Fun with Franchises: Star Wars Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), Part II — “Exposition Is Always Made Better When Spoken by a Giant Lobster”
Today we continue with another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Part II.
In case you don’t know how this works — a while back, I decided to rank my favorite Disney movies and rank my favorite James Bond movies. And the Disney ones were mostly straight synopses and not too much fun, but when I got to Bond, I enlisted the help of my friend Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!), who knows everything about the Bond franchise that I do not, for those articles, and along the way, learned how to have fun with it. And, by the end of the Bond articles, we were having so much fun that I said, “Man, we have to do this again with other stuff.” Because I spent about a straight month and a half putting together those articles. That’s how much time and effort actually goes into something like that. And not once did it feel like work. It was so much fun that I knew, as long as we were doing it for comedy purposes and able to riff off of each other — we could do pretty much any film and it would work.
And very quickly, the first ones you come up with are the major franchises, because those are not only the most fun, but also the most universally known. Everyone’s gonna understand all the jokes we make (well… most of them. Some of them might be limited to three people) about them. So that’s what we’re doing. And if you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them.
And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Star Wars franchise, and today is the second part of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi:
We begin Part II with some space buffalo:
A herd of banthas searching for food. Which I’m assuming must be sand, cause what the fuck else is there?
Holy shit. Love this shot.
This guy knows how to travel in style. The whole fucking entourage is on the road! We gone mobile up in this bitch. Space Escalades and everything. And they brought the band. Yes.
And R2’s serving drinks. That’s awesome.
“I think my eyes are getting better. Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur.”
“There’s nothing to see. I used to live here, you know.”
“You’re gonna die here, you know. Convenient.”
“Just stick close to Chewie and Lando. I’ll take care of everything.”
Shouldn’t he be saying, “Lando? When did he get here?” And shouldn’t the guards be on alert as well? This seems like kind of a major thing to gloss over.
Hey, baby, ever get yo pussy licked by a Hutt?”
Oh, wait… that’s even better.
Lotta Asian people in this one.
Yeah, pirate ship! Walking the plank!
Just like Christopher Walken’s blimp with the trick stairs from A View to a Kill, this is something I just love. Cause you have to imagine them buying this and checking the box on the options list that says “Plank.”
Why haven’t they ever done that? Showed an evil person putting something like that together?
You actually sort of get something like that in Scarface, where he’s telling the car guy to put in all that stuff. But that woud be great, to see someone build something for this kind of stuff. Or like a hideout. That’s more fascinating me than most of these movies are.
Pro tip: Never refer to your girlfriend’s vagina as a Sarlacc Pit.
No matter how accurate the comparison is.
I can’t imagine this creature being able to sustain itself without people throwing each other in.
(Just like Lana Turner.)
Oh, turns out it also has roots that suck up nutrients, too.
I like that bikini.
I like that ship.
This is great. Jabba makes 3PO announce over the PA system (which – I love that he has a PA system. I love the add-ons to this thing) that he’s willing to listen to them beg for mercy before he kills them if they like.
I want a movie with just those three on the left.
Han goes off an a bunch of expletives (essentially).
Look at that reaction.
Again, this is how you know he’s become a badass. Dude’s facing certain death and is like, “This is your last chance, man. Let us go, or I’m gonna kill you.”
Jabba just laughs like a motherfucker at this.
You gotta admit, from Jabba’s perspective, this is pretty hilarious. He has no reason to suspect anything is going to go wrong, and in fact, Luke’s continued threats just make the whole episode more enjoyable for him. I was sad to see him go, cause he is just a businessslug.
GODDAMNIT GEORGE STOP MOVING SHIT IN FRONT OF THE FRAME!!!
Look at that motherfucker on the left.
You think we got it by now? I don’t think we’re sure who this is. I think we need to be shown thirty or forty more times.
This is some Robin Hood shit.
That wasn’t an obvious nod at all. How does nobody notice that?
I’m wondering how R2 got that drink tray off his head.
With some Sergio Leone close-ups.
Nice one, Greg Louganis.
This looks like a fucking Mentos commercial.
It’s totally badass when this goes down because we never really see Luke using the lightsaber. It’s an event. When he busts it out, you’re like, “Oh, shit just got REAL!”
