Return Of The Jedi Director’s Son Stands Up For His Father’s Work

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It’s strange to think that Return of the Jedi was once widely regard as the worst cinematic release of the Star Wars franchise. While the film may not boast as distinguished a reputation as either of the Original Trilogy’s previous two installments, you’d be hard-pressed to find a fan these days who would rank it behind any of the prequel episodes, while The Last Jedi remains a touchy topic whose mere mention can spark heated spats online.

Nonetheless, director Richard Marquand came under fire from fans for what some viewed as a disappointing finale for the series. Marquand’s son James, however, thinks that his father’s film got a bad rap, and speaking to the BBC, he makes the case that Richard deserved more recognition for the work he put into this hugely profitable flick.

“When I think back to my dad’s involvement, I’m massively proud of him. I do think he delivered. His role was was to deliver a film on time and on budget and get performances out of the actors,” Marquand shared. “When it came out it was the number one grossing film of all time and it’s still probably quite high on the list now, so job done.”

Not only did Richard Marquand’s movie draw ire from certain corners of the fandom, but some have also speculated that his role in the project was heavily limited, with George Lucas being the true helmsman of Return. It’s a characterization that James heavily disputes, maintaining that Richard’s contributions were more important than many viewers would think.

“He was the director, he did all the directing,” Marquand shared with the BBC. “Lucas was a presence as you would expect – he created this empire so it was always understood he would be a presence. There were specific things that my dad was brought into the project to do, mainly working with the actors.”

But while James didn’t much care for the criticism that Return of the Jedi received, he also acknowledges that today’s releases are under higher levels of scrutiny thanks in part to technological advances.

“I guess the Star Wars saga is owned by the world and with social media everyone’s an expert.”

That being said, the show must go on, and so Star Wars: Episode IX will be hitting theaters on December 20th, 2019, at which point you can expect forums and comment sections to be abuzz with viewers fighting tooth and claw over the film’s merits.

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