writing an article like this for the longest time and the list of issues I had with it kept growing and growing. You hit on just about every major issue I have with ROTJ. Bravo!

    To the author’s critics, unless you grew up understanding the SW universe from the first two movies at the time they were released you really wouldn’t have experienced what a disappointing game-changer ROTJ was. The author’s opinion isn’t an outlyer – he’s voicing an opinion that many people hold and articulates it as well as I’ve ever read.

    I would add a couple of other points.

    ROTJ dicarded one of the major arcs in the “Hero’s journey.” The first film established Luke’s inner journey to become a self-aware Jedi. Obi Wan showed that the Jedi were the epitome of virtue and the mightiest of warriors. By the end of ESB Luke was still dealing with inner struggles with self-doubt and controlled by his emotions. Luke’s inevitable enlightenment should have occurred in ROTJ. But we were cheated of that moment (arguably the climax of the entire trilogy) and Luke is suddenly a full-fledged Jedi in ROTJ. The entire subplot of Luke’s relationship with the Force was simply discarded.

    Han and Leia … their chemistry was founded on their personal tension and insults in ESB. Two independent characters in denial about mutual attraction makes for great comedy/romance. That dynamic was discarded entirely in ROTJ. In fact, the original treatment which would have Han killed early in ROTJ would have been perfect. Luke and Leia would grieve together and start a new romance. The ESB carbonite scene becomes instantly poignant. Han’s death would have added that sense of peril that was lost over time. Luke’s battle in the end becomes much, more meaningful. Opportunity wasted.

    I’ve always said the editing was amateurish beyond belief. I’m honestly surprised how few people point it out. It was so bad I was laughing against my will. The standout moment was the scene with Emperor zapping Luke. Cut to Vader – center frame turning his head from left to right to convey his dilemma.

    And badass stormtroopers reduced to keystone cops? … yelling, “Freeze”?

  17. Alberto says:

    Really? ROTJ is not the best movie of the saga, and it’s the weakest of the original trilogy but it’s still a good movie. I’ve never seen this, but I came her because of the link on Yahoo.com about 83 movies. I think some of the stuff is somehow correct, but still some are way undeserved (like number 12 about Threepio: They decide to bring him along to Endor for no good reason. No good reason? Actually Threepio saves everybody! when he is mistaken on being a god! and with a little help of Luke of course) Also number 3, actually is the same look on the ships!. Whoever wrote this, needs to watch the movie again. I’m a Star Wars fan, but still a movie fan, and this writer needs to know things before dumb pieces like this one.

  18. Mark Bell says:

    “I guess that begs the question, why would someone with professional credentials publish anything for free?”

    I can’t say whether he was paid for the original article, published online over 12 years ago, written for print prior to that (read prior comments), but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was. Believe me, I love that people are finding our older stories over a decade on, but just because you read it for the first time yesterday doesn’t mean it was written yesterday. This site has been around for over 16 years, and the print magazine originated in ’85.

  19. Erik says:

    Do any of you realize this Dan Vebber guy isn’t just some novice geeky fan like us? He is a Hollywood writer who got his start on The Onion website. I guess that begs the question, why would someone with professional credentials publish anything for free?

  20. Jay says:


    Thanks for the comment, but I don’t think you understood my post. As far as the Star Wars camp…. it is for little kids in elementary school, plus I get paid for it, very well I might add so why would I not do something that is fun for kids to enjoy and get paid for it. There are flaws in ALL films, just go to IMDB and see the errors shown in each movie, they are usually listed there. All of the Star Wars movies were good, problem is technology was not very good compared to now…. the thought of the original movies done with the new technology…. nice. Sure Lucas tried to add some stuff in, some looks out of place, but only because you know what to look for. To someone who has never seen it, it looks like a movie. I am not trying to defend Lucas, I am just saying that there are more people who enjoyed the movies then disliked them and to say only the nerds like them prequels is incorrect, because most kids that is all they have watched along with the Clone Wars cartoon.

  21. Max Papis says:

    Actually, in response to JAY’s last paragraph, there is no need for a personal attack to any opinion (“pathetic”). All opinions are valid, although some may be questionable (e.g. not everyone can judge fine art, or fine music, or understand quantum physics- which makes some people’s opinion perhaps a bit pedestrian). Question- you call critical opinions of ROTJ and the prequels “nerd critics” yet you teach a Jedi camp? RMFAO. Seriously. Look, the truth is most people DID NOT like the prequels. Only the real “nerds” liked them, because they saw past how bad the films really were, and couldn’t accept them being sucky. I don’t know anyone who really liked the prequels- some thought they were ok, but most didn’t like them. I personally felt like I was watching animation the whole time- and the films had a far more modern look and feel despite taking place decades earlier- Lucas could have ‘correlated’ the films instead of the resulting anachronism. And for the record- yes there are flaws in all films, but ROTJ can be compared to the 3rd film in many series- Superman III, Godfather III, ALIENS III, Robocop III, Terminator III. All truly inferior films to I and II. Actually, I cannot stand any of those IIIs, but love I and II. The only exception to this rule is Indiana Jone- but that is only because its II was pretty awful and Lucas felt ashamed, so did a pretty good III. There’s my 2 cents.

