I’ll skip the cute introduction. Let me cut to the chase and tell you what you want to know.
Yes, the reissue is as good as the original. Yes, it lives up to the greatness of the rest of the series. Yes, the enhancements are top-notch and they really add to the enjoyment of the film.
What’s new? Basically three things: A new, surprisingly funny, song-and-dance sequence in Jabba the Hutt’s palace, preceding the Jedi knight Luke Skywalker’s arrival to save his friends. Enhanced footage of the creature inside the sand pit, where the heroes are forced to walk the plank at Jabba’s whim. And a new, much more satisfying ending sequence – showing the celebrations of victory over the Empire on different planets throughout the galaxy, instead of the little Ewok party on Endor.
What’s the same? Well, the guts of this epic finale from this terrific trilogy. The thrill of good finally conquering evil, seeing the upright son converting his once-lost father – the first feel-good sci-fi movie series ever produced. (Never mind the still-horrendous blue-screen footage of Luke fighting the Rancor monster in Jabba’s palace.)
People ask me what they should go see in the theaters right now, and I always point them to the Star Wars trilogy. These films absolutely deserve another viewing on the big screen, and I just can’t push you in that direction hard enough.
Go see them all. And may the force be with you.
Aka Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi.
Review by Christopher Null – Copyright © 1999 filmcritic.com