A new Jedi is born

Hayley Langdon finishes her first experience with the original “Star Wars” trilogy.


Chris Milas/THE CHIMES

Hayley Langdon, Writer

I have finally reached the point in my life where I can say I have seen all the “Star Wars” movies, and let me just say, it is a pretty good feeling.


Looking back on my journey through a galaxy that existed a long time ago and far, far away, I have decided “The Empire Strikes Back” is second to “Return of the Jedi,” which is my favorite only by a margin due to its final moments.

I am a sucker for backstories, which probably explains why, despite how cheesy they are, I still love the prequel trilogy. As painful as it is to watch, following Anakin’s journey in Jedi training captivates me. It always reminded me of “The Great Gatsby” in that both stories explore men who, in their attempts to secure the loves of their lives, ultimately lose them. The prequels made me Team Anakin and this movie increased my team spirit for sure, because — spoiler alert — Anakin shows up in the end.

Aside from the immense amount of feelings I experienced in the movie’s final moments between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, I loved this movie for other reasons as well.


First, I finally saw ewoks. Even though I wanted to see them in “A New Hope” and had to wait two more movies before they made their debut, it was definitely worth it. I cannot really think of anything that measures up in comparison to seeing what are essentially giant plush toys wreak havoc on their foes or be devoted monks with their misguided worship of C-3PO. My favorite moments with the ewoks would have to be story time with C-3PO when one of the baby ewoks became frightened at the mention of Vader’s name and imitated his breathing. Another favorite scene was when the ewoks ambushed the Empire’s team sent to attack Han, Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2.

Second, seeing Luke come into his own as a Jedi was so satisfying. I can only imagine how the fans who had to wait years in between movies felt when they saw him use mind control for the first time. Of course, that was nothing compared to the sting operation Luke led with Leia, Lando and R2 to free Han from Jabba the Hutt. In my first article in this series, I admitted I felt a connection to R2 and after his stint in Jabba’s palace, I am even more convinced of this.


Still, all of that paled in comparison to Vader’s actions at the end. It made me happy to see him go into “papa bear” mode and save his son. As if that was not enough, the Jedi burial he received as well as him appearing to Luke as Anakin alongside Obi-Wan and Yoda was too much for me. It was him dying as himself, not Vader, and as a member of Team Anakin, I was all sorts of happy.

When I finished “Return of the Jedi” I wondered what I should do now that I had seen all the film. The only logical conclusion I could come to was to buy a ticket to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

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