The Star Wars Episode VI The Return of the Jedi Source Guide is in development.
One year after the events of The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader lands in the docking bay of the incomplete second Death Star, which the Empire designed to be more powerful than the first. He is greeted by Moff Tiaan Jerjerrod, but demands construction be put back on schedule in order to complete the Death Star on time. Jerjerrod argues that they need more men, but quickly agrees to double their efforts when he learns that the Emperor is coming.
Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker and company have arrived on Tatooine in an attempt to rescue their friend Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt’s desert palace.
First the droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, arrive with a holographic message from Skywalker asking Jabba to release Solo. In exchange the two droids are presented as gifts to the crime lord; Luke promises that both are hardworking and that they will serve him well, which Jabba agrees to silently. However, when the message finishes he states that there will be no bargain and that he won’t give up his “favorite decoration.” The two droids are then sent to their quarters, where EV-9D9 harshly barks at the two when they explain what they can do. 3PO is ordered to be Jabba’s interpreter, while R2 is tasked with working on the Khetanna.
That evening, the Max Rebo Band (led by Sy Snootles) entertains the Hutt’s guests. Jabba, engaged by the graceful gyrations of his collared slave girl Oola, starts tugging on her chain and commanding her to come to him on his throne. Oola fearfully resists him, and in annoyance, Jabba pushes a button on his throne, and Oola is dropped through a hidden trapdoor at the foot of his throne, into the pit of the Rancor monster, which immediately devours her.
Later, Princess Leia Organa (in the guise of bounty hunter Boushh) arrives with Chewbacca as her “prisoner” to collect part of the bounty Jabba sought years earlier when he put a price on Solo’s head. After much bargaining (including Leia threatening Jabba with a thermal detonator), Jabba settles on a deal, and has Chewbacca imprisoned.
That night, Leia releases Han Solo from his carbonite coffin, and after revealing her identity to him, she kisses him. As they prepare to escape, they are caught by Jabba and his minions. Ignoring Han’s pleas, Jabba has the captain thrown in prison with Chewbacca. Although Lando Calrissian (disguised as one of Jabba’s prison guards) tries to sneak off with Leia, Jabba stops them and orders a Gamorrean guard to bring Leia to him. Leia is forced to become Jabba’s newest slave girl, and chained to the dais as a trophy.
Later, Luke arrives at the palace. Jabba and most of his minions are asleep, but are awoken by Bib Fortuna (who, in trying to impede the Jedi’s entrance, is Force-tricked into welcoming him). Leia remains silent beside the Hutt, despite her rising hope at seeing Luke. Luke demands that Jabba release Han and his other friends, but Jabba refuses the young Jedi’s offer. Luke uses the Force to pull a nearby blaster and attempts to shoot Jabba, but the Hutt activates the trapdoor to protect himself, dropping the Jedi and an unfortunate guard into the Rancor pit.
After a battle with the Rancor (which devours the fallen guard), Luke ultimately kills the monster by crushing it under the gate of its compound, piercing its neck with the spikes at the bottom of the gate. He is then recaptured and brought up by Jabba’s minions. Jabba, furious, chokes Leia until she falls back on his belly, and orders the prisoners to be brought before him. Luke, Han, and Chewbacca are brought before Jabba, exchanging relief at each other’s safety as Leia struggles with Jabba to sit upright before him.
Using C-3PO as a translator, Jabba sentences Luke and his friends to be taken to the Dune Sea for termination (over a course of a thousand years) by the man-eating Sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon. Luke warns Jabba that he’s made his last mistake, at which the Hutt laughs in amusement.
En route, R2-D2 is tasked with serving drinks to Jabba’s guests, and the Max Rebo band plays music in the background. Jabba allows Leia to climb off his throne and watch her friends from a window; after a while, he gives a tug on her chain, playfully commanding her to come to him. Leia glares back at him, but as the chain is slack, she returns to watching, and Jabba chuckles. Bib Fortuna, seeing this, joins him on his throne.
