Return of the Jedi: New Ending

image Here's something that's causing serious Star Wars fans to roll their eyes in disgust. The rumor going around is that in the upcoming DVD release of the Star Wars series, George Lucas has altered the ending of Return of the Jedi (Episode VI) so that Hayden Christensen has replaced Sebastian Shaw in the final scene that shows the ghosts of Darth Vader, Yoda, and Obi wan Kenobi standing together. As some have pointed out, this doesn't make sense because why would Darth Vader's ghost be young, while the ghosts of Yoda and Obi wan are both old? Nevertheless, there's photographic evidence to back up the rumor, as well as a film clip hosted over at If it's a hoax, someone has put a bit of effort into manufacturing these altered scenes.


Posted on Tue Aug 03, 2004


I just watched the "new and improved" Return of the Jedi and I didn't mind the new celebration scenes and such, but I hated just hated that they put Hayden Christianson as a spirit.

It doesn't even make sense. Obi Wan didn't all of a sudden become young again in his ghost, so why did Anikin? They should have kept the original scene. That was so stupid.
Posted by Kathy  on  Sun Apr 13, 2008  at  09:15 PM
I don't really find the change to be that big of a deal. Honestly if the Jedi can make their spirits into blue see though "ghosts" then why couldn't they make themselves look like their image of themselves? If you want to argue that Obi Wan and Yoda would then make themselves look younger then you are quite honestly just thinking about it way too much. It's Star Wars for pete's sake you can put too much thought into trying to find every little flaw in a sci-fi movie.
Posted by Washington Irving  on  Sun Apr 13, 2008  at  09:29 PM
I just saw the ending of "Return of the Jedi" and saw the new young Anakin in the last scene instead of the old guy. I was sooooooooooo upset. I was so upset I basically renounced Star Wars as my favorite movie, except it was much more then a movie to me. Much much more.

Darth Vadar basically changed the outcome, he is responsible for ending the evil by throwing the emperor over and destroying him. He took the pain of the energy from the emperor for Luke. This LAST extremely powerful act of good to me changed him back to good, and thus a Jedi. This means his image of his older self like the origional older scene was right.

Also it's good to have a fitting father image look at you, a kind and gentle face finally happy to be out of a suit and at peace with his friends. The last image luke saw was an older man when he lifted the mask off, i'm sure luke would want to feel comforted by that man he rescued not a 20 year old kid who looks like he should be in a boy band.

To me, you don't change a movie especially if there is not thought put into the change. Movies are supposed to be made, and then ended. Not made and changed constantly, as those changed make it a new movie, and the old movie you liked no longer exists. The new generations will see the new movies and never understand how good the origionals were. I guess in the future we will see all our old movies remade or edited to suit the need for companies making money.
Posted by John  on  Sun Apr 13, 2008  at  10:26 PM
I watched it on Spike TV last weekend and the ending was changed, I didn't think that was needed, because the new Star Wars episodes showed us who Darth Vader was. They shouldn't have changed the ending. It didn't make sense.
Posted by Cherice  on  Thu Apr 17, 2008  at  01:04 PM
If they want to add "originally deleted" scenes or create additional new ones that mesh with the story line, so be it. BUT NEVER, EVER change an original scene. Period. When I saw the end of Jedi, my heart sank to the bottom of my stomach.
Posted by wingsfan  on  Thu Apr 17, 2008  at  09:42 PM
The new ending for Return Of The Jedi sucks for these reasons-

1. A young, boyish-looking Anakin (Christenson) replaces the more appropriate, older looking one (Shaw) in the Jedi ghost shot
2. Shots of other cities like Theed and Coruscant are added. These shots are totally out of context and take the focus away from the rebel team on Endor
3. Most egregious change: the Ewok victory song is removed!

I was stunned when I realized the Ewok song was edited out. It was a great song. It was upbeat and it had an exciting crescendo that segued perfectly into the Star Wars fanfare that singles the end of the movie and the beginning of the credits. The new melody is nowhere near as exciting.

