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Revision as of 09:42, March 21, 2009

Template:Infobox Movie
"I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
Luke Skywalker[src]

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is a 1983 science fantasy film directed by Richard Marquand and written by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas. It is the third film to be released in the Star Wars saga, and the sixth and final in terms of internal chronology.

The film is set in 4 ABY, one year after the Empire's occupation of Cloud City, when Luke Skywalker and friends travel to Tatooine to rescue their friend Han Solo from the vile Jabba the Hutt. The Empire prepares to crush the Rebellion with a more powerful Death Star, while the Rebel fleet mounts a massive attack on the space station. Luke Skywalker confronts his father, Darth Vader, in a final climactic duel before the evil Emperor.

The film debuted on May 25, 1983, and was released on VHS and LaserDisc in this form multiple times during the 1980s and 90s. The film was re-released with changes in 1997, and this version was later released on VHS and Laserdisc as well. The special edition arrived on DVD in 2004, but with further updates and changes to the 1997 versions. The original, unaltered version of the film was released as part of a new DVD set in September 2006.

Opening crawl

Episode VI
Luke Skywalker has returned to
his home planet of Tatooine in
an attempt to rescue his
friend Han Solo from the
clutches of the vile gangster
Jabba the Hutt.

Little does Luke know that the
GALACTIC EMPIRE 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…



Shadows of the Empire reveals that construction has begun on a new, Death Star, more powerful than the previous one. At the suggestion of Prince Xizor, Emperor Palpatine allowed the plans to this new station to "fall" into Rebel hands, at a deceptive price. Meanwhile Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewie had already one failed attempt to rescue Han from Boba Fett. In order to reach Xizor, Leia takes the guise of the Ubese bounty hunter Boushh, and Chewbacca is disguised as Snoova.

The Bothan spies discovered that the plans were to be sent in a small computer onboard a fertilizer freighter, the Suprosa. They mounted an attack which proved successful, albeit at the cost of the lives of several Bothans, allowing the plans to find their way to the Alliance, ready to be decoded.

On Tatooine, Boba Fett was successfull in delivering Han Solo to Jabba. Luke with Lando, Leia, Chewie and the two droids, prepares one final plan to rescue Han.


Return of the Jedi begins in 4 ABY, one year after the events of The Empire Strikes Back (although the novelization gives the time period as six months).

Darth Vader lands in the docking bay of an uncompleted second Death Star, which the Empire is creating, and is more powerful than the first. He is greeted by Moff Jerjerrod, but demands construction be put back on schedule in order to complete the Death Star on time. Jerjerrod argues that they need more men, but quickly agrees to double their efforts when he learns that Emperor Palpatine is coming.

Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker and his company have arrived on Tatooine in the latest attempt to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt's desert palace. First the droids, R2-D2 and C-3PO, arrive with a holographic message from Skywalker pleading Jabba to release Solo, but they end up as slaves. That evening, Jabba's Palace Band (led by Sy Snootles and Max Rebo) entertains the slug-like creature's guests. Jabba is captivated by the graceful gyrations of his slave girl Oola. Oola resists his demands and is thrown into the pit of the rancor monster where she is immediately killed. Suddenly, Princess Leia Organa (in the guise of bounty hunter Boushh) arrives with "prisoner" Chewbacca to collect part of the bounty Jabba himself sought after years earlier when he put a price on Solo's head. Jabba then sends Chewbacca to the prisons. That night, Leia/Boushh releases Solo from his carbonite coffin, only to be overseen by Jabba, his minions, and newly stolen droids. Both Solo and Leia are captured; Solo is put in the prison with the Wookiee while Jabba takes Leia as his personal entertainment slave, donning a special dancing girl outfit and replacing Oola as the subject of his affections. To Leia's humiliation, she is then chained by the neck to Jabba's throne.

File:Luke the hutt.JPG

Luke eventually arrives, coming at dawn to make one final plea to Jabba to release Solo, but Jabba rejects the offer. Luke then Force-attracts a nearby blaster, tries to shoot Jabba, but falls into the Rancor pit. Leia unsure of what was happening struggled against Jabba. Luke successfully kills the rancor by crushing it with the gate of its compound and piercing its neck with the spikes at the bottom of the gate, but he too is captured by Jabba's minions. Jabba, furious, strangles Leia. As punishment, Jabba, using C-3PO as a translator, commands Luke and his friends to be destroyed (over a course of a thousand years) by the man-eating Sarlacc at the Great Pit of Carkoon meanwhile Leia is kept on a very short leash in front of Jabba. Only Leia is not sentenced to death, as Jabba was attracted to her, and had plans of gaining pleasure from the enslaved princess.

Luke and his companions (with Lando Calrissian disguised as one of Jabba's prison guards) are taken to the Pit of Carkoon. Leia is kept on a short leash and reluctantly but obediently stands by Jabba to watch her friends prepare for death. With the help of R2-D2, Luke then retrieves his recently built lightsaber to battle his captors. Solo, by this time blinded from the aftereffects of carbonization, accidentally activates the jetpack of bounty hunter Boba Fett when he turns around and smashes an axe in it. Fett then flies out of control, crashes and falls in the pit to be digested by the Sarlacc. Leia, meanwhile, with chain in hand, strangles Jabba to death. The droids are then set free, and jump off the sail barge. They land in the Tatooinian sand. Luke and Lando kill the remaining captors, then Luke rescues Leia, and both point the guns toward the heart of Jabba's Sail Barge. Luke and company escape with their lives before the gun discharges, destroying the sail barge. All of the crew (except for Luke) depart Tatooine for the rendezvous point near Sullust (mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back) where the Rebel Alliance is assembling, while Luke and R2-D2 (in their X-wing) head for Dagobah to fulfill a promise made some time earlier.

