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ROTJ: The Heroic Quest

             Return of the Jedi is a fantasy film which beautifully highlights the three stages of the romantic quest. The perilous journey, the crucial struggle, and the exaltation of the hero are the center points of the movie. Return of the Jedi is much more romance-based than its two predecessors, and the hero's quest is the key feature of the film. Although it is not a stand alone movie, Return of the Jedi nonetheless possesses all three stages of the heroic quest, and they are all presented with the power and meaning of a stand alone film. The entire film revolves around the hero's quest; each sequence can be linked to one of the three stages. Therefore, the romantic quest is the focal point throughout the entire film.
             The perilous journey that the hero must undertake is the rescue of Han Solo from the evil crime lord, Jabba the Hutt. It can be argued that all the events leading up to Han's escape merely build up the meaning of his escape by the hands of the hero, Luke Skywalker. Because others fail, Luke's success is seen as more meaningful. This build up begins with the delivery of the two droids, R2-D2 and C-3P0, to Jabba's service. Also, the palace is built up as a formidable place right from the beginning. From the moment the droids enter the massive blackness which lies inside the giant metal door, it is clear that Jabba's palace lies through a portal; it is in itself a new and unique place. The failure of Princess Leia and Chewbacca's plan builds up the difficulty of this perilous quest even more. It is now obvious that rescuing Han is no small feat. When Luke arrives, he is brimming with confidence, obviously a change man. He has already experienced his epiphany in A New Hope; therefore his quest is already underway. Although it was seem as though Luke is not in a position to make threats, he still decides to do so. Instead of being a meek, innocent farm boy, it is now obvious that he is fully immersed in his quest, well on his way to completing the first stage.

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