Luke Skywalker has
returned to his home planet of Tatooine in an attempt to rescue hisfriend
Han Solo from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba the Hutt.Little
does Luke know that the GalacticEmpire
has secretly begun construction on a new armored space station even
more powerful than the first dreaded Death Star. When completed, this
ultimate weapon will spell certain doom for the small band of rebels
struggling to restore freedom to the galaxy....
Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is the sixth and final chapter
(but the third to be released) in the popular six-part Star Wars film
series by George Lucas. It debuted in 1983, and was re-released with
changes in 1997 and 2004. The second entry in George Lucas's
original Star Wars trilogy finds Luke In the final episode of the
original Star Wars trilogy, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) emerges intact
from the carbonite casing in which he'd been sealed in The Empire
Strikes Back. The bad news is that Solo, together with Luke Skywalker
(Mark Hamill) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), are prisoner of the
grotesque Jabba the Hutt. But with the help of the charismatic Landro
Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), our heroes and our heroine manage to
escape. The next task is to rid the galaxy of Darth Vader (body by
David Prowse, voice by James Earl Jones) and the Emperor (Ian
McDiarmid), now in command of a new, under-construction Death Star.
On the forest moon Endor, the good guys enlist the help of a feisty
bunch of bear-like creatures called the Ewoks in their battle against
The film's director was the
late Richard Marquand, who died in 1987 of a heart ailment. Some
reports have suggested that George Lucas was so heavily involved in
the shooting of Return of the Jedi that he could be considered a
second or a co-director. It is likely that he directed much of the
second unit work personally as the shooting threatened to go over
schedule and this is a function Lucas had willingly performed on
previous occasions when he had only officially been producing a film.
(i.e. Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back, More American
Graffiti). Lucas himself has only ever
gone as far as admitting (in the documentary Empire of Dreams) that
he had often to be on the set due to Marquand's relative inexperience
with special effects, possibly because he does not wish to make
assertions that his deceased colleague would be unable reply to.
Comments by The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner on that
film's DVD audio commentary track suggests that Lucas had a much
larger role on the production of Return of the Jedi than is often
thought. The working title of the project was Blue Harvest and dubbed
"Horror Beyond Imagination" to engender no interest
whatsoever in the film. This would disguise what the production crew
was really filming from fans and the prying eyes of the press. It wa
the first film to use THX an filming began on January 11, 1982 and
ended on May 20, 1982.
screenplay was written by Lawrence Kasdan and Lucas (with uncredited
contributions by David Webb Peoples and Marquand), based on Lucas'
story. Howard Kazanjian served as producer. The film was originally
titled Revenge of the Jedi. However, a few weeks before the film's
premiere, George Lucas changed the title, stating revenge could not
be used because Jedi do not seek revenge. Some speculate that George
Lucas had planned to call the film Return of the Jedi all along, and
only used "Revenge" as a means to throw off merchandise
counterfeiters. However, the original teaser trailer for the film
still carried this moniker. It has also been claimed that the
original title of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was originally The
Vengeance of Khan, and that the title was changed because of its
similarity to Revenge of the Jedi. 20th Century Fox is said to have
had to throw out a large chunk of PR material (posters, fliers and
the likes) due to Lucas changing his mind last minute. In any event,
the original name was partially reused for the title of Episode III
as Revenge of the Sith. The prequels would denote such an action as
being against the strict Jedi code. This rationale is hinted at in
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, where Anakin Skywalker
seeks revenge against the Tusken Raiders for the death of his mother,
beginning his path to the dark side of the Force.
A legend among fans holds
that Lando and the Millennium Falcon were originally scripted to
perish in the Death Star explosion. However, Lando was always
intended to escape the Death Star, as has been evidenced in past
scripts for the movie. The legend had been fueled by the fact that
before the Death Star attack, Han tells Leia that he has a feeling he
isn't going to see his ship again.
1997 CD-ROM Star Wars: Behind the Magic confirms that the sequence
showing the cremation of Vader's body/armour was directed by Lucas
himself. This film, though rated "PG," contains brief
nudity in the first part of the film, when Jabba's Twi'lek slave
attempts to escape by pulling on the chain. She jerks upward, and her
right breast flies up from the costume. (It should also be noted that
the rating PG-13 did not exist until 1984). In the original script,
when Obi-Wan Kenobi explains what happened to both Luke and Leia
after their birth, the character we now know as Padmé was said
to have survived and became a handmaiden to Bail Organa's wife,
secretly raising Leia as her own child. She later died three or four
years after the birth. However, this part was reportedly deleted to
shorten the scene because Lucas did not think it was necessary for
the plot at the time.
Harrison Ford suggested
that Han Solo sacrifice his life to save his friends in order to give
the film more emotional weight, but George Lucas disagreed with him.
David Lynch, with a Best Director nomination for the 1980 film The
Elephant Man was approached by Lucas to helm Return of the Jedi, but
he declined and went on to direct Dune. George Lucas originally
intended for his friend Steven Spielberg to direct the film.
of the Jedi is considered by many critics and fans to be the weakest
film of the original trilogy. Some indication of public opinion can
be gleaned by its relatively modest ranking in the Internet Movie
Database's Top 250 films list.
While the action set pieces
- particularly the speeder bike chase on the Endor moon, the space
battle between Rebel and Imperial pilots, and Luke Skywalker's duel
against Darth Vader - are well-regarded, the ground battle between
the Ewoks and the Stormtroopers remains a bone of contention. A large
number of fans believe George Lucas pushed the "cutesy"
factor with the Ewoks with many accusing Lucas of adding them only
for their merchandising value.
theory, while taken as gospel by many, was debunked when Academy
Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss (who performed in Lucas' film
American Graffiti) was quoted multiple times over the years that
Lucas had revealed his idea for the Star Wars saga to many of
Graffiti's cast and crew during filming (some four years before the
original film was released), including making specific mention of a
species of small, furry, teddy bear-like creatures called Wookiees
(later changed to Ewoks when Wookiees evolved into a different
species) who defeat the evil Empire.
However, fans seem to be
rather divided on the premise that an extremely primitive race of
small creatures could, albeit with minimal aid, defeat an armed
ground force comprised of the Empire's best troops. Some fans call it
ludicrous, while others credit the Ewoks' bravery, ingenuity, and
determination. The latter group may also sometimes cite the Ewoks'
ability to easily lift large boulders over their heads as proof of
Ewok strength. The word "Ewok" is never mentioned in the
film. It is only mentioned in the end credits. A vocal group of fans
flatly dislike the Tarzan yell by Chewbacca as he swings from a vine
on top of an Imperial Scout Walker, though it is considered by others
to be perfectly viable in the pulp genre of movies. Regardless, the
Tarzan yell was repeated in Revenge of the Sith.
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