Today, we are celebrating the Episode IV A New Hope 37th anniversary as well the 31th anniversary of Episode VI Revenge of the Jedi. Wait… What?
Two months early the released of Star Wars Episode VI: Revenge of the Jedi in theaters, George Lucas decided to change the title of the movie. He said at the time have taken this decision because a Jedi would not seek revenge, but was a marketing strategy of Lucasfilm, too, because there were a lot of piracy products of Star Wars named “Revenge of the Jedi”, included some licensed products as the action figures from Kenner which had to remove all those toys named Revenge and change to new Return of the Jedi products…
This is one of many facts about Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, that is turning 31 years today.
Watch the original teaser trailer for Revenge of the Jedi, which appeared in theaters before Star Wars creator George Lucas changed the name of the film to Return of the Jedi. This trailer features the completed Revenge of the Jedi logo, shows Luke wielding a blue lightsaber (in the final film, his Jedi weapon would have a green blade), and features a quick shot of Obi-Wan Kenobi before “spirit” effects were added.
Others facts about Episode VI: Return of the Jedi:
Han Solo Gets Killed!
While doing press amid the 1997 rerelease of “Jedi,” the press-adverse Harrison Ford claimed he wanted his character, who was frozen at the end of “Empire Strikes Back,” to die at the end of the second “Star Wars” sequel. “I thought it would give the movie weight and resonance. But George Lucas was not sympathetic,” Ford said, and unfortunately the oft-quoted quote doesn’t let on if the actor’s tongue was planted in his cheek. There is this clue, perhaps: The sound bite ends with a jocular — too jocular? — reference to the Ewoks. Quipped Ford of Lucas: “He didn’t want me killed by those teddy-bear guys”. Then again, there’s also this: Ford hasn’t really stopped talking about how he wanted his alter-ego offed. In 2010, he told ABC News that, unfortunately, Lucas saw no future in “dead Han toys.”
David Lynch (“Twin Peaks”) offered that he passed on directing “Jedi” because, as it was reported at the time, “he didn’t think he’d have any leeway”. Lynch wound up putting his imprint on another epic fantasy/sci-fi flick, albeit one that failed to reach the lofty heights of “Jedi” — 1984’s critically assailed “Dune.” Anyone else think that film’s signature monster, the sandworm, would look right at home on Tatooine?
In 2007, David Cronenberg (“The Fly”) told MTV News 9 that he, too, had gotten a nibble about directing. But in a (brief) phone call with one of Lucas’ producers, he recalled, “I wasn’t enthusiastic enough obviously. I didn’t get a chance to think about whether it was a good idea or not. I blew it right away”. In 2007, David Cronenberg (“The Fly”) told MTV News 9 that he, too, had gotten a nibble about directing. But in a (brief) phone call with one of Lucas’ producers, he recalled, “I wasn’t enthusiastic enough obviously. I didn’t get a chance to think about whether it was a good idea or not. I blew it right away”. Anyone else think Cronenberg’s Brundlefly would fit in with the gangsters and bounty hunters packing Jabba’s palace?
Per “Star Wars” lore, Endor, the planet where the sun sets on the Empire, originally was to be populated by armies of Chewbacca’s towering kind until it proved easier to populate the set with armies of much smaller creatures. According to some fan allegations, the Ewoks were an intentional cash grab — kid-friendly characters “designed purely make money.”
You can read more facts and curiosities about Return of the Jedi clicking here.
Read more: Return of the Jedi 30th anniversary.