  22. Jay says:

    True these 50 gripes were funny, but I personally do not agree with most of them. I liked ROTJ because it seemed to have the most action sequences and even the ending sequences had three actions sequences going on at once (Luke vs Vader, Battle of Endor, and attacking the Death Star). It was exciting to say the most part and kept me watching.

    I loved the Episode 4 and 5, 4 was good and established the story and showing that good triumphs in the end, ESB had a great opening action sequence then it got kind of boring only to stay boring until Luke faced Vader… then it just kind of left you hanging with no real “win”. ROTJ brought it back and established “good” winning in the end. Sure the Ewoks could be annoying at first, but I have gotten used to them and kind of enjoy them now as they showcase the “locals” helping to fight the evil invaders who were more technologically advanced, plus that add a little “funniness” to it. Luke established himself as a bad a*s instead of a whiny a*s like in ANH and ESB. I enjoyed Luke fighting Jabba’s guards, disliked Fett dying in that short way, but still enjoyed him interacting in the fight the way he did period.

    The prequels had some flaws, but I still truly enjoyed them, sure Jar Jar was annoying, but he was toned down and faded out as the movies progressed. Enjoyed more lightsaber action in those and of course awesome action sequences. Some people can just never be satisfied and that is the problem, thus the reason why Lucas stopped “making” these films, too much nitpicking from overly critical dorks who still live with mom. I understand you want what you envisioned it to be, but everyone cannot get all they want. You will find a flaw in every movie, no matter what it is, and if YOU don’t, someone else will.

    I love all 6 of them and I continue to watch them all the time, in fact my family watches them all the time and we love them, my wife and I even teach a Jedi Training Camps for kids in school during the summer time. I cannot wait to see the 7, 8, and 9 as I am sure I will love those too, then the nerd critics will comment that it doesn’t follow the novels blah blah blah….boo hoo… maybe the novels were just made up… ever think of that? So please stop destroying what MOST people DO actually enjoy watching with the negative comments as it only shows how pathetic you are…unbelievable.

  23. Max Papis says:

    Woops, I meant Alderon… not Dantoine. Please excuse me, as I am a bit out of practice.

  24. Max Papis says:

    Quick follow-up: kudos to you pointing out how insanely ridiculous the super star destroyer veering out of control due to a crash by that tiny fighter. That was one of my biggest pet peeves of the movie when I saw it. Made zero senses and it cannot be even plausible when I suspend disbelief. Remember how tough and scary they were in the first 2 films? And its scale when it crashed into the death star was a bit too small- the mammoth SSD should appear bigger. And the resulting flames on impact were silly-looking and not how explosions would be in space. Lastly, I am NOT a fan of the new special edition remakes of the explosions of the death star and Dantoine. That stupid added ring looks dumb, Lucas- we did not need that “enhancement” or frankly ANY of them. Thank goodness South Park had the guts to point out Lucas’ true character 🙂

  25. Max Papis says:

    I agree 100%. Few articles have I come across which so perfectly express how I feel about a film. ROTJ for me was deeply inferior- I was 7 when I saw it, and even then felt it feel short of the mark. As an adult, it is not even in the same universe. It basically is somewhere between the awesomeness of the first two films and the nauseating unwatchable reality of the 3 prequels. And yes, Lucas was fortunate in the first 2 films because he had producers, budgets and other limiting elements to keep his goofy imagination in check. But left unchecked and having most people bowing to him in blind allegiance, we have Lucas making ROTJ and the following 3 pieces of garbage, as well as the last Indiana Jones. ‘Nuff said. A shame.. Lucas with all of this money, resources, “talent” and wisdom.. should have been able to duplicate the authentic appeal of the first 2 films in the prequels. But it was just a money making embarrassment.

  26. Leo r says:

    #51-How the ;)&&?,,Luke knows he is Going to the sarlaac pit?
    52- How come Vader has a complete skull, isnt he part machine?

  27. Chris says:

    Great article. I recently stumbled onto this. I saw the first Star Wars movie in 1977 when I was 8. It blew my mind. As did Empire. Of course I waited with much anticipation to see ROTJ only to leave the theater with an empty feeling, like Lucas was hiding behind the screen laughing at me. The first two films were made for sci-fi fans and the larger audience of movie-goers. ROTJ was clearly made for little kids to sell toys. A pathetic sell-out that insulted the fans who made him his millions.

    The writer of this article forgot one of my biggest pet peeves…

    #51 – The ol’ Meat On A Stick Trick –
    I rolled my eyes when I witnessed Chewbacca, throwing caution to the wind, rampages through the forest to gobble up some raw meat dangling on a stick. In the previous two films we were shown that Chewie is an intelligent being, capable of piloting and repairing an intergalactic starship. Yet when the rebels land on an alien planet and wander into the forest to discover the raw meat of an unknown alien creature perched on a stick, left in the hot sun for who knows how long, he dashes into what is an obvious trap. I guess Han doesn’t feed him too often. For crying out loud – I wash my hands several times and disinfect the countertops when I handle chicken purchased from the grocery store. What kind of diet is Chewie on?

    This scene killed my hope that the movie would redeem itself after the stupid Tatooine escape / rescue. It was all downhill from the opening scrawl, but I didn’t know it until the Ewoks “Meat on a Stick Trick” nabbed a whole net full of rebels and confirmed the horrible writing that is ROTJ.