On the Death Star, the Emperor arrives, praising Lord Vader on his efforts in the construction of the Death Star, assuring him that everything is going as he has planned.

File:Yoda's death.jpg

Luke and Artoo arrive on Dagobah to find a terminally-ill Yoda. Luke has returned to complete his Jedi training, but Yoda declares no further training is required. All that remains for Luke is to confront Vader. Yoda then reveals that Vader is indeed his father. The 900-year-old Jedi Master gives one last mention of wisdom to the young Jedi before he dies (and disappears the way Ben Kenobi did in A New Hope, thereby becoming one with the Force).

As Luke approaches his X-wing, the spirit form of Kenobi confirms that Vader was once Anakin Skywalker, a former Jedi Knight who turned to the dark side of the Force. Kenobi also reveals that Luke has a twin sister, hidden from Luke at birth as protection from the Emperor. Luke senses that his sister is actually Princess Leia. Kenobi warns Luke to bury his feelings, for they could in time "serve the Emperor."

At the rendezvous point near Sullust, the Rebel Alliance gathers to reveal plans to attack the Death Star. As part of the plans, Luke, Leia, Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, and a strike team must penetrate the shield generator on the fourth moon of Endor in order to deactivate the shield if the Rebel fleet is to attack the Death Star.

The strike team lands on Endor only to be discovered by scout troopers. A speeder bike chase ensues, only for Leia to be thrown off her speeder and knocked unconscious. Luke and Han discover Leia's helmet, then both try to find her. Leia is awakened by one of Endor's forest creatures, an Ewok named Wicket W. Warrick. Suddenly, another stormtrooper discovers Leia, but Wicket does away with the trooper before rescuing Leia.

Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and the droids, meanwhile, fall into a booby trap set by the Ewoks. Artoo cuts open the net setting them free, but the Ewok tribe discovers Threepio and proclaims him to be their god. The droid's Human and Wookiee friends are taken prisoner, and the Ewoks proclaim Han to be the main course in a banquet in Threepio's honor. Discovered by Leia, Luke then uses the Force to levitate Threepio to show off his "great magic." Convinced of the Rebels' good intentions, the Ewoks set them free and later that evening makes them "part of the tribe," thereby the Ewoks agree to join the fight against the Empire.

But Luke decides the time has come to leave Endor and face Darth Vader. Leia follows Luke out of the tribal gathering before she is revealed the truth that Vader is Luke's father and Leia is his sister. Leia is utterly speechless and shocked, but is comforted by Solo.

Vader arrives in his shuttle to a docking bay, and Luke, having already surrendered to the Empire, talks with Vader in an attempt to bring the Sith Lord out of the dark side of the Force, but to no avail. The Empire takes Luke into custody for transportation to the Death Star.

The next day, the Rebels attempt to locate the shield generator, and the Rebel fleet enters hyperspace from Sullust to prepare for the final attack.

Luke and Vader finally enter the Death Star and confront the Emperor, who reveals that it was the Emperor himself that coordinated the Rebels finding the secret plans and locating the shield generator so that the Alliance can fall into a trap of Palpatine's devising.


The Rebels enter the heart of the shield generator, only to be taken prisoner by the Imperial forces. The fleet emerges from hyperspace for the battle, but discovers the shield is still up. As they contemplate their options, the Imperial fleet, which they were led to believe was away, appears and an intense battle begins.

Solo and company are led out of the bunker by the stormtroopers, but the droids and the Ewoks have already orchestrated the attack on the Empire, and another intense battle commences with the Rebels and Ewoks on one side, the Empire on another.

Palpatine shows to Luke the full power of the Death Star, and the station, now fully operational, destroys one of the Alliance's ships. Meanwhile, on Endor, the battle continues, with casualties (Rebel, stormtrooper, and Ewok) already mounting. Eventually, Han, Leia, and Chewbacca gain access to the bunker.

Return of the jedi 4

Father and son battle each other on the second Death Star.

On the Death Star, Luke, already fueled by anger, lashes out at the Emperor with his lightsaber, only to be deflected by his Father Darth Vader, and thus the final duel between father and son begins. After a while, Vader stalks for a hidden Luke to let down his guard, while quietly sensing within his son's mind that Luke has a sister. Vader threatens to turn her to the dark side if Luke will not, but Luke responds viciously in intense saber fighting of Djem So, up to the point where Luke strikes off Vader's right mechanical hand (just as Vader cut off Luke's in The Empire Strikes Back). The Emperor encourages Luke to kill his father so the young Jedi can take Vader's place alongside Palpatine. But Luke controls his anger and throws aside his lightsaber. He declares himself to be a Jedi Knight as his father Anakin was before he turned to Darth Vader.

Han, Leia, and Chewbacca escape from the bunker, just in time for its destruction, thus bringing down the shield. The Alliance is now free to attack the half-completed Death Star.

Back on board the Death Star, an enraged Palpatine declares that if Luke cannot be turned to the dark side, he will be killed, and uses Force lightning against Luke. Palpatine slowly increases the intensity of the lightning, slowly torturing Luke to death. But the sight of seeing Luke dying causes Vader's heart to melt, relating back to the pain he endured due to the Force Lightning Count Dooku bolted himself with, thus beginning the touching and dramatic redemption of Anakin Skywalker. Vader finally ceases to exist as Anakin turns on Palpatine, lifting the Emperor off his feet with the great strength of his cybernetic right arm, and despite the deadly Force lightning now surging on Anakin, he hurls his former master into a reactor shaft, destroying the Emperor.

The Millennium Falcon and its remaining Rebel fighters enter the bowels of the Death Star, and some fighters engage in a point-blank attack on the Super Star Destroyer, causing the Imperial flagship's destruction.


