5. Return of the Jedi vs. Return of the King
What was Return of the Jedi? The third movie in the Star Wars original trilogy
What was Return of the King? The third movie in the Lord of the Rings original trilogy
Verdict: Do both the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings trilogies stick the landing? Absolutely. The good guys win, most everyone survives, and all the darkness from the prior two movies seems swept away.
As denouments go, though, how do these two movies acquit themselves?
They both take their time with it. Jedi has a bit of a tangent fit with the whole Jabba’s Palace act, and King spreads out in all directions before finally hitting the mark after a drawn out conclusion.
Both movies clearly felt compelled to tell the broadest and most action-packed story they could. While they didn’t fall flat in that regard, it doesn’t exactly work as well as the movies that came before.
We’ve punished Jedi before for the presence of the Ewoks, so it doesn’t feel fair to do that again. For simply being the shorter of the two, and taking less tangents to get to the point, Jedi earns the round.
Star Wars Wins
Next: 4. Star Wars prequels vs. Hobbit Prequels