He also just fucking DESTROYS those first couple of guys. That’s a hell of a swing he’s got there.
That’s so great. Boba Fett’s just got a jet pack.
Boba Fett’s got a jet pack! I always thought that shit was so fucking cool. I mean seriously, who doesn’t want a jet pack? I guess this is more a rocket pack. But either way.
I like that he just steps forward and it works. It turns on when he wants it to turn on.
Also… I just realized this. That little door over there is presumably where the stairs are to go down into the cabin…
How the fuck did they get Jabba onto this thing?
Right, there’s no way you don’t cut something off like that.
Lotta tally ho’s in this franchise.
Luke deflects two lasers here, and it’s the first time you see it in the trilogy. It reminds you of when Luke first practiced with the lightsaber in the Millennium Falcon back in the day. This is exciting stuff. They deflect lasers with their lightsabers so incredibly often in the new trilogy, I’ve forgotten more than half of the instances. Cause honestly, it’s not important in the new trilogy; they’ve removed the tension and the wonder of being able to deflect a fucking laser beam with your sword, which is INCREDIBLE. And to young Anakin and Obi-Wan, that’s just this side of breathing. Yawn.
There’s something so glorious about this shot.
Kind of upset they had to kill Boba Fett that way. He was kind of a badass, and to see him go out like that is a real bitch move.
Plus – why does the Sarlacc Pit burp?
I’m talking on a fundamental level and on a logic level. Fundamentally – why? Why do you need that? To make six year olds laugh? And logically – wouldn’t that burp be for some schmuck who got eaten a thousand years ago and is just now being digested?
Logic, motherfucker, do you use it?
I like that Han takes out Boba Fett accidentally. I hate, however, that Boba Fett gets eaten and then followed by a ceremonious burp from the sarlacc. First of all, you don’t burp like that – someone should also tell the frog thing outside Jabba’s palace from before, cause that’s the second instant burp joke we’ve had in about fifteen minutes. Second, Boba Fett was a badass character who didn’t deserve to go out like that, with a silly joke.
Actually, he gets out of the sarlacc eventually, and after a strange turn of events, winds up in there AGAIN. The second time around, he kills it and gets out but almost dies. Poor bastard. He ends up doing a lot of good shit and being kind of a good guy (or an actual good guy) later in extended universe.
“Just when I thought I was out…”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, though, right?
Choke that motherfucker out.
Wow, she’s really putting her back into it.
(… out of context screenshots.)
This whole thing feels completely unnecessary. I don’t get why she has to kill him.
That looks like a Goomba down there on that dinghy.
(Also, jesus, the Sarlacc Pit is getting one hell of a meal today.)
Look at that face.
That’s what you get for being a fat piece of shit and leaving chains all over the place. And yet, there’s dozens of people around and nobody notices because it’s just a little dark.
P.S. Your bowels empty when you die, so… this shouldn’t have been so clean.
LOOK AT ALL THE TALLY HOS!
Well that was convenient.
If a guy came two down on the other side, he’d have shot him in the fucking face.
Convenient time to be able to start seeing again, huh, Han?
Now that’s how you destroy a motherfucker.
I have to comment on this, cause the squeal Lando makes when the tentacle gets his leg has always been one of my favorite sound bites in film. I actually have to link to it so you can hear the sound, if you don’t know what I’m talking about. I love this sound so much, it makes me laugh every time I hear it and I have no idea why.
“It’s all right, I can see a lot better now.”
I sincerely hope that isn’t the case, otherwise fuck you, Lucas.
If he’s just bullshitting him to make him feel better… all right.
Jesus, 3PO. This is why we can’t have nice things!
R2D2 with the taser!
Goddamn, son, look at that outfit.
Out of context screenshots.
Wow. Even the droids are Tally ho!”-ing.
How you gonna be okay with your sister dressing like that?
What if that rope broke right now?
She’s still thinking about it.
Well that’s a convenient thing to have.
And just…okay, blow everything up. I assume we’re getting the insurance money for this.
And they’re splitting up again. Because apparently we can’t have them all doing shit together anymore.