Back on the Death Star, in the middle of an evacuation, Luke has carried his father's ravaged body to the foot of the former Vader's shuttle. Anakin asks Luke to remove his mask so that he can look upon the face of his son, just for once, with his "own eyes." Anakin's face is revealed to be pale white (from not seeing natural sunlight in 23 years), and his head severely scarred from his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi (as depicted in Revenge of the Sith). Anakin tells Luke that his son was right, and asks him to tell his sister the same. With that, Anakin Skywalker dies.

The Millennium Falcon and its strike force (in the last Rebel fighter inside) reach the Death Star's main reactor and fire concussion missiles and proton torpedoes at it, causing it to collapse. Luke escapes the Death Star with his father's body and flies out through the flames, and so do Wedge Antilles and the Millennium Falcon before the Death Star explodes.

Seeing the destruction from above, Han senses Leia's love for Luke. He offers to step aside when Luke arrives, but she tells Han that Luke is her brother. After a moment of shock and/or surprise, Han and Leia engage in a passionate kiss.

That evening, Luke sets a funeral pyre ablaze to burn the body of his father, still encased in the armor of Darth Vader. His father's organic body had become one with the Force. Luke Skywalker as written was believed to have only burnt the armor of his father, along with his cybernetics. Through the midst of the rising flames and fireworks, Rebel fighters streak across the sky in celebration of one of the greatest Rebel victories in the Galactic Civil War. The planets, Bespin, Tatooine,
File:Tatooine celebration.jpg
Naboo, and Coruscant also celebrated. Luke is reunited with his companions Han, Lando, the droids, Chewbacca, the surviving Rebel fleet, the Ewoks, and his sister Leia. Luke then catches sight of the spirit figures of Ben Kenobi, Yoda, and the redeemed Anakin Skywalker. Leia takes Luke by the hand and they rejoin their friends and colleagues as the spirits continue to look on with pride.


The Thrawn Trilogy and The Truce at Bakura were the first novels to reveal that the Battle of Endor was by no means the end of the story. The destruction of the second Death Star, the loss of Darth Vader and the Emperor, and the defeat of the Imperial fleet represented a major turning point in the war, however. But immediately following the Rebel's victory, Luke Skywalker and his friends went off to defend the people of Bakura from the deadly incursions of the Ssi-Ruuk invaders threatening to turn their citizens into a slave army. They were but the first, as the post-Return of the Jedi Marvel Star Wars series soon revealed that following a brief respite, the Nagai were to invade, followed on their heels by the Tof invasion. Their final defeat marked the start of the New Republic and the end of outside alien invasions until 25 ABY when the Yuuzhan Vong struck. In the interim, however, there was plenty of Imperial mopping up to do and lots of adventures.

Within five years, well over half of what was Imperial space was under the control of the New Republic. The war continued for another 15 years. The New Republic would be challenged by Imperial commanders, such as Ysanne Isard, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Admiral Daala, and Admiral Pellaeon. The New Republic would even be challenged by the Reborn Emperor—the spirit of Palpatine in a new clone body. But the New Republic would weather all these storms.

Fifteen years after the Battle of Endor Admiral Pellaeon and the other Imperial leaders realized that further military conflict with the New Republic would be fruitless. The remnants of the Imperial forces signed a peace treaty with the New Republic. The decades-long Galactic Civil War was finally over.

Also, after Jabba's death, Luke was held in high respect for deleting all the debts the Hutt posted on his unfortunate undertakers. Zorba the Hutt, Jabba's father, was furious when he heard of his son's demise. He took over Cloud City, and in the long run, posted bounties on whomever was responsible for Jabba's death, primarily Luke Skywalker and his sister, Leia Organa.




