episode is my personal favorite and like all the original episodes, begins
with a shot of an Imperial Star Destroyer. A small Imperial shuttle
is released from the cargo bay of the Star Destroyer and head for what
looks like part of a Death Star. In fact it actually a second Death
Star, still under construction! The shuttle lands and we find that
Darth Vader was aboard and he confronts the head officer in the Death Star.
He tells him that the Emperor is not pleased with the delay in construction
and that the Emperor himself will be coming to the Death Star. The
officer responds joyfully, but we all know he is terrified of the Emperor
coming to the Death Star.
Meanwhile, on Tatooine, we find C-3PO and R2-D2 heading for the palace of Jabba the Hutt. They are delivering a message from Luke Skywalker to Jabba, asking him to release Han Solo. The droids deliver the holographic message but find that they are also part of the bargain. Luke says he offers the droids as a gift to Jabba, if he will release Han. Jabba takes the gift, but laughs at Luke's request. He says he doesn't want to give up his favorite "decoration". His decoration is in fact Han Solo, still frozen in carbonite. As the droids are taken away we discover that they aren't the only Rebels in Jabba's palace. Lando Calrissian is disguised as one of the guards.
Soon after, a party is going on in the main audience chamber in honor of Jabba of course. After dropping one of the dancers through a trap door and hideous screams follow, the party is interrupted by the entrance of a bounty hunter. He holds Chewbaaca as his prisoner and has come to collect his bounty. After a little bartering, the bounty hunter receives 35,000 Imperial credits. The bounty hunter is immediately accepted because Jabba says he likes his style and the party resumes. Chewbaaca on the other hand is carried off to the dungeon by two pig like Gamorrean guards.
After the party, the bounty hunter creeps towards Han Solo and presses a few buttons on the side of the carbonite. Soon, Han Solo is unfrozen and out of the carbonite. He has the shivers and can't see and is obviously a little scared. The bounty hunter calms him and removes his mask. The bounty hunter is actually Princess Leia! Suddenly, an evil laugh echoes through the chamber. Jabba an his goons appear from behind a curtain laughing. Jabba commands Han to be taken away and makes Leia one of the scantily clad dancers. It seems that it's all over for the heroes.
Not so! Luke Skywalker arrives not a moment too soon. Although he tries to barter with Jabba for the release of his friends, Jabba refuses. Luke tells him that if he doesn't release him than he will kill him. Jabba laughs at his threat as he pushes a button on his pedestal. A trap door opens under Luke and he falls into a dark pit. A giant door slowly opens and a hideous creature known as the Rancor is revealed. The monster grabs the guard that fell down with Luke and eats him. Luke fights off the monster with a bone and some rocks and runs back to where the monster emerged from. He finds a barred door and seems to be trapped. Suddenly, he discovers the switch that closes the giant door. He waits until the Rancor is directly under the door than throws a rock at the switch. The door slams down and crushes the beast and Luke is taken back to the main chamber.
Back in the main chamber, Jabba is furious and orders that Luke and his friends be executed immediately. On Tatooine, that means being fed to the almighty Sarlaac and being slowly digested over a period of 1,000 years. Luke, Han, and Chewie are put on a skiff and taken to the pit. Jabba and his subjects tag along in his sail barge to watch the execution along with Leia. Just as the trio is about to to be pushed in, R2-D2 launches Luke's light saber to him and Luke starts attacking the guards. Lando breaks character and joins in the fight too. Han, not being able to see just stands there, trying to evade laser fire but Boba Fett, who was also on the skiff has other ideas. He tries to get to Solo, but Luke cuts his laser gun in two. Fett comes back by wrapping Luke up in a string. Chewie (short for Chewbaaca) warns Han about Boba Fett and Han asks where he is. Han swings around and in a comical way, hits Fett's rocket pack, launching him into the air. Boba Fett falls in to the Sarlaac, finally defeated. Luke manages to get on to the sail barge and free Leia, then they all leave on one of the skiffs and the sail barge explodes.
Han, Leia, Chewie, and the droids head back to meet up with the rest of the Rebel Alliance. Luke heads to Dagobah to meet with Yoda and continue his training. When, Luke reaches the Jedi Master's home, he finds that he is dying. Yoda tells him already knows what he needs to become a Jedi Master. Yoda passes away and Luke is about to leave when he encounters the "ghost" of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke asks why he told him that Vader killed his father when in fact Vader is actually his father. Ben tells him that he tried to train Vader himself, but Vader turned to the Darkside and left him. Luke also asks Ben about Yoda's last words: "There is another Skywalker." Ben tells him that he has a twin sister and Luke immediately knows that it is Leia. He leaves for the Rebel Alliance with new knowledge and high hopes.
On the ship serving as mobile headquarters for the Alliance, our heroes learn about the plans for the Rebel Alliance. Thanks to some Bothan spies, the Rebels have learned about the construction of the second Death Star and that the Emperor himself will be aboard. They also know that the new Death Star is orbiting one of the moons of the planet Endor. On the moon, there is shield generator which will protect the Death Star from any attacks. The plan is to send a team to destroy the shield generator and the rest of the ships will launch an attack on the Death Star. Han, Luke, Leia, Chewie, and the droids are the command crew for the mission to Endor. Lando Calrissian will command the attack on the Death Star.
