The new ending cuts from Luke cremating Vader (just as the Ewoks begin their festivities) to shots of citizens celebrating on Bespin, Tatooine, and Coruscant (with the 2004 DVD release also adding Naboo to the mix). “Yub Nub” was replaced by a John Williams tune, “Victory Celebration,” which is the icing on the cake for this finale.
The original celebration was perfectly fine as a fairytale ending to the fantasy story that George Lucas was telling. We saw the main rebel forces and the Ewoks celebrating, with the tribal sounds of “Yub Nub” and the low-key partying that fit the idea of primitive Ewoks defeating the futuristic Empire. But the new version is much more. For starters, Williams’ score is a moving, victorious, culmination of epic conflict, with the montage serving as the coda to Rebellion. The short shots of people celebrating are the only times in the original trilogy that we see how the general public reacts to the Rebellion and we get to see them cheer on the Rebels.
At the time, it made sense that we wouldn’t see more of this. There just isn’t enough room (or budget) in the original trilogy to shift the focus away from the main stories to show what random “Star Wars” citizens are up to elsewhere. The result made the war against the Empire seem relatively simple, almost easy.
However, for the past decade, Lucasfilm has focused its attention on the years leading up to the destruction of the original Death Star and the Rebellion’s first major victory. Movies like “Rogue One,” shows like “Rebels” and “Andor,” video games like “Fallen Order” and “Jedi Survivor,” and even the prequel trilogy in its entirety have shown that the path to victory is not a simple one. fairy tale.
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