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'm a 30-something who has grown up with Star Wars. I never did like the actor who portrayed Anikin at the end and especially after seeing eps I,II,III. While I can certainly understand the upset of many fans over the changes, I do think they make the movies flow better. I was thrilled with the change to Anikin's ghost, but also thought about him not being older. I came to the same conclusion as some of you here - that GL wanted to portray Anikin as he was before he became corrupted. I do think, though, that it might have been a good idea to make him look older. I think they could have aged him a bit and he would still be recognizable as Anikin (Hayden C.)
Posted by Rowan  in  Arizona  on  Fri Jun 10, 2005  at  11:49 PM
Oops! I meant Anakin.
Posted by Rowan  in  Arizona  on  Sat Jun 11, 2005  at  06:47 PM
Well, Im 23yo and I used to watch Star Wars when I was younger but I never really got into it. So when I started to get into the new Episodes it was like I was watching it in the proper order. So once I finally watched Episode III, I went out and bought the Star Wars Box Set, and I couldnt believe it when they had young Ani at the end, it make it come together so well!! I was blown away. I understand why the old fans would be upset, but you gotta realize how exciting that was for us new fans. Ive come to the realization that Star Wars is the greatest story ever told!!
Posted by wolfpack  on  Mon Jun 13, 2005  at  09:31 AM
have just watched the new end of Jedi and found it a brilliant surprise. Thought it completed the six films beautifully.we had been debating whether to show our kids 4,5,and 6 first and then 1,2, and 3 because of the continuity problems (and to see it the way we did).but now with this new ending, it would be completely appropriate to show it in sequential order. congratulations GL - people give you a hard time. you've enriched our childhoods and now our adulthoods. don't be so quick to criticise.
Posted by late_twenties_fans  in  UK  on  Wed Jun 15, 2005  at  05:13 PM
This here is the final word.

Anakin is 45 when he kills the emperor and dies. Yet he spent 20+ years, a living being, and thus grew to maturity in mutilation. When revealing himself, therefore, he looks much older than a healthy middle aged Anakin would normally. Not to mention the fact that he was burned horribly in epIII. He should obviously be as old as he did when he died, especially when taking into consideration what Ryan mentioned earlier.

no more must be said
Posted by yall_are-bit-ches  in  inyomamma  on  Thu Jun 16, 2005  at  04:48 PM
I think that the change of anakin
Posted by Martin  on  Sat Jun 18, 2005  at  09:49 PM
All of you need a slap. face it, Darth Vader and Anakin are the same person.Anakin doesn't die, physically or metaphorically when he becomes Darth Vader. He merely converts from doing good things, to doing bad things, from the light to the dark. Check the Expanded universe and even Luke and Leia come to the same conclusion. The force isn't as blatant as black and white.There are shades of grey. Anakin and Darth are the same. Point One. Why shouldn't Anakin look as old as Sebastion Shaw at the end of Return Of The Jedi? did you notice what drawing on the dark side of the force for all those years did to Palpatine's face? I'm ashamed of George Lucas. He's like an overprotective parent, smothering his creation, trying not to let it fly the nest. Star Wars isn't just his any more, it belongs as much to the fans as anyone else. almost even more blasphemous than changing Anakin's ghost, he changed Boba Fetts voice to match the inferior prequels. Why change the trilogy that is largely regarded as the best ever made, simply to fit in with the trilogy that is widely regarded as Not. Minor tweaks are fine like the changing of the display to aurebesh and such. Don't get me wrong, the new prequels aren't bad, I just see no reason to change the original so dramtically, so that younger generations are forced to endure films different to the ones that made them famous.
Posted by Rickford  on  Sun Jun 19, 2005  at  12:15 PM
Well said Rickford. That's exactly how I fell about the changes. If it's not broken don't fix it. They were 2 great and 1 pretty good (the ewoks were a bit hokey) movies that should NOT have been changed for anything. If he wanted to change them he should have made it optional to the viewer on the DVD not to force it on us. It don't want to buy CD's with my favorite songs "remixed" and I don't want it in my movies either. What the hell ever happened with the freedom to choose what you want anymore.
Posted by mad as hell  in  Atlanta  on  Sun Jun 19, 2005  at  07:26 PM
Too true. Stumbled on this, it has pictures of all the changes. Apparently nothing is sacred.
Posted by Rickford  on  Wed Jun 22, 2005  at  05:19 AM
Being in my thirties I was a bit thrown by the changes after seeing them for the first time today. All in all I can see why GL changed these things. He never truely believes in abandoning a progect to the winds as long as it is making money for him. I just accept it as him retelling the story differently right now.

