ISSUE DATE: May 23, 1983
Filmgoers who demand total suspense should now avert their eyes and wait patiently in line Wednesday, May 25, when Return of the Jedi, the third of the Star Wars epics, opens in 950 theaters across the U.S. and Canada. Those who think they have already guessed the answers may read on, secure in the knowledge that the real surprises of the movie will not be unveiled in the pages that follow. So get ready for the final picture in George Lucas’ marvelous rocket-propelled fairy tale and prepare your eyes for a constellation of special effects, a galaxy of monsters and a small world inhabited by fierce and furry Teddy bears.
It seems almost inevitable that Return of the Jedi will be one of this summer’s blockbusters. (Other strong entries, including Superman III, a computer thriller called WarGames and The Twilight Zone, based on the old television series, have hopeful studios predicting that this summer’s receipts may break last year’s $1.2 billion record.) Star Wars, the first in the series (1977), has taken in $524 million at box offices around the world, while The Empire Strikes Back, the second in the saga (1980), has grossed $365 million worldwide. And Empire, as Lucas himself points out, was not an upbeat picture: it had an ending that left the bad guys in charge, and the good guys on the run−or, in poor Han Solo’s case, on ice.
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