Return of the Jedi: Special Edition
Time Out saysThis reissue accentuates the film's disengaged, almost perfunctory air. Tonal continuity isn't at fault. Director Marquand surrendered most of his post-production responsibilities to executive producer George Lucas, so the result isn't exactly idiosyncratic. It's just that in scope and ambition, Jedi resembles nothing so much as the next level of a computer game, with a new environment, new gadgets and new creatures. The first hour is deathly slow, a problem the 'Special Edition' compounds by inserting new footage into the singing-and-dancing scenes at Jabba's palace, where Leia, Lando and the droids have gone to rescue the carbon-frozen Han. Things liven up once Luke, having reached the peak of his Jedi powers, tries to coax his father, Darth Vader, from the dark side of the Force. Their subsequent confrontation, culminating in the removal of Vader's mask, is the film's strongest moment. Most people's biggest Jedi gripe can be summed up in one word: Ewoks. Do you think they're cute lickle lifesavers? Or do you, like me, simply wonder what they taste like barbecued? The debate will run and run.