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"RETURN OF THE JEDI"
(1983) (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Minor Minor Moderate Moderate *Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor Minor Mild None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Minor Minor *Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Sci-fi: Luke Skywalker and allies fight Darth Vader and the evil Empire in the last segment of the "Star Wars" trilogy.
PLOT:
After an adventurous rescue of Han Solo (HARRISON FORD) from the clutches of Jabba the Hut, Luke Skywalker (MARK HAMILL), Princess Leia (CARRIE FISHER), and Lando Calrissian (BILLY DEE WILLIAMS) set off to thwart the evil Empire's plans of completing a new and more powerful Death Star. Accompanied by Chewbacca, and 'droids C3PO and R2D2, the group heads for a moon base that houses the protective shield around the intergalactic weapon. As they try to deactivate the shield, Luke must confront his father, Darth Vader (voice of JAMES EARL JONES), as well as the evil Emperor himself.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they've seen the other two "Star Wars" films, they will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For sci-fi action violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • Other than for Darth Vader, the Emperor, and their followers, the rest of the major cast members are good role models.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7.5 out of 10
    Although it's generally considered the weakest of the three films in the "Star Wars" trilogy, this is still a highly enjoyable sci-fi romp. By the time this film originally was released in 1983, the characters were so familiar to us that they felt like family. In today's market they seem like long lost friends, although some, such as Chewbacca, may have worn out their welcome. They never developed this furry character and the loud, braying quality of his guttural growls is more annoying than cute like it was in the original film. The other characters seem much more mature and grown up, not only because the actors playing them are older, but because the characters themselves have matured. Some of the film's criticism comes from the inclusion of the furry little Ewok creatures that make the film more appealing to kids, but distract from the more serious "sci-fi" story. It's almost as if Lucas and company began to see marketing dollars before their eyes and this cheapens the film somewhat. Still it has some wild scenes, such as the high speed chase scenes through the forest. This is the most technologically advanced feature of the trilogy, from the previously mentioned scene to the full scale Jabba "puppet" and the multilayered and often overcrowded spaceship battles. It's also the most satisfying of the three since it warps up the trilogy and showcases the last time we'll see these actors portraying these characters. While that may be a huge stumbling block that the prequel films will have to overcome (since they'll have new characters and cast members), it gives this film, and the trilogy, a sense of closure. We give it a 7.5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    While the "Guns/Weapons" and "Violence" categories received "extreme" ratings, this is due only to the quantity and not the degree of the scenes. Since many, many people are killed by violence, those ratings have to be applied, but it should be noted that they are in no means graphic or particularly savagely inflicted. That aside, this film has the greatest likelihood of scaring very young kids, especially from a scene where a gigantic monster eats one character and tries to catch Luke. Beyond that, there's nearly nothing to object to in this film that should be okay for most older children. Of course that's up to you, so please read through our scene listings to make that decision.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jabba smokes something, but it can't be discerned if it's a drug or a tobacco-like product.
  • R2D2 is forced to serve drinks on Jabba's sailing barge.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Luke has a small burn hole in his mechanical hand.
  • Vader's mechanical hand is cut off, but nothing other than mechanical pieces are seen.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The Emperor, Darth Vader and all of their followers have both.
  • The Emperor wants Luke to use the hate inside him, to turn over to the "dark side" of the force, and says, "Your hate has made you powerful."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes in Jabba the Hut's dungeons may be a little scary for younger kids, with the darkness and strange sounds in them.
  • A woman falls through a trap opening in Jabba's lair. Her screams and monster sounds from below may be upsetting to some kids.
  • Luke falls into Jabba's monster pit and is confronted by a huge, dinosaur-sized monster (that will definitely scare little kids). A "pig guard" of Jabba's is picked up and eaten (with crunching sounds). The monster then chases and nearly catches Luke, but he finally kills the beast.