    Anyone who thinks this film stands up next to ANH and ESB is delusional. Many people might say this is all just nit-picking cynical writing, but most of these points are all part of the larger fact that the movie falls apart on so many levels. Lazy-make-it-up-as-you-go-along-writing comprises ROTJ. This movie sucked, and sucked hard. The prequels need to be thrown away as well, but that’s another long rant.

  28. Things In Motion says:

    Would the writer prefer that people *didn’t* repent with their last breath for the bad things they’ve done?

  29. john Harris says:

    I was a teenager when it came out so loved it, just wished they had bought more star wars films out at the time rather than leave it all those years. It was a humorous article from the bits i read, i just wish i had the time and patience to read it all.

  30. Jim Taylor says:

    I’m not sure if anyone commented on these 2 points about Jedi or not.

    1. There are so many reverse angle, backward, negative shots in the film. How does the editor not see these. When Leia strangles Jabba, you can tell by looking at Jabba’s nostrils and the mole on Carrie’s back. When Leia is first confronted by the Biker Scout just right after meeting Wicket, she has her hair parted on one side in one shot then on the other side in another. When the 2 Tie Interceptors do a fly by, the open part of the Death Star is in reverse. Luke’s hair is parted on the right in the hologram in front of Jabba. Then on the left the rest of the movie. Just pure laziness it’s aggravating.

    2. Since when do Ewoks have in storage a women’s size 3 dress. Considering, I assume, they’ve never seen a human female before. It’s not like Leia had the thing packed under her combat poncho. It’s hard to imagine that Ewok’s were professional tailors and were able to stitch this thing together in a few hours and have it fit perfectly.

  31. Zack Miletich says:

    I deeply disagree with your review. I don’t care if ROTJ could have had wookies instead of ewoks. I don’t care if George Lucas marred the part where Darth Vader finally stands up to Emperor Palpatine for all the lies the latter concocted with the word “NOOOOOOO!”. I agree that Palpatine could have said that. Furthermore, I don’t care if Luke was useless!

    This movie is the pinnacle of my childhood. This film is what makes the original trilogy superior to the emotionally deadly prequel trilogy. Plus, I trust Disney will make a fine sequel trilogy.

  32. Naes says:

    Luke confronting Vader on the Death Star II was pointless. Think about it. If Luke dies, Han blows up the Shield and Lando blows up the Death Star. If Luke converts to the dark side, the same result! If Luke kills Vader and the Emperor, the same result! Luke was useless in the last act and this is an unforgivable plothole. Compare this to Frodo in LOTR. If Frodo fails in his personal quest of destroying the Ring, everyone dies. I’m surprised no one mentions Luke’s uselessness when discussing the problems with ROTJ.

  33. PPrerad says:

    I agree, episode VI sucks, and I don’t get why episodes I, II and III got so much hate, when in fact they are not so bad comparing to saga finale. Episodes IV and V fantastic, rest – not so much.

  34. Leo says:

    With all respect, in my opinion, Jedi indeed sucks, Bad dialogues , cheap scenes, ridicules characters..etc etc,It was suposed to be a great sequel… But it was NOT !!

  35. The Guest says:

    Greetings from Chile.

    I really like A NEW HOPE and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, but hate with all my heart RETURN OF THE JEDI. It’s one big piece o crap! I’m agree with every point developed in this article.

    In a perfect universe . . . imagine for a moment how good could have been a confrontation between Solo and Fett at the final act of the film?

    Here is another interesting article . . . http://herocomplex.latimes.com/movies/star-wars-was-born-a-long-time-ago-but-not-all-that-far-far-away-in-1972-filmmakers-george-lucas-and-gary-kurtz-wer/

  36. Saul Marcus says:

    I was 8 years old when I saw Jedi in the theater, and I still remember how much I loved the film. It was one of my childhood memories.

    But now, upon re-watching it, I am in general agreement with this article.

    I can’t call it a bad film. It’s such a mixed bad of total awesomeness, and horrible illogical nonsense, the only film that I can compare it to in that sense is Prometheus.

    In Jedi we have the seeds of what would become the prequels. While the phantom menace was the most disappointing film of all time, into retrospect it was a predictable disaster. The prequels took what Jedi did wrong, and put it on steroids.

    Also, I think Jedi was received so well, because it was supported by the first 2 films. The fight against the death star was great action. But Endor and Ewoks are unwatchable.

  37. Doug Brunell says:

    Some of this was pretty funny, but remember, the Ewoks were eating stormtroopers and were going to eat Han and the gang. Not exactly cute cuddlers.

  38. gus says:

    Another irksome is how the jedi can do all this gravity-defy somersaulting thru their mastery of the force yet the sith lord can do nothing to save his Vader-betrayed a*s falling down the reactor-shaft but yell in surprise.
    And where was his prescient-powers to warn him against his apprentice sudden acceptance of jesus X as his new lord antway ?!

  39. rachel says:

    I read this article and thought it was quite funny. I loved the whole Star Wars trilogy growing up and ROTJ was my favourite, because I was a 13 year old girl who loved Han Solo. I even got in line for it early one Saturday morning to get a t-shirt they were giving away as promos. True, at the time there were a few things I thought were out of place in the movie, and I couldn’t get over the fact that they built the same darn death star with the same problems. But all the same it was one of the few science fiction movies that I was allowed to go to because it was PG. I saw Wrath of Khan too, but that’s a different discussion all together!As an adult our perspectives are going to change and maybe pointing out the bad parts is the only way some people can connect to the experience that we so treasured growing up. I wonder what the kids who went to the Harry Potter series will be saying when they hit 40!

  40. maybe so says:

    I don’t agree with a lot of the points this person makes….like special effects or locations not being exotic but its also true that I didn’t like Jedi as much as the first two…Solo was a lot crappier as a charater and I think with that acting I would have been fine with him dying(if done right) like what seems to have been the original idea. Also luke and leia as brother and sister always seemed off to me even when I was younger and I’m agree that it was a make up as you go along type thing giving the sexyal tension between them especially in the novel version. Still like the movie but I’m inclide to believe producer Gary Kurtz who had mostly full control of empire but left before jedi saying the lucas made that film geared towards selling toys (also luke and leia where not brother sister)thats why its so cutesy.

    Also what always pissed me off the most even as a kid was how fett died I agree with this person 100% in this aspect.

  41. Irving von Ripper says:

    I found this article via a Google search for “Dan Vebber is the antichrist”.

    My brother subscribed to Sci-Fi Universe at the time, and I well remember reading the article, and knew that juvenile fanbois would rupture their pimples like never before in history. (I loved the bug-eyed Ewok with the circle and slash over it).

    Three or four months later, in the back pages where the Letters to the Editor were, there was a pathetically childish hand scrawled note, on lined paper, saying that Vebber was the antichrist.

    I personally think that it was the magazine’s Frampton Moment. There was nowhere to go but downhill after that, and soon enough some dimwit made it a “kindler and gentler” piece of asswipe.

  42. Your Mom says:

    Sorry bro, I got to about 19 or 20 and the whiney, doucheyness of this article became too much for me.

    You really lost me on Endor not “being an exotic location”. Not everyone lives in giant Sequoia Redwood forests (only the tallest living things on Earth) like you do apparently.

    The thing I liked most about RotJ was you finally started to see Luke maturing into a self reliant, all powerful, black-robed Jedi, instead of being Yoda’s crybaby, snot-nosed apprentice.

    Overall, I thought RotJ brought a nice sense of closure to the series.

  43. Lawrence says:

    This is an old article. It was first published as the cover story by a now defunct Sci-Fi magazine in 1997 for the 20 year anniversary of Star Wars. So instead of celebrating this defining moment of their childhood that brought them joy and happiness, the writers decided to cynically rip apart a sequel of it they didn’t like. That was Gen X for you. They deserved to be let down by the prequels.

  44. Tally Isham says:

    I love Ewoks. I brought one up in captivity. I call this “Project Wicket.”

  45. Drone8 says:

    F**k this list. Learn 2 cinema.
    In answer to the above question:
    “are you a retard.” Yes. This author is clearly retarded.

  46. Kamel says:


  47. Scottomir says:

    This is an interesting and amusing list, fanboy harping aside. However, I suggest all 50 reasons could be subsumed into one mega-reason:

    ‘Jedi’ *should* have been the best movie but wasn’t.

    Think about it. The film’s opening act is an old movie-serial classic. The hero’s begin captured by a vile enemy totally in his clutches, only to have the young apprentice reveal his emergence as a full hero and save them all through a revived lost power greater than evil. Its closing act is pure ancient Greek tragedy. Father and son are pitted against each other by an evil lord. The son at first tries to resist his father through violence only to discover that his rage risks turning him into the very thing he detests. Only by renouncing violence and he redeemd his father and destroy the evil lord, though this spiritual redemption is at the cost of his father’s life. And running through this Greek tragedy is an epic space battle that gives us a subtle bit of philosophy: the war in the sky between cruisers and fighters is bright and calamitous, but it is only a minor flickering affair (as seen in the Death Star porthole over Luke’s shoulder) compared to the battle that real matters in the soul over the Force.

    How could anyone screw up such an incredible combination?

    With a overly low, dull second act, of course. The real sin of the Ewoks is that they split up the above formula with nonsense, undermining the emotional power and intellectual appeal of Act I and Act III. This, my friends, is what we call ‘poor script writing’ and is the real reason why ‘Jedi’ sucks.

  48. Jonathan says:

    There is only one thing worse that the thought of Imperial Storm troopers being defeated in battle by horn tooting, spear chucking teddy bears, and that is Jar Jar Binks!

  49. mace griffin 2 says:

    This writers obviously doesn’t know what he’s talking about half of the time,(19. Stupid Coincidences – “We have been without an interpreter since our master got angry with our last protocol droid and disintegrated him.” Pan over to said droid being pulled apart in a machine, to allow for a startled reaction shot by Threepio. Well, said droid is not a protocol droid but a medic droid and the scene explains to C3PO (and the audience) what disintegration means) but he does a great job at nitpicking. Thank goodness I like everything in the original movies equally the same, so I don’t have to be miserable like he is. I felt sick reading this article, this guy probably likes to maim little kittens.

  50. Mathme says:

    That thing with the AT-AT has always bugged me, even when I was a kid. Do the snow speeder thing (and, wait, they were only on Hoth for a little while and the developed these never-see-before-or-since snow speeders? Okay, maybe they are CAS vehicles, but if that’s the case, they totally suck because they’re very poorly armed. They should have been the A-10s of the alliance but were more like… I don’t even know because no one has ever made a war plane so ineffective. A tow cable? Why would that ever be useful?

