Return of the Jedi

“Internet” Reaction to Return of the Jedi in 1983

Ok, so we did not have the internet we have today back in 1983, but we did have this wonderful things called newsgroups and if you thought you invented over-analyzation and snarkiness, you should really go have a conversation with your father or maybe your weird uncle. Because even though we all have plenty of criticism to lay on the new Star War trilogy and just about every other film today, and we run to the web to post it immediately, this is far from a new phenomenon. The graphics just got better.


The following piece was pulled from a group discussion in 1983 called simply “RotJ Question” (which is about the just released Return of the Jedi). Paw asks…

Has anyone else out there in newsland noticed a similarity between Lucas’s “Ewoks” (in RotJ) and H. Beam Piper’s “Fuzzies” (of LITTLE FUZZY, etc.)

One comment in net.sf-lovers said that Darth Vader killed the Emperor to save Luke’s life. This is not consistent with the presentation made in the RotJ book (available in paperback). In the book, it is made obvious that Vader is just waiting for an opportunity to overthrow the Emperor and take over. The Emperor’s attacks on Luke both keeps him occupied and drains some of his power so that Darth sees a chance to act. Darth is successful in the short run but loses in the long run.

In general, the book contains much more detail about the plot than the movie does. This must be in compensation for the difficulty of presenting exciting special moviemaking effects in print. Anyway, a reading of the book may alter the interpretation of some scenes in RotJ.

Patrick Wyant
Bell Labs (Illinois)

I thought everybody knew that Darth was a cute guy until he was thrown into a volcano. Just in case some of you didn’t, that is indeed how he got so ugly.


p.s. I couldn’t hardly understand Yoda, either. But then, I could never understand Fozzie Bear from the muppets, and of course, they sound exactly alike. It looked like they were using a different puppet for Yoda than last movie. Anyone else think that?

Quite correct. In the novelization of the movie, Ben tells Luke that he and Darth/Anakin had a fight, a Vader fell into a molten pit. When he climbed out, he was completely evil, the last good having vanished (or been burned away).

That is the reason why 1) his head was so scarred and ugly in TESB, and 2) he has to alway the breath mask. He needs the portable life support system — which regulates both breathing and heart rate — in order to stay alive.

Arnold Robbins

I saw the movie last Friday, and I must admit, although I liked it a great deal, the ending left a great deal to be desired. I thought it was just *too* happy and too predictable, with the good guys winning (with little or no harm done – except for a few Ewoks) and the bad guys all dying. Be serious, George! At least some of the stars should have lost their lives in the battle to save the rebels.

Allyn Fratkin
UC San Diego

I thought the net newcomers might enjoy seeing this.

Jim Heliotis

Subject: Results of ‘Other’ Poll
Newsgroups: net.sf-lovers,net.movies

It is February 1st — premiere day for “Star Wars” on HBO, so…

Here it is folks! The results of the poll that asked the question:

‘Please give your opinion on about whom Yoda was talking when, in “The Empire Strikes Back”, he said to OB-Wan, “No, there is an Other”, referring to someone (besides Luke?) who could restore the republic.’

For the record, I did not include people who made more than one guess, unless they indicated one much more strongly than the other, in which case I discarded the weaker guess.

I feel I must tell all you potential poll takers not to fear a deluge of response. This was one of the hottest items on the net two months ago, and look — well under 100 responded! I shall keep a list of names and votes, so that I can congratulate the correct people when “Return of the Jedi” comes out.

54 total votes, 22 different votes

16.7%: Princess Leia
11.1%: Han Solo
9.3%: Don’t care
9.3%: Boba Fett
7.4%: Someone New
7.4%: Lando Carlissian
5.6%: Darth Vader
5.6%: nobody
3.7%: Wedge
1.9%: Leia’s and Luke’s son
1.9%: FtG
1.9%: Leia’s and Han’s son
1.9%: Won’t know in R.o.t.J.
1.9%: Luke’s father
1.9%: Lost relative of Luke
1.9%: Don’t know
1.9%: Mr. Spock
1.9%: OB-2 Kenobi
1.9%: R2D2
1.9%: Luke’s severed hand
1.9%: Obi-wan Kenobe
1.9%: “Other”==>”Luke gets another shot at success”

Just testing to see if

this newsgroup




Well, it’s time to start the roaring discussions going. ROTJ was a fine film, but not as good as the other two. First, it was too busy getting all the things done it had to, and second, it was not nearly as imaginative. There were no surprises. So it’s Leia – whoopdedo. So Vader told the truth – tralala! I may not have predicted these things, but the reason I didn’t was because they were too obvious, and from TESB I got the impression Lucas liked the “Big Surprise”.

So here are some questions/comments

1) Was it really the way of a Jedi to do what Luke did to the lovable Jabba the Hut? There are many other ways he could have rescued Han, the simplest being going in at night with his Jedi mind powers, taking Han and leaving a suitable ransom. Instead, he confronted Jabba directly, knowing this would very probably lead to a battle to the death. Instead of destroying his ships and killing Jabba personally, Luke could have had a ship ready to take them out, or just flown them out with the force. Regardless, what he did smacked of revenge, and revenge is not the way of a Jedi, or else the movie would have had a different title.

2) Until you get to their city, the Ewoks are pure, 100% Fuzzy. They even look like the fuzzies on the cover of my copy of Little Fuzzy. They carry the same weapons, and the only difference is that their voices are not high enough in pitch. Somebody suggested they were the characters from “Earthman’s Burden”, but I don’t agree.

3) Why does a standard Imperial Throne Room include a conveniently located reactor shaft?

4) What extra power does the Emporor have that he can shoot blue bolts from his fingers? We have never seen the force ever do anything like that before. Just who is the emporor anyway? Is the force strong in his family? Is he a member of the Skywalker Clan? Are the Skywalkers like the Amber family? What about Obiwan’s family. I guess that Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru were not truly related to Luke.

5) It’s not hard to see how Vader killed the Emporor. Young those he was, Luke was no spring chicken with the force, and he was able to beat Vader in a fair fight. Thus it probably was quite an effort for the old emp to put the blue bolts into Luke. It sure took him long enough to kill him. Some might say he was doing this for drama, but I doubt it. I bet a normal man would be dead instantly with one blue bolt. The emporor thus became weak enough that his iron control over Vader broke. Vader was then able to cast him into the convenient reactor shaft.

6) Why did vader die? what killed him? Surely not the lost of his mechanical hand. (Like father, like son!) Nothing else visibly was done. Perhaps the emporor was truly struggling with Vader as he carried him.

7) Of course if Vader had not died, then all kinds of neat things could have happened. Now good, and with the Emporor gone, he would be the acting emporor. He could have managed the rebellion single-handedly,turning the great power of the empire and the death star over to theJedi for peaceful use. Instead, they blew up the death star, which was quite a waste of equipment and otherwise innocent lives.

8) Where was Leia at her pappy’s funeral?

9) Will Han and Leia have a kid, and will that kid be the new top Jedi?I bet the force is with Han to some degree, he’s such good pilot and shot.

Brad Templeton – Waterloo, Ont. (519) 886-7304

Vader died in the end because some of those blue bolts went into him
as he carried the Emperor. You can even see his skull glowing sometimes


You may not have noticed it, but as Han and Chewie were trying to rescue Lando, you could see Boba Fatt trying to fly out of the monster, being held in
by one of the ‘tentacles’ (which later tried to pull Lando in).

Then again – since Boba was covered head to foot with weapons, why didn’t he just blast the monster’s tentacle holding him down?

Rogue Vaxhacker


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