Today, The Boy saw Return of the Jedi for the first time at an otherwise rained-out birthday party.1 Now it has probably been… 10+ years? Since I’ve seen RotJ, but a few things jumped out at me today:
- You could tell that most kids in the room had seen the films in episodic order. There was never a time where “the Clone Wars” as mentioned in the original film were something you could only speculate upon.
- One kid remarked: “Darth Vader is obviously an owl.” Where I think he meant “the Darth Vader costume design must have been inspired by an owl”; and I thought to myself: you know, that kid’s right.
- Did anyone else see those pasty looking dudes in purple robes attending to the Emperor in his Death Star throne room? Who are those guys?
- Since when did Ewoks have a dress sized perfectly for Princess Leia?
And this is just the stuff I remember from the theatrical (and/or original VHS) release. This is to say nothing of things either edited in for the DVD re-release or else “new information” from the prequels.
- Like the goofy celebratory montage they splice in at the end of this film. As if news of the rebel victory traveled that quickly around the galaxy.2
- How could Vader not know that the mother of his children was pregnant with twins? When I was watching this as a kid (pre-prequels), I always just assumed that Vader’s wife or consort or whatever went into hiding when she found out she was pregnant. But Anakin knew that Padme was with child; so was prenatal medicine in the Old Republic really just that bad?
I was never when of the folks that described Return of the Jedi as awful. But like I said… where did the Ewoks get a dress in Leia’s size?
- Alas, he has not yet seen Empire Strikes Back; but I’m not completely derelict in my duty as a Geek Dad here. The Boy has already seen Star Wars for the first time with me, off an old VHS that was mine when I was a boy. So he saw “the real thing” already. [↩]
- See also: why would they be celebrating a rebel victory on Coruscant? the very seat of Imperial power? Crazy. [↩]