    If I REALLY wanted to write that in a semi believable way here’s what I would have done– make the speeders unworthless by showing them strafing other vehicles– maybe they take down an AT-ST and just tear it to some other armored vehicles. And maybe they can do some damage to the AT-ATs but just very minimal; show us how tough they are compared to everything else. THEN have Luke’s ship get hit and his main guns disabled so then he has to trip an AT-AT (which would still be stupid, but they’d get to do the scene) because he has no other options. They also needed to do something to establish the amazing power of that cable because, nah, I’m not buying it. It’s visually awesome– that whole battle is– but even as a child I found it highly questionable.

    And I like Jedi. I would probably like the Ewoks more as an adult if they just weren’t so damn cute. I liked them as a kid and I don’t hate them now, but I definitely understand the criticism. They should have made them closer to the sand people– kind of off putting and spooky so we’re not automatically in love with them.

    Anyway, why am I writing this at the office when I could be going home. Damn you star wars! 🙂

  51. this article and Empire Strikes Back sucks says:

    50 Reasons, and only about 7 or 8 good ones.

    Return Of the Jedi had to be the happy conclusion after the super dark and depressing Empire. The heroes needed to enter the God Mode code and completely annihilate all evil in their path.

    Just because the hero is assfucked all seconds of the story like Jack Bauer in the first season in 24 doesn’t make it a good plot.

    And you want to talk about stupid movie moments? Empire has plenty of moments, particularly where they take on the f*****g AT-ATs with SPEEDERS, and the only way they can take them down is a with a bullshit slapstick tie up their legs with a cable routine. And because of that faggotry every single mission in the Rogue Squadron games with AT-ATs requires you to fly those worthless speeders. Your telling me that a proton torpedo can blow up a moon size space station, but it can’t even f**k up a walking mechanical elephants s**t? Bullshit. F**k you Lucas and f**k Empire Strikes Back!

  52. Jonathan Edwards says:

    Jedi is an awesome movie. Yeah, the Ewoks were annoying, but it’s not like they defeated the Empire. They just helped the rebels get into the Shield bunker and defeat the troopers in the area. The real victory in the film comes from the struggle between Luke and Vader and Vader’s redemption. Not to mention the other classic elements such as the speeder bike chase, the Emperor, the space battle, Jabba, etc….

  53. Scott says:

    When Lucas decided to stop listening to Kasdan it ruined ‘Jedi’. He swallowed his pride and let Kasdan take creative control of ‘Empire’ because he was working with Speilberg on ‘Indiana Jones’. During ‘Jedi’ he wasn’t working on any movie. And its the reason why ‘Jedi’ sucks grannies balls.

  54. George says:

    Star Wars and Empire are the only 2 great Star Wars movies, and the rest are average sequels that live off the Star Wars name, IMO. I don’t know why people get all bent out of shape when fans take a swipe at the Prequels or Jedi, most movie sequels are inferior. For me, it isn’t that Jedi and the Prequels are bad that amazes me, it is the fact that Empire is so damn good. How many sequels are just as good or better then the original? Star Wars is a classic, and was the highest grossing movie for the longest time, and then we were able to get Empire which maybe the greatest Sci-Fi movie ever? I think the quality of Jedi, Menace, Clones and Sith show that Empire was a fluke and Lucas isn’t a genius that he was portrayed as many years ago. Oh well, 2 out of 6 aren’t bad!

  55. Mike Dailey says:

    31. Use of Earth Slang and Pop Culture – We were almost willing to forgive the fact that an Ewok exclaims “yahoo,” or that Threepio uses the supposedly Ewokese word “boom” until we saw the abominable scene where an Ewok swings from a vine and lets out a note-for-note copy of Tarzan’s famous yell. Have we mentioned that we hate the Ewoks?

    A correction is in order her: It was Chewbaca who yelled like Tarzan! Unforgivable! Chewbaca was the original bad-a*s. “That’s because people don’t rip arms out of their sockets when they lose. Whookies are known to do that.” – Solo to 3PO in Wars.

    I was 16 when I saw Jedi in the theaters. Like a lot of people I was waiting with great anticipation for the third installment of the greatest film trilogy ever (back then, anyway). As I sat through the film, I was experiencing a constant uneasiness. Jedi really left a bad taste in my mouth. I agree with practically all of the 50 reasons mentioned above. And yes, DEATH TO THE EWOKS!

  56. Ashley Pomeroy says:

    “UNfortunately, Film Threat didn’t also publish “10 Reasons Why Jedi Doesn’t TOTALLY Suck,” which mentions things like Luke’s backflip off the diving board etc”

    But they did, and according to the datestamp they posted it first:

  57. David says:

    George Lucas said when making the scenes with the Ewoks fighting the Empire, he was actually inspired by the vietnam war; where weak, passionate natives fought hard and kicked the a*s of a superpower with technology much more advanced than them.

    And how appropriate. For in the same way that I have NEVER heard anyone provide a legitimate argument for why the vietnam war was “so immoral and evil”, I have never and apparently WILL never hear anyone really explain why Return of the Jedi is so “stupid and bad” outside of little nitpicks. There’s a lot of things you can complain about in the first film too you know.

    But maybe it’s supposed to just be funny and the writer embraces cheese the same way he embraces the cheese from the first two movies.

