Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Joins National Film Registry

The thrilling conclusion to the original trilogy is among 25 movies selected this year for its impact on American culture and film.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi is set to receive one of film’s greatest honors. 

StarWars.com and Lucasfilm are pleased to announce that the final installment of the original Star Wars trilogy will join the National Film Registry, a recognition that signifies a movie as important in American culture and film history. Return of the Jedi secured the greatest number of public votes among a pool of over 6,150 movies, before becoming one of 25 films selected for inclusion by Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, following consultation with the National Film Preservation Board, which includes Board Chair Dr. Jacqueline Stewart, Alfre Woodard, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Richard Masur, and M. Night Shyamalan.

“The National Film Preservation Board is very pleased with the inclusion of Return of the Jedi to the National Film Registry,” says John Ptak of the American Film Institute, and member of the National Film Preservation Board. “George [Lucas] has created such great characters with enduring stories that are fresh with every viewing.  The success and influence of the Star Wars series films on filmmakers, the industry and a global audience is remarkable and will stand the test of time.”

Established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, the National Film Preservation Board works to ensure the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of America’s film heritage. Return of the Jedi follows Star Wars: A New Hope (among the first class of inductees in 1989) and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (chosen in 2010) in receiving this honor.

Return of the Jedi, originally released in 1983, closed out the Star Wars trilogy with an epic final battle between the Rebellion and Empire on land and in space, as well as an emotional confrontation between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, while pushing forward the art of special effects in several memorable sequences.

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