The Return of the Jedi – another 9 step story structure breakdown

I think this will be the last Star Wars story structure breakdown I will do. I won’t see The Force Awakens until the end of December 2015 and I would not want to spoil the plot.
The firs two blog posts in this Star Wars story structure breakdown series are below in case you want to review the who trilogy before you head off to see The Force Awakens yourself!

Star Wars: A New Hope

The Empire Strikes back

Protagonist: Luke Skywalker – Inner Demon/Weakness – “The Force” is strong in this one but he is no a Jedi… or is he?

Antagonistic force: The Empire and the dark side of the force.

1. The hook

Han Solo, frozen in carbonite and shipped off to Jabba the Hutt, is in need of rescue.  C3P0 and R2D2 find their way into Jabba’s palace to begin proceedings.  The Empire is building another Death Star.  Darth Vader arrives at the new the Death Star to ensure the project completes on time.

2. The setup – what is normal life like for the protagonist, what is at stake?

Normal life for Luke is rescuing Han along with his band of merry rebels, fighting Rancor monsters and he has a new light sabre.

3. First Plot Point aka Inciting Incident – the protagonist’s plans have to change here at around the 20%-25% point in the story and they must now engage with the antagonistic force.

Following the rescue of Han Solo, Luke and company are free to resume their struggle against the empire.

4. Wandering response – reaction to the inciting incident

Luke travels back to Yoda to complete his training… which he doesn’t require.  Han Solo and company meet with the rebels at Sullust and begin plans to attack the new Death Star.

Luke learns from Yoda, Darth Vader really is his father and he must confront him to become a Jedi before rejoining the rebels and travelling to Endor.

5. Pinch-point – half way through the wandering response stage a reminder of what is at stake if the protagonist fail’s

Yoda dies after telling Luke he must pass on what he has learned so there can be more Jedi.

The Emporer Palpatine arrives at the Death Star.  Vader wants to seek out Luke, but the emperor tells him Luke will come to them.

6. Mid-point – at around the 50% mark in the story – the story has to turn around with the protagonist going on the offensive.

The rebel fleet departs for Endor to attack the Death Star.  Luke joins Han and Leia for the ground assault.

7. Fight back culminating in all is lost pre second plot point lull/it has all gone horribly wrong moment

Meeting ewoks, speeder bike chases, captured by ewoks, escaping from ewoks after C3P0 impersonates a god and beginning the attack on the shield generator.  But Luke has already left and been taken to the Death Star.

Meanwhile the rebel fleet arrives, the rebels attacking the shield generator are capture and it turns out the Death Star is fully operational and starts destroying rebel ships.  Luke tries to kill the emperor but ends up fighting Vader.

8. Second plot point – The protagonists learn the last new information they need in order bring resolution to the story – around the 75% point in the story

Lando Calrissian realises the Death Star shields are still up and breaks off the attack.  The rebel fleet engages the imperial fleet as the odds of survival are better than sitting around waiting for the Death Star to destroy them.

9. Resolution where protagonist (Luke) must be the main catalyst for the event

The ewoks turn the tide of the fight on the surface of Endor and the shield is at last destroyed.  Luke battles Vader to the ground and refuses to kill him.  The rebel fleet head into the Death Star super structure to fire the killing shot at the power generator.
Darth Vader redeems himself by throwing Emperor Palpatine down a shaft of some sort to prevent him killing Luke with lightning.
Luke and Vader escape in a shuttle as the Death Star blows up.

Everyone has a party!

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