That’s So 80’s – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) – Encore Review 2




THAT’S SO 80s! takes a nostalgic trip down VHS memory lane, remembering some of the cheesiest movies from one of the cheesiest decades.


Fellow movie connoisseur MOVIEROB joins forces with SLIP/THROUGH for a semi-regular column highlighting some of the best scenes (and fashion choices) of the era.

This edition of That’s So 80s! gets super nerdy digging into the third chapter of the original STAR WARS trilogy, RETURN OF THE JEDI. As 80s kids we have fond memories of this VHS classic. The stunning conclusion finished the series with a satisfying finale. Aside from action and adventure, this astounding tale from a galaxy far, far away connected with us because of the characters we came to care about. A story filled with lasers and aliens also has strong themes of redemption that still resonate decades later.

Rob and Dan breakdown what they love about this retro gem, from the 80s fashion to the 80s sensibilities.

Enjoy! And Stay Rad!


  1. I TOLD You I wanted Fries with my burger!!
  2. That doesn’t look finished, you sure you wanna land on that thing?
  3. Maybe I should have rethought this whole “destroying the rebellion idea”
  4. If you make one more comment about affirmative action, I’m gonna give u a fat lip!
  5. You got room for one more on that thing?
  6. How can this movie be bad, it has me in it!
  7. Hey look at that sunset!!
  8. You’re kidding??? I’m your sister? No F***ing way!!!
  9. I like pretty little women who look good in bikinis
  10. Color coordinating is what the Empire does best!
  11. Clones love to stand at attention (eventhough they don’t know they are clones)
  12. Guess what I’m gonna scream “It’s a TRAP!!!!”
  13. The best badass in the galaxy who dies like a whimp


When I try and think of movies that have had a huge influence on my life, the first one that always comes to mind is Return of the Jedi.


I was 9 when it hit the theaters in ’83 and had already seen Star Wars tons of times on cable and even once in a re-release in the theater.  I had also seen Empire a few times on cable and video and was so excited to see it when it came out.  I had a huge collection of Star Wars figures and was ready to add a whole new series of action figures to my collection.


If memory serves, it came out on a Wednesday night and I was so jealous of a girl in my class who went on opening night with her parents.  She told us all in class what happened and tis made me want to see it even more.


I went on the following Sunday to see it with my older brother and sister at a matinee and was enthralled by the whole spectacle of it all.


Over the course of the next 9 months or so, I went to see it another 16 times in the theater and each time enjoyed it more and more.  There was a time in my life that I could name each time I saw it and with whom, but those days are long gone.


I actually remember two viewing quite clearly beside my first one; one time I went with a friend and drank so much cola that I had to go pee tons of times during the viewing but didn’t care because I knew it all by heart already.


I also remember the final time I saw it during its initial run; It was still in theaters in February 1984 and a friend who had a sleepover birthday party invited over a bunch of friends and it was entirely ROTJ themed.  His parents even capped off the evening by taking us all to the $1 showing at the movie theater in nearby Berkley.


As soon a Jedi came out on cable, I was constantly watching it and it was even one of the first films that I taped on our new VCR and even went and bought the VHS video that I nearly rubbed out from watching it so much.


Over the next decade, I watched it so many times that I by then knew the whole movie by rote.


When Lucas released the Special Edition in the theater in ’97, I thankfully wasn’t working and went with a friend of my girlfriend at the time to see it.  To me any version of the film rocks, so I didn’t mind any of the changes made and loved it all over again.


In the nearly twenty years since, I have seen it at least once every year (give or take) and I have no doubt in my mind that this is the film that I’ve seen the most times in my life.


My guesstimation is that I’ve seen Luke, Han and Leia destroy the Empire over 50 times, but that estimate is probably too low, but I’ll be conservative and keep it in that ballpark.


As the above can attest, I LOVE this movie and know most of it by heart.


It’s hard to pinpoint what is my favorite aspect of this film because there is so much that I find amazing.


I have always been a bit partial to the whole Jabba’s Palace section because it gives us an expanded look at the different types of creatures in the Star Wars Universe and is closer to Lucas’ original plan for the Cantina scene in Star Wars (1977).


The action on Tatooine is great and we finally get to see a real Jedi fight a band of mercenaries.  The only part that was a bit disappointing was the way that the bad-ass Boba-Fett met his end.


The special effects are groundbreaking for its time but some of the bluescreen technology still looks quite archaic.


I also really like the way that they were able to edit together and intermingle three different battles quickly jumping back and forth between all of them.


The battle in space around the Death Star is great because it truly depicts the chaos of dogfighting and so much is going on that if you don’t pay attention, you may miss some great shots.


My favorite new character in this movie is Admiral Ackbar and he has a small line that has become so iconic among Star Wars fans.


The dialogue is typical Lucas and borders on cheesy, but that’s what the 80’s were all about, so it’s still great to listen to.


Part of the story is so much more enlightening once one knows the storyline from the prequels and how Anakin became Darth Vader and how the Emperor became to be as powerful as he became.


I love the way that this film mixes together drama and action together and we truly get an epic end to the original trilogy.


The music by John Williams is so iconic and I have listened to all the different version he made for this film over and over and can easily hum along when listen to any of the tracks.  This is actually a bit disturbing to me even because I also did this while watching the film itself.


I’m still unsure as to whether this is the best movie of the series (That title probably goes to Empire), but it by far the most fun and worthy of being among my favorite movies ever.



All 3 ratings get a 5 from me


9 thoughts on “That’s So 80’s – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) – Encore Review 2

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