  58. Alex says:

    I agree the worst of the original trilogy. Lucas copped out on the ending, was written like he had lost all interest in the story and characters. Like Star Wars but believe Empire Stikes Back was best of the three.

  59. cincysooner18 says:

    I’m not a Star Wars “buff”” or “scholar”, but as I am watching Star Wars, Empire and Jedi as a Trilogy on Spike tonight, I was thinking, man does Jedi does suck or what? So I searched for “Return of the Jedi sucked” and this is what I found. What a terrible movie in all facets that still only survives due to the success of the “first” two. As many times as I’ve seen all of these movies, I had never really paid that much attention to how much Jedi sucks from plot to cinematography to acting. At least I know how it ends.

  60. Grahame says:

    First of all, it was meant to be funny. I can already tell from the first few responses that THAT point was missed by more than a few.

    But second, as with all teasing, it contains at least a kernel of truth. And fortunately, I think the mediocrity of the prequels is proof of the fact that the blame lies more with Lucas and his interference than with Lawrence Kasdan or Richard Marquand.

    UNfortunately, Film Threat didn’t also publish “10 Reasons Why Jedi Doesn’t TOTALLY Suck,” which mentions things like Luke’s backflip off the diving board, which the first commenter mentioned, and the really awesome space battle. I first saw “50 Reasons” published in the back of the Unofficial Star Wars Compendium, and “10 Reasons” was also published as a side bar. It’s worth your time to search out.

  61. MozartFX says:

    This reminds me of an episode of The Simpsons where Homer joins Lalapalooza as a guy who gets shot in the stomach with a cannonball. Two stoners are watching Homer do the stunt and stoner 1 says “Oh, THAT’S cool”. Stoner 2 says, “Are you being sarcastic?” Stoner 1, “I don’t even know anymore”
    When you ask someone who criticizes every fuckin’ thing they see, what they DO like, it’s inevitably followed by “…of course it could have been better if they….” These kind of negative lists are lazy, low hanging fruit articles by people who are unable to just : let go and enjoy the ride.

  62. Mark Bell says:

    This article has been on FilmThreat.com for almost 10 years. Film Threat founder Chris Gore was also the co-creator of Sci-Fi Universe. Dan Vebber wrote the article, so if there’s plagiarism here, he plagiarized himself…

  63. Mike says:

    Hmm… I read this in Sci-fi Universe many years ago. Plagiarism?

  64. George Lucas says:


    Peter John Ross aka Sonnyboo on Mon, 1st Nov 2010 2:43 pm

    I agree with almost every single word of this article. I will take issue with a few small details.

    Blaming Lawrence Kasden for the bad dialogue is mmisplaced anger. George Lucas re-wrote his drafts repeatedly. In the horrendously bad scene with Luke and Kenobi, can anyone really claim to like “What I told you was true… from a certain point of view!” and to have Luke NOT react poorly to this is an atrocity to good taste and common sense. Kasden’s dialogue had DRAMA and interest there. In Lawrence Kasden’s draft, Ben Kenobi scolds Luke for leaving his training and Luke responded with “What was I supposed to do? I needed to save my friends!” and Kasden’s Kenobi said “And wasn’t it they who rescued you?” – See WITTY… intelligent dialogue, something that got REMOVED before they shot it.

    Harrison Ford’s pay day was 4 times that of any other actor in the film. He slept walked through this movie like an amateur murder mystery dinner theater actor. I’d want my $3 back from Harrison Ford for the ticket I bought if I thought I could get him to show up in Small Claims Court.

    George Lucas originally intended to have the death star attack from A NEW HOPE happen in this movie. Since he already did that, he decided to just… do it again. WOW! How creative! Take the time and come up with something NEW and INNOVATIVE. This sucked.

    In Kasden’s draft, Lando died taking the Falcon with him. George was literally getting far too into the kids aspects and toys. Reading all the recent interviews with Gary Kurtz the producer of A NEW HOPE and EMPIRE, the “sister” was intended to be an entirely different character brought in to later movies against the Emporer.”

    Well said sir. You seem to be the only knowledgeable sw fan commenting. Take the time to read building an empire, the making of esb or interviews with people like Kershner, Kurtz, Ford or even Mark Hamill has some revealing things to say when prodded.

    Lucas is a fat a*****e who turned his back and stopped treating the fans like intelligent people.

    I forget which number it was but the author of this article commented on all the burp jokes in return and quipped it was missing farts jokes as well. Voila, 16 years later George crapped out the Phantom Menace and indeed one of the characters steps in excrement and Ben Burtt inserts a farting sound. Well done gentlemen.

    • Saoirse McLeod says:

      Turned his back and stopped treating fans like intelligent people?
      Is that why he endorsed just about every piece of fan fiction written about Star Wars over the years that he owned it?

  65. Peter John Ross aka Sonnyboo says:

    I agree with almost every single word of this article. I will take issue with a few small details.

    Blaming Lawrence Kasden for the bad dialogue is mmisplaced anger. George Lucas re-wrote his drafts repeatedly. In the horrendously bad scene with Luke and Kenobi, can anyone really claim to like “What I told you was true… from a certain point of view!” and to have Luke NOT react poorly to this is an atrocity to good taste and common sense. Kasden’s dialogue had DRAMA and interest there. In Lawrence Kasden’s draft, Ben Kenobi scolds Luke for leaving his training and Luke responded with “What was I supposed to do? I needed to save my friends!” and Kasden’s Kenobi said “And wasn’t it they who rescued you?” – See WITTY… intelligent dialogue, something that got REMOVED before they shot it.