GL himself has sworn of the catastrophic 'Christmas Special' and we would thank you very much for not mentioning it here thank you.

I hope everyone is aware that GL will probably be changing the first three episodes before releasing any other box sets also. It's just what he does.

Don't give up hope yet on EP VII thru IX, George said previously that would never bother making prequels either. Give him some time and I am sure he will consider new opportunities at profitability from a tried-and true franchise
Posted by geek-o-holic  in  Alderan  on  Thu Jun 23, 2005  at  01:00 PM
big surprise you see Darth Vadar or the old Aniken, (Shaw) could not be the good spirit with Yoda and Obi because his spirit as Darth Vadar was always on the dark side thus he could not live forever in the spirit world. rolleyes this may have been an after thought on the film creators behalf...after 4,5,6 however it all makes sence to have him young and the others old because they passed from this world to the spirit world as they were 'good' - young Aniken was his good spirit which was still within him!
Posted by JEDI FAN  in  FLORIDA  on  Fri Jun 24, 2005  at  12:50 PM
Maybe that last was a little goofy, but OK
Posted by geek-o-holic  in  Alderan  on  Fri Jun 24, 2005  at  06:13 PM
Muppet. Shaw wasn't always part of the dark side. Thats the whole point. Who Killed the emperor? Hayden Christensen? I don't think so. as Shaw, Vader earned his redemption. once again, I'm forced to point out that the young Anakin and the old Anakin are the same person. Difference being, the young anakin really isn't supposed to be on this timeline. All it is, Is George Lucas being the twat that he sadly so often is in recent times. There's no other significance implied. Anyone else care to be ignorant enough to argue?
Posted by Rickford  on  Sun Jun 26, 2005  at  08:13 AM
By the way "Jedi Fan" you're exposing your actual level of star wars knowledge, by repeatedly refering to Anakin as "Anaken" wink
Posted by Rickford  on  Sun Jun 26, 2005  at  08:16 AM
Okay, so this a group of flamers now. We are all fans of Star Wars wether we can spell the names of the characters or not. Everybody is going to have their opinion on this and I don't think that going as low as attacking others does any good. Telling people they need to be slapped or getting spun up about something said here only shows a lack of maturity rarely seen outside of politics.
Posted by geek-o-holic  in  Alderan  on  Sun Jun 26, 2005  at  09:43 AM
hey, just cause I'm right. Although on reflection a little more tact may have been prudent.
Posted by Rickford  on  Mon Jun 27, 2005  at  07:59 AM
You guys need to calm down a little. These movies have always been my favorite of all time. I like the new ending.. It a bridge of sorts between the new ones and ours. that is absolutly correct about Anakin. He should be young, that's when he turned to the dark side. So yes, thats the form he should assume, because thats when he technically died. So just get over it and enjoy it, because its here to stay no matter what we think or say!!! Still love them and will always love them, no matter what.
Posted by bob  in  usa  on  Tue Jul 05, 2005  at  05:15 AM
Posted by Rickford.  on  Tue Jul 05, 2005  at  06:47 AM
I find this ending to be apporpiate. I watched the old movies combined with the new ones, and it makes alot of sense.

Lord Sidious had a master, Darth Plagueis who had the gift of immortality. He taught his apprentice this gift. When Anakin fell to the dark side, Sidious mentioned that he and Anakin have to discover the secret of immortality. He might of teached Vader this "gift" in between after Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope. And Vader was just using Anakin's spirit to keep him alive.

But the bad part of this threoy is what if Sidious spoon fed Anakin this info.
Posted by Ioini  in  Canada  on  Tue Jul 05, 2005  at  10:25 PM
I actually like that new ending for some reason raspberry I know it kind of ruins the original "magic" if you will, but the final "new" version looks really good! I would actually prefer this ending to the old one. I'm so bad, I know. Lol wink
Posted by Josh  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  01:53 PM
"uh...... He is not a robot, he merely needs the life support suit to live. Remember, the name Darth Vader has nothing to do with the black suit he wears, he only wears that because he has to.

