I came up with a brilliant plan the other night. It involved finally watching another movie this Friday as someone’s birthday present (long story, will explain it later), but in order to do that I felt that I really needed to get Return of the Jedi out of the way, because this is getting ridiculous. I mean, seriously – I’ve moved this Netflix disc. MOVED IT. FROM ONE APARTMENT TO ANOTHER. And paid for it six times. WHAT THE FUCK, PATTERSON.
Anyway. In order to get my Brilliant PlanTM out of the way, I am going to attempt to watch Return of the Jedi tonight. Now, there’s going to be an added layer of difficulty regarding this: the last time I watched a movie on DVD, I was at the Old Apartment (sorry for the earworm), and the Old Apartment had a DVD player and a remote. In my New Apartment, I have a TV/DVD combination TV, and … the remote doesn’t really work. I mean, it’ll select things on the menu, and I can turn the volume up and down, and when I’m using the cable and Jeremy the TiVo, Episode IV: A New Hope, everything’s hunky-dory. But pausing the DVD and / or returning to the menu? Cannot be done. I can only pause by getting up and pausing it from the button on the TV itself. And as for returning to the menu whilst in the middle of an episode or movie? My TV says ‘Fuck that shit,’ which is how I watched the beginning of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang four times when it started using subtitles randomly and I couldn’t shut them off.
So … expect a lot of cussing. I may have to name the TV (because so far, the TV is nameless. Only the TiVo’s have been named in the past).
Before I hit play, I believe that when we last left our Intrepid Heroes, they were either dis-handed, starting up a rock band with the robots as backup, or frozen in carbonite. Darth Vader was playing with his dolls in victorious glee, and Leia was on her way to join the white slave trade. Does that sound right?
I was just going to ask a stupid question about what was Chewbacca doing in all of this, when I realized: duh. He plays drums for Lando and the Droids. Because if Lando Calrissian = Dr. Teeth, C-3P0 must = Scooter, R2D2 = Floyd, and Chewbacca = Animal.
Holy shit that is a thing that has to happen RIGHT NOW.
[play is pressed.] I am already hating that I can’t pause.
ROLLING TRANSCRIPTION THINGY
Jesus, that music’s loud.
“Episode VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI
Luke Skywalker has returned to his home planet of Tattoine in an attempt to rescue his friend Han Solo from the cluthes of the vile gnagster Jabba the Hutt..
Little does Luke know that the GALACTIC EMPIRE has secretly begun construction on a new armored space station even more powerful tha the first draeaded Death satar.
When completed, this ultimate weapon wil OH SHIT I CAN’T READ ANYMORE THAT TYPE IS TOO TINY I MISSED AN IMPORTANT PLOT POINT”
We see the same big battleship scene from the first Star Wars, only this time a couple of ships get shat out of it. They’re flying out to Death Star II, and there’s this line of Storm Troopers sitting at a console, and I can’t help it — I yell out, “Look at all those Assholes!”
The guy who announces that Lord Vader’s shell — shell? What? — has arrived looks like a young Matt Damon. Just me?
Lord Vader is apparently all out of lollipops, because he’s whooping that Commander’s ass all over the Death Star II. Apparently the progress with the new Death Star is not proceeding as fast as Palpatine would like.
It’s the Droids! Lando abandoned them? But — that is my most favorite fantasy! C-3PO fucking knocks on this big ass-door, hoping to speak with Jabba the Hutt. R2-D2 strolls in, and all I can think of is ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY WALK INTO JABBA’S HUTT.
They run into Jabba’s … lackey? I’m sorry, I’m totally calling him the Jabba-Wocky. Anyway, he’s the dude with the icky flesh tail that curls around the neck, and I have no idea who he is, but there’s totally a green pig man that looks like one of Maleficent’s lackeys made flesh, and anyway, they end up in Jabba’s Pleasure Palace, like he’s Hedonism-Bot from Futurama. R2 plays his in-flight feature of Luke Skywalker offering the Droids to Jabba as collateral in exchange for a negotiation for Captain Solo, who is still a wall hanging out of carbonite.
