In a final battle for the freedom of the galaxy, Luke must come face to face with the dark side in order to turn and save Darth Vader while Han, Leia, Lando, and Chewbacca lead an alliance of rebels and ewoks.
The high-energy, special-effects-laden conclusion to George Lucas's ambitious Star Wars trilogy delivers the final confrontation between Luke Skywalker (a more confident and mature Mark Hamill) and his nemesis-father, Darth Vader (David Prowse, voice of James Earl Jones), as the rebel alliance makes its last stand against the evil Empire. The film opens with an impressive set piece in the cave of the monstrous Jabba the Hut, who holds both Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) for his decadent pleasure until Skywalker comes to the rescue. The final battle pits an enormous armada of rebel ships against the rebuilt Death Star, the planet-killing weapon of the first film, while guerrilla forces battle Empire soldiers on the planet below with the help of a cuddly army of pint-sized, teddy-bear-like creatures known as Ewoks (Lucas's one concession to merchandising) and Skywalker confronts Vader and the emperor on the Deathstar. Director Richard Marquand invests the tale with plenty of humor and a vigorous sense of adventure without losing the seriousness of Skywalker's mission. The special edition adds, among other effects, more creatures and a bouncy song-and-dance number to the Jabba the Hut scenes, and an extended celebration that literally encompasses the galaxy at the film's jubilant conclusion. --Sean Axmaker