Credit Name
Directed By Richard Marquand
Screenplay By Lawrence Kasdan
George Lucas
Story By George Lucas
Produced By Howard Kazanjian
Executive Producer George Lucas
Co-Producers Robert Watts
Jim Bloom
Production Designer Norman Reynolds
Director Of Photography Alan Hume B.S.C.
Edited By Sean Barton
Marcia Lucas
Duwayne Dunham
Visual Effects Richard Edlund
Dennis Muren A.S.C.
Ken Ralston
Costume Designers Aggie Guerard Rodgers
Nilo Rodis-Jamero
Mechanical Effects Supervision Kit West
Make-Up And Creature Design Phil Tippett
Stuart Freeborn
Sound Design Ben Burtt
Music By John Williams
First Assistant Director/ Second Unit Director David Tomblin
Casting Mary Selway Buckley
Location Director Of Photography Jim Glennon
Additional Photography Jack Lowin
Production Sound Tony Dawe
Randy Thom
Supervising Music Editor Kenneth Wannberg
Music Recording Eric Tomlinson
Orchestrations Herbert W. Spencer
Chief Articulation Engineer Stuart Ziff
Production Supervisor Douglas Twiddy
Production Executive Robert Latham Brown
Unit Production Manager Miki Herman
Assistant Production Manager Patricia Carr
Associate To Producer Louis G. Friedman
Conceptual Artist Ralph McQuarrie
Art Directors Fred Hole
James Schoppe
Set Decorators Michael Ford
Harry Lange
Property Master Peter Hancock
Chief Hairdresser Patricia McDermott
Stunt Co-Ordinator Glenn Randall
Stunt Arranger Peter Diamond
Production Controller Arthur Carroll
Production Accountant Margaret Mitchell
Second Assistant Directors Roy Button
Michael Steele
Chris Newman
Russell Lodge
Production Assistant Ian Bryce
Production Co-Ordinator Lata Ryan
Co-Ordination Assistants Sunni Kerwin
Gail Samuelson
Script Supervisor Pamela Mann Francis
Location Script Supervisor Bob Forest
Location Casting Dave Eman
Bill Lytle
Assistant To Mr. Kazanjian Kathleen Hartney
Assistant To Mr. Bloom John Syrjamaki Ross
Assistant To Mr. Lucas Jane Bay
Assistant Art Directors Michael Lamont
John Fenner
Richard Dawking
Set Dresser Doug Von Koss
Construction Manager Bill Welch
Assistant Construction Manager Alan Booth
Construction Supervisor Roger Irvin
General Foreman Bill Iiams
Construction Foremen Greg Callas
Guy Clause
Doug Elliott
Stan Wakashige
Paint Foreman Gary Clark
Sketch Artist Roy Carnon
Scenic Artist Ted Michell
Decor And Lettering Artist Bob Walker
Set Draftsmen Reg Bream
Mark Billerman
Chris Campbell
Production Buyer David Lusby
Construction Storeman David Middleton
Operating Cameramen Alec Mills
Tom Laughridge
Mike Benson
Focus Pullers Michael Frift
Chris Tanner
Assistant Cameramen Leo Napolitano
Bob La Bonge
Second Assistant Cameramen Simon Hume
Steve Tate
Martin Kenzie
Michael Glennon
Gaffers Mike Pantages
Bob Bremner
Aerial Photography Ron Goodman
Margaret Herron
Helicopter Pilot Mark Wolfe
Key Grip Dick Dova Spah
Best Boy Joe Crowley
Dolly Grip Chunky Huse
Reg Hall
Matte Photography Consultant Stanley Sayer, B.S.C.
Rigging Gaffers Clark Garland
Tommy Brown
Chief Make-Up Artists Tom Smith
Graham Freeborn
Make-Up Artists Peter Robb King
Dickie Mills
Kay Freeborn
Nick Dudman
Hairdressers Mike Lockey
Paul Le Blanc
Assistant Articulation Engineer Eben Stromquist
Armature Designer Peter Ronzani
Plastic Designer Richard Davis
Sculptural Designers Chuck Wiley
James Howard
Key Sculptors Dave Carson
Tony McVey
Dave Sosalla
Judy Elkins
Derek Howarth
Chief Moldmaker Wesley Seeds
Moldmaker Ron Young
Creature Technicians Randy Dutra
Kirk Thatcher
Dan Howard
James Isaac
Brian Turner
Jeanne Lauren
Richard Spah, Jr.
Ethan Wiley
Creature Consultants Jon Berg
Chris Walas
Production/ Creature Co-Ordinator Patty Blau
Latex Foam Lab Supervisor Tom McLaughlin
Animatronics Engineer John Coppinger
Wardrobe Supervisor Ron Beck
Costume Supervisor Mary Elizabeth Still
Wardrobe Mistress Janet Tebrooke
Shop Manager Jenny Green
Jeweler Richard Miller
Creature Costumers Barbara Kassal
Edwina Pellikka
Anne Polland
Elvira Angelinetta
Assistant Property Master Charles Torbett
Property Supervisors Dan Coangelo
Brian Lofthouse
Property Holly Walker
Ivan Van Perre
Propmakers Bill Hargreaves
Richard Peters
Master Carpenter Bert Long
Master Plasterer Kenny Clarke
Master Painter Eric Shirtcliffe
Supervising Rigger Red Lawrence
Supervising Stagehand Eddie Burke
Sail Co-Ordinators Bill Kreysler
Warwick Tompkins
Sails Engineering Derrick Baylis
Peggy Kashuba
Assistant Film Editors Steve Starkey
Conrad Buff
Phil Sanderson
Nick Hosker
Debra McDermott
Clive Hartley
Sound Effects Editors Richard Burrow
Teresa Eckton
Ken Fischer
Dialogue Editors Laurel Ladevich
Curt Schulkey
Bonnie Koehler
Vickie Rose Sampson
Assistant Sound Editors Chris Weir
Bill Mann
Gloria Borders
Suzanne Fox
Kathy Ryan
Nancy Jencks
Mary Helen Leasman
Re-Recording Mixers Gary Summers
Roger Savage
Ben Burtt
Randy Thom
Re-Recording Engineer Tomlinson Holman
Boom Operators David Batchelor
David Parker
Sound Assistants Shep Dawe
Jim Manson
Audio Engineers T.M. Christopher
Catherine Coombs
Kris Handwerk
K.C. Hodenfield
Tom Johnson
Brian Kelly
James Kessler
Susan Leahy
Robert Marty
Scott Robinson
Dennie Thorpe
John Watson
English Lyrics Joseph Williams
Huttese Lyrics Annie Arbogast
Ewokese Lyrics Ben Burtt
Special Effects Supervisor Roy Arbogast
Special Effects Foreman William David Lee
Special Effects Floor Controller Ian Wingrove
Senior Effects Technician Peter Dawson
Chief Electronics Technician Ron Hone
Wire Specialist Bob Harman
Location Special Effects Kevin Pike
Mike Wood
Choreographer Gillian Gregory
Location Choreographer Wendy Rogers
Production Accountant Colin Hurren
Assistant Accountants Sheala Daniell
Barbara Harley
Location Accountants Diane Dankwardt
Pinki Ragan
Transportation Co-Ordinator Gene Schwartz
Transportation Captains John Feinblatt
H. Lee Noblitt
Studio Transportation Managers Vic Minay
Mark La Bonge
Location Contact Lennie Fike
Still Photographers Albert Clarke
Ralph Nelson, Jr.
Unit Publicist Gordon Arnell
Assistant Publicist June Broom
Research Deborah Fine
Miniature And Optical Effects Unit Industrial Light And Magic
Art Director-Visual Effects Joe Johnston
Optical Photography Supervisor Bruce Nicholson
General Manager, Ilm Tom Smith
Production Supervisor Patricia Rose Duignan
Matte Painting Supervisor Michael Pangrazio
Modelshop Supervisors Lorne Peterson
Steve Gawley
Animation Supervisor James Keefer
Supervising Visual Effects Editor Arthur Repola
Effects Cameramen Don Dow
Michael J. McAlister
Bill Neil
Scott Farrar
Selwyn Eddy Iii
Michael Owens
Robert Elswit
Rick Fichter
Stewart Barbee
Mark Gredell
David Hardburger
Assistant Cameramen Pat Sweeney
Kim Marks
Robert Hill
Ray Gilberti
Randy Johnson
Patrick McArdle
Peter Daulton
Bessie Wiley
Maryan Evans
Toby Heindel
David Fincher
Peter Romano
Production Co-Ordinators Warren Franklin
Laurie Vermont
Optical Printer Operators John Ellis
David Berry
Kenneth Smith
Donald Clark
Mark Vargo
James Lim
Optical Line-Up Tom Rosseter
Ed L. Jones
Ralph Gordon
Philip Barberio
Lab Technicians Tim Geideman
Ducan Myers
Michael Moore
Production Illustrator George Jenson
Matte Painting Artists Chris Evans
Frank Ordaz
Matte Photography Neil Krepela
Craig Barron
Stop Motion Animator Tom St. Amand
Chief Model Makers Paul Huston
Charles Bailey
Michael Glenn
Ease Owyeung
Model Makers William George
Marc Thorpe
Scott Marshall
Sean Casey
Larry Tan
Barbara Gallucci
Jeff Mann
Ira Keeler
Bill Beck
Mike Cochrane
Barbara Affonso
Bill Buttfield
Marghi McMahon
Randy Ottenberg
Head Effects Animators Garry Waller
Kimberly Knowlton
Effects Animators Terry Windell
Renee Holt
Mike Lessa
Samuel Comstock
Rob La Duca
Annick Therrien
Suki Stern
Margot Pipkin
Visual Effects Editors Howard Stein
Peter Amundson
Bill Kimberlin
Assistant Visual Effects Editors Robert Chrisoulis
Michael Gleason
Jay Ignaszewski
Joe Class
Supervising Stage Technician Ted Moehnke
Stage Technicians Patrick Fitzsimmons
Bob Finley Iii
Ed Hirsh
John McLeod
Peter Stolz
Dave Childers
Harold Cole
Merlin Ohm
Joe Fulmer
Lance Brackett
Pyrotechnicians Thaine Morris
Dave Pier
Supervisor-Still Photography Terry Chostner
Still Photographers Roberto McGrath
Kerry Nordquist
Electronic System Designers Jerry Jeffress
Kris Brown
Electronic Engineers Mike Mackenzie
Marty Brenneis
Computer Graphics William Reeves
Tom Duff
Equipment Engineering Supervisor Gene Whiteman
Machinists Udo Pampel
Conrad Bonderson
Apprentice Machinists David Hanks
Chris Rand
Design Engineer Mike Bolles
Equipment Support Staff Wade Childress
Michael J. Smith
Cristi McCarthy
Ed Tennler
Administrative Staff Chrissie England
Laura Kaysen
Paula Karsh
Karen Ayers
Sonja Paulsen
Karen Dube
Production Assistants Susan Fritz-Monahan
Kathy Shine
Steadicam Garrett Brown
Plate Photography
Ultra High Speed Photography Bruce Hill Productions
Color Timers Jim Schurmann
Bob Hagans
Negative Cutter Sunrise Film, Inc.
Additional Optical Effects Lookout Mountain Films
Pacific Title
Monaco Film Labs
California Film
Visual Concepts Engineering
Movie Magic
Van Der Veer Photo Effects