Jabba’s Slave Leader thinks R2-D2 is a feisty one. You don’t know the half of it, Slave Leader. Boba Fett’s upstairs watching one of the slave girls dance. Oh. Er, uh, two slave girls dance. Uh, two slave girls dance, and then one gets incinerated or eaten or something. And then Chewbacca comes in, and Jabba wants C-3PO is asked to translate the bounty for Chewie, and the guy who somehow managed to capture Chewbacca (What is that guy, Jonathan from Buffy? He’s like, three feet tall! How’d he overpower Chewie?), anyway, he wants to get more money out of Jabba through the powers of persuasion found only in a thermal detonator, but he somehow capitulates. And Lando’s hiding in plain sight, watching everything! LANDO! YOU NEED TO GET THE BAND BACK TOGETHER!
OH WAIT I REMEMBER – the little guy who ‘overpowered’ Chewie is actually Leia in disguise, right? Isn’t that how that worked? Because we never see the dude’s face, and they’re wicked short. And he unfreezes Han! And I was totally right, it was totally Leia! And THAT’S how she becomes the slave! One of my questions finally answered!
Meanwhile, Han is recovering from the hibernation sickness, and he’s blind, and all I can think of is Rochester from Jane Eyre? Luckily, he gets thrown into the same cell as Chewie, so those hetero life partners are together.
Luke walks into Jabba’s palace, and THERE’S the bikini. Anyway, Luke wants Han and His Friends (dudes, Lando and the Droids is a WAY better name), and he’s studiously ignoring his crush just sitting there in a bit of twisted metal and half a curtain. Jabba tosses him into the pit, which apparently holds a giant, big, drooly sand crab type thing, and Luke does the ol’ Stick a Toothpick In The Crab’s Mouth So It Can’t Eat Him trick.
Doesn’t work. In that the toothpick gets broken like a … well, like a toothpick. But then Luke throws a rock at the garage door opener and it closes right down onto the Sand Crab’s head, killing it. Huzzah! And so much for using the Force, eh, Luke? In the confusion, Lando runs away. LANDO?!
Team!Jabba boards a pleasure cruise out to the Pits of Despair in the middle of Tatooine. Anyway, there’s this big fight scene where R2 totally had Luke’s lightsaber in a pocket the entire time, so he goes about slicing the entire mini-boat’s crew while Leia chokes the shit out of Jabba the Hutt. Big fight, yada yada, and then Luke jungle-vine-swings he and Leia onto the mini-boat while the big boat blows up, and he tells Lando, “Don’t forget the droids.”
No, Lando — never forget the Droids.
[Seriously, this is my new favorite head-canon. J.J. Abrams, I am *begging* you: I don’t care what other plots you bring up, but PLEASE: make Lando a lead guitarist with R2 and 3PO playing backup.]
Luke and R2-D2 head to the Dagobah system, to visit Yoda! Who is totally Zoot, by the way. Meanwhile, Emperor Palpatine lands on Death Star II — or, wherever Lord Vader happens to be. Vader wants to find Skywalker, but Palpatine tells Vader to hold his horses, because Skywalker’s going to show up anyway, and then they’ll turn him to the Dark Side. Because apparently Palpatine’s cookies are the best cookies?
YODA! Still feisty. I love that Muppet. The only way for Luke to become a Jedi is to confront Darth Vader. Luke wants to know if Darth Vader is his father, and Yoda very cutely tries to ignore the question. But Luke’s having none of it, and finally Yoda confesses. And there’s a lot of mumbling and have I mentioned my remote sucks ass so I can’t rewind to figure out what Yoda’s saying, but it doesn’t matter in the end because YOU GUYS — YODA DIES?! NO ONE TOLD ME YODA DIES!! LANDO NEEDS HIS SAX PLAYER!!
