Story

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) returns to his home planet to rescue Han Solo (Harrison Ford) from the monstrous Jabba the Hut (voice of Larry Ward). Han Solo is still frozen in carbonite. Meanwhile Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Lando (Billy Dee Williams) also mount their own rescue plan. The three eventually manage to escape with Han and destroy Jabba’s palace in the process. They then learn that the Empire has almost completed a new Death Star, far worse than the first. They travel to Endor to demolish the shield that protects the Death Star so that they can destroy it.

On Endor they encounter the Ewoks, furry little creatures that live like primitive tribesmen. At first, the Ewoks are defensive towards the newcomers, but then they join with the rebels to destroy the Empire’s Death Star. Meanwhile Luke, now almost a fully fledged Jedi Knight, has to confront his father to complete his mission.

Themes

Good versus evil

Violence

This movie has some violence. For example:

  • There are many space ship battle scenes and laser gun battles.
  • Jabba has a harem of female dancers. When he tires of one, a trapdoor opens and she falls to her death.
  • Jabba picks up one of the guards and eats him.
  • Luke is put in a cell with a rancor, a huge dinosaur-type creature that slobbers and tries to grab Luke with its claws. Luke gets away by ramming a rod down its throat and shutting the spiked gate on its head, killing it.
  • Princess Leia strangles Jabba with the chain.
  • Princess Leia is hit during a battle, but the Ewoks rescue her.
  • The Ewoks capture Han and Luke, tie them up and carry them on poles. They are going to roast Han and Luke over a fire before C-3P0 rescues the two men.
  • Darth Vader and Luke battle with lasers. Luke cuts off Darth Vader’s arm.
  • Darth Vader picks the Emperor up, crushes him and throws him to his death.

Content that might disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:

  • Jabba the Hut is a huge reptilian creature with a tongue that continually flicks out around his mouth.
  • There are many aliens in Jabba’s palace. They are strange shapes and sizes and look very scary. Jabba’s guards are fierce-looking beasts with long fangs and axes.
  • The Emperor is hooded in black and has an evil, wrinkled, pale face and red eyes.
  • Darth Vader is a very menacing character. He is covered in a black armoured suit with a helmet that covers his face. He breathes very heavily, which makes him sound scary.
  • Chewbacca is led away with a chain around his neck.
  • Princess Leia is chained to Jabba’s lap and forced to wear a bikini.
  • Yoda dies peacefully in his sleep.
  • One of the Ewoks is killed during a battle.
  • Luke is in a lot of pain after being shocked by electrical impulses and cries out to his father, Darth Vader, to help him.
  • Luke removes Darth Vader’s mask and sees his face, which is quite swollen and pasty and has red eyes.
  • Darth Vader dies, and Luke burns him on a funeral pyre. 

From 8-13

In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example, some children could be disturbed by the final battle between the Emperor, Luke and Darth Vader. It is quite intense and involves philosophical questions about good and evil. 

Over 13

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie. 

Sexual references

None of concern 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern 

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie includes some mild partial nudity. For example, Jabba the Hut’s harem is made up of scantily clad women. 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

None of concern 

Ideas to discuss with your children

Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi is the final episode of the original Star Wars trilogy. It reaches its conclusion in an intense climactic battle between good and evil forces. The Star Wars trilogy is classic science fiction and a great adventure series for older children and teenagers.

The main message from this movie is that evil can’t be overcome by evil but can be overcome by good.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include patience, self-discipline, courage, self-sacrifice and the ability to see good in what appears to be evil.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as their beliefs about good and evil and whether you can justify the use of force to defend beliefs and oppose evil.