    Harrison Ford’s pay day was 4 times that of any other actor in the film. He slept walked through this movie like an amateur murder mystery dinner theater actor. I’d want my $3 back from Harrison Ford for the ticket I bought if I thought I could get him to show up in Small Claims Court.

    George Lucas originally intended to have the death star attack from A NEW HOPE happen in this movie. Since he already did that, he decided to just… do it again. WOW! How creative! Take the time and come up with something NEW and INNOVATIVE. This sucked.

    In Kasden’s draft, Lando died taking the Falcon with him. George was literally getting far too into the kids aspects and toys. Reading all the recent interviews with Gary Kurtz the producer of A NEW HOPE and EMPIRE, the “sister” was intended to be an entirely different character brought in to later movies against the Emporer.

  66. Mina says:

    I like Return of the Jedi…. but I do have to agree with most of what you’ve said. I was a teenager when I first saw all three Star Wars movies, not in the theater but in pan-and-scan VHS, so I guess I fall somewhere between the people who were around to see it in the theater in 1977 and the younger generation who got into it via the Special Editions and prequels. It may be because of the way I watched them (the first time I saw Empire and the first time I saw Jedi were on the same night, back-to-back), but I can’t set Return of the Jedi aside and say that I dislike THIS movie, because it doesn’t seem so much a stand-alone movie as it seems just a part of the saga. (The prequels don’t enjoy that status with me, though, so it’s probably just a matter of nostalgia or whatever)

    Still, it’s the weakest part of the saga and I don’t think I realised that until recently. Endor isn’t an exciting locale… it might be exciting to people who grew up in Tunisia, but if you grew up around forests, it’s not exotic or even very interesting. I love Mark Hamill as an actor (even outside of Star Wars) and I won’t fault his acting here, but he and Harrison Ford both got stuck with some lousy dialogue (so, if Leigh Brackett died and Lawrence Kasdan churned out Jedi… who REALLY wrote the script for Empire? That’s what I want to know.) Even at age 12, I kept expecting someone to die… honestly, I was expecting Luke to die, otherwise what’s the point of establishing that Leia is also a Skywalker? But I would have been satisfied with Han or Lando… The first two movies were full of the major characters making sacrifices, watching their loves ones make sacrifices in order to defeat the Empire, stay away from the Dark Side, etc. Here… no one really loses anything, unless you count the Falcon’s sensor dish or the father Luke’s known for all of two minutes.

    And Yoda’s dialogue… how did my 12 year old self not notice that Jedi Yoda sounds more like prequel Yoda than like Empire Yoda? (Well, except for the fact that prequel Yoda didn’t exist when I was 12…)

    I still watch it (the non-SE laserdisc of course) with the rest of the trilogy, and I’ll never omit Jedi from a marathon just because they all GO together… but the weakest link, it definitely is. 🙁

  67. Pickletron says:

    I remember reading this in print when it was published and it brought to light many things about Jedi that just didn’t sit right with me that I couldn’t articulate. I remember standing in line at 8 years old to see Jedi and I loved it then but that’s because I was 8 and Jedi was, let’s face it, a cartoon. As an adult, it looks like something of a train wreck. Hell, even as a kid I wondered why Vader’s armor was so damn shiny. The Dark Lord of the Sith shouldn’t be that bright. I don’t mean to say that Jedi is all bad…there are several great scenes in it (Luke flipping out, literally, on Jabba’s skiff; the final confrontation with Vader) but I think it’s the weakest part of the original trilogy.

    Return Of The Jedi in many ways seemed to be the first sign that at some point Lucas just stopped caring about Star Wars. In my mind, that lack of caring was solidified in the special edition of A New Hope. Yes, I’m talking about Greedo shooting first. That alteration was unnecessary and senseless. No Star Wars fan was saying to themselves “Gee, that Han Solo sure is cool but I think he was a little too trigger happy with Greedo”. It’s ridiculous that Lucas would take the time and money to do something like that entirely needlessly. Pretty much retroactively neutered the character.

    And the prequels…sheesh.

  68. eyeresist says:

    15 years old or this year, it’s still typical fanboy idiocy. Here’s a boilerplate example of what I’m talking about: “And what happens next? He walks through the door. That’s right, they did it. Totally inconsistent with everything that has gone before, and in truly laughable CGI. Walking-through-door guy, you have RAPED MY CHILDHOOD!@!!!!” Why does anyone take these rants seriously?
    Anyway, the Ewok slapstick was annoying, but not nearly as annoying as Luke whining on and on in the Dagobah section of Empire.

  69. Mark Bell says:

    Considering some of the other comments, it’s hard to tell. Sorry.

  70. screamwriter says:

    wOW it was a joke.

