News & Politics

The Library of Congress Is Adding “Return of the Jedi” to the National Film Registry

The Star Wars classic is one of 25 films being singled out for contributions to American culture.

Photograph courtesy of Lucasfilm/Walt Disney Company, via the Library of Congress.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that 25 films are joining the library’s National Film Registry—a selection the library says represents its one of its most diverse ever.

Several films from this year’s list—including Cooley High, The Flying Ace, and Chicana—showcase racial diversity and smash stereotypes. The library is memorializing a wide range of movies: cult favorites like What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and Pink Flamingos alongside universal classics like The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Return of the Jedi.

Strangers on a Train—the Hitchcock classic with scenes shot in Washington’s Union Station, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the National Gallery of Art—also made the list.

Strangers on a Train (1951) was filmed in multiple locations in DC. Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros, via the Library of Congress.

Works new and old have been annually added to the collection since 1989, preserved for cultural, historic, or aesthetic importance to US cinematic culture. 

Below are the new additions, bringing the registry’s total to 825 films.

  1. Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
  2. Jubilo (1919)
  3. The Flying Ace (1926)
  4. Hellbound Train (1930)
  5. Flowers and Trees (1932)
  6. Strangers on a Train (1951)
  7. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  8. Evergreen (1965)
  9. Requiem-29 (1970)
  10. The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
  11. Pink Flamingos (1972)
  12. Sounder (1972)
  13. The Long Goodbye (1973)
  14. Cooley High (1975)
  15. Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
  16. Chicana (1979)
  17. The Wobblies (1979)
  18. Star Wars Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983)
  19. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  20. Stop Making Sense (1984)
  21. Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
  22. The Watermelon Woman (1996)
  23. Selena (1997)
  24. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  25. WALL-E (2008)
Zach Bright

Zach joined Washingtonian in October 2021. In the past, he’s written for The Colorado Sun, The Nevada Independent and SRQ Magazine.