Well, tonight was “Return of the Jedi,” and tomorrow I’ll go see “The Force Awakens.”
So, how well does “Return of the Jedi” hold up? Not very well at all. The movie runs a little over 2 hours. But basically the first 40 minutes is devoted to getting Han back from the evil clutches of Jabba the Hutt. Frankly, that could have been handled in 5-10 minutes, or skipped altogether, if they’d wanted to. For the rest of the movie, well…
The Imperial forces are no better trained or led than before (example: an Ewok steals a speeder, and three of the four guards rush off after him). (And, by the way, what’s with the stormtrooper body armor that seems to do nothing but impede their actions and slow them down? I sure doesn’t deflect or otherwise protect from blaster shots.) The Emperor displays overconfidence bordering on arrogance, including violations of many of the rules for evil overlords [see #s 1, 5, 6, 10, 21, 22, 23, 25—especially #25, 27, 29, 32, 36, 40, 47, 52 (with a slight modification), 56, 62, 63, 70, 86, 87 (this one would have gotten Darth Vader killed long before the end), 96, and some I may have overlooked; there are also other lists]. I mean, really, how many times to Han and Chewie get captured without getting shot?
Now I realize that the heroes have to win in the end, but this makes it all way too easy for them.
Let me close by saying that in all this, I am mostly ignoring the technology (faster-than-light travel, high-energy, hand-held weapons that apparently never need reloading, light sabers, and the Emperor’s fingers), which is mostly extraneous to the plot. And overall, these three movies are a remarkable achievement.
We’ll see how “The Force Awakens" goes.