Anyways, I disagree with them reamking the ending with Hayden as the ghost of Anakin, ans here is why. Anakin does indeed "die" (not phyiscally) in Episode III when he turns to the dark side, and becomes the dreaded darth vader. However, Darth Vader dies (not physically) the moment he kills the Emperor and saves Luke's life. The man who dies next to Luke's X wing with his helmet is off is NOT Darth Vader, but Anakin Skywalker who had returned to the Skywalker. So when Anakin physically dies, it is not Vader who is dying, but Anakin dying. So for those saying "well it needs to be hayden so it reflects that its Anakian!" that really is not correct. Hayden Christianson merely portrays Anakin Skywalker when he is about 19 years old. But Anakin physically dies when he is about 40 (since eps 4-6 take place about 20 years after Episode 3) so obviously Anakin should be portrayed by someone who looks that aqe and looks like he could be Luke's father. He is supposed to luke the same as the scarred Anakin we see at the end of ROTJ right before he dies, except with no scarring, so its basically how he would look at that age had he not had fallen into the lava. So yeah, anyways it was an unecessary change, since, as I stated, the old Anakin (Sebastain Shaw) relects what Anakin looked like that age, and also reflects the Anakin Skywalker that killed the Emperor, saved luke, returned to the light side, and who ultimately brought balance to the force.

You could be partially correct, but I think you are incorrect. Yes at the end of RotJ Anakin comes back to the light side, but you said he would age. Well, I actually like this "good force spirit" being frozen in time theory. So when he comes back to the light, his true younger self is what was brought back. Since he was frozen in time he should have come back in the form his spirit was frozen in, so yes, it does make sense as to why he would look like that in ghost form in RotJ. smile
Posted by Josh  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  02:02 PM
I'll argue with you anytime, Rickford. You're wrong. Have you seen Revenge of the Sith, yet? The Emperor looked the way he did, because Mace Windu reflected his force lightening back at him with a lightsaber! Senator Palpatine had been a Sith for at least fifteen years (and probably much longer) at the time of Attack of the Clones and was aging normally. There is a huge difference between a seventy-eight year old and a forty-five year old in appearance! Sebastian Shaw was *completely* wrong as the spirit Anakin.

Obi-wan himself said that Anakin was dead, killed by Darth Vader! Mention was made several times that Anakin was "consumed by the dark side of the force," i.e. metaphysically dead. You may not like the changes and that is your right, but they are still the creation of George Lucas, and he strongly implied that this was the truth...and made the decision to put in Christiansen.

Now, I could have accepted them putting in a forty-five year old to play Anakin...or using makeup to age Christiansen. But I *never* liked Shaw as Anakin, even when the movie was first released in the eighties! So, for me the change works.
Posted by Psi Fi  on  Fri Nov 04, 2005  at  03:09 PM
I agree with you psi fi... but it is pointless to argue... die hard "old school" fans will fight to the death about this, even if it makes no scense to argue about it. George Lucas made this decision because he thought it was right...because it made more scense... he made the damn movies... what he says is right whether you stuborn fucks want to accept it or not. who are you to argue with GL anyway? the Hayden spirit was meant to be. just buy the OG version of star wars when they come out, and get back to your basement dwelling lives.
Posted by J-Mizzle  in  who cares  on  Sat Nov 05, 2005  at  12:21 AM
I am not arguing or taking sides. I am only being informative. So please do not flame me.

Rickford's post does have some truth in them. Many of my official star wars books state that Siths age quicker than Jedi, due to the ill nature of the dark side of the force, especially IF they are able to wield "Sith Lightning". This is because it drains the Sith warrior physically. This is the reason why the Emperor and Count Dooku appear older than they are. Also at the end of Episode 6, Vader is immersed in the Emperor's lightning. This explains why Vader appears to be old and cindered at the end, where Luke takes off his helmet. Not to mention we see Anakin flamed in Episode 3, so that doesn't help his appearance!

Obi-Wan tells Luke that Anakin is dead for two reasons.
No1. Anakin is consumed by the Dark side, but no entirely, I will say why later *.
No2. Obi-Wan doesn't want to scare Luke that the Opposition (Imperial Empire) he is fighting is controlled (not headed, that
Posted by Just a Fan  on  Sun Jan 01, 2006  at  12:54 PM
I'm sorry, but no. I can't agree.

