Special Edition Changes in 'Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi'

As with the other Star Wars Special Editions, a number of minor changes were made to the Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Special Edition in 1997, such as adding a more dramatic explosion for the Death Star and fixing continuity errors (like TIE fighters mysteriously disappearing). Most of the changes in Return of the Jedi don't have much of an impact on the movie, but the change to the celebration scene serves to create a more epic and satisfactory conclusion to the six Star Wars films.

Jabba's Palace

The major change to the scene in Jabba's Palace was the music. A longer musical number, "Jedi Rocks," replaces the original "Lapti Nek," and the Twi'lek dancer Oola is backed up by several more dancers. The change in music doesn't really affect the scene one way or another, although some fans might prefer the original track.

The shot of Oola in the Rancor Pit, however, takes away some of the mystery, possibly lessening the impact of the later scene where Luke faces the Rancor. Some redundant subtitles were added to Jabba's dialogue, which is a bit distracting considering C-3PO's translation; these were removed in the 2004 DVD releases.

Pit of Carkoon

In the original Return of the Jedi, the Pit of Carkoon, ​the nesting place of the Sarlacc, was merely a nondescript pit with spiny sides and a few tentacles. To enhance the sense of danger, more tentacles and a beaklike mouth were added to the Sarlacc for the Special Edition. While it's certainly more interesting than the original, the change toes the line between effective and over-the-top.

In addition, a CGI rope was added tying Han to the skiff as he leans over the side, and Han's line when he's attempting to rescue Lando has been changed from "It's all right, trust me!" to "It's all right, I can see a lot better!" Both of these changes make more sense in context, but don't really have much of an effect on the scene overall.

Ewok Celebration

In the Special Edition, the Ewok celebration song ("Yub Nub") is replaced with a new piece, "Victory Celebration." Rather than focusing on the Rebels and their new Ewok allies, we instead see images of different planets across the galaxy celebrating the downfall of the Empire.

This change enhances the ending, making the Rebel victory seem more monumental; the Empire's defeat affects not only a small band of Rebels, but the future of the whole galaxy. In addition, the Jedi Temple is shown intact in the DVD release, signifying that, although the Jedi Order was nearly destroyed, it will be rebuilt and live on.