THERE IS NO CONFLICT- RETURN OF THE JEDI’S 35TH ANNIVERSARY- plus thoughts on Aftermath/Resistance and The Mandalorian
I almost titled this ‘The Redemption of Darth Vader’, as that was the whole point of the Original saga- even including the Prequel Trilogy.
I missed the actual date back in May, so watched it last week, the original version first and then the rereleased ‘special’ edition- I prefer the old music at the end, but it’s still one of the best films I have ever seen- Empire Strikes back narrowly beats it to the top spot, with ET in joint third place with New Hope.
I vaguely recall going to see it in 1983. I was nine and it was on at the old Empire Cinema in Widnes, which is now a car park for the Leisure Centre.
It is an epic conclusion to the original Trilogy- Han is freed, Yoda dies, Luke learns the full truth and the rebellion against the Empire reaches a climatic finale, bringing closure to the saga.
“Short helps better than no help at all Chewie”- Han Solo.
Now here’s a revelation- would the strike against the Shield Generator succeeded without the Ewoks? In a word- NO! Gaining their help was a pivotal plot point. Wicket seems like a cute teddy bear, but proves himself against the Scout Trooper, then the rest of the tribe save the rebels from the trap.
“So what I told you was true, from a certain point of view” Obi Wan Kenobi.
Truth- or how we perceive it is a strong theme- Palpatine’s lies and machinations are self- evident, but as Kenobi says, personal perspective does play a large part in figuring out what truth is. Okay, he was justifying not telling what really happened to Anakin Skywalker, meaning Luke was not ready, something Yoda emphasised as well.
“I feel the conflict in you.” “There is no conflict”- Luke and Vader.
Two scenes that stand out are where Luke tells Leia she is his sister and then Luke meeting Vader. Dave Prowse did an amazing thing, right at the end of the scene when Luke walks off saying- “Then my Father is truly dead”. He stands at the rail, hunched a bit and it is just a moment, but yes- there is the conflict right there.
It perfectly sets up the Finale- Palpatine is killing Luke with Force Lightning, Vader hunched over, looking between the two, Luke begging. Then he straightens and picks The Emperor up and throws him over the bridge- Anakin, saved by his Son. Like I said at the start- it’s the Redemption of Anakin Skywalker, ditching the Dark Side. (Maybe that should’ve been the title?)
As I said earlier, it is still one of the best films ever, I prefer the old music at the end- the ‘yubyub’ song, although the added celebrations on Tatooine, Coruscant and Cloud City are great in the Special Edition.
When Disney took over the franchise, the old Expanded Universe timeline was ditched and a blank slate meant New things could be made. The Aftermath trilogy of novels by Chuck Wendig revised what happened after Endor and the rise of the New Republic.
They are not bad. Admiral Sloane isn’t quite Thrawn or Daala or Isard, but she is capable, although Rax is the true manipulator of the Remnant. The criminal nature of the Regime is apparent and there are a few new characters introduced.
There are a number of Interludes peppered throughout the trilogy, showing the wider conflict.
One of the recurring Interludes is on Tatooine, following Lawman Cobb Vanth as he claims some Mandalorian armour. This could lead into-
‘MANDALORIANS’. A live-action series by Jon Favreau. This seems to be like the Underworld/Bounty Hunters ideas that got shelved when Disney took over that I mentioned in the Summer, another freaky coincidence that makes me think The Force is strong in this one! (yeah, he wishes!)
Few things are known, apart from it has the Mandalorians or a group as the protagonists and is set seven years after the Return of the Jedi. This is part of the Force Awakens timeline, the old Expanded universe ditched. It is interesting to note that in the Old EU saga, seven years after ROJ was the Jedi Academy trilogy. It seems to be set on Tatooine, so is it following Vanth?
Perhaps The Mandalorian will also furnish some clues on Rey’s parentage. Did Shmi have a brother or sister? Did she have another child with Lars?
I reckon Rey’s a Kenobi, Obi Wan’s Granddaughter. In the Novel Kenobi, he helps some locals including Anileen Calwell, and there is a hint of romance in there. I think if the Kenobi film goes ahead, that might play out, as twenty years on Tatooine might have led to a few reasons why he became known as crazy old Ben.
Finally Resistance. I watched the First episode and it was okay. Taz is likeable, if a bit clumsy and unsure of himself. The Race is a re-tread of the Podracing scene from Episode 1, but sets up his goal of getting accepted to try and sniff out the First Order spy while gathering a team to help/hinder him.
It is very different from Rebels, not just the animation style, but in characters and story as well. And there’s evena couple of Snaggletooth’s in the background- cool!
2022 will be 45th Anniversary, so maybe we’ll see a few new series- I’m still hoping to see my Storming the Dead or Another Chance, but I’d probably have to make them myself. I’ve had a few more ideas since the summer- Holonews/Heroes of the Rebellion/ The Halo crew and The Dark Order, but that’s in Another galaxy even farther away!
Anyway, that’s it from a Galaxy far, far away. I do need to crack on with a review of Jodie in the TARDIS- which is brilliant, by the way- oops- Spoilers Baby!!