Luke’s going to Dagobah. He has a “promise to keep.” To an old friend.
Luke looks a lot less cool now that he’s back in his dork uniform.
Also, I never got the “I owe you one” thing. Cause I think before, Luke owed Han like TWO, and now Han owes Luke one?
George Lucas is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter.
Not sure Yoda counts as an old friend. You kinda just met him. Doubt you even know his favorite color is or what his preferred pizza toppings are (cornflower; pep&mush).
But he is an old friend. So it works.
What I don’t understand is — didn’t he fulfill that promise between movies? How do you randomly become Jedi master out of nowhere if you didn’t even complete your training? You’re telling me you went from shitty Jedi to good Jedi out of nowhere, without any training, just because your hand was cut off?
Or are you doing this shit in stages? One semester was over, and you went on break to go rescue Han, and now you’re going back for the spring term.
This thing looks like a Picasso painting. Look at all those different shades.
I guess this is really… 50 shades of gray.
There are a LOT of TIE fighters flying by. It’s almost a Soviet level display of power. And then there are hundreds of troops lined up, all for the Emperor to show up. It all feels like an old school military parade, or the kind that still happen in North Korea.
Great shot, though.
Ooh.. red. Haven’t seen much red introduced in this franchise.
This is how The Undertaker comes out.
He got a butthole in his chin.
Vader says the Death Star is gonna be done on time. (Probably broke a bunch of labor regulations to get that shit done.) Palpatine knows he wants to go find Luke. But he tells him to chill. Luke’s gonna come find him.
I love how all the older Jedi and Sith just know shit. And we never question it because they’re presumed wiser. Vader has the same skills as Palpatine, but apparently Palpatine has unlocked some higher level of Force interpretation or something.
Some scientology shit.
I usually hate walk and talks, but this one is great because they’re walking through the rows of thousands of troops standing at attention. And they’re just going on about how they’re going to turn this guy to the Dark Side of the Force! The guy walking with them looks nervous and uncomfortable the entire time, for good reason. I guess now, pretty much everyone knows that they’re evil, but they just go with it cause who’s gonna say shit?
I love that these guys just have to stand in formation. What if, during a pause during the Vader/Palpatine discussion, you just heard one of the guys way in the distance let out a giant fart?
I’m not a huge fan of fart related humor, but what would you think would happen? How awkward would that moment be in real life? You have to figure it would echo in the suit, right?
Would other Stormtroopers laugh? Would they get in trouble for laughing? Would Vader and Palpatine acknowledge it? Would they try to find out who it was? Would they just let it go?
I’m more interested in the social dynamics of a situation like that more than the fart humor of it all.
Palpatine’s got a great creepy laugh, though. So that’s a plus.
Nothing like a wide shot for the maniacal laughter.
Back to Yoda.
Luke learned how to land this time.
(Also, somehow his space GPS led him right to the exact spot from last time.)
Yoda is old, and sick, and dying. Naturally.
Nah, you don’t look old. You’re only 900 this year. I have to point out that Yoda and his background is one thing that Lucas has done right. He has no early backstory before leaving his home planet, and we don’t even know where that is. What’s more, we have no information on what species he is or what their story is. There have been a few more in extended universe, but no information has been provided. Lucas is very strict about restricting the Yoda story, which is strange given his willingness to ruin everything else. I don’t know why he chose to keep this under wraps, but…cool.
Just wait until they make that spinoff movie over the next five years.
Well, he’s sold the franchise, so even if they do, it won’t be his fault. He can die knowing that he did at least this part of his job right.
Also, your comment up there makes me hope we eventually get around to The Mummy franchise in these articles just so I can make a shitload of “under wraps” puns.
Wraps, wrappers, wrapping paper, rapping mummies — oh I got material, people.
Also, how funny would it be if mummies sold out and got wrapped up in sponsored wraps? Just covered in all corporate wrappers. Looking like a NASCAR car or some shit. The Coke Zero Mummy.
He tells Luke he’s dying.
“Master Yoda, you can’t die.”
Might be the number one seed in the Eastern bracket for dumbest lines ever to be in a movie.
(Which – let’s make that bracket, please.)
