The debate has gone on for years. Which Star Wars was better? To the majority of the population, the answer is Empire Strikes Back. As a fan of the original three, it’s a great movie but Return of the Jedi still ranks as the best.
Empire Strikes Back was a revenge story. In A New Hope, the Rebel Alliance was just getting their feet wet but the story was more about the relationship between Luke and Obie-Wan. We knew there was something special about Luke, but we never got a chance to see what would make him so special in the later movies. A New Hope was just us meeting that special person in your life at a bar and exchanging numbers. Empire Strikes Back was what happened after you made that call.
Empire Strikes Back was action all the way through and I get why people can claim this as their favorite. Luke was in full training mode, the Empire strutted their power and Darth Vader showed how powerful the Darkside of the Force is. But even with one of the most epic face-offs between good and evil it still fell short.
Return of the Jedi was balanced, it brought the entire trilogy together. It wasn’t as much action as Empire Strikes Back but the storyline was perfect. Luke finally became a Jedi, accepted that Vader was his father and set out on a mission to confront him. Han Solo and crew had one job and that was to destroy the base but in the process, we met a set of characters that have gone down in movie history. The Ewoks were cute and dangerous at the same time. When they tried to light Solo and his team on fire that was pure comedy. As cute and funny as there were, the Ewoks were warriors. If not for their help, no telling what the final outcome would have been.
The fight between Vader and Luke in Empire Strikes Back was just unfair. It was a bully beating on a kid that had one day of boxing lessons. He’s learning but not quite where he needs to be yet. However, in Return of the Jedi, Luke was a more formidable foe. The kid with a million and one questions was now the no-nonsense Jedi that was there to either turn his father or kill him. What ensued was way better than their first battle. Luke was scared that time around, this one was personal. In the end, Vader proved his love to Luke by killing the Emperor.
Trying to choose between the two was hard as they both have qualities that can claim either title as the best. But, this much we can say. No Star Wars before or after them has come close to claiming the title as the best film. What was done in the earlier films have tried but cannot be duplicated. The action was more intense, the villains were actually bad guys with no sense of remorse. The movies were so great you were torn between hating and loving Vader.
Empire Strikes Back was epic as the Empire got their revenge on the Rebellion but in Return of the Jedi, the Rebellion dealt the final blow to the franchise.