Special Edition Crew

Credit Name
Producer Rick McCallum
Editor T.M. Christopher
Sound Designer Ben Burtt
Re-Recording Mixer Gary Summers
First Assistant Editor Samuel Hinckley
Assistant Editor Robert Marty
Assistant Avid Editors Mike Jackson
Robin Lee
Sound Editor Teresa Eckton
Assistant Sound Editor Lisa Storer
Re-Recordist Ronald G. Roumas
Digital Mix Technician Gary A. Rizzo
Archivist Tim Fox
Optical Supervisors Phillip Feiner
Chris Bushman
Film Restoration Supervisor Pete Comandini
Color Timer Robert J. Raring
Negative Continuity Ray Sabo
Negative Cutter Bob Hart
Special Edition Digital Remastering Provided By Skywalker Sound A Lucas Digital Ltd. Company
Film Restoration Consultant Leon Briggs
Optical Restoration Pacific Title
Film Restoration By Ycm Laboratories
Industrial Light And Magic
Visual Effects Supervisor Dave Carson
Visual Effects Producer Tom Kennedy
Computer Graphics Supervisor Tom Hutchinson
Visual Effects Art Director George Hull
Visual Effects Editor Michael McGovern
Color Timing Supervisor Bruce Vecchitto
Visual Effects Coordinator Lisa Todd
Digital Effects Artists Don Butler
Michael Conte
Howard Gersh
Marshall Krasser
Tia Marshall
Stuart Maschwitz
Julie Neary
Ken Nielsen
Eddie Pasquarello
Ricardo Ramos
Tom Rosseter
Lawrence Tan
Paul Theren
Hans Uhlig
Li-Hsein Wei
Ron Woodall
Digital Matte Artists Ronn Brown
Eric Chauvin
Brian Flora
William Mather
3d Matchmove Artist James Hagedorn
Digital Paint & Roto Artists Lisa Drostova
Heidi Zabit
Chief Creature Maker Howie Weed
Model & Creature Makers Carol Bauman
Don Bies
Giovanni Donovan
Wendy Morton
Anne Polland
Mark Siegel
Steven Walton
Sabre Group Supervisor Daniel McNamara
Sabre Artists Rita Zimmerman
Chad Taylor
Mary McCulloch
Grant Guenin
Caitlin Content
Software Research And Development David Benson
Jim Hourihan
Zoran Kacic-Alesic
Florian Kainz
Jeff Yost
Digital Scanning Supervisor Joshua Pines
Digital Scanning Operators Randall Bean
Michael Ellis
Earl Beyer
Negative Supervisor Doug Jones
Negative Line-Up Andrea Biklian
Tim Geideman
Projectionist Tim Greenwood
Digital Plate Restoration Melissa Monterrosa
Mike Van Eps
Wendy Hendrickson
Assistant Visual Effects Art Director Alex Laurant
Assistant Visual Effects Editor John Bartle
Video Editor Angela Leaper
Animatic Artist Jonathan Rothbart
Digital Effects Technical Assistants Okan Ataman
Peter Chesloff
Joshua Levine
Dawn Matheson
Daniel Shumaker
Digital Effects Resource Assistant Daniel Brimer
Visual Effects Production Staff Julie Creighton
Joshua Marks
Video Assistants Dawn Martin
Wendy Bell
Production Engineering Ken Beyer
Ken Corvino
Gary Meyer
Aerial Camera System By Wesscam Camera Systems (Europe)
Aerial Cameraman Assistant Ron Goodman
Margaret Herron
Helicopter Supplied By Dollar Air Services Limited
Pilot Mark Wolfe
Cloud Plates Photographed With Astrovision(c) By Continental Camera Systems Inc.
Snow Vehicles Supplied ByAktiv Fischer
R2 Bodies Fabricated By White Horse Toy Company
Special Assistance From Giltspur Engineering And Compair
Photographed On The Hardengerjekulan Glacier, Finse, Norway And At Emi - Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, England
Music Recorded At Anvil Studios, Denham, England
Re-Recording At Samuel Goldwyn Studios, Los Angeles, California
Special Visual Effects Produced At Industrial Light And Magic, Marin County, California




Droid models




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Behind the scenes



Original movie poster

The film's director was the late Richard Marquand, who passed away in 1987 of a heart ailment, but reports have suggested that George Lucas was still heavily involved in the shooting of Return of the Jedi and likely directed some of the second unit work personally when shooting threatened to go over schedule. Lucas admits in the documentary Empire of Dreams that he had to often be on the set due to Marquand's relative inexperience with special effects, but comments by The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner on that film's DVD audio commentary track suggests that Lucas, who acted more as an advisor on The Empire Strikes Back, had a similar role on the production of Return of the Jedi. Moreover, George Lucas, according to Kershner, called The Empire Strikes Back Kershner's movie, not his.

Some have noted the differences between Richard Marquand's direction style and Lucas's direction style and say that they're dissimilar. The screenplay was written by Lawrence Kasdan and Lucas (with uncredited contributions by David Webb Peoples), based on Lucas's story. Howard Kazanjian served as producer.

The film was originally named Revenge of the Jedi until it was pointed out that a Jedi taking revenge is contrary to the strict Jedi Code, though many 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. 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. In any event, the original title was partially reused for Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

For several reasons, the working title of the project was Blue Harvest and dubbed "Horror Beyond Imagination" to engender no interest whatsoever in order to disguise what the production crew was really filming from fans and the prying eyes of the press. George Lucas had severed all his remaining ties to the Hollywood system out of a feeling of persecution after the success of The Empire Strikes Back and had become a truly independent filmmaker. Lucasfilm is a non-union company, and despite George Lucas's stature and clout, that, says Howard Kazanjian in Empire of Dreams, made acquiring shooting locations more difficult and more expensive, even though A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were mammoth hits.

Filming took place from January 11 to May 20, 1982 in Redwood National Park forests in California, the Yuma desert in Arizona, and at the Elstree Studios, United Kingdom.

A serious wardrobe problem was present in the film in that all Imperial characters, regardless of rank, are shown wearing identical rank insignia, being that of an Imperial Navy Commander. This was not recognized by the production staff until halfway through the film's shooting and the error remained uncorrected in the final version of the film.

Major musical themes:


With a massive worldwide marketing campaign, Star Wars series artist Drew Struzan created the iconic and distinctive images for the movie posters and other advertising.

Critical reaction

While critical reception of the film was generally positive, Return of the Jedi is considered by some critics and many fans as the weakest film of the original trilogy. Some indication of public opinion can be gleaned by its relatively modest 109th place ranking in the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 films list. As a comparison, A New Hope is ranked at #12, and The Empire Strikes Back is ranked #9, as of September 18, 2008.

While the entire Jabba the Hutt sequence and the action set pieces, particularly the breathtaking 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. 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 comprising the Empire's best troops. Some fans call it ludicrous, while others credit the Ewoks' bravery, ingenuity, and determination, and draw comparisons between modern warfare in which familiarity with the terrain and guerrilla tactics can results in the defeat of a numerically and technologically superior force.

However, contemporary critics seem to have been largely complimentary. In 1983, Roger Ebert gave the film a four-star rating, and Gary Arnold of the Washington Post described Return of the Jedi as "a triumph."

In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker is played by Hayden Christensen. However, in the original and Special Edition version of Return of the Jedi, a much older actor named Sebastian Shaw played both the dying Anakin Skywalker and his Force ghost. In the DVD release, Anakin's ghost has become a young man, played by Hayden Christensen, and this is considered the canon version of the ghost.

Lucas explains in the DVD commentary that Anakin has learned to control his life force beyond death, just as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda had before him. (This is very briefly explained in Revenge of the Sith). So rather than appear as the older man who was Darth Vader, Anakin is able to return to the young man he once was before turning to the dark side.

The basic controversy arises from critics of Lucas's ongoing changes to all of the Star Wars films. On one hand, the redemption of Luke's father as an older man suggests that this is the image that should represent him after death. On the other, the older man was arguably never Anakin Skywalker until his final moments, and the vision of Hayden Christensen brings the story full circle - Darth Vader defeated, Anakin Skywalker at rest. Many fans argue that the insertion of Christensen is disrespectful towards Shaw.


