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Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

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After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.


Richard Marquand


Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay by), George Lucas (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
1,258 ( 231)
Top Rated Movies #78 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Hamill ... Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford ... Han Solo
Carrie Fisher ... Princess Leia
Billy Dee Williams ... Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels ... C-3PO
Peter Mayhew ... Chewbacca
Sebastian Shaw ... Anakin Skywalker
Ian McDiarmid ... The Emperor
Frank Oz ... Yoda (voice)
James Earl Jones ... Darth Vader (voice)
David Prowse ... Darth Vader
Alec Guinness ... Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi
Kenny Baker ... R2-D2 / Paploo
Michael Pennington ... Moff Jerjerrod
Kenneth Colley ... Admiral Piett


Luke Skywalker battles Jabba the Hutt and Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel Alliance and triumph over the Galactic Empire. Han Solo and Princess Leia reaffirm their love, and team with Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, the Ewoks, and droids C-3PO and R2-D2 to aid in the disruption of the Dark Side, and the defeat of the evil emperor. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Return To A Galaxy Far, Far Away (1985 Reissue Poster) See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sci-fi action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

25 May 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi See more »


Box Office


$32,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,490,619, 30 May 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$309,125,409, 8 June 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$572,705,079, 31 December 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lucasfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)| DTS (1997 print)| Dolby Digital (1997 print)| SDDS (1997 print)| Dolby Digital EX (DVD)| DTS-ES (6.1 channels) (blu-ray)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


While filming on-location for the Endor scenes, Peter Mayhew was escorted by crew members so that hunters would not mistake him for Bigfoot. See more »


From the inside of the rebel hangar, it appears that the floor extends further into space than the roof, as it goes past the walls on either side. From the outside, no such protrusion is visible. See more »


[first lines]
Shuttle captain: Command station, this is ST321, code clearance blue. We're starting our approach; deactivate the security shield.
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Crazy Credits

This is the only Star Wars film in which Denis Lawson's first name is spelled correctly in the credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the DVD version, the Rancor sequence now has some subtle shadows added to mask the matte lines, as well as being re-composited to blend more smoothly with the live-action elements of Mark Hamill. See more »


Referenced in ER: Family Business (2007) See more »


Rebel Briefing
Composed by John Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The end of the Star Wars saga?
21 July 2002 | by Anonymous_MaxineSee all my reviews

The Return of the Jedi was George Lucas's last Star Wars film for 16 years, until he followed it up with the disappointing prequel The Phantom Menace in 1999. At the time that I am writing this review, Episode II has come out and proved that George Lucas is still able to produce an action packed space adventure (although he also proves that he is relying far too much on computer generated effects), and we are eagerly awaiting the release of Episode III in 2005, the film which has more possibilities than any of the Star Wars films since the original in 1977.

The Return of the Jedi is the film in which we are introduced to the hideous Jabba the Hutt for the first time, as well as a score of other repugnant creatures. When I first watched this film, the first thing that struck me was an enormous increase in the level of gruesomeness that is seen in the creatures in the film. In the first film, even the antagonist creatures were at least mildly pleasant, but now we see Jabba, we see Jabba's disgusting sidekick with the snake things growing out of his head and around his neck, that tooth-riddled pit in the ground, as well as scores of other sickening things. We also get to the first glimpses of the badly damaged Death Star, whose post-explosive appearance is probably even more famous as an image in film history than its original appearance.

The Death Star is the focus of much of the conflict in the film. The Rebellion is making an elaborate attempt to destroy the Death Star, a nearly impossible excursion that involves timing an attack perfectly so that star-fighters can make an internal attack on the Death Star at just the right moment that their rebel partners are on a nearby planet, shutting down the defense mechanism that the Death Star is deriving from it. Clearly, this is not going to be an easy thing to do, and the majority of the film presents the efforts to get all of the forces coordinated to pull this task off, with the ultimate climax occurring as the rebel attack coincides with the revelation that the Death Star is fully functional as a weapon despite massive damage (a little secret they have tactfully decided not to reveal), and that they are already aware of the impending attack and more than capable of squishing all of the attackers like a lot of space-bugs.

Great story, I think. And it's a good thing, too, because there were at least a few other things that I was less than impressed with about this particular installment in the Star Wars saga. The Ewoks, for example, just didn't strike me as something that belonged in a Star Wars film. I am more than willing to accept them, if for no other reason than the fact that they are now one of the more recognizable things from the old Star Wars films (although it seems like there are thousands of recognizable things from the old Star Wars films), but there were several battle scenes that failed to generate much excitement due to all of the cuddly little snuggle bears running around. Besides that, the Ewok costumes were some of the least impressive outfits in any Star Wars film to this day. You could almost see the seams along the sides, the faces were about as realistic as any stuffed animal, and the pads of the feet, which occasionally were in view, were just as toy-like. They were little more than cheap Halloween costumes.

On the other hand, the rest of the film is so entertaining that I am willing to forgive things like this. It's 1983, for crying out loud, so I'm not about to downgrade the movie for something like that, even though both of its predecessors had universally better costumes despite being older films. It's clear throughout the film that we are watching the conclusion of the conflict between the Imperial Forces and the Rebellion that we saw develop in the last two films, which is why it does not quite reach the same level of stupendous excitement and entertainment of them. There are a lot of fascinating characters and creatures introduced here, and some of the battles scenes in space far surpass anything in Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back, but despite the fascinating story, there is just too much an element of conclusion and tying up loose ends for this movie to be as fresh and exhilarating.

There is great concern in the last act of the movie with the metaphorical presentation of the dark side and the, well, the light side, I guess. Maybe the bright side? Yeah, the bright side, that sounds better. The dark side and the bright side. Luke is being held captive by Darth Vader and the Emperor and being forced to watch his friends careen helplessly into a battle, unaware that they have no chance of winning. As this happens, we are just itching to see Luke go for that light saber and strike someone down with it and do something heroic, but then the Emperor starts trying to convince him to do this. He encourages Luke to give in to his anger and officially become part of the dark side. It's easy to see how Vader was seduced by the dark side, if all it takes is the killing of someone that you bitterly hate because they are forcing you to watch the deaths of your friends. Throughout the entire Star Wars saga, one of the things that I always wondered about was how exactly Vader was seduced by the dark side, and in this scene I found myself seduced by it because I so badly wanted to see Luke do exactly what the Emperor was asking him to do.

Clearly, the story of The Return of the Jedi leaves very little to be desired, with the exciting battles that come from the struggle between the Rebels and the Empire, and with Luke's struggles against the dark side as well as his interaction with Vader as Vader lay dying in his arms (another heavily metaphorical representation of the dark and bright sides). And despite a few elements of the film that prevent it from really rising to the level of quality and pure entertainment that it could have risen to, this is a powerful installment in the Star Wars saga. Given the relatively cheesy end that we saw in this film, with all of our heroes partying and hugging at an Ewok party in the woods (and with Luke giving the stereotypical grin to the ghostly images of Obi Wan and Yoda and the image of his father before he became Darth Vader (?)), I am curious about the future of the Star Wars saga. I've heard rumors about the production of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, which seem a little far-fetched at this point, but it also seems almost as far-fetched that old George would end one of the greatest film sagas of all time with the closing scene of The Return of the Jedi.

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