Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Return of the Jedi" (1983)

The message that appears to drive much of “Return of the Jedi” could be the old nature overcomes technology. And Lucas certainly shows that to a degree in many of his stories. But it fails to convince. For one thing, the Ewok victory over the Empire is a little questionable. But mostly, the trilogy is not sold on the “technology is evil” storyline. There is too much of a neutral approach to technology.

The real message of “Return” is probably what Lucas considers the overarching message of both trilogies, but it only really surfaces right at the climax of the whole saga: redemption.

Darth Vader in the original trilogy is the embodiment of evil. He is the picture of fallen, dead humanity. But at the end it is Luke’s faith that Vader can be redeemed and Vader’s fateful choice to once again side with good that saves the galaxy. It is a classic deathbed conversion, save for the fact that Vader’s death is a sacrifice that happens after he chooses to do good.

Forget the prequels and that terrible, unconvincing decent into the dark side of the Force. In the original trilogy, Vader’s redemption is a powerful reminder that it is never too late for anyone—however evil they may seem—to be saved.

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