Star Wars: Return of the Jedi is the third film of the Star Wars series that concludes the original trilogy about Luke Skywalker and his band of rebels. Over the course of the three films, Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a copy pilot, a Wookie, and two droids to help save the galaxy from Darth Vader and his Empire’s Death Star, a moon-sized space station capable of destroying entire planets. Retroactively, the movie became known as “Episode 6” in the Skywalker Saga; the franchise would later add a prequel trilogy, a sequel trilogy, two anthology films, and various spin-off TV series.
In Jedi, the Galactic Empire, under the direction of the ruthless Emperor, is constructing a second Death Star in order to crush the Rebel Alliance once and for all. Since the Emperor plans to personally oversee the final stages of its construction, the Rebel Fleet launches a full-scale attack on the Death Star in order to prevent its completion and kill the Emperor, effectively bringing an end to his hold over the galaxy. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker struggles to bring his father Darth Vader back to the light side of the Force.
Star Wars is not only well respected by critics and its rabid fans, but Lucas’ creation has grossed a grand total of $9,307,186,202 and has spawned countless merchandise lines, video games, park rides, and more. The story of the Skywalkers is still rolling out more than 40 years later; Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters in December.
If you want to find out how Lucas’s original trilogy wraps up, you can now stream Star Wars: Return of the Jedi exclusively on Disney+, and find out everything you might want to know about the film’s box office success, cast, plot, and more.
How to Stream ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ – Exclusively on Disney+
Return of the Jedi is one of the classic 90s Star Wars movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream The Parent Trap and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “The Parent Trap”
- 5. Start streaming
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’: Overview
Release Date: May 25, 1983
Creators: Story by George Lucas, Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas, Directed by Richard Marquand
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Billie Dee Williams, Frank Oz, and Peter Mayhew
Synopsis: After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor’s trap.
How Long Is ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’?
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi has a runtime of 132 minutes.
‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ Plot
When Jedi begins, the Empire is more than halfway through the construction of a new Death Star bigger and badder than ever before. Han Solo is a prisoner of crime lord Jabba the Hutt and Princess Leia soon finds herself in the gangster’s hands. Luke Skywalker, aided by C-3PO and R2-D2, makes his way into Jabba’s palace hoping to free his friends. After escaping from Jabba and the sands of Tatooine, the Rebels regroup with the rebel fleet which is preparing for an attack against the new satellite battle station at Endor. Lando Calrissian is pressed into action to lead the rebel fighter attack, while Han is put in charge of a group of soldiers to take out the shield generator protecting the Death Star. Luke Skywalker surrenders to Darth Vader’s soldiers on Endor and is taken in front of Vader’s Master, Emperor Palpatine, on the Death Star. The fleet of Imperial Star Destroyers ambushes the rebels, while the new Death Star turns its giant laser on the rebel carriers. Return of the Jedi is the final showdown between the rebels and the Empire with the final fight taking place on the Forest Moon of Endor; its inhabitants, the Ewoks, join the Rebels’ fight.
‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ Cast
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker is a farmboy who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever known. Along with his friends Princess Leia and Han Solo, Luke battles the evil Empire, discovers the truth of his parentage, and eventually ends the tyranny of the Sith. Before Star Wars, Hamill had guest roles in TV series like The Partridge Family, The Bill Cosby Show, and General Hospital.
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Han Solo grew up on the mean streets of Corellia and eventually joined up with Luke Skywalker to become one of the heroes of the Rebel Alliance. As captain of the Millennium Falcon, Han and his co-pilot Chewbacca believe in the cause of galactic freedom and the fight against the Empire. Harrison Ford became an A-list actor appearing in movies like The Fugitive, What Lies Beneath, Witness, and all of the Indiana Jones movies.
Carrie Fisher as Leia Organa
Princess Leia Organa is one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, with experience on the battlefield and an undying dedication to ending the tyranny of the Empire. It’s revealed that she’s the sister of Luke Skywalker. She proves herself as one of the galaxy’s great heroes. Fisher, an actress, comedian, and writer, sadly passed away in 2016 but will appear in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. She also had parts in films like Scream 3, The Blues Brothers, Drop Dead Fred, and The ‘Burbs.
Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi
A legendary Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi is a noble man and who is gifted in the ways of The Force. In A New Hope, he guides Luke Skywalker as a mentor. Guinness played Colonel Nicholson in the movie The Bridge On the River Kwai and is known for his many other collaborations with David Lean. Some of those films included Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, and Lawrence of Arabia.
