A long, long time ago, in cineplexes not very far away, a little movie called Star Wars came out and unexpectedly became one of the most influential films in history. In fact, it was such a success, it led to a follow-up, The Empire Strikes Back, which became one of the most acclaimed sequels of all time. So, naturally that meant there had to be a third installment in this burgeoning franchise. Seldom had there ever been more pressure on a project to deliver the goods. Then, on May 25, 1983, Return of the Jedi landed in theaters to positive reviews and close to half a billion dollars in worldwide ticket sales. A trilogy was complete but rather than being the end of a saga, Return of the Jedi was what propelled Star Wars into another universe. Now, 40 years after the release of Return of the Jedi, it’s clear how important it was in the Star Wars pantheon. To show it some proper respect, this magazine looks back at the film and all that made it historic: the breakthrough special effects, the creation of the Admiral’s signature phrase “It’s a trap!” as well as the real story behind Jabba’s hut, Leia’s bikini and more. After all, the Star Wars franchise never soared higher than this era when the Skywalker story seemed to come to a satisfying conclusion and nobody knew Jar Jar Binks would soon suck that joy from the universe.