And the Yoda’s like, “Nah, I’m awesome, but I’m not that awesome. I’ll be dead soon.”
You gotta love a person who knows when they’re gonna die despite having lived over 800 years.
So basically the rest of the scene is Luke being all like, “But I need to finish my training,” and Yoda being like, “But your training’s already done.”
Of course he’s not a Jedi – no, that would be too easy – but he has all he needs to go all the way.
But Yoda won’t tell him what that is.
(Bout tree fiddy.)
Oh, he does tell him what it is. Sort of.
Vader. He has to confront Vader.
This bit about him having to confront Vader to become a Jedi is a bit heavy. It makes it sound like any Jedi in training has to fight a Sith to complete their training, which is actually a HUGE deal and never happens. It’s like a sixteen year old trying to get their driver’s license, and the instructor saying, “Okay, so you passed the written test, and you did great on the driving test…but before we give you the license, you have to get first place at Le Mans.” The other thing is that once Yoda’s dead, Luke IS the Jedi Order, which means he kinda gets to decide whether or not he’s a Jedi Knight or not.
See, to me, it comes off as, “In order to be a real Jedi, you have to deal with this Daddy shit you have.”
Jedis – able to confront all things except Daddy issues.
Jedis and strippers are remarkably similar in that respect.
“You want me to give you a lapdance.”
“I want you to give me a lapdance.”
“You’re going to give me a good tip.”
“I’m going to give you a good tip.”
“And stop asking how to spell my name.”
“But I don’t understand how Bambi can have both an ‘i’ and a ‘y’ in it.”
He looks like he’s jerking off underneath that blanket.
Oh, and Yoda says that Vader actually is Luke’s father.
This whole scene was always hilarious to me because he keeps saying ‘Luke.’ As if there are a bunch of other people in the room, or Luke was distracted or something. No, he’s still listening intently and staring right at you. You can skip the name bit.
He also tells him about the Dark Side and shit and to avoid it. You know the drill.
He also dies before he can tell Luke Leia is his sister.
“The job is done. The muppet’s dead.”
Having just walked around and stuff, he sure fades quickly.
How come stacks of money aren’t floating around him now?
He also tries acting like a bitch again. Of course.
“Motherfucker, didn’t you learn anything?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
I also love how Obi-Wan doesn’t even deny that he lied. He’s like, “I told you the truth…. From a certain point of view. My point of view. The point of view that’s kinda right if you only look at it from that angle.”
Now Obi-Wan’s getting into semantics. And Luke is decidedly anti-semantic.
I love how his hairpiece bangs get longer with each movie.
Obi-Wan says he took it upon himself to train Anakin as a Jedi, which – no he didn’t. Of course, when I point out inconsistencies like these, I’m not taking issue with what’s said here, I’m objecting to how Lucas then switched things around for the new trilogy.
“I can’t do it, Ben.”
I really fucking hate this guy.
“Do you know what nemesis means?”
“I can’t kill my father.”
Reaction shots are the key to comedy.
He also finds out Leia is his sister.
So… Yoda can’t do it, but a ghost doing it is just fine?
Also, where is Yoda right now? Shouldn’t he be right there? Or is there some sort of ghost waiting period?
I have mixed feelings about Obi-Wan’s last line here. He tells Luke to bury his feelings, because while they’re helpful, they also make it easier for the Dark Side to manipulate him. This is all true, and it sets up the film’s final conflict in which Luke basically says, “Serenity now,” and doesn’t let the Emperor troll him. But it also exemplifies everything I hate about the Jedi and part of what sucks about them in the new trilogy. They’re trained to be emotionless and boring.
These ships keep getting bigger. With all the effort going into the Death Star 2, I want to know who is putting out these bigger ships.
I do actually want you to show me all the blueprints.
It’s Haliburton, isn’t it?
Come on, you can tell me.
Any time people are gathered in a room like this, you know a briefing is going to happen.
Basically we replace briefings with council meetings in these trilogies.
Another woman! That’s three (human-wise).
This chick giving the briefing (getting a bit of a lesbian vibe) goes all stony-faced to tell us that many Bothan spies died to get the intel on the new Death Star. Whatever. This shit happens, and it’s usually a good enough story to have its own movie. Like a group of spies that go and infiltrate shit, or sneak around doing espionage and all that. Like the Star Wars equivalent of Guns of Navarone.
