My Five Favorite Things About Return of the Jedi

Continuing my Five Favorite Things about the Star Wars movies, here’s my entry on Return of the Jedi.

Favorite Scene

Image result for luke and leia endor sister

Luke with Leia on Endor. I loved this intimate scene where Luke tells Leia that they’re siblings, and that he must leave to face their father, Darth Vader. It brings their relationship to a new level, as well as helps her understand what he needs to do and why. It’s also the most emotional and upset we’ve seen Leia onscreen, and reminds us that even though she’s tough as nails, she can also be vulnerable.

Favorite Duel

Luke defeats Darth Vader in their final confrontation.

Luke vs. Vader on the Death Star 2. All the films in the Original Trilogy showcase just one major lightsaber duel, and in ROTJ, this is it. And it’s wonderful and glorious and fraught with tremendous emotional weight, as father and son duel it out in front of the Emperor, who naturally cackles with evil delight. The stakes couldn’t be higher: Luke fights not only for the fate of the Rebellion and his friends, but for his very soul–and his father’s soul, as well. We see that he comes perilously close to the dark side as he gives in to his anger and slams away at Vader, nearly defeating him–but he realizes the cost and steps away. Which leads to….

Favorite Line

When Luke steps away from battle with his father and declares these words to the Emperor, then throws his lightsaber away, he shows us his true character: committed to the Light, to good, to the kind of man his father was before he was corrupted by the dark side. This is Luke’s pivotal moment, his most glorious hour. I love it.

Funniest Moment

Han Solo quippery. Of course.

“How we doing?” “Same as always.” “That bad, huh?”

Most Impactful Character

Darth Vader. Darth Vader’s return to the light and saving his son from the Emperor is clearly the most satisfying event in the movie, at least to me. The moment he picks up the Emperor, who is killing his son with Force lightning, and throws him down that shaft, is the most thrilling scene of the movie, the trilogy, perhaps the entire saga. With his sacrifice, Vader–or perhaps we should call him Anakin here–saves his son, and fulfills his destiny as the Chosen One, bringing balance back to the Force. It’s electrifying (if you’ll pardon the pun), deeply moving, and the perfect end to the trilogy.

Liked this post? Hit the Like button, comment below, or follow Star Wars: My Point of View.

Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

.

My Five Favorite Things About The Empire Strikes Back

So I realized that after I posted My Five Favorite Things About A New Hope that I totally forgot about Solo and Rogue One, lol. I had planned on doing them in chronological order, but now it would just be weird to go back and do them. So I’ll continue on with the main trilogies, and then at the end do Solo and Rogue One.

Anyway, here’s my five favorite things about The Empire Strikes Back.

Favorite Scene

Carrie Fisher

I’m going to say pretty much all the scenes between Han and Leia. I simply can’t pick just one, because they’re all delightful. The arguing, the banter, the chemistry and sexual tension, the tenderness–it’s all great. The kissing scene in the Falcon, culminating in the “I love you, I know” scene in the carbonation chamber makes up the best love story in all of Star Wars, in my opinion. When I was a kid and first saw Empire, it was about Han and Leia first, lol, and then Luke and Vader.

Favorite Duel

Again, there’s only one duel of note in this movie (besides Luke’s confrontation with Vader in the dark side cave on Dagobah, which is symbolic), and it’s between Darth Vader and Luke in Cloud City on Bespin (which is for reals). And it’s probably my favorite duel out of all the films in many ways. It’s kind of a game of cat and mouse, as they clash, each disappearing and reappearing, pouncing on each other suddenly and violently. Everything about this duel is epic: the part where Vader uses Luke as target practice and Luke smashes through a window and falls; the savage confrontation on the catwalk and the loss of Luke’s hand; Vader’s shocking revelation and offer; Luke’s decision to step off the catwalk and fall into oblivion rather than join his evil father in ruling the galaxy. So much going on here, and we get some insight into each character: Vader is willing to betray his master the Emperor and overthrow him (which is basically what the Sith do, but we wonder if he’s got a soft spot for his son, and therefore a bit of light left? Maybe?); and we see Luke’s total commitment to the Light and choosing to die rather than join evil. Later, in ROTJ, that commitment will be tested, but right now, there’s no question of going down that shaft.