  71. Mark Bell says:

    Again, written and posted almost 10 years ago; HD DVD didn’t exist back then. I don’t think Dan even knows anyone is commenting on this story…

  72. screamwriter says:

    I thought this same type of article was in Cinemafantastique (I know that’s spelled wrong don’t care) And yes get a life Dan stop buying laserdisks and at least hop on the HD DVD bandwagon I hear they are catching on. I think the Ewoks were great but that’s just because I think its funny every time a superior america…fictional military power looses to peasants in rice paddies or shoeless TalIban fighters in underwear. People just hate them cause they look like teddy- bears and the violence that is in real war is not shown.
    If you imagine Ewoks with sharp teeth as cannibals, using poison blow darts, knifes and IEDs off screen it would make more sense. After all the emperor did not expect these f*****g insects to be a problem when his ego decided to kill the rebellion with another one of his fancy mind games. Guess that s**t only works on whole Jedi counsels not half-retarded teddy-bear cannibals.

    52. Darth Vader is a p***y now. What happened to bad a*s Vader from Empire who had a threatening tone in everything he says. Now hes all Yes Master No master. I must obey my master. It’s too late for me. Or throwback jokes to reference how bad a*s he was in Empire “The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am” Ha ha ha.

    My theory is after he lost look in Empire he started to feel to soft inside and may have gotten some a*s kicking from Palpatine “Lord Vader I hear you are planing to overthrow me..” or even a partial lobotomy. Compare the Vader in both films.

  73. Felix Vasquez Jr. says:

    I actually loved this article, personally. I found it to be funny. I’ve read it about four times.

  74. Mark Bell says:

    Yes, Dan Vebber from almost 10 years ago, get a life! Current Dan Vebber… how are you doing?

  75. karga says:

    could have been an entertaining article, but you have pushed yourself too much. get a life dude…

  76. I'm Right says:

    Sorry lads, this movie blows. It has been systematically and thoroughly proven to suck, and suck hard. You are still welcome to be gay for George if that is what you wish, but this is not a good movie.

    • Saoirse McLeod says:

      It has also been proven that millennials wouldn’t know good cinema if it sat on their face and farted. The prequels were ok. Return of the Jedi is still world’s better than any of them. I am also betting that you liked the Disney sequels. I’M RIGHT!

  77. Mel. says:

    The great irony being that this article was originally published… what, about fifteen years ago, or something? I remember nearly crapping myself while fighting back tears and laughter in the middle of Vroman’s books, reading the print version of it.

    Obviously, time hasn’t healed all wounds, but the foresight demonstrated in commentary like this: “We’d ask those people whose initial response to this list is one of anger to and apply the 50 points below to their next Jedi viewing, and join us in hoping that Jedi’s problems were the result of a fluke, and not of downward trends that will continue into the new films…” has a beautifully acidic quality to it.

    Man, we really were all hoping that this was the case, weren’t we? Too bad George apparently didn’t have a subscription, back in the day.

  78. Asmodius says:

    I laughed outloud several times while reading this. Thanks

  79. ClausMC says:

    What a waste of my time.

    Sure, there are some serious flaws in the movie, but it was done quite well for the finally. I, too, was an Ewok-basher in my past, but an awesome story in the Star Wars Tales comics really changed my mind. A veteran storm trooper tells of the Ewoks being fiendish creatures that drummed through the night and picked-off troops at will through cunning guerilla warfare. We should assume that they had set-up the traps in order to fight back themselves, not because the rebels arrived. #47 misses a key point in the story. The Emperor wanted them to come into the base because it was a trap. Did you miss that? An entire legion of his best troops was there.
    And #8 suggesting that Tatooine looks different shouldn’t be so surprising. In fact, the logic for the difference is written in your response. Hope was filmed in Tunisia, Jedi in California. That’s one planet with two very different environments. Yes, it is a desert planet, but that doesn’t mean that it would look exactly the same all over.

  80. PeaceBang says:

    Hilarious article! Could #51 be what a total blooper it is to have Leia remembering her mother in “Jedi” when we saw Padme die in childbirth in… one of those earlier episodes? I’m not a “SW” geek, excuse me for not remembering 🙂

  81. Matt says:

    This guy is an idiot. Lost all credibility at the end with the Sarlaac/vagina thing. Sure Jedi was no Empire Strikes Back or A New Hope but it was still a good movie. I hate Ewoks too but give it a rest already. There were some moments in the movie that still have me cheering. Like Luke’s backflip onto the skiff, catching his saber, and going ballistic on the Skiff guards much to the surprise of Han Solo (saw the expression on his face?). Vader’s saving of Luke from Palpatine’s wrath drew many cheers in the theatre which I can still remember as an 11 year old in 83. And as far as Han Solo, this was supposed to be the film where LUKE shined as a hero. I feel the first two films showcased Han as the main hero simply by the way he was always saving everybody’s skin, that is until the unfortunate mishaps on Bespin. Jedi is Luke’s movie. His coming of age film where he faces and comes to grips with his destiny. That’s what the movie is about. It’s not about Ewoks. They are just there. Like Tauntauns and Wampas in Empire. Get over it already. And as far as “missed oportunites”. Was Lando originally dying in the first script gonna make the film better? Make the Rebel’s victory more satisfying? A big NO. It would’nt. It would not have added to the story at all and would have been unnecessary. Yeah sure let’s kill off the one black character in the whole damn trilogy. Good job pal. Real friggin’ good. Only the main white characters are allowed to make to the end. Lando Calrissian? Who the hell cares about him right? He’s expendable. Not a good idea to kill him off like he is some officer in a red shirt in the old Star Trek. In closing, you need to cut Jedi some slack. It’s not as bad as some would have people believe.

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