It’s that kind of shit that I want them to pull from for movies. That’s the kind of stuff that makes the best movies.
Or like, with comic books. Isn’t it better when they pull from tiny ass details that sound awesome that nobody talks about? Because it’s usually mentioned in like, a paragraph, and then you can take what’s there and expand on it and make it better by filling in the details.
That movie would be better than most other Star Wars movies they can come up with, I bet.
“Bitch, how dare you take my spotlight. I’m the token woman in this franchise!”
This briefing was okay, I guess. I like stuff with holograms. The best part is after Lando gets introduced, and Han’s like, “PFFT! ASSHOLE! Uhh, I mean…yeah.”
Ackbar spouts some exposition. But who cares, because he’s a giant lobster squid.
Exposition is always made better when spoken by a giant lobster.
She looks like she wants to sit on his face something fierce.
Not this shit again. HOW DO YOU NOT LEARN FROM YOUR PREVIOUS DESIGN FLAW?!!!
They did. This is a different weakness. Last time they went for the throat — this time, they’re taking out the legs. The exhaust ports from before are now increased in number but decreased to only millimeters across; much smaller than a womprat. Also, this weakness that they found this time around is also presumably only accessible because the second Death Star is only partially completed. For that matter, I like that this one isn’t done yet. At least it’s something different to look at.
Yeah, I wasn’t listening to what they said. I was going on the visual.
That makes sense.
“Good luck. You’re gonna need it.”
That motherfucker looks like he came out of The Shining. Or the game Manhunt. Remember that game? Man, that was some fucked up shit.
He’s so British.
Also, how is that not a fake beard? You look like you have pubes on your face.
He also says they stole an Imperial ship and are gonna use it to get onto Endor and deactivate the shield that’s protecting the Death Star.
“I wonder who they found to pull that off.”
“General Solo, is your strike team assembled?”
(Also, why does she look like she wants to fuck everybody?)
Han says he’s ready, but he doesn’t have a crew.
(I love how they try to have their cake and eat it too, with the whole, “Good luck, you’re going to need it,” line, which is something the old Han would say, and then this new Han, who is jumping up for Imperial missions and shit. When you realize he was 100% sincere about that line, you realize just how far this character has fallen.)
Eww… why does Chewie have a pedophile moustache?
Also, I love that he says he doesn’t have a crew when he has at least one person (or… thing) he knows will come with him, and an entire fleet of Rebel soldiers who will clearly do anything for the cause.
“General – count me in.”
Oh god, not this scene.
“I’m with you too.”
Fuck you, George!
Choosing people for this dangerous mission seems kind of like asking friends to help you move. Nobody really wants to do it, but you figure it’ll be fun cause you’re all buddies and maybe there’ll be pizza or something.
I’d be more likely to go on a dangerous mission if it included people I liked. Because if you’re gonna die, at least go out making sarcastic comments to people until the very end.
But seriously… did they set this all up for that stupid ass moment? Obviously he’s gonna have a crew with him. He’s not gonna do the shit by himself. Why was this necessary?
“What is it?”
“Ask me again sometime.”
Good call. She did kiss you on the mouth at least twice.
Ask him again sometime? Or now?
Luke basically is a Magic 8-Ball.
Is that one of the Boys from Brazil back there?
(They actually are gonna lose him right after the bunker scene.)
But — the band’s back together.
You know what’s funny? This movie is basically my two least favorite types of movies in one – the movie where people get faith and the movie where people get nationalistic. Nothing pisses me off more than the western or whatever where the main character is like, “Oh you with your religious bullshit,” the whole time, and by the end is a complete convert. I said that back in New Hope with Han saying, “May the Force be with you.” I can’t stand that shit, as I can’t stand anything with an overt religious message. And then similarly, I hate those plots that are straight out of the 40s, where the person doesn’t want to choose sides and then ends up being all, “Oh yeah, I’m gonna help my country!” You kinda get it in Casablanca, but that had a lot more going on. But you know what I’m talking about. That shit. Solo wanted nothing to do with this and was a smuggler and now is a fucking general in the Rebellion and supports the Force completely? What the fuck?