Favorite Line

You know, up until very recently, this line confused the hell out of me. What does it even mean? I’ve come to realize that what Yoda was getting at is how you go about doing something–if you go into it “trying” then you’re letting in doubt about succeeding. Perhaps you don’t fully believe in yourself, and believe that you may fail. Once doubt sets in, I think Yoda is saying, then you’re doomed to fail. If Luke doesn’t believe in himself, then he doesn’t believe the Force will help him, and the Force won’t believe in him–it won’t work with him to move that darn X-Wing. A Jedi needs confidence and faith, in himself and the Force. Anyway, that’s how I’ve come to see it. A lot of philosophy in those few words, lol.

Funniest Moment

More classic Han Solo:

He’s got a point.

Most Impactful Character

Yoda. Yoda is the mysterious center of the film–force ghost Obi-Wan exhorts dying Luke to find Yoda and train to be a Jedi with him. Once on Dagobah, Luke finds not a “great warrior,” but a little wizened green guy with big ears, who makes a mess of his camp and plays tug-of-war with Artoo. But everything Yoda does is a lesson: he wants to gauge Luke’s response to him before he reveals himself. And of course, he finds that Luke takes things at face value, as most of us do sometimes. The lessons begin immediately, and he shows Luke that he has a lot to learn. He has misgivings, but trains Luke anyway–brave, considering he did the same thing with Anakin. Or perhaps he senses something in Luke, the strength of the Light in him. Either way, he has a lot to do with the Jedi Luke becomes. Wars not make one great, but Yoda is definitely a great Jedi Master.

What are your favorite things about The Empire Strikes Back? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

Like this post? Hit the Like button, comment below, or Follow Star Wars: My Point of View.

Like to read Star Wars? Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

My Five Favorite Things About A New Hope

I’ve covered my five favorite things of each of the films of the prequel trilogy. Now it’s time to delve into the Original Trilogy, with A New Hope. Enjoy!

Favorite Scene

Luke with Obi-Wan. There are so many great scenes in this movie, but I really like this scene with Luke and Obi-Wan. It’s probably the moment Obi-Wan has been waiting 20 years for–the moment he can give Luke Anakin’s lightsaber and finally bring him into the larger story of the galaxy. They watch R2’s holo of Princess Leia (and I’m sure he recognizes her as Luke’s twin; possibly he feels that the old, ripped threads are starting to come together), tells him about Anakin’s “death”, and tries to recruit him to go to Alderaan with him. All of Obi-Wan’s patient exile hinges on this moment. But Luke still resists, worrying about his Uncle Owen yelling at him, his chores, the late hour…it’s only when Luke finds out his aunt and uncle are dead that he decides to go with Obi-Wan. In this particular scene, when Obi-Wan is telling Luke about Anakin, Sir Alec Guinness’ performance is uncanny, as if he knows the true story of Anakin Skywalker and how disturbing it is; of course, he doesn’t at this point, but it’s a testament to his superb and subtle acting skills that we imagine he does know. It’s such a great scene.

Favorite Duel

Obi-Wan vs. Darth Vader. Unless you want to count Luke’s exercise with the remote, this is the only lightsaber battle in this movie. And though it’s considered a bit clunky by our standards, it’s the first time audiences actually saw a lightsaber battle, and it was pretty darn cool. What’s really compelling about this duel is how Obi-Wan uses it to distract the Imperials to allow Luke and his friends to escape from the Death Star; and the fact that he chooses to sacrifice himself in order to become more powerful than Vader can possibly imagine. We don’t really understand what he means by that; and we can also see that Vader himself is a bit uneasy about the whole thing, toeing Obi-Wan’s robes that had fluttered to the floor when he struck him. And where the heck did he go? The whole sequence is confounding and impressive and full of a strange pathos. Something amazing just happened, and we’re left reeling, confused and sad but also triumphant. Vader didn’t win the duel, even though he’s the one still alive. So much going on in that one moment. Fantastic.

Favorite Line

There’s so many great zingers in this movie, but I love this one:

Funniest Moment

Classic Han Solo:

Most Impactful Character

Luke Skywalker. This is Luke’s movie, from beginning to end, and rightly so. He’s the young hero, starting out on his adventure, the hero’s journey in which he will be challenged, meet friends and foes alike, and find out what he’s truly made of. He’s the wide-eyed farmboy who yearns and burns for something more, and we, the audience, can identify with that and instantly like and root for him. We see him realize he has a bigger destiny. He bonds with his mentor, learns about the Force (taking his “first steps into a larger world”), meets a smuggler and a Princess, and saves the day when he blows up the Death Star. It’s a classic coming of age story, one that resonates with all of us. The story of Luke Skywalker catapulted us into the amazing galaxy of Star Wars, and thank the Maker for it.