And then Luke has a vision of Obi-Wan Kenobi who explains the myth of Anakin. And can I just take a moment and say that I can TOTALLY see a resemblance between Alec Guiness and Ewan McGregor? Seriously! That is crazy. And one of the only good things to come out of the prequel trilogy. Obi-Wan also points Luke in the direction of Leia being his sister.
Han, Leia, and Lando and the Droids are discussing the plan to drop down onto Endor and dismantle the shield that is protecting the Death Star II. Han lets Lando pilot the Millennium Falcon, and he’s totally heartbroken. Oh man. I guess I forgot or never realized that the primary ‘ship in Star Wars is Han/Millennium Falcon? Much like how on Firefly it’s Mal/Serenity?
OO! That’s eerily prescient! Because I have disc one of Firefly as my second Netflix disc! I am like, totally awesome up in here!
“Fly casual”? Dear Lord, Han Solo is the best. The team manages to get past the Death Star II and lands on Endor. And here’s where we find out how much Alaina falls under the Ewok Line Theory.
They try and sneak up on a couple of Storm Troopers, but Han has extremely large feet and tips them off. So now Leia and Luke overtake some Hover-Jet-Skis (like Jet-Skis, but on air) and how come Disney World never made a ride out of that? This whole thing is like the chariot race from Ben-Hur meets Marty McFly.
Luke meets up with Han and the gang, and Han almost blows a gasket when he learns that Leia’s missing. Leia wakes up and tries to make nice with an Ewok. And … yeah, it’s pretty cute. Guess I’m 29! There’s tons of whistling going on while Leia is explaining the intricacies of a hat, and I totally expect to hear the Mockingjay noise from The Hunger Games. Rue! But instead she gets captured by Storm Troopers. Wait, strike that — not captured at all, because Ewoks are awesome!
Sidebar: I am ecstatic and extremely impressed that I have not needed to pause this movie. Not once.
Vader tells Palpatine that he knows his son is on Endor. Palpatine swirls around in his Voice judging chair and tells Vader that Luke will come to him, and then Vader can bring Luke to Palpatine. Looks like you’ve got everything all figured out there, Great Wrinkly.
Meanwhile, back on Endor, Han is super worried because there’s no trace of Leia. And then Chewie finds the decoy Ewok which puts them in a net trap, at which point R2 chainsaws them out, they fall, and then they get captured by Ewoks.
… Who worship C-3PO? Oh jeebus, that won’t end well, will it?
Baby Ewok! And also, they’re going to eat Han Solo. Ha ha.
Oh my God, 3PO’s such an ass. How did he get so far without realizing when to shut up and do what Luke says? Jesus H., dude!
Also, with her hair down, Leia looks the spitting image of a woodland princess. I don’t like it. She needs to be more kickass.
That night, 3PO gets the audience caught up with The Story Thus Far, only this time, it’s in Ewok. Luke sneaks out of the group hug atmosphere, and Leia follows him. After some jibberish about the Force, Luke tells Leia that he’s going to go up against Vader, and oh yeah, she’s his sister. They share what appears to be a sibling-esque kiss and then Luke runs off to find Vader, just as Han comes out and rears his jealous but wonderfully-tousled head.
Luke walks right into Vader’s clutches, and he is determined to find the ‘good’ in what used to be Anakin Skywalker. And there’s a very funny moment where Darth Vader literally shakes his fist at Luke when he tells him to never speak Anakin’s name.
Oh no … it’s 2:45 a.m., and I’m falling asleep, and there are still 40 minutes remaining. Oh shit.
THERE IT IS — THE ADMIRAL ACKBAR “IT’S A TRAP”! Totally just woke up for that. The Emperor makes Luke watch the reaming of General Calrissian, and keeps taunting Luke into turning to the dark side.
Okay … I tried really, really hard to stay awake, and look, unlike when I watched Phantom Menace, this is not the fault of shoddy writing and directing. This is a direct result of me being tired, and it being 3 a.m. I actually saved this post, and then kept watching, expecting to wake up in the … er, later today and find the scene where I was and take over from there, but something funny happened and I wanted to write it down because I know I’d forget. And now I’m awake again. I’m going to finish it!
So anyway, Luke is trying really really extra hard to not be overtaken by the Dark Side, and when he’s fighting Vader he kinda somersaults up to the catwalk above him, and he is relentless at calling Vader “Father” in an effort to try and return Anakin to the Good Side, and all I can think in my head is Vader being really pissed at him and going, “Get DOWN from there, you little shit!”
Oh, and also: I paused once. That’s a pretty damn good record if I do say so my damned self.
Han Solo plays a funny trick on the Assholes at the Shield Station, manages to lure them out and into a trap, and meanwhile, Vader riles Luke up about potentially turning Leia into a Dark Side Magnet that Luke goes apeshit and CUTS OFF VADER’S HAND, WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH YOU AND HANDS, LUCAS?!
Oh hey — Luke Skywalker? George … Lucas? There’s no way I’m the first person to get that, right?
The Emperor tries to kill Luke when he won’t join the Dark Side with the power of electricity. And Vader looks on, comfused.
And what happened then? Well, in Endor they say, that Lord Vader’s small heart grew three sizes that day. Because he picks up the Emperor with his one good hand and tosses him off the starship, saving his son.
As the ship goes down, Lucas does his first horrible thing in the series and turns Darth Vader into a scrawny white dude with no hair. Because he fell into a pit of lava and managed to survive.
As the remnants of the Death Star II explode across the sky, Leia finally tells Han that she is Luke’s sister, meaning all the “I love you’s” and “I know’s” are really and truly for Han.
That night, the Ewoks fulfill their destiny of burning a human, as Luke sends Anakin’s spirit to the sky. Or something equally poetic. I dunno. Tired, you guys. After Luke’s Funeral for One, there’s a lot of dancing with the annoying Ewok song (sorry, that is annoying. The Ewoks themselves are kind of cute, but this song … oy). Luke says goodbye to Obi-Wan, Yoda, and the First Anakin Skywalker, because I’m watching the original version on the bonus disc of the latest special edition that came out, so I don’t have to deal with any stupid-ass hologram of an older Hayden Christianson, because NO ONE should have to see that.
HEY YOU GUYS I TOTALLY FINISHED STAR WARS
Does this mean I can watch this and not be ironic about it anymore?
Here are my big takeaways from this endeavor:
1) Dear George Lucas. These movies were WAY BETTER when you limited yourself to helping out with the script and directing here and there. Lawrence Kasdan was your friend. Episodes IV, V, and VI were a frillion times better than I, II, and III, and that’s because you weren’t the one solely responsible for the final product. Look, dude, you are not the Coen Brothers. Let other people take — oh, wait, you are. Cool.
2) Dear J.J. Abrams. Don’t lose sight of the endgame halfway through Episode VII, okay? I have been with you since Alias, and what tends to happen with you is you have a great start to something, but your follow-through has been lacking. (Because yes, I am still pissed at you for Lauren Reed. Who isn’t? NO ONE. THAT’S WHO. LAUREN REED WAS AWFUL.) Keep on track, and maybe Episode VII won’t suck.
3) I do not have any idea who would win in a fight, Han Solo or Indiana Jones. Both bring guns to knife fights. Both have snarky rejoinders. One has a whip; the other has a Wookiee. I don’t know; that is way too close to call for me.
4) Leia, however, would kick Marion Ravenwood’s ass. And I say that as someone who still wants to be Marion Ravenwood when I grow up.
5) I think what I need to do at some point is just sit and have a Trilogy Time of my own. Now that I’ve watched them once (and have crossed them off my list!), I just need to power through all three as one big storytelling endeavor.
So. That’s done. Tune in Saturday morning (because I’m not going to get started until at least 10 p.m.) for when I give my friend possibly one of the greatest birthday presents I could ever think to give him: crossing his favorite movie off my list.