As with the other two films of his original trilogy, Lucas issued a Special Edition of Return of the Jedi in 1997, making a number of cosmetic changes and additions, including replacing a piece of music from the closing scene.

On September 21, 2004 the three original movies were finally released on DVD. There have a few further minor changes to the film on this release—such as sound effects and improvements to the visual quality of the film.

During the sequence when the Emperor's defeat at Endor is announced to the galaxy, an additional scene showing the celebrations on Theed, Naboo was shown. A Gungan can be heard yelling "Wesa free" in this scene.

In the scene showing the people of Coruscant celebrating, the Senate Building and the Jedi Temple have been added in the background.

Sebastian Shaw played Anakin in the hangar bay and in the final celebration scene in the original film. In the DVD release, Shaw continued to be Anakin in the hangar bay scene. Look closely and you will see that Shaw's bushy eyebrows have now been digitally removed. However, during the final celebration, Shaw was replaced by Hayden Christensen. In this release Anakin appeared as he did in Episode III. Instead of simply reshooting the Force ghost of Anakin with Hayden, test footage of Hayden's head was digitally grafted to the body of Sebastian Shaw playing the role. Thus, Anakin is seen wearing the robes of a Jedi Master, even though he did not achieve that rank in reality (though some might argue that he changed to a Master upon being redeemed by Luke). This has been retconned by saying that because Force ghosts are spirits, they may appear however the Force allows them to.

On September 12, 2006, Lucasfilm released a two-disc set consisting of the 2004 Special Edition and the unaltered original theatrical version. This release lasted until December 31, 2006.

With the release of the third episode that depicts how and why Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side of the Force, George Lucas once again altered Return of the Jedi to strengthen the relationship between the original trilogy to the prequel trilogy.

Deleted scenes


The novelization of Return of the Jedi was written by James Kahn. While it contains many scenes that were deleted from the final cut, with the release of Episode III, Kahn's assertion that Anakin Skywalker's memories of "lava crawling up his back" have proved to be in error. In the novelization of Return of the Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi recounts to Luke Skywalker that he and Anakin Skywalker had battled and that his father "fell into a molten pit."

The novelization also erroneously refers to Owen Lars as Obi-Wan Kenobi's brother. Owen Lars is, in fact, Anakin Skywalker's step brother.

At the beginning of the confrontation in Palpatine's throne room, the Emperor reads Luke's mind and discovers that Yoda completed Luke's Jedi training, and that Yoda is now dead. However, he gives no sign of recognition on hearing Yoda's name.

Radio drama

A radio drama adaptation of the film was written by Brian Daley and was produced for and broadcast on the National Public Radio in 1996. While the first two Star Wars movies were adapted for radio in the early 1980s, but it was not until 1996 that a radio version of Return of the Jedi was heard. See Star Wars (radio) for details.


The film was adapted into comics form by Marvel Comics. Unlike the earlier film adaptations, it was not released as part of the ongoing Star Wars series, but as a four-part (1 2 3 4) mini-series of its own. The adaptation was scripted by Archie Goodwin and illustrated by Al Williamson.

A manga adaptation illustrated by Shin-Ichi Hiromoto was released in Japan in 1998 and in the United States in 1999.


