Date: Mon, 13-Jun-83 13:19:10 EDT
Posted: Mon Jun 13 13:19:10 1983
Date-Received: Thu, 16-Jun-83 01:00:26 EDT
***** SPOILER WARNING *****
I just saw RotJ, yesterday, and would like to put in my 8 bits on the
subject. (It was my first time; stayed away until now to avoid long lines.)
While the following comments consist mostly of criticism, I *DID* enjoy the
film, and would give it a grade of B+ (or 4 *s).
The film was somewhat disjointed, with two stories that didn't seem to
relate to each other: 1) The rescue of Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt; 2) The
battle over the new Death-Star with struggle for Luke's conscience. This
structure results in a lack of "classical" unity, a defect which probably could
have been avoided. I feel that Lucas would have done better with a plot like
the following, which I recall seeing in the SFL discussion of TESB:
The Emperor and Vader anticipate that Luke will return to Tatooine,
in order to rescue Han. Therefore, they warn Jabba the Hutt and form an
alliance, wherein the Empire helps protect Jabba, in return for Jabba's
assistance in capturing Luke. Once Luke has been spotted on Tatooine,
the Imperial fleet moves into the vicinity of Tatooine, to prevent the
rebels from escaping in their spacecraft. (This fleet could include the
new Death-Star.) The protagonists rescue Han and escape from Jabba's
lair, but they are hunted on Tatooine by the combined forces of Jabba and
the Empire. Meanwhile, the main body of the rebel forces try to punch a
hole in the blockade, so that Luke, Han, Leia et al can escape. At some
point, Luke is captured and brought before the Emperor....
> From this point, the story can proceed pretty much as it did in the actual film.
Death of the Emperor ?:
The demise of the Emperor, if indeed he is dead, would seem to eliminate
much of the dramatic tension from the subsequent episodes of the series. With
both Vader and the Emperor gone, the Empire would have no significant "Force
Users" (if I may be allowed to paraphrase a term from Dungeons and Dragons).
However, it looks as though Luke will go on to train Han and Leia's offspring,
and perhaps others, to produce a number of new Jedi. Given the importance which
has been attached to the Force and those who use it, I would think that such
an imbalance would make the rebels' triumph a foregone conclusion. Rather than
produce three more chapters, why not simply flash on the screen some text like:
"...and in time, the Jedi replenished their numbers, defeated the now
unspirited leadership of the Empire, and restored freedom to the galaxy."
Therefore, I suspect that the Emperor is *NOT* dead, but that he used the Force
to teleport away from the Death-Star; that blinding flash was a manifestation
of this activity. The Emperor had a very good reason to escape at that point,
the shield generator had been trashed, and the destruction of the Death-Star
was imminent. He realized that he didn't have enough time (and/or stamina) to
kill both Skywalkers with the blue bolts, and hoped that they would die in the
explosion of the Death-Star. This conjecture is supported also by my extensive
experience with the Universe of Marvel Comics, wherein a character is not dead
unless you see the corpse, and perhaps not even then. Onward.
Death of Yoda:
Yoda's death seemed to contribute only gratuitous pathos, without advancing
the story. Why should his years suddenly catch up with him, at this point in
time. I object, because, somehow I envisioned that the Star Wars series would
end with the Emperor deciding to attack Yoda on Dagobah ("...let's cut off this
stream of annoying Jedi at its source..."), and being handily beaten by the
"little green runt". This ending seemed especially satisfying, because the
Emperor's defeat would have been the result of his own hubris, in attacking the
master of the discipline, and it would have demonstrated that the Light Side of
the Force really is stronger, in its defensive applications. But, I guess thinks
ain't gonna turn out that way.
With Yoda's death, the task of training future Jedi now falls to Luke.
This raises the question: "Is he capable of successfully fulfilling this
responsibility ?" This issue is obliquely addressed through Obi-Wan's confession
that his biggest mistake was in attempting to train Anakin himself, rather than
having Yoda do it. Considering the interruption and brevity of Luke's training,
I expect that he will have even greater difficulties as a mentor, than Obi-Wan
did. While Luke may have learned enough to be a passable Jedi, he probably did
not have sufficient opportunity to learn the techniques of teaching the skills,
as distinguished from the skills themselves. Perhaps, this problem is to be a
major focus of the final trilogy, and Yoda was written out of the story as a
step in developing the background.
(SORCEROR at LL)