On this Saturday, 25 May, “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” turned 30.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
“Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand and written by George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan, with Lucas as executive producer. It is chronologically the sixth film in the Star Wars franchise and the first film to use THX technology. The film is set approximately one year after “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” and was produced by Howard Kazanjian and Lucasfilm Ltd.
In the plot, the evil Galactic Empire, under the direction of the ruthless Emperor Palpatine, is building a second Death Star in order to crush the Rebel Alliance. Since Emperor Palpatine plans to personally oversee the final stages of its construction, the Rebel Fleet launches a full-scale attack on the Death Star in order to prevent its completion and kill Palpatine, effectively bringing an end to the Empire. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker, a Rebel leader and Jedi Apprentice, struggles to bring Vader, who is his father and himself a fallen Jedi, back from the Dark Side of the Force.
David Lynch and David Cronenberg were considered to direct the project before Richard Marquand signed on as director. Filming began on January 11, 1982 and lasted through May 20, 1982, a schedule six weeks shorter than “The Empire Strikes Back”, and took place in England, California, and Arizona, with Lucas handling second unit work. Kazanjian’s schedule pushed shooting as early as possible in order to give Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) as much time as possible to work on effects, and left some crew members dubious of their ability to be fully prepared for the shoot.
Heavy secrecy surrounded production and the film was given the title “Blue Harvest” to prevent price gouging. The original teaser trailer for the film carried the name “Revenge of the Jedi”, but in December 1982 Lucas decided that “Revenge” was not appropriate and returned to his original title. “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi” was released in theaters on May 25, 1983. The film it’s turning 30.
When David Lynch Met George Lucas
George Lucas approached David Lynch, who had been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for “The Elephant Man” in 1980, to helm “Return of the Jedi”, but Lynch declined in order to direct “Dune”. David Cronenberg was also offered the chance to direct the film, but he declined the offer to make “Videodrome” and “The Dead Zone”. Lucas eventually chose Richard Marquand, who directed the 1981 movie “Eye of the Needle”. Some reports have suggested that Lucas was so heavily involved in the shooting of “Return of the Jedi” that he could be considered a second or a co-director.
But what would have happened if David Lynch, the bizarre director of “Blue Velvet,” “Twin Peaks”, “Mulholand Drive” and “Inland Empire” had accepted to direct “Return of the Jedi”? We will never know, but look at this video below where Lynch said in an interview how was the day he met George Lucas. The credits from the video belongs to Sascha Ciezata.
Celebrate the Star Wars Weekend on All That I Love. Enjoy the 50 Photos Gallery.