Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is far from a perfect movie, but when it was released 30 years ago this week (on May 25, 1983), it offered a thoroughly satisfying end to the movie trilogy that had changed pop culture forever. Or so moviegoers thought.
Turns out, we had only just seen the beginning of a flood of Star Wars spinoffs that would fill the coffers of Lucasfilm in the gaps in the narrative that viewers hadn’t even known were there. There would be TV movies, cartoon series, the controversial prequel trilogy, and the endless stream of re-tinkered re-releases of the original trilogy with new or replaced scenes that weren’t necessarily an improvement. “George Lucas raped my childhood!” became a popular lament among fans who felt that all the Star Wars product after Jedi diluted the purity, impact, and memories of the original trilogy.
In retrospect, we should have seen it coming. There were signs throughout Jedi, both in the production stage and in what ended up on screen, that Lucas was running out of ideas—or was eager to childproof his fantasy universe to make it cuter, more adorable, and more tyke-friendly. If only some wise counsel–say, the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi–could have come to him after the victory celebration on the forest moon of Endor that concludes Jedi and told him he’d made a genuine pop culture treasure with the first trilogy and should quit the Star Wars universe while he was ahead. Here are 10 arguments that the ethereal sage might have made for wrapping up the saga for good after Return of the Jedi.