Return Of The Jedi is probably the most “normal” sequel of the series, expanding on familiar elements, kind of the same but bigger and better. Its big innovation is emotional...
Three dot ellipsis...(.)
Old guys with canes are in charge of the galaxy.
Boba Fett is obviously flipped around in several court scenes, watch the helmet antennae. The Special Editions don’t fix this, even though they famously got someone else in to play him in new shots flirting with women. (Making my joke that it was actually Boba’s cousin borrowing the “car” to impress women alarmingly close to the truth!)
Slave Leia, ew.
The Rancor looks a lot like one of the monsters in the holo-chess game, with a shorter neck. Of course, the Expanded Universe makes it a whole different species.
R2-D2 is now fully armed and operational.
Green lightsaber! A big reveal back in the day, now spoiled in the first three minutes of the prequels.
Nien Nunb, a new character co-piloting the Falcon, a literally eleventh-hour arrival. And a fakeout that Lando might not make it, as he flies off with a new face while everyone who might go with him goes to Endor.
Wicket is the only Ewok who’s actually cute...
A little point of character development that I love: C-3PO described himself as “not much good at telling stories” in A New Hope but now he can keep an audience on the edges of the seats.
Luke and Leia. One, ewwww. Two, another reveal dropped by the prequels.
“Hold me...” Really? Really?
Tarzan joke. Really? Really? There are a lot of references throughout Star Wars but none are quite so break-the-fourth-wall, I think.
I love the Stormtrooper just throwing one of the Ewoks off.
“You’ve failed, Your Highness.” We’ve seen the foreshadowing, we’re worried for Luke’s soul... and he steps back, takes a deep breath, and is perfectly polite about it.
“So be it... Jedi.”
Lightning bolt! Another big reveal dropped by the prequels.
And finally, compassion wins, as Star Wars gets us to cheer for Darth Vader! We’re rooting for the ultimate Black Knight to change, and delighted when he does. Which is an amazing thing to achieve.
Those fireworks feel totally earned...