The 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi has everyone reminiscing about their first watch

C-3PO, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Return of the Jedi premiered 40 years ago today, and many people are reminiscing about the first time they saw it.

The sequel to Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back first premiered on May 25, 1983. The film sees Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) battle Jabba the Hutt and Darth Vader to save his comrades in the Rebel Alliance and triumph over the Galactic Empire, with Harrison Ford as Han Solo and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia. It was an enormous box office success, grossing over $400 million against a $40 million budget.

"I saw it in a theater during its original run; I would've been about 6 at the time. It was the first movie I ever saw in a theater, and is still my favorite of all Star Wars movies," one fan tweeted.

"Played hooky from school … and, like any appropriately surly teenager, felt totally ripped off by the teddy bears where there should have been Wookiees. It’s grown on me since then," one Twitter user said.

"Got picked up early from school 'for a dentist appointment' to see it. I was 8," said another.

"This one I got to see the day it premiered. My friend Amanda drove. While we stopped to refuel en route to the cinema (it was a half-hour drive) I bought a RETURN OF THE JEDI comic. I read the entire thing on the way. The movie was unforgettable!" tweeted another fan.

"Yes. And it's not an overstatement to say it was one of the happiest days of my boyhood," someone else shared.

"I did indeed see this in theaters, and we immediately went to K-Mart on Hillsdale afterward (which is now a Target). The picture book novelization was stacked up front and we opened right to helmet-less Vader/Anakin which scared the shit out of me," said another fan.

All of the Star Wars movies are currently streaming on Disney Plus. If you've already made your way through the series several times, and are keen to see what franchise titles are on the horizon, check out our list of upcoming Star Wars movies.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.