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
C-3PO is a droid programmed and built by the heroic Jedi Anakin Skywalker. He is fluent in more than seven million forms of communication. Along with R2-D2, he plays a key role in organizing the Rebel Alliance in A New Hope. Actor Anthony Daniels is the only actor to appear in all of the episodic films in the series. Daniels was the voice of Legolas in the animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and has appeared on various British dramas such as Prime Suspect starring Helen Mirren.
Kenny Baker as R2-D2
A resourceful droid, R2-D2 saved his friends from many dangerous spots serving Padmé Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker over the course of the franchise. He forms an unlikely but enduring friendship with the fussy C-3PO in the series’ first film. Another accomplished English actor, Baker also starred in The Elephant Man, Time Bandits, Willow, Flash Gordon, Amadeus, and Labyrinth.
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
Chewbacca is a Wookiee warrior and one of the rebel heroes. He’s Han Solo’s co-pilot on the Millennium Falcon and eventually helps the Alliance restore freedom to the galaxy. Mayhew played the character in all of his live-action appearances from A New Hope to 2015’s The Force Awakens. Mayhew passed away in April of this year.
David Prowse and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader
Though he was once a heroic Jedi Knight, Darth Vader is the original trilogy’s big bad. He was seduced by the dark side of the Force becoming a Sith Lord and leading the Empire’s quest to eliminate the Jedi Order. The villainous Vader was played physically by David Prowse and voiced by James Earl Jones, the latter of whom is known for his other voice acting stints such as The Lion King and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Billie Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian
Lando Calrissian is the administrator of Cloud City and an old acquaintance of Han’s. He betrays the group to Darth Vader who plans to use the group as bait to lure out Luke, but later Lando has a change of heart. Aside from Star Wars, Williams’ credits include Lady Sings the Blues (1972), Mahogany (1975), Nighthawks (1981), and Batman (1989), in which he portrayed Harvey Dent, aka Two-Face.
Frank Oz as Yoda
Jim Henson Company all-star Frank Oz joined the franchise as Yoda, a wise, centuries-old Jedi Master, who is self-exiled on Dagobah. Oz was assisted by several other performers including Kathryn Mullen, David Barclay, Wendy Froud, and Deep Roy. Oz is best known for being the main puppeteer behind Miss Piggy, Bert, Grover, Cookie Monster, Animal, Sam the Eagle, and Fozzie Bear.
‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ Songs and Soundtrack
Veteran composer John Williams composed and conducted the musical score with performances by the London Symphony Orchestra. The soundtrack was initially released by RSO Records in the U.S.; however, Sony Classical Records acquired the rights to the classic trilogy scores in 2004 after getting the rights to release the prequel trilogy soundtracks. In the same year, Sony Classical re-pressed the 1997 RCA Victor release of Return of the Jedi along with the other two films in the trilogy. New versions of all the Star Wars soundtracks continue rolling out. In 2016, the soundtracks of Episodes 1-6 were all reissued by Sony Classical in three new, definitive editions – Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection (11 LPs), Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection (10 CDs plus DVD), and Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection.
The tracklist for the Return of the Jedi soundtrack is as follows:
1. “20th Century Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope Extension” – 0:23
2. “Main Title/Approaching the Death Star” – 5:22
3. “Han Solo Returns (At the Court of Jabba the Hutt)” – 4:08
4. “Fight in the Dungeon” – 3:41
5. “The Return of the Jedi” – 5:02
6. “The Emperor Arrives” – 2:07
7. “The Death of Yoda” – 6:05
8. “Parade of the Ewoks” – 3:27
9. “Luke and Leia” – 4:47
10. “The Emperor Confronts Luke” – 3:29
11. “Into the Trap” – 2:39
12. “First Ewok Battle/Fight With the Fighters” – 7:24
13. “The Forest Battle” – 4:04
14. “The Final Duel/Into the Death Star” – 3:40
15. “The Emperor’s Death” – 2:44
16. “Darth Vader’s Death” – 2:33
17. “Through the Flames” – 1:39
18. “Leia Breaks the News/Funeral Pyre for a Jedi” – 2:22
19. “Ewok Celebration/Finale” – 7:58
The following songs have been released as bonus tracks on some of the various reissues that have been released over the last few decades. These are:
“Heroic Ewok/The Fleet Goes Into Hyperspace”
“The Ewok Battle”
“Faking the Code”
“Brother and Sister”
“Leia is Wounded/Luke and Vader Duel”
“The Return of the Jedi (Alternate)”
“Leia Breaks the News (Alternate)/Funeral Pyre for a Jedi (Film Version)”
‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ at the Box Office
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi pulled in a domestic gross of $252,583,617. Internationally, its take was $122,009,457 making for a worldwide gross of $374,593,074, according to Box Office Mojo, although some sources claim the movie earned up to $572 million. The movie sold over 80 million tickets in the U.S. in its initial theatrical run.
‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi is perhaps the worst received of the original three films, yet it was still beloved by many. Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads, “Though failing to reach the cinematic heights of its predecessors, Return of the Jedi remains an entertaining sci-fi adventure and a fitting end to the classic trilogy.” Its Tomatometer rating stands at 81 percent fresh.
“With this last of the central Star Wars cycle, there is the sense of the closing of a circle, of leaving behind real friends. It is accomplished with a weight and a new maturity that seems entirely fitting, yet the movie has lost none of its sense of fun,” wrote Sheila Benson of the Los Angeles Times.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Joy Gould Boyum noted Lucas’s recycling of the movies of his childhood. “Lucas has once again recycled the B movies of his youth: jungle movies, gangster movies, pirate movies, you name it. He culls bits from them that still have oomph and mounts them with a Sesame-Street zap.”
Even if the movie is a bit flawed (according to some), the grandiose storytelling and wowing visual effects were typically praised as a win. “The characters and dialogue get lost somewhere between the bug-eyed monsters and the exploding spaceships, but it is all so much fun it probably really does not matter a whole lot,” wrote Harper Barnes of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ Trailer
According to its official YouTube description, “This Return of the Jedi teaser trailer from 1982 features early looks at many of the film’s most famous scenes, and is the first trailer to feature the movie’s new title. The trailer showcases many scenes out of sequence, focusing on action and the heroes and villains of the film. The opening shot is of Han, Chewie, Luke, C-3PO, Leia, and R2-D2 aboard the stolen Imperial shuttle Tydirium, en route to Endor (“You ready everybody?” Han says. “Chewie, let’s see what this piece of junk can do.”), then cuts to the Millennium Falcon during the Rebels’ assault on the Death Star, shows Jabba and much of the battle on his sail barge, Ewoks battling Stormtroopers on Endor, and the final duel between Luke and Darth Vader in the presence of the Emperor. The trailer actually does not feature the complete Return of the Jedi logo.”
‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
1. ‘Return of the Jedi’ Wasn’t the Movie’s Original Name
Star Wars‘ third film was originally called Revenge of the Jedi until George Lucas opted to change the name noting that revenge is not the Jedi way. The trailer of the movie focuses heavily on the idea of “return,” with the narrator opening the preview by saying, “Return to a galaxy far, far away,” and later, “Return to heroic adventure,” and “Return to the ultimate confrontation.” By that time thousands of “Revenge” posters had been printed and distributed. Lucasfilm stopped the shipping of the posters and sold the remaining stock to Star Wars fan club members.
2. Multiple Puppeteers Were Used to Control Jabba the Hutt
In order to make Jabba the Hutt move, up to seven people were needed. According to Mashable, “There were three puppeteers, including [Toby] Philpott, inside Jabba: a little person in the tail, one person working on [the] arm, and the head, and another right next to him working the mouth, other arm, and tongue.”
3. Harrison Ford Originally Pitched That Han Solo Should Die
Originally, actor Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo to die at the end of Return of the Jedi. During an appearance on Conan, Ford explained, “It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…I thought the best utility of the character would be for him to sacrifice himself to a high ideal and give a little bottom, a little gravitas to the enterprise, not that there wasn’t some already but I just wanted in on some part of it. That was at the third occasion of filming the original three.”
4. Mark Hamill Wanted Luke’s Fate To Be A Little More Ambiguous
Mark Hamill pitched the idea of Luke wearing Darth Vader’s helmet after Vader’s death, leaving Luke with an extremely ominous ending. Lucas disagreed and opted for a happy ending. Flash forward, Hamill even pitched the idea of an Evil Luke to J.J. Abrams, the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
5. John Williams’ Son and Lead Singer of Toto Helped With the Music
John Williams’ son Joseph Williams, the lead singer of the Pop Rock band TOTO, collaborated on part of the score and wrote lyrics for the Ewoks’ songs. Years later, Joseph composed the source music heard in Dex’s Diner in Attack of the Clones. In 2010, Joseph rejoined TOTO and continues touring with them to this day.
What Other Star Wars Movies Can You Stream on Disney+?
At the time of writing this, here are all of the Star Wars movies on Disney+:
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the JEDI
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
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