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10 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About 'Return of the Jedi'!

I am a Jedi, like my father before me.

By Jonathan SimPