With the help of the Ewoks, the Rebels overrun the shield generator, but they’re too late to help their own fleet – the Millennium Falcon and its fighter wings emerge from hyperspace into the waiting arms of the Imperial Fleet, as part of an elaborate plan by Palpatine. But the Empire hasn’t counted on the presence of the Ewoks, and the shield generator is destroyed by Solo and his commando group. Lando makes some desperate alterations to the battle plan, and still manages to lead the Rebels into the heart of the Death Star – but aboard that station, Luke Skywalker is fighting his own battle against the power of the dark side of the Force. He may destroy the Empire, save the Rebellion, free the galaxy and become the last of the Jedi – but Luke still may not be able to save his father in the process.
See the first episode for cast information.
Notes: Produced many years after the two original NPR Star Wars adaptations, Return Of The Jedi was funded by Highbridge Audio primarily to produce a set of shows to fill out a planned CD box set; it was later offered to NPR. But the project’s for-profit nature precluded Mark Hamill’s involvement (Hamill had volunteered his time to act in the first two Star Wars radio shows), and the original CD-buying audience of already-indoctrinated fans envisioned for the project meant a slimming down of the number of episodes, and an assumption that certain elements – such as Jabba’s Huttese language – could be left intact from the films with no explanation or translation. Sadly, writer Brian Daley died of pancreatic cancer during the recording sessions.