Posted by Apex  on  Sat Apr 26, 2008  at  12:45 AM
oops i meant signals not singles. heh.
Posted by Apex  on  Sat Apr 26, 2008  at  12:47 AM
I think it it is wonderful that they chose to bring Anakin back as he was before he became Darth Veda. I just wish the would have chosen to add Padme as well into the mix. She is afterall the sole reason why Anakin became Darth Veda and I think it would have brought a happy ending to their love that was taken away from them and give all of 'fans" a happy ever after.
Posted by S  on  Thu May 01, 2008  at  03:27 PM
George Lucas = $ellout.

Not a good director.

Posted by eric g  on  Mon Jul 07, 2008  at  11:02 PM
but...but...they replaced the classic image with the "new" anakin...sorry but sebastian shaw will always be my image of the "good" darth vader
Posted by Jared  on  Sat Aug 30, 2008  at  09:32 AM
This was so stupid. Anakin turned back to the light side at the end, for cripes' sake! If this is supposed to be the "good Anakin" that "died" when he became Darth Vader, then where the heck was he earlier? No matter how you cut it, Anakin and Darth Vader are the same person at different points in the same lifetime. They do not have two seperate souls, because that makes no sense. George Lucas was just feeling like an idiot so he decided he needed to inject Hayden Christensen into the original trilogy to try and sew things together with the prequels better. And he failed.
Posted by Timstuff  on  Tue Sep 02, 2008  at  08:41 PM
I can't beleive I'm writing this. My brother is a Star Wars fanatic (normal/but he gets emotional)--he has the 1983 VHS original store bought tape of Return of the Jedi and has shown me it and it has Hayden Christianson in the ending. I did not believe my brother until he sat me down and showed me the VHS he bought over twenty years ago, and, he has the recent DVD set and they both have the same ending. My question, was Hayden born back then, was he three years old? How is this possible. My brother is freaking me out and I'm not even into Star Wars, but now I need someone to see the ORIGINAL VHS tape and Hayden is in it--someone please explain to me how this is done or how was it done??? Help! Hasn't anyone else noticed this? So what's going ON?!
Posted by Morgan-Eve  on  Wed Sep 17, 2008  at  09:51 AM
It sounds like someone has done an elaborate prank of some sort. It's possible that someone took the full-frame edition of the DVD and ripped the shot of Christensen onto the VHS tape as a less-than-funny practical joke. It's a shame that they had to deface an original ROTJ VHS just for a cheap laugh!
Posted by Timsuff  on  Wed Sep 17, 2008  at  09:59 AM
I think some of the changes were good in this release and some were bad. I love how the everything fits so well even though the trilogies were made so many years apart.

The only 2 real problems/questions that there were for me were these, but I have also solved/answered them and am satisfied:

1. Obiwan kept saying that Yoda trianed him. I agree with the person above that he was trained as a youngling by Yoda. I also think that even though Obiwan was pretty much ready to become a Jedi Master after Qui-Gon was killed he still needed some further training and got it from Yoda since Qui-Gon prematurley died. He was edgy when he was younger and probably especially edgy and rambunctious since he saw his master die, and had some problems controlling his feelings and whatnot for a while. Also at the end of Episode III didn't Yoda say he needed to train Obiwan to speak be able to speak to the dead and his old master Qui-Gon while he gaurded the boy (luke). I know that Obiwan in Episode V sounded like he was talking about his early training but still.

2. Leia talking about how she remembered her mother. The way she talks seems to me like she's describing the force. Not that she actually remembers her mother, but that she remembers her through the force, can feel her through the force.

I hope these "answers" satisfy some people.
Posted by *WARS  on  Sun Oct 26, 2008  at  06:22 PM
Posted by Doesn't Matter  on  Sun Nov 09, 2008  at  10:55 AM
If ghosting is a technique, why would Darth Vader confuse his son and appear in his younger form? Luke doesn't know him as anything but aged-- that's the man that saved him, that's the man he had touching words with before he died, that's all he knows. Being younger, wouldn't Luke be like 'huh?' he doesn't have the same knowledge we the audience have.

To me, another poor afterthought on Lucas' part. It's obvious to me he keeps changing his mind as he goes along. He made Darth aged for a reason, had he thought out the fact that Darth would be 40, then he would have gotten a younger actor. Obviously he hadn't thought that through yet. Remember, he also cast Shaw for a reason, and that's because originally he was going for the fact that being scarred and evil made you look... not great. Old and decrepit like. It's been hinted as much in the other official publications.

