Return of the Jedi

Something I haven’t really thought about before: the opening of Return of the Jedi gives away very little to the inexperienced viewer.

If you’ve seen Empire (and ANH) you get exciting glimpses of our heroes, if you haven’t it’s bewildering:

We cut to night: the bomb-wielding alien sneaks through the throne room and brings the statue to life. Then it turns out the alien is a human woman. The statue asks who she is. “Someone who loves you,” she says, instead of actually answering the question. She kisses the statue.

As alien as Jabba and his retinue appear, our heroes appear very much to be villains, none moreso then black-clad, force-choking Luke. Even knowing he was the good guy (he *is* the good guy, right?) I always felt really sorry for the Rancor’s caretaker :(

I’ve never forgotten the neat little narrative trick that the opening of Return of the Jedi plays, by dressing its heroes as the villains in narrative as well as costume.