Luke, Leia and Han make it to the moon safely and begin searching for the generator. Unfortunately, Han makes some storm troopers aware of their prescience and they start to head back to base on Speeder Bikes. Luke and Leia join in the chase and manage to destroy all of the storm troopers but are separated in the process. Luke rejoins the Rebel squad, but Leia is somewhere in the forest.
Meanwhile, the Emperor has arrived on the Death Star and wants Vader to capture Luke and bring him to him. That way he can convert him to the Darkside an use him along with Vader to eliminate the Rebel resistance. The Emperor tells Vader that if he goes to the moon that Luke will come to him and that Vader need not capture him. Vader sets off for the moon to get Luke.
Meanwhile, Luke and the rest of the gang have found Leia at an Ewok village and after a small problem with C-3PO being worshiped by the furry little guys, the group is made members of the tribe and join in a party. Luke goes off by himself and Leia joins him to see what is the matter. Luke tells her that he senses Vader's presence on the moon and that he must go meet him because he is his father. He then tells her that he is her brother and heads off to meet Vader.
Luke meets Vader at the docking platform and tells him that he senses the good still in him and that he wants to to free him from the Emperor's command. Vader tells him that he will never leave and that it's too late for him. Vader says that Luke too will soon call the Emperor master. Luke says he will never turn to the Darkside and he is taken onto the shuttle and they head for the Death Star.
Meanwhile, Han, Chewie, Leia and the droids have enlisted the help of the Ewoks to help them reach the shield generator. With C-3PO translating, the group manages to learn how to get to the shield generator. Some Ewoks steal some speeder bikes to distract the the strormtroopers and the group makes it into the shield generator. Unfortunately, the are too many troops and they overwhelm the Rebels and take them back out in to the forest. Suddenly the Ewoks attack and the Imperials and Rebels scatter into the forest. Han and Leia make it back to he entrance and try to get in but the door is locked. R2-D2 tries to help but is hit by a blaster shot and Han Solo has to try and hot wire the door.
In the forest Rebels and Imperials are engaged in a battle along with the Ewoks. The Imperials, are using AT-ST's which definitely gives them an advantage. However, the Ewoks find many clever ways to destroy the giant machines. These ways include: smashing them with swinging logs, tripping them with rolling logs, and hitting them with rocks. Eventually, Chewie and two Ewoks gain control of one of the AT-ST's and use it to destroy the rest. Then they take it back to the entrance to the shield generator and make the Imperials surrender.
While all this was going on, Lando and the rest of the Rebel fleet have arrived and are trying to fight of the hundreds of TIE fighters. Since the shield is still up, they can't enter the Death Star and try to destroy it. This is exactly what the Emperor wanted because he soon reveals that the Death Star is full armed and operational. Although the Death Star's frame is still under construction, it's superlaser is ready to go. The Death Star uses the superlaser to destroy one of the command ships and Lando decides to attack the Star Destroyer fleet, knowing that they will last longer against them than the Death Star. The Rebels manage to take down a Super Star Destroyer and make it crash into the Death Star. As this happens, Han Solo has managed to destroy the shield generator down on the moon of Endor. Now the Rebels enter the Death Star to try and destroy it from the inside.
Back up in the Emperor's observation tower, Luke is fighting Darth Vader as the Emperor watches in delight. Luke is attacking Vader with his anger, one of the key elements of the Darkside. Their epic battle rages on until Luke manages to cut of Vader's right hand. (I'd just like to take a moment to point out the irony of the situation. Luke's right hand was cut off by Vader in The Empire Strikes Back.) After this happens, the Emperor is pleased that Luke used his anger to win and that he has now been converted to the Darkside. However, Luke tells him that he will never join the Darkside and that he has failed to convert him. The Emperor tells him that if he doesn't join that he will be destroyed. The Emperor raises his hand a blue bolts of electricity shoot out of them and shock Luke until he is writhing on the floor. Luke cries out for his father to help him, but Vader stands motionless. Suddenly, Vader grabs the Emperor and picks him up above his head. With the bolts shocking him, Vader manages to throw the Emperor down a pit and he crumples to the floor. Luke drags him down to a docking bay and takes off Vader's mask to see a kind but sad face. After a few words, Vader passes away Luke drags him onto a shuttle and manages to escape the Death Star which is suffering from the destruction of its core by Lando and the rest of the Rebel starfighters. Lando barely makes it out before a giant explosion destroys the Death Star in one giant bang.
Back on the forest moon of Endor, a great party is going on. Both Rebels and Ewoks are celebrating the destruction of the Death Star and the fall of the Emperor. Luke sees the spirit of the two Jedi masters, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda and a new third figure, his own father, Anakin Skywalker. All three are smiling at Luke and the rest of his friends. Elsewhere in the galaxy similar celebrations are going on*. And, so ends the Star Wars series. Unfortunately, this is the last film, but there are still to prequels to be released and there are many books about what happens after Return of the Jedi. If you enjoyed the movies, I recommend you read any books you can find.
* Note: These are shown only in the Special Edition of Return of the Jedi.
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