As for the reasons that Anakin's soul is frozen in time, and he appears as he was at that time, I think is invalid. He physically looked old, and he actually doesn't go back to his old self but turns good -again- while old --, and looking the way he does. Lets not forget that 'young' (Hayden Christensen) Anakin is never *truly* good nor evil for a long time. His transition to the dark side started *before* he gets rolled over in lava and all of that and put in the suit. When he killed 'younglings' was he more good or more evil? He was not Darth Vader yet, either. Therefore, when was his soul frozen to the time where he was 'good'? It makes no sense. Lucas changed it but never seriously thought it through. He turns good, at the end, redeemed by his son, and it makes sense that the man he looks like then (even if unnaturally aged), should carry on to the vision Luke sees. Simply because Lucas is a) insane and b) wishy washy with his own creations doesn't mean we should take his word as law. 'Because he intended it like that' is not true, he had the means to cast a younger actor, but didn't. So he just changed his mind. Had Da Vinci changed his mind and painted a pink beret on the Mona Lisa's head suddenly, would everyone say 'well he made her so it's not ruined, he wanted it that way?' psh.

Anyway, I think anyone who liked Episode III probably likes the changes, and anyone who doesn't, probably doesn't. I'm of the latter persuasion, so I hate them. Especially the Ewok song. And I'm only in my 20s, so I'm not an old fuddy duddy. In my opinion, 'The Greatest Page In the Universe' has the best review on Episode 3 up, ever.
Posted by Dee  on  Sat May 16, 2009  at  11:36 AM
When I saw this new ending I was a little disheartened, because I could swear I saw Obi-wan holding a Session Lager in the original. Fortunately, I always keep VHS copies of all my favorite movies fastforwarded to the ending and sure enough, if you look in the left hand corner of the screen just as the Ewok is drumming the stormtrooper helmets, you'll actually see a crinkly old man hand using a light sabre to open a beer.

Also, they removed the Ewok song "Chub-chub chubbity chub" which is just a travesty. The Ewok happen to be a very rich and culturally diverse culture.

But seriously, that ending was fucking awkward. I mean they totally removed the part where Han and Lando were bouncing up and down and hugging. Great movies just have to have gay and boisterous hugging, take for example LOTR. So what the hell?

Lastly I would like to say, that replacing the old Anakin with the young Anakin makes as much sense as spanking a tiger with a crucible, you just don't do it!
Posted by Johnny Tremens  on  Sat Jul 04, 2009  at  11:10 PM
I think about the way other great movies have ended, and think changing the Anakins was like changing Rick or Louis at the end of 'Casablanca.' You would cheapen the whole thing. With 'Return of the Jedi,' they did just that.
Posted by John Vincent  on  Sun Jul 05, 2009  at  05:31 PM
"I Was pleasantly suprised to see the new ending
to Return of the Jedi. Hayden looks great
in that roll, and Whatever George wants with
his screenplay is Etched in stone. I look foreward to more characters and movies from the
great one, "George Lucas,"
Posted by Jason Jack  on  Thu Aug 13, 2009  at  01:14 AM
He did this because he has way too much time on his hands trying to recycle his old stuff to make more $$$ and is addicted to making unnecessary changes to compensate for his huge reduction in creative ability compared to when he was younger. For a more detailed analysis of this, see south park, season 12 episode 8, "The China Probrem".
Posted by Kirkr  on  Wed Sep 09, 2009  at  11:54 AM
The whole point if the story is that Anakin is the chosen one, and that he will bring balance to the force. He only achieves this when he destroys the emperor. So, lucas is saying that the chosen one was actually 2 different people? That makes no sense. Lucas must have been high as a kite on something when he came up with the idea to put Hayden in RotJ.
Posted by SWfan  on  Wed Sep 09, 2009  at  01:00 PM
If you analyze the series, it becomes more and more apparent that Luke is actually the chosen one, and Anakin was actually the catalyst for conceiving him, not the chosen one himself, meaning that the prophecy was misinterpreted by the Jedi Order. Either way though, it's retarded for Lucas to try and make us believe Anakin and Vader are two different people, when it was clearly Anakin who died in Luke's arms, not Vader. When Anakin died he looked like Sebastian Shaw, so that is who Luke should see!
Posted by Timstuff  on  Wed Sep 09, 2009  at  06:41 PM
I agree it's possible Luke is the right chosen one, but I always enjoyed the idea that the Jedi's thought that Anakin bringing "balance" meant that he would eradicate the dark side people and leave only the light side people. Not sure how they figured that would be a balance 😊. How he ends up eliminating basically all of both sides over the course of his life seems to fit the prophecy nicely.
Posted by SWfan  on  Thu Sep 10, 2009  at  01:40 AM
I have to say I liked the ending because my favorite of all of them is Episode 3. For the story of Leia talking about her mom, couldn't that be Organa's wife, her adopted mother she was talking about? We don't know when her adopted mother died so couldn't she be talking about her? There is no way she would know Padme so I guess its her adoptive mother she is talking about. I also think that Anakin was the chosen one and his son helped him achieve the prophesy that was made for him. These are just my thoughts.
Posted by Kris  on  Mon Nov 16, 2009  at  09:42 PM
Perhaps this is old hat by now.... but...

