Below is an excerpt of an article I wrote for LoveThyNerd. Click the link at the bottom to read the entire piece.
SPOILER WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. Do not read if you have not seen this movie and do not want it to be spoiled for you!
The universe was dark. Most thought the Rebels’ success taking out the first Death Star would be the end. Even though a new hope had risen, the Empire struck back with a vengeance, and Emperor Palpatine was constructing a more advanced version of the Death Star. Thankfully, there was still one with unwavering hope.
Return of the Jedi was my entrance into the Star Wars universe. I remember sitting in my living room intrigued by the battle on Jabba’s sail barge. I was especially captivated by the speeder bike chase scene on Endor. As a child, the Ewoks did not bother me in the least, and I did not even think about them as a marketing ploy. Above all, though, I was immediately drawn to the character and drive of Luke Skywalker: a guy who never gave up.
Director George Lucas has stated he is a fan of cyclical storytelling, and you can see that throughout the movie. We now know the Jedi who returns is Anakin, but at the time of release, most people assumed that the movie’s title was a reference to Luke. By all accounts, Darth Vader was believed to be fully lost to the Dark side of the Force.