While looking forward to the new Family Guy and Robot Chicken Star Wars installments, I’ve been thinking a lot about Return of The Jedi. My love for The Empire Strikes Back is well documented but my pseudo disdain for Return of the Jedi can be summed up with one observation. It makes no sense. At all. Observe.
If you and I were friends and you got frozen in Carbonite and shipped off to a palace on the desert planet I grew up on, my rescue plan would go like this. Call up the General and tell him I need 20 soldiers and an old Gungan energy tank. If he says no, remind him of how I blew up the Death Star and kept the whole freaking Empire busy essentially BY MYSELF while he was busy high tailing his ass off Hoth. If he still says no see if there’s a PRINCESS we know who could try to persuade him seeing as their failure to step up fast enough was partially responsible for her home world now being a celestial DUST cloud. When the general sent the soldiers we would go to the palace and use the energy tank to blow the big door off it’s hinges. Then we would calmly walk to the center of the party killing every muppet that looked at us crooked until we found you. THEN we would load you in the tank and kill the Hutt as we can’t have him chasing you all over the galaxy – we still have a REAL war to fight. There. Once we got you back to the fleet we let one of those creepy Dr. Robots defrost ya and make sure you’re ok. Pretty solid plan right? So does Luke do that? Nope.
He sends Lando ahead first to get a job of some kind. Then he sticks his lightsaber inside R2 and sends the droids to the palace with a message telling Jabba that they are a gift for him. You know, to go with his frozen friend. Turns out they are a set. THEN he sends Leia and Chewbacca in as some sort of ruse to make it seem like she caught Chewbacca because… umm… I do not know why. How could this help? THEN when the moment seems right, Leia is to unfreeze Han and . . . what? What was she supposed to do? If Jabba had NOT caught them; WHAT WAS SHE GOING TO DO? Let’s just say it worked. Leia and Han escape out the front door and start walking through the DESERT to get back to the Rebels. Lando, C3P0, R2 and Chewbacca are ALL STILL STUCK THERE. HELLO! What the holy F kinda plan is that? So FINALLY Luke knocks on the door and asks for his friend back. Are we to believe that THAT was plan B? “Did it work? Nope it all turned to shit. Oh well, guess I’ll just ask Jabba to let them go. Or else.” OR ELSE WHAT? You’ll send him a fruit basket?
The beginning of Return of the Jedi is horrendous story telling. Nothing happens for any reason other than to get you to the moment R2 spits out the light saber and Luke bounces off the plank. All logic and character development is ignored to get to that set piece. When I was 12 it was AMAZING and I LOVED it. At 40, it can kiss my ass. I can’t wait to see if either Robot Chicken or Family Guy pick up on this particular weakness in their forthcoming parodies of the lamest entry of the original trilogy. Oh. There was ONE thing I was okay with about the opening of Jedi . . . as a matter of fact it sort of acts as a Jedi mind trick making you instantly forget how STUPID it all is until it’s over.
(That’s Carrie Fisher and her stunt Double. Isn’t Return of the Jedi AWESOME? Wait … what were we talking about?)