AND they made him shoot first! Lucas doesn’t even want to give him his one moment of badassness in the franchise!
And here’s Han letting Lando use his ship. “I want you to take her.” For the cause.
The Pussification of Han Solo. That’s what this franchise is.
And people might take umbrage with that, but look at it from my point of view – I’m looking at this as a western. And nobody likes the gunfighter when he’s all like, “I’m gonna put down my guns and get married, and oh yeah, law and order!” Fuck no! We want you to be the dude who shoots people and doesn’t give a fuck about anything except a moral code. Ambivalence makes you better. Be a smuggler. Stop being a stooge for the Rebellion.
You go get married when the fucking job is done.
Also – I love how they had to put this in there because people would never be okay with a black man flying the Millennium Falcon unless Han was adamant about Lando taking it. Lando even has to say, “I know what she means to you,” and Han is like, “I know, but I want you to take her.”
Just in case Lando gets pulled over by the police, we can be sure he didn’t steal it.
Also, when was it decided that Jedis only wear robes? Luke sort of wears his X-wing suit after Jabba’s place, but otherwise, he’s in robes for this entire movie. Which is the official Jedi uniform. I wonder why that is. Seems like they’re a bit flow-y for someone wielding a light saber. Lots of potential for burning shit off. I get the whole zen/monk look and all, but, functionally – not really the best choice.
And does that mean Luke never goes back to regular clothes again? Is that just his outfit from now on? Will we not see him wear a nice cravat again?
Why not a cravat, Luke?
He wore a robe on the way into Jabba’s palace, but that was more of a cloak. He took it off and had regular clothes under it. The Jedi wear straight up ROBES that are your whole outfit. Also, don’t forget that this poncho he’s wearing is a Rebel thing. They all have the camo ones later once they arrive on Endor.
But why not a cravat?
Han’s got a funny feeling. Like he’s never gonna see the Falcon again.
This was a heartfelt moment. Han’s relationship with the Falcon is sort of more interesting than his relationship with Leia, so him offering her up to Lando for the mission is pretty charged. And then he’s staring at it from the cockpit of the shuttle. It’s sort of touching. Some people have that feeling about their cars.
…when you let a black person drive away in one?
You know Han’s calling his insurance agency right now. I bet his agent’s name is Furman, too.
This shit always looks good.
That ship looks like a handgun.
Can’t get enough of this partially constructed Death Star.
And these surface shots.
This is what it looks like when you’re flying over the midwest. Only without the tall shit.
What are those 360 stations for?
That would be an awesome way to play a game. Or be a DJ.
So those things can go to light speed. And why didn’t anyone chase them when they did it in the last movie, then?
I’m confused. When who jumped to light speed in the last movie? The Falcon? You have to remember that jumping to light speed is a lot like apparating — once you’re gone, it’s nearly impossible to figure out what route they’ve taken. Even if we assume that they can only move in a straight line, even a fraction of a degree off at light speed could set you millions of miles off target when you exit hyperspace. I don’t think it’s like, “Oh, they went thattaway, punch it!” That’s like watching someone else shoot a gun, and you then attempting to hit their bullet hundreds of yards away based solely on the general direction they were aiming.
That’s kind of a deus ex machina. But it makes sense.
This is why I have people. Because otherwise, I’m just spouting shit to spout shit.
This shot basically just throws all the stuff I like into a single frame… and it’s very unpleasant.
Wes Anderson did this shot so much better.
But they’re all nervous since they think the codes they got won’t work out.
This is great. Vader’s like, “What is this ship? Where are they going?”
I like that these guys have their own little alcove.
“Do they have the right code?”
“It was an older code, but it checks out.”
Nice image. Love all the gray.
This scene is basically, “They’re not going for it….I TOLD you it was gonna work!”
So Vader lets them through, even though he knows.
Gotta love people walking into a trap.
Except when it has teddy bears.
This is where we’ll END PART II. Because this is where the movie gets shitty.
– – – – – – – – – –
Tomorrow is Part III, when the movie gets shitty.
(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)