What are your favorite moments from A New Hope? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

Like this post? Hit the Like button, comment below, or Follow Star Wars: My Point of View.

Like to read Star Wars? Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both Canon and Legends.

Fan Art: Han Solo

Han Solo was my first favorite Star Wars character. When I was a kid, everybody loved the hero Luke and his cool lightsaber. Me? I loved the scoundrel. Still do. Here’s an ode to the smuggler-turned-Rebel (I don’t own any of the following; all rights belong to the individual artists):

Rarely did I find any art of Han without his trusty blaster at his side.

Han
Magali Villeneuve

Blaster: check. Falcon: check. Shiny boots: check. Excellent.

Kamome Shirahama

I love the Blade Runner feel to this one (another great Harrison Ford character I love).

Star Wars Han Solo Ahead of the Odds Art Print
Ahead of the Odds, by Raymond Swanland

This one’s a little creepy and feral, but it’s cool.

I couldn’t find an artist for this one. Anyone know?

Having a drink with his old buddy Lando. This looks to be a scene from The Last Shot (a SW novel).

sci fi 80s art #starwarsart #hansolo #lando #starwarsfanart
80sart.goukko.com

Let’s not forget young Han Solo played by Alden Ehrenreich. Solo: A Star Wars Story was great fun.

Ryan Valle, deviantart.com

Liked this post? Hit Like, comment below, or follow Star Wars: My Point of View.

Want to see more posts? Click here.

Like to read Star Wars? Check out my sister blog, The Star Wars Reader. I regularly review Star Wars books, both canon and EU/Legends.

The Empire Strikes Back

My husband I watched The Empire Strikes Back on Sunday afternoon at our local movie theater. I still love everything about it, but what I loved the most was that I was watching it in the very same theater I had first seen it in 40 years ago as a kid.

Oh, the theater’s different, that’s for sure. It’s a multiplex now, has been for decades, but when I first saw Empire with friends at ten years old, it was the only movie playing, in a theater that was designed as a throwback to its old vaudeville days. It was still a thrill to watch the familiar words scrawl up the big screen, and even though I’ve seen this movie probably a few dozen times and know it like the back of my hand, I settled back into the seat for what I knew was going to be a treat.

In honor of ESB’s 40th birthday, I thought I’d list a few of my favorite moments from this, my favorite SW film:

  • AT-AT assault on Hoth.
coolpops: “ That Armor’s Too Strong for Blasters | Jock - Follow Artist on Instagram // Twitter // BigCartel • More Jock’s Artworks • More Star Wars Related Artworks ”
My first space battle! Well, alien planet battle.
  • Pre-prequel Yoda.
the empire strikes back star wars gif
Prequel Yoda was badass, but I’ll always prefer OT Yoda: prankster, teacher, wise one.
  • That kiss.
Pin for Later: An Important Reminder of How Hot Han Solo Is This Sexy Kiss
He really is a nice man, by the way.
  • That other kiss.
Han Solo Kisses Princess Leia from The Best Star Wars Movie Moments Ever | E! Online
I love this, too. They know.
  • Luke battles Darth Vader.
The 76 Most Beautiful Shots In The Original "Star Wars" Trilogy
Iconic, thrilling, edge-of-your seat dueling. And leads up to the most shocking reveal in movie history. You know it to be true.

Come to think of it, I love everything about this movie: the scenes, the dialogue, the humor, the music, the feels. Every. Single. Thing. Even Threepio’s constant complaining didn’t grate on me that much this time around. I suppose that’s true with every SW movie–I love them all–but there’s something about this one…it’s the one that made me fall in love with Star Wars, with Harrison Ford, with space fantasy, with storytelling, with everything I love about the movies.

It’s special, and it always will be.

How do you rank ESB in the Star Wars universe? Comment below and we’ll talk about it!

Check out my latest posts on Star Wars: My Point of View.

Like to read Star Wars? Check out my sister blog The Star Wars Reader for book reviews on the latest canon and more!

Liked this post? Comment below, hit the Like button, or Follow Star Wars: My Point of View.