", I was never satisfied with the actor who played Anakin Skywalker at the end of Return. I mean, he was *way* too old!"

Well no offense , pal, but Old Vader didn't have the easiest of life's y'know. These things can age a body. And he's all scarred anyway, so wrinkles are inevitable.

It's not the years, it's the milage.

And please don't sell Sebastian Shaw's portrayl of Vader. He had, what, 3 or 4 lines at most, and it was a Death scene.
For what, twenty years, he was who Darth Vader was meant to be under all that armour
(I know it was Dave Prouse most of the time, I mean in the Star wars canon)

Vader was not a healthy human. It ages a body.

If anything, that makes MORE SENSE than having young Anakin at the end. A lot More sense, you see an idealised Anakin Skywalker as an adult.
Posted by WILL GILLIES  on  Thu Nov 26, 2009  at  07:06 AM
it wouldve been so cool if they put them all as the young version rather than just anakin
Posted by Amber  on  Wed Jun 30, 2010  at  10:00 AM
My opinion on the matter . . .

Anakin didn't 'die' when he became Vader. It's made very clear in the film that he was burried deep inside; so that idea doesn't make sense.

He also didn't look too old at all to me in the original ending. I agree with 'WILL GILLIES' on that. In fact, he didn't seem nearly as old and disfigured as he should, concidering what he's been through.

Furthermore, in the new ending I don't understand how luke skywalker had any idea who he was looking at. He wouldn't recognize young Anakin. I suppose he might just have assumed it was his father, but the look on his face should have been very differant if that were the case.

Having said all that, I've seen the Star Wars films several times and each time I realize something more in the plot that I didn't see before. I can understand the idea that maybe a young person now watching them all together might be confused as to who he was. They would have to either not be paying attention, or be painfully stupid, but it could happen.

I also respect the fact that this is lucas' film, and if this is what he wants he has every right to do it. We're just the humble audience to the greatness he's created.

RIP Anakin Skywalker
Posted by Evelyn Rose  on  Mon Jul 05, 2010  at  02:28 AM
Darth Vader should have never been changed. The reason he looks so old is due to the "dark-side's" influence over him. Also due to the fact he's kept alive through machines, think about how Stephen Hawking looks. I think its pretty obsurd, and lame they changed Darth Vader towards the end. Wouldn't Luke Skywalker be confused at the sight of him? One moment his father is an old, grizzled man, now he's some emo guy who looks younger than himself.
Posted by White and nerdy  on  Mon Jul 19, 2010  at  03:09 PM
the reason Anakin is young again in the new release DVD is because Anakin the Jedi truly died when he was beaten by Obi-Wan after their fight in episode 3 so now at the end of episode 6 we see the spirits of three Jedi (Anakin, Yoda and Obi-Wan) as opposed to the spirits of Darth Vader, Yoda and Obi-Wan, which was the case when sebastian shaw played the spirit.
Posted by will  on  Sat Jan 08, 2011  at  08:00 PM
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