Outside, Luke and his companions (with Lando, still in disguise) are being taken to the Pit of Carkoon on one of the land skiffs accompanying the Sail Barge. Han, still half-blinded from the side-effects of carbonization, is sure that they are all going to die, and Luke tries to reassure him of their ultimate safety, but Han is not easily convinced. Elsewhere in the Sail Barge, C-3PO literally runs into R2-D2 and knocks over the shorter droid’s drink tray. C-3PO laments their friends’ imminent deaths, but R2-D2 shows a kind of confidence, which C-3PO doesn’t see any reason for.
When the vehicles ultimately reach the Pit, Jabba has C-3PO announce the group’s deaths, but that he is willing to now listen to their pleas. Han calls Jabba names and tells him that he’ll not get any pleasure from their pleading, much to the Hutt’s amusement, and Luke offers a final chance for Jabba to free him and his friends or die. Jabba and his guests laugh off this last threat and order the execution to commence. Luke gets ushered off of a plank and into the Sarlacc, only to Force-flip up through the air and onto the skiff. Meanwhile, R2-D2 launches Luke’s recently built lightsaber from a hidden panel in his housing, and Luke catches it and begins to kill his captors. As Jabba furiously orders his bustling guards and minions to intervene, C-3PO gets knocked over. Leia looks around, ready to use her false submission to the Hutt to her advantage.
Boba Fett uses his jetpack to fly off of the Barge and land on the skiff as Luke is in the act of freeing Han and Chewbacca. Luke uses his lightsaber to cut Fett’s blaster in half, and Chewbacca pushes the bounty hunter onto the deck. Luke then jumps onto another of the accompanying skiffs to fight off the guards and minions there.
While fighting a guard, Lando accidentally falls off the side of the skiff, and although he manages to hold onto a wire, one of the Sarlacc’s tentacles begins to pull him to his death, and Han and Chewbacca have to carefully rescue him. Han accidentally activates Fett’s backpack when he turns around and smashes the butt of an axe against it. Fett subsequently flies out of control from the skiff, crashing against the hull of the Barge before falling into the Sarlacc’s open mouth, making it belch.
Aboard the Sail Barge, Leia smashes the controls for the Sail Barge’s interior lights, throwing it into darkness, and proceeds to strangle Jabba with her chain, killing him, Leia jumps off of the throne and has R2-D2 help break her chain, then heads for the stairs to the top surface of the Sail Barge. Meanwhile, Salacious B. Crumb attacks the fallen C-3PO, and R2-D2 uses the same device he’d freed Leia with to chase the lizard-monkey away. Reaching the surface, the droids jump off the edge of the Sail Barge and land in the Tatooinian sand.
Luke and Leia defeat the remaining guards on the Sail Barge, then Luke has Leia point the guns toward the heart of the vehicle. They prepare to swing from a loose cable on the Barge’s sails, and Luke discharges the guns, beginning to destroy the Barge. They swing to their rescue on the land skiff with Han, Lando, and Chewbacca, then use magnets to pick up the two droids from the sand. They all drive off just as the Sail Barge explodes.
Later, all of the crew (except for Luke and R2-D2) depart Tatooine for the rendezvous point near Sullust (mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back) where the Rebel Alliance is assembling, while Luke and R2-D2 (in their X-wing) head for Dagobah to fulfill a promise to Yoda made some time earlier.
On the Death Star, Emperor Palpatine arrives and praises Lord Vader on his efforts in the construction of the Death Star. He also senses that Vader craves the continuation of his search for his son, Luke. The old Sith Lord assures his apprentice that Luke will seek Vader out, that only together would the Sith be able to turn Luke to the dark side of the Force, and that everything was proceeding as Palpatine has foreseen.
