Star Wars, Episode VI:
Return of the Jedi (1983, 1997)

This third part of the second trilogy (which is, in fact, Episode VI) contains both flesh sucking monsters and cuddly muppet-like beasts. It resolves the simple, mythical tale that has been spun before us in a positive way. Despite all the darkness that surrounds us in the movie theatre and the big, wide world outside, innocence, honesty, and righteousness will prevail. Lucas wanted a modern day western and now he's got one. With the completion of episodes IV, V, & VI we can now look forward to the past episodes I, II, & III in the future. The films ultimately will be discovered (upon completion of next trilogy) to be the story of the Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker, Luke's father, and how the dark forces corrupted him into becoming Darth Vader. The second and third parts of the upcoming prequels will especially dark tales.

And so Star Wars made millions, and became biggest film of all time, until it was surpassed by E.T. and Jurassic Park, when it subsided before the public eye toward the late eighties. Only to capture the mind of a new generation with the appearance of Bantam Books' Heir to the Empire in 1991, written by Timothy Zahn and in which Princess Leia and Han Solo have children. (The book went to no. 1 on the N.Y. Times hardcover best-seller list.) And then there was to be the new edition of the films. And now there are to be the new films.

George Lucas is returning to the role of director for the next Star Wars Trilogy. Filming is set to begin in 1998. Undoubtedly, the next three parts will be an exciting addition to the existing episodes. He has, however, not yet committed to the final three episodes (as the original concept was for 9 in total). Let's also hope that he will also embark in the future on some other more serious, deeper (in the appropriate meaning), and more exploratory travel into other areas of film. After all, he is one of the major film forces of this century.

So if you haven't already been introduced to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Obi-wan, Darth Vader, C-3PO, R2D2, the Wookiee Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, the ferocious Wampa creature, the enormous and fearsome Sarlacc creature, Jabba the Hutt, the Dewbacks, or the furry Ewoks, hurry to your local cinema where you can see all three episodes on the big screen with the best CGI and THX sound has to offer, as soon as possible. And let it take you along for a most enjoyable ride.

Prequels and sequels and tie-ins and self-perpetuating publicity keep the myth going. Star Wars was among the first 25 titles placed on the National Film Registry by The Library of Congress' Film Preservation Board as a motion picture that continues to have cultural, historical, or aesthetic value. The Smithsonian Institute is preparing an exhibit on the Trilogy which will open in the Fall of 1997. Only one question comes to mind: What's next, George?

A don't miss. See also under A New Hope & The empire strikes back.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett