Gender Roles - Women
Gender Roles - Men
Gender Roles - Women: 4.5 Stars
Return of the Jedi brings back the Leia that we remember from the first film. She is first and foremost a fighter, dedicating her skills and passion to the work of the Rebel Alliance. She is not only part of the mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hut, but also volunteers for the dangerous trip to Endor. In many ways, Leia appear to be less of a leader and more of a foot soldier in Return of the Jedi, but it's still encouraging to see her invited back into the action, rather than simply watching and worrying from the sidelines.
Gender Roles - Men: 4 Stars
Han Solo is a bit more subdued in this film. Perhaps because he's been humbled by his experience as Jabba's prisoner or perhaps because his love for Leia has finally changed him. But whatever the reason, this Han Solo is less arrogant and competitive and is more focused on the strength and safety of his team. Han even comes across as a touch vulnerable or insecure at times, and the unexpected change makes him a far warmer and relatable character.
Luke Skywalker, on the other hand, appears to have finally found the strength and confidence he needs to be a true Jedi warrior. His new skills, however, don't change his true nature. From beginning to end, Luke remains true to the light side of the force, resorting to hostilities only when negotiation and other methods have failed. And when it comes time to confront Darth Vader and the Emperor, Luke puts his life on the line in a brave attempt to save his father.
The Star Wars trilogy creates an engaging universe in which power alone does not make you a hero. No matter how skilled or proficient Luke has become in using the force, it is only through controlling his anger and hatred that he can truly defeat his enemies. Few films have such an effective tool for pitting the power of love against the power of hate, and championing the idea that love, compassion and forgiveness are the stronger magic.
Plot: 3 Stars
Return of the Jedi, more than any of the others, is Luke's movie. He is the quintessential hero while Leia and the others fall into a more fragmented support role. Leia still has some minor opportunities to contribute to overall mission - she murders Jabba the Hut and takes out more than a few Storm Troopers during the battle on Endor. And although we never get to see Leia grow into the sort of unforgettable hero that Luke has become, we ultimately learn that she has the same capacity to learn the ways of the Jedi. It is more than a little unfortunate that the trilogy comes to an end just as Leia is stumbling into her own story and her own chance at true heroism and glory.
Room for Improvement:
Self-Esteem and Body Image
Self-Esteem and Body Image: 3 Stars
Leia's bold character remains essentially the same in Return of the Jedi, despite the iconic scene where she finds herself wearing little more than a gold bikini and chained to Jabba the Hut. Obviously this scene creates some tension between the smart, capable woman that we know Leia to be and the powerless sex object that she's been turned into. But it's worth remembering that Leia eventually wraps that chain around Jabba's neck and strangles him to death. For most of the remaining scenes, Leia is dressed in a helmet and camouflage as she takes on storm troopers in the forests of Endor - regardless of how audiences remember her. Leia's memorable figure in that gold bikini will always be a very difficult standard for women to live up to, but there's a lot more to Leia than this iconic costume - and men and women would do well to keep that in mind.
Character Development: 3 Stars
Return of the Jedi brings us a little closer to Leia's unknown history. She shares some brief memories of her mother with Luke and ultimately learns the truth about her relationship to Darth Vader and the ancient Jedi religion. Unfortunately, Leia's awakening is immediately overshadowed by Luke's intention to confront Darth Vader, and the urgency of the mission to take out the Empire's new Death Star. Leia isn't given any time to process or react to the news of her true identity - and to make matters worse, she finds herself caught up in Han's sudden insecurities over her relationship with Luke. Sadly, what might have been a tense, dramatic and memorable character transformation is turned into little more than a quick plot point and a trite romantic miscommunication. The revelation is still an intriguing piece of the story that adds some real dimension to Leia's character, even if it isn't given the time or attention that it deserves.
Luke's control of his powers have grown, and with his mastery of the force he is able to stage a daring rescue to free Han Solo from Jabba the Hut. The Rebel Alliance soon learns that the Empire is constructing a second Death Star and must take action to destroy it before it becomes operational. As Han and Leia work to disable the Death Star's protective shield, Luke confronts Darth Vader for the last time in a brave attempt to turn him back to the light.
Kelly is a labor law