Week Six: #46 – Star Wars, Return of the Jedi

The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies


“See the films you love in a whole new way!”

If you read my Week One blog (and why wouldn’t you?) you know that there are other official Nitpickers out there.  One pair, who focus exclusively on the Star Wars movies, are T.A. Chafin and Polly Luttrull.  Their book, The Unauthorized Nitpicker’s Guide to the SW Saga, is chock-full of bloopers and errors.  They reportedly have seen the movies over 800 times.  (Like I say, they need to get outside more.)  So as I went into this review I kept their book handy, curious to see if I could possibly find anything they didn’t.  Now their book reports dozens of continuity errors and glitches that I missed–but I’ve only watched this movie with my nitpicking hat on one time. 

“Did you find anything they missed?”  Ha!  How about thirty-five separate continuity or production errors that didn’t make the Star Wars nitpicking book?  I’m not even counting plot holes like the robots walking all the way to Jabba’s palace.  I’m talking disappearing fighters, undisturbed sand, and a planet seen through Han Solo’s head!

“Why aren’t all of those here?”  Because you only see about a fifth of my full review in each week’s blog.  “Where are the other four-fifths going?”  Good question.  Stay tuned for the answer…


-0:04:08 One my fellow SW nerds missed: as the shot cuts from the Commander to Vader, suddenly the two are walking past rows of stormtroopers that weren’t there a moment ago!

-0:05:04 Is it that nice a day on Tatooine, with the desert and the double sun?  Why are the robots walking all the way to Jabba’s palace?  We now know Artoo has those nifty jets in his legs (oy, Lucas, hire a real writer!) but how is Threepio supposed to deal with the terrain when he can only step about five inches?  (I suppose the Rebellion is on a bit of a shoestring, and nobody could rent a landspeeder)

-0:11:11 Here a droid is turned upside-down while hot brands are applied to its feet.  It screams in a horrible robotic way.  So…for some reason, the designers of this metal object gave it a pain module?  Why is this thing screaming?  It’s a robot!  (Also, for some reason the designers made steam come out of the robot’s feet–in case it was ever captured and tortured, I suppose)

-0:14:42 The bounty hunter says “Yatay, yatay, yoto.”  Which according to the subtitles translates to “I have come for the bounty on this Wookiee.”  A minute later “Yoto, yoto” now means “I want 50,000.  No less.”  This language makes do with very few words!

-0:15:58 Boba Fett must be into accessorizing–and constantly changing his look.  At this moment, right after the bounty hunter pulls out the thermal detonator, Fett’s all anxious, raising his gun–and his helmet antenna is on the left side.  Twenty seconds ago he was flirting with a couple of Jabba hotties–and the antenna was on the right side!

-0:19:14 Han unfreezes from the carbonite and falls forward.  This has made me laugh every time I’ve seen this movie since the very first time.  The bounty hunter is Leia, who deeply and truly loves Han.  So why does she allow her loved one to fall smack to the floor?  She doesn’t even try to catch him!

-0:21:00 Long shot has Boba Fett’s antenna on the right side again.  Guy can’t make up his mind…

-0:27:40 This never bothered me before, but…with all his amazing Jedi power, Luke escapes the Rancor by throwing a skull at a button.  Kind of a letdown

-0:32:40 Famous one–Luke turns as he falls into the Sarlacc pit, grabbing the plank with one hand.  No, wait, the shot changes and he’s holding on with both hands!

-0:48:03 “Leia.  Leia is my sister!”  Indeed, and that makes the passionate kiss back on Hoth kinda nasty now, doesn’t it?  (Cue deep south banjo music)

-0:50:13 The Will Award: sure is inconvenient for the Imperials that the generator creating the shield around the Death Star is not located on the Death Star, but rather on the nearby moon of Endor.  (Seems like putting the shield generator inside the shield would be a good move–but these are the people that left a two-meter wide vent shaft leading straight to the heart of the original Death Star, aren’t they?)

-0:56:34 The shuttle tilts down towards the planet, as we look past our heroes through the front windscreen.  Strangely, the curve of the planet runs right through Solo’s head, as if his head were partially transparent.  (Couldn’t believe the SW nerds missed this one!)

-0:58:33 Leia apparently picks the speeder that was already raring to go–she hasn’t touched a switch and the bike is already moving!

-0:59:48 “Keep on that one, I’ll take these two!”  Luke flips on the brakes, but throws himself forward a second before the bike shoots backwards.  Jumped the gun just a bit, Mark Hamill did.

-1:14:14 Earlier in the forest, Threepio says, and I quote: “It’s against my programming to impersonate a deity.”  Now, when Luke tells Threepio to threaten the Ewoks with magic, the droid splutters for awhile but eventually complies.  Was he lying in the forest?  If it’s against his programming then it’s impossible, not just something he would prefer not to do.

-1:20:30 Leia, on being Luke’s sister: “I know.  Somehow…I’ve always known.”  Really?  Even when you two were making out on Hoth?

-1:41:49 What’s the worst possible job in the Empire?  The one they give to guys who refuse to quit boot camp, but are absolutely useless?  This one right here–standing inside the tunnel where the main cannon beam is fired!  What are those two doing besides absorbing a ton of radiation?

-1:53:20 Luke chops off Vader’s right hand, and Vader screams as if in pain.  Whuh?  There’s no blood, it looks like nothing but robotics were hurt, and if I remember stupid Star Wars III correctly, Anakin lost that whole arm long ago.  So what’s with the shout of pain?

-1:58:55 These Imperials don’t know a thing about warfare, as I keep discovering.  It turns out that the forward deflector shield on the Super Star Destroyer is located in a huge water-tower like device that is not protected by the field and is relatively easy to destroy!  This is the same problem the Death Star has!

-2:07:28 Oh, this makes me so mad.  And I’ll bet at least one other person joins me in my ire.  Luke looks out into the forest, and the ghosts of Yoda and Ben Kenobi look back, joined by…wait a minute!  That’s not the guy in the Darth Vader mask, that’s…Hayden Christiansen!  What a slap in the face to Sebastian Shaw, who Lucas unceremoniously removed from the film!  (And this raises a nit, too: Ben Kenobi’s ghost’s age is that of when he died, as is Yoda’s, wrinkles and all.  So why does Anakin’s ghost get to be twenty one?)

Enough with outer space–how about checking in with the last guy on Earth?  Join me for Will Smith and the creepy crawlers in I Am Legend, next week!

See you in seven…


3 Responses to “Week Six: #46 – Star Wars, Return of the Jedi”

  1. Luke Says:

    I with you: George shouldn’t have touched my beloved originals. I haven’t bothered purchasing the DVDs yet because of stupid changes like adding Mr. Christiansen.


  2. T A Chafin Says:

    Nice spotting. Of course, you were watching a version of the movie that had been released AFTER our book saw print and had changes added to it. And a number of your nitpicks are plot points, not errors.

    Also, we chose to ignore a number of items with which you have issue. For example, the droid screamed because the sensors in his feet were being overloaded and destroyed. You know, like when you burn your hand. This was pointed out specifically in the novel — we read the books as well — and therefore felt that it didn’t require mentioning.

    Still, you make some interesting points. We’ll be happy to address them in our next edition. Also, there will be a lot more background material as well, not just “lists.”

    Thanks for the plug.

    • movienitpicker Says:

      Wow! Thanks for your comment–I am honored that you read my blog! One of the reasons I have so many plot points is in an attempt to do something different with the genre–and hopefully get a book of my own published. What I have no intention of doing is taking away from your work! Thanks for reading…

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