  • A desert creature buried in the sands of Luke's home planet may be scary to younger kids. Only it's cavernous mouth can be seen, and snake-like tentacles reach up and grab anyone near it. Luke and the others are to be thrown into it, and at one point Lando precariously hangs above it.
  • Han is tied to a spit and the Ewoks prepare to cook him for a ceremonial dinner. Younger kids may find this somewhat unsettling.
  • The Emperor "zaps" Luke with electrical energy, causing him much pain, and says, "Now, young Skywalker, you will die."
  • Vader's unmasked and scar-covered face may be unsettling to younger kids.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • While this category received an "extreme" rating, it's due solely to the quantity of scenes involving weapons and not because of their degree or severity of any scenes. Since many people are killed by them, we must apply the rating.
  • Laser guns: Used to shoot at and/or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Light saber: Used by Luke to defend himself from Darth Vader and from others.
  • Spears, Bows & Arrows, & Rocks: Used by the Ewoks to capture and/or fight with others.
  • Explosives: Used to blow up a shield generating station.
  • Spaceships & Death Star: Used to damage or destroy other ships.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrase: "Piece of junk," and "You rebel scum."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Leia and an Ewok are suddenly fired upon by a soldier.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • There is a mild amount of suspenseful music here and there in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see that Jabba has Princess Leia chained near him in a rather skimpy metal type bikini that shows cleavage and most of her bare hip (some long material drapes down from the bikini bottom between her legs). At one point, Jabba licks his long tongue at her.
  • SMOKING
  • Jabba smokes something, but it can't be discerned if it's a drug or a tobacco-like product.
  • An older Ewok smokes a pipe.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Luke asks Leia if she remembers her mother. She says that she died when she was young, but she remembers her a little bit. Luke says that he doesn't remember his at all.
  • Luke must confront his father, Darth Vader.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The Jedi teacher, Yoda, dies while with Luke.
  • The "force" and its evil counterpart, the "dark side" (ie. Good vs. Evil).
  • VIOLENCE
  • While this category received an "extreme" rating, it's due solely to the quantity of scenes and not because of their degree or severity of any scenes. Since violence kills many people, we must apply the rating.
  • A ‘droid is tortured as it's turned upside down and red-hot metal is pressed against its "feet" and it lets out "yelps" of pain. Another ‘droid is strung up and then zapped apart.
  • Luke falls into Jabba's monster pit and is confronted by a huge, dinosaur-sized monster (that will definitely scare little kids). A "pig guard" of Jabba's is picked up and eaten (with crunching sounds). The monster then chases and nearly catches Luke, but he finally kills the beast.
  • Leia wraps a large chain around Jabba's throat and strangles him to death.
  • A big fight breaks out above a desert sand creature's lair. Many laser blasts are shot and Luke fights with others with his light saber (two men are struck with it). Luke is shot in his mechanical hand and a small burn hole is seen in it. More than five people fall into the creature's "mouth" and are killed. By the end, Jabba's sailing barge is blown up by a large laser blast.
  • Han gets into a fight with several storm troopers while Luke and Leia battle several others on "speeders" (small flying machines). Four Empire soldiers are killed as they or their speeders crash into trees.
  • Leia hits a soldier, knocking him down, and fires her laser gun that blows up a speeder and sends its driver falling to the ground.
  • R2D2 zaps an Ewok with an electric charge.
  • Han and company attack a base and one soldier is hit with the butt of a rifle and another is knocked over a railing.
  • The Ewoks attack the base with arrows and rocks. Many soldiers are knocked to the ground and one is seen with an arrow sticking out from his armored suit. Laser blasts are then fired back at the Ewoks and a huge battle ensues. More than ten soldiers and at least four Ewoks are hit and presumably killed. Leia is slightly wounded in the shoulder from a blast and R2D2 sparks when he's hit by one. Finally, they blow up shield station.
  • In outer space, many smaller ships are destroyed, along with three large ships and finally the death star is blown up. Though not seen, hundreds, if not thousands, of "people" are killed.
  • Luke and Darth Vader have an extended light saber battle where Vader's mechanical hand is sliced off.
  • The Emperor "zaps" Luke with electrical energy until Vader picks him up and tosses him to his death inside a reactor.



  • Reviewed March 9, 1997

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Darkest Hour] [Just Getting Started] [The Shape of Water]

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