Luke and R2-D2 arrive on Dagobah to find a terminally ill Yoda. Luke has returned to complete his Jedi training, but Yoda declares no further training is required. All that remains for Luke is to confront Vader. Yoda then reveals that Vader is indeed his father. The 900-year-old Jedi Master gives one last mention of wisdom to the young Jedi before he dies (and disappears in the way Ben Kenobi did in A New Hope, thereby becoming one with the Force).
As Luke approaches his X-wing, the spirit form of Obi-Wan confirms that Vader was once Anakin Skywalker, a former Jedi Knight who turned to the dark side of the Force. Kenobi also reveals that Luke has a twin sister, hidden from Luke at birth as protection from the Emperor. Luke senses that his sister is Leia. Kenobi warns Luke to bury his feelings, for they could in time “serve the Emperor.”
At the rendezvous point near Sullust, the Rebel Alliance gathers to reveal plans to attack the Death Star. As part of the plans, Luke, Leia, Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and a strike team must penetrate the deflector shield generator on the forest moon of Endor in order to deactivate the shield if the Rebel fleet is to attack the Death Star. However, Vader knows this because he could sense that his son was with them and allows them to land on the planet. Luke senses his father as well and begins to believe that he would endanger the mission by coming.
The strike team lands on Endor only to be discovered by Imperial scout troopers. A speeder bike chase ensues, only for Leia to be thrown off her speeder and knocked unconscious. Luke and Han discover Leia’s helmet, then they, with Chewbacca and the droids, try to find her. Leia is awakened by one of Endor’s forest creatures, an Ewok named Wicket W. Warrick. Suddenly, another scout trooper discovers Leia, but Wicket does away with the trooper before rescuing Leia.
Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and the droids, meanwhile, fall into a booby trap set by the Ewoks. R2-D2 cuts open the net setting them free, but the Ewok tribe discovers C-3PO and proclaims him to be their god. The droid’s Human and Wookiee friends are taken prisoner, and the Ewoks proclaim Han to be the main course in a banquet in C-3PO’s honor. Discovered by Leia, Luke then uses the Force to levitate C-3PO to show off his “great magic.” Convinced of the Rebels’ good intentions, the Ewoks set them free and later that evening make them “part of the tribe,” thereby agreeing to join the fight against the Empire. But Luke decides the time has come to leave Endor and face Darth Vader. Leia follows Luke out of the tribal gathering, whereupon he tells her that Vader is his father and she is his sister. Leia is utterly speechless and shocked, but accepts the truth. She is comforted by Han Solo.
Vader arrives in his shuttle on a docking bay, and Luke, having already surrendered to the Empire, talks with Vader in an attempt to bring the Sith Lord out of the dark side of the Force, but to no avail. The Empire takes Luke into custody for transportation to the Death Star. The next day, the Rebels attempt to locate the shield generator, and the Rebel fleet enters hyperspace from Sullust to prepare for the final attack. Luke and Vader finally enter the Death Star and confront the Emperor, who looks forward to completing Luke’s training and believes that while Vader would never turn from the dark side, neither would Luke. He also reveals that it was he who coordinated the Rebels finding the secret plans and locating the shield generator so that the Alliance can fall into a trap of Palpatine’s devising.
The Rebels enter the heart of the shield generator, only to be taken prisoner by the Imperial forces. The fleet emerges from hyperspace for the battle, but discovers the shield is still up. As they contemplate their options, the Imperial fleet, which they were led to believe was away, appears and an intense battle begins. Han and the strike team are led out of the bunker by the stormtroopers, but the droids and the Ewoks have already orchestrated the attack on the Empire, and another intense battle commences with the Rebels and Ewoks on one side, the Empire on another. The Emperor shows Luke the full power of the Death Star as the station, now fully operational, destroys one of the Alliance’s ships. Meanwhile, on Endor, the battle continues, with casualties (Rebel, stormtrooper, and Ewok) already mounting. Eventually, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca gain access to the bunker.
Back on the Death Star, Luke, with the encouragement of Darth Sidious, lashes out at him with his lightsaber, only to be deflected by Vader, and the final duel between father and son begins. As Luke climbs onto a balcony, Vader throws his lightsaber at his son. It misses Luke and knocks the balcony down, taking Luke with it. Vader stalks for a hidden Luke to let down his guard, while quietly sensing within his son’s mind that Luke has a sister. Vader threatens to turn her to the dark side if Luke will not, but Luke responds viciously in intense saber fighting, up to the point where Luke strikes off Vader’s right mechanical hand. Sidious encourages Luke to kill his father so the young Jedi can take Vader’s place at his side. But Luke controls his anger and throws his lightsaber aside. He declares himself to be a Jedi Knight as his father Anakin was before he turned over to the dark side and turned into Darth Vader.
Han, Leia, and Chewbacca escape from the bunker, just in time for its destruction, thus bringing down the shield. The Alliance is now free to attack the half-completed Death Star. On the Death Star, the enraged Emperor declares that if Luke will not turn to the dark side, he will be destroyed, and uses Force lightning against the young Jedi. He slowly increases the intensity of the lightning, torturing Luke. He then calls out to his father to help him. But as the Emperor prepares to deliver the killing bolts, Vader must make a choice, he looks at Luke and then the Emperor, conflicted whether to save his son or to continue serving his master.
Moved by his son’s cries for help, Vader lifts the Emperor into the air, carries him over and throws him into the Death Star’s reactor shaft, killing him. However, as he does this, the Emperor continues to shoot force lightning, which enters Vader’s organic remains, striking Vader’s life support system and his respirator, mortally wounding him. The Millennium Falcon and its remaining Rebel fighters enter the bowels of the Death Star, and some fighters engage in a point-blank attack on the Super Star Destroyer, causing the Imperial flagship’s destruction.
On the Death Star, in the middle of an evacuation, Luke has carried his father’s ravaged body to the foot of an Imperial shuttle’s ramp. Vader stops Luke and asks him to remove his mask so that he can look upon the face of his son, just for once, with his “own eyes.”
Luke removes the mask and sees the face of his father, Anakin Skywalker. Anakin’s face is revealed to have turned pale white from not seeing natural sunlight in 23 years, and his head retains some scars after 23 years from his first duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi (as depicted in Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith).
Anakin tells Luke that his son was right—he did have good left in him, and asks him to tell his sister the same. With that, Anakin Skywalker, the redeemed Jedi Knight, smiles at his son and dies peacefully. Luke bows his head in sadness.
The Millennium Falcon and its strike force (in the last Rebel fighter inside) reach the Death Star’s main reactor and fire concussion missiles and proton torpedoes at it, causing it to collapse. Luke escapes the Death Star with his father’s body and flies out through the flames, and so do Wedge Antilles and the Millennium Falcon before the Death Star explodes.
Seeing the destruction from above, Han senses Leia’s love for Luke. He offers to step aside when Luke arrives, but she tells Han that Luke is her brother. After a moment of shock and/or surprise, Han and Leia engage in a passionate kiss.
That evening, Luke sets a funeral pyre ablaze to cremate the body of his father, still encased in the armor of Darth Vader. His father’s organic body had become one with the Force. Through the midst of the rising flames and fireworks, Rebel fighters streak across the sky in celebration of one of the greatest Rebel victories in the Galactic Civil War.
The planets Bespin, Tatooine, Naboo, and Coruscant also celebrate. Luke is reunited with his companions Han, Lando, the droids, Chewbacca, the surviving Rebel fleet, the Ewoks, and his sister Leia. Luke then catches sight of the spirit ghosts of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and a redeemed Anakin Skywalker. Luke is pleased: not only is he now a Jedi, but his father is once again on the light side of the Force. Leia takes Luke by the hand, and they rejoin their friends and colleagues as the spirit ghosts of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin continue to look on with pride “the end”.