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Decades after its release, Return of the Jedi It still draws a large crowd.

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Decades after its release, Return of the Jedi It still draws a large crowd.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Forty years ago this week, the third was highly anticipated. Star Wars movie, Return of the Jedihit the big screen.

That time in 1983. All things considered Host Susan Stamberg asked a young boy to give us a preview of the film. And be warned, you’re about to read some spoilers for a 40-year-old movie that, let’s be honest, you should have seen by now.

This was part of the child’s assessment:

Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are about to enter the dungeon. And just as he’s about to walk the plank, R2D2 fires a laser gun at his head and Han catches him. and blew up the whole ship. And the big guy – the boss of the monsters – well, he choked to death.

Actually, it wasn’t his review so true right. Luke Skywalker wielded a lightsaber that R2D2 fired.

How did the fight with Jabbana and the villains go?


At the time, however, these plot details rated NPR listeners. So the next day, Stamberg apologized on air.

Well, sort of. Here is what she said:

Well, the comic book was brilliant, but we definitely hurt last night. We talked so much that we changed our program before rebroadcasting it to the West Coast, which means you West Coast listeners won’t know what I’m talking about. But enough of you on the East Coast have called to say we want to publicly apologize to everyone.

Calls – There were more phone calls on this than we’ve had in the midst of this very heated Middle East dispute.

Calls – There were more phone calls than Richard Gere would get if he listed his number.

And all because last night All things consideredWe let a six-and-a-half-year-old tell us everything – and I mean everything – about Return of the Jedi. “You gave away the plot,” you said. “I’ve been waiting for that movie for three years, and now you’ve ruined it. How can you do something like this?”

Well, we’re sorry. We repent, and we learn. You often get angry when we misrepresent our reality. This time we got it right, and you are angry.

It’s the difference between fact and fiction, and the power of fantasy in our lives—the need for mystery, for fantastical stories that pour themselves out about us. Of course, if they’re awesome enough—this might be an excuse, but I doubt it—if they’re awesome enough, even if we’ve seen them a hundred times, they’ll come to us anew.

That’s why people go back to see it. Romeo and Juliet Repeatedly or The Wizard of Oz. We know how they will end, but we get great joy and nourishment from seeing them go to that end. Two years from now, here’s how we feel about it. Return of the Jedi. But for now, we’re sorry—we won’t do it again. Listen, I saw the new one Superman IIIAnd Superman and Lois Lane…

Forty years later, Stamberg was right. We are still watching. Return of the Jedi And still love.

Return of the Jedi Theater advertisement in 1982.