  • At the end of the film's 1997 Special Edition release, a crowd on Coruscant topples a statue of the Emperor, which may be a reference to the toppling of statues of Stalin with the collapse of the Soviet Union, or other similar events. Also, this marks Coruscant's first appearance, though Lucas had been trying to use it since Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. It was added in anticipation of its appearance in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Naboo, designed after the release of the 1997 Special Editions, was added among the celebration scenes in the 2004 DVD release.[source?]
  • A serious wardrobe problem was present in the film in that all Imperial characters, regardless of rank, are shown wearing identical rank insignia, being that of an Imperial Navy Commander. This was not recognized by the production staff until halfway through the film's shooting and the error remained uncorrected in the final version of the film. However, there are two extras wearing the rank of lieutenant in the scene where the Emperor arrives.[source?]
  • Kenneth Colley (Admiral Piett) and Michael Pennington (Moff Jerjerrod) are the only actors to play the same Imperial officer in two Star Wars films. Grand Moff Tarkin appeared in both Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith but played by different actors. Piett is the only Imperial officer with a speaking role in more than one film (Jerjerrod appears in the special edition of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, but he does not say a word).
  • In the original Return of the Jedi 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 deleted to shorten the scene because Lucas did not think it was necessary for the plot at the time.[source?]
  • This is the only film in the trilogy in which Denis Lawson's name is spelled correctly in the ending credits. In the other films, his name is misspelled "Dennis."
  • 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.[source?]
  • In the novelization of Return of the Jedi, Han Solo makes reference to Luke Skywalker's initial impression of the Millennium Falcon, calling it "the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy." However, in the film, Solo refers to it simply as "the fastest ship in the fleet."
  • The word "Ewok" is never mentioned in the film, apart from deleted scenes.
  • The name "Palpatine" is never mentioned in the film.
  • The name "Jerjerrod" is never mentioned in the film.
  • This is the only film in both trilogies without a blue lightsaber vs. red lightsaber fight. Also, this is the only movie featuring a green lightsaber where no green sabers lose to red sabers. In The Phantom Menace, however, a green saber does win, although it is a green saber loss as well, because in Episode I, the wielder of the green saber (Qui-Gon Jinn) dies.
  • This is the only film where a Sith Lord is shown holding a green lightsaber; Vader tests Luke's new saber on Endor.
  • During the Endor shooting, the Ewok actors apparently got upset about the working conditions and stormed off the set. One of the crew members raced off to get them back, and it turned out to be a hoax. The actors came back laughing with t-shirts that read "Revenge of the Ewoks."[source?]
  • This is the first film to use THX. Ironically, it is the only Star Wars film that contains no reference to THX 1138. Recently, Sideshow collectibles released their 12" Princess Leia as Boushh figure; on the side of the helmet there is an 1138. As Sideshow is noted for using studio source material from Lucasfilm as reference for their products, it is possible that the solution to this 20 year-old Easter egg treasure hunt has been solved.[2]
  • On Endor, Han Solo says "We'll meet at the bunker at 0300 hours", which is military time for 3:00 A.M. However, it is clearly light out when they meet. However, they may not have been using local time. It is possible that they were using Coruscant Standard Time. Additionally, they were separated by the Ewoks, which may have altered their original plans.
  • Filming began on January 11, 1982 and ended on May 20, 1982.
  • With a massive worldwide marketing campaign, Star Wars series artist Drew Struzan created the iconic and distinctive images for the movie posters and other advertising. (In the film's release poster, Luke Skywalker is depicted holding a blue lightsaber—a lightsaber color that does not appear in the film. His new lightsaber is green—although it is blue in one trailer, suggesting the decision to make it green was taken late in production. In fact, the decision was made to make Luke's blade contrast with the blue sky of Tatooine and make it more visible during the skirmish at Carkoon.
  • During space shuttle Discovery mission STS-120, the lightsaber used by Mark Hamill was flown to the Wikipedia:International Space Station, and returned to Earth. Stowed on-board Discovery for the length of the mission, the prop was flown in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Star Wars franchise. In a bit of coincidence, Lucas's first film was titled THX 1138, and STS-120 launched at 11:38 a.m.
  • The first two Star Wars movies were adapted for National Public Radio in the early 1980s, but it was not until 1996 that a radio version of Return of the Jedi was heard. See Star Wars (radio) for details.
  • George Lucas included the scene in which Yoda confirms that Darth Vader is Luke's father because, after a discussion with a children's psychologist, he didn't want younger moviegoers to dismiss Vader's claim as a lie.
  • The 1997 CD-ROM Star Wars: Behind the Magic confirms that the sequence showing the cremation of Vader's body/armor was directed by Lucas himself.
  • George Lucas reportedly took over direction with Irvin Kershner's former assistant toward the end of production, reportedly because the actors weren't responding well to director Richard Marquand. The working relationship between George Lucas and Marquand was said to be bad, and that the main camera operator left the project because he felt Lucas was mistreating Marquand. In his audio commentary for the 2004 film, however, Lucas, insists that he and Marquand had a good working relationship, and praises Marquand for being a very nice guy who was good with actors.
  • 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, as revealed in an Interview with Ford on the Extras-DVD.
  • 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 the next day, later going on to direct Dune.[3]
  • Director David Cronenberg was also offered Jedi.[4]
  • George Lucas originally intended for his friend Steven Spielberg to direct the film.[source?]
  • Although George Lucas originally intended Boba Fett to die in ROTJ upon falling into the Sarlacc, he has recently stated that he doesn't have a problem with Fett surviving, as the EU has shown.[source?]
  • Robotic mime & music duo Tik and Tok played J'Quille the Whiphid and Saeltmarae (Yakface).
  • This is the first Star Wars film to show a lightsaber combat something other than another lightsaber. Luke on the Sail Barge fights guards with staffs and blasters. In A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, a lightsaber is seen only fighting another lightsaber. It should be noted that Obi-Wan's removal of Ponda Baba's arm does not count as a fight - but could be considered combat between a lightsaber and another weapon. Also, in A New Hope Luke spars with a training droid aboard the Falcon.
  • Near the end of the film, during the Luke/Vader duel, Luke does a backflip up onto a platform above Vader. Instead of attempting to do the same, Vader stays on the ground and throws his lightsaber at Luke. This may be due to the fact that Vader has learned his lesson from a similar situation during his duel with Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith.
  • During the scene where the shuttle Tydirium is flying over Endor's forests (1997-DVD release only?) at the lower right hand corner of the screen, between two trees, is a section of power line that stops just behind the left tree.
  • When a Y-wing pilot destroys a TIE/In interceptor, Wedge Antilles acknowledges it by replying "Good shot, Red 2" but a cockpit closeup of the pilot shows that it is Horton Salm of Gold squadron.
  • On board the second Death Star when Luke takes his lightsaber to try and strike down the Emperor, Darth Vader blocks his attempt. If you look closely you'll notice that Luke's saber looks like it is going through Vader's.
  • First movie where the term "TIE Fighter" is used.
  • The ground battle on Endor was filmed in California's Redwood Forest.
  • Actor Peter Mayhew was advised to stay close to the crew so that tourists to the forests would not mistake him as Bigfoot and take photographs that could reveal the existence of the movie.[source?]
  • This is the only movie where Darth Vader does not Force choke someone. A scene did exist in the initial cut that showed Vader Force choke an Imperial Officer in order to gain access to the Emperor's throne room. This scene was cut because George Lucas felt that this point had been made clearly enough in The Empire Strikes Back.[1]
  • When Darth Vader is throwing his lightsaber at Luke, if you freeze-frame as it is spinning toward Luke, you can see clearly that the blade is coming from the pommel, not the emitter.
  • The 2004 DVD release added the Jedi Temple and Senate buildings to Coruscant's celebration.
  • In the interchange between Lando Calrissian and Han Solo you see Lando's shoulder strap going from right to left, then moments later left to right.
  • In the entire trilogy the word Sith is never used, although "Darth" means "Dark Lord of the Sith" it was seen as the first name of Darth Vader. In the prequel trilogy it is used as a title for the Sith.
  • When Luke is arriving at celebration on Endor at the end of the film, his lightsaber can be seen hanging on his belt, yet earlier when he was trying to escape the Death Star II with the dying Vader, his weapon was not on his belt, as if he had left it behind on the floor in the Emperor's throne room.

Notes and references

See also

External links


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