First, Vader *never* wields Force lightning, so that can't be why he aged. According to the prequels, even if Sith age faster than Jedi, it can't be much faster. Palpatine, who *does* wield Force lightning, proves it. As a public figure, he *had* to age normally to avoid suspicion.

So, even if Vader was aging fast, he wasn't aging nearly *twice* as fast as normal. Vader was thirty three years younger than Shaw! He looked scarred in RotJ because of his injuries from Mustafar and he hadn't seen sunlight in twenty years.

Obi-wan told Luke Anakin was dead, because he feared Luke would refuse to kill his father. He honestly believed Anakin was completely consumed by the Dark Side and was beyond any redemption.

Yes, a small part of Anakin always existed, which allowed him to be redeemed. He knew Luke was stronger in the Force than he was. He also believed going to the Dark Side would make Luke even stronger and we know that *isn't* true.

Yes, as in Episode 3, the Emperor wanted to trade an older apprentice for a younger or simply stronger one. Vader doesn't have to be an old man for that to make sense. A twenty year old is stronger, yet easier to control, than a forty five year old. The Emperor knew if Luke didn't kill Vader, but went to the Dark Side, that the father and son would kill *him!* In fact, Vader says the Emperor *foresaw* Luke killing him or as it turns out causing his death.

"Vader senses (Episode 4-6) Luke can crush the Imperial Empire and maybe be able to redeem Vader from Palpatine" Not true. Vader knows Luke has the power to kill the *Emperor,* but states flat out that it's too late for Vader. He denies that completely, right until he has to finally choose between serving evil and saving his son's life.

*Vader* is not accepted by the Light. Anakin defeats Vader, effectively destroying him, and dies. I could accept his appearing his actual age, since he was alive in the Light at the end. But, given that he *did* come back to the Light, why would his spirit reflect the ravages of the Dark Side??

It was *Vader* who experienced those ravages, not Anakin. And, as shown by the prequel trilogy, the premature aging wasn't that extreme! He might have looked fifty or fifty five, ten years older than his true age. But *seventy-eight!!* No way. Not even.

Plus, I think the argument that his spirit *has* to reflect how he looked when he died is weak. By those rules, he should have been bald and scarred! That's the way he was when he died, whether Vader or Anakin! If the Force was going to restore him physically, why not take him back to the last time in his life that he was truly himself?

I did watch all six movies in order starting with TPM.

Sorry, but if you want an older Anakin, then Shaw should be replaced by someone about forty-five to fifty-five. A seventy eight year old is just wrong!
Posted by Psi Fi  on  Tue Jan 10, 2006  at  10:44 PM
I just watched episode 6 and they have swtiched the old vader for Hayden christensen
Posted by abby  on  Thu Jan 26, 2006  at  12:06 AM
I liked the new ending. It ties the movies together. Plus it makes sense for Anakin's spirit to look like it did before he crossed to the Dark Side since when he died he had turned good again.
Posted by bertjo  on  Mon Jan 30, 2006  at  06:08 PM
who cares about all the "what is should be" and "it doesnt work out" Hayden Christensen is who was anniken skywalker and plus he looks way hotter than that other old bloke!! hayden rocks!!
Posted by Emma Jones  in  Australia  on  Mon Apr 03, 2006  at  01:53 AM
LET ME TELL YOU; MY STOMACH WAS TURNED INSIDE OUT WHEN I SAW A YOUNG ANAKIN SKYWALKER STANDING THERE... IT should have been the old man damn it,,,,....... and i decided that i would watch the version of 2004 over again..

this isnt about him being young there, he died old, HE WAS REDEEMED, so he should have appeared old there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And what i missed was qui gon, he should have been there to placing a hand on the shoulder of obi wan, and standing next to him anakin skywalker, and next to him yoda, and next to yoda, MACE WINDU!!!!!
Posted by yugyugy  on  Thu Aug 31, 2006  at  07:45 AM
Ah, but he didn't die old. He died middle aged. Forty-five is not old!

Qui-gon...maybe. I can understand putting him in, though that would have confused poor Luke. However, Mace Windu? Not a chance. His whole attitude in RotS stank. Why would he show up to see Anakin's son? He didn't even want Anakin trained and definitely wouldn't have supported Luke! It was a supportive moment of friend's reunited. Windu was hostile toward Anakin.
Posted by Psi Fi  on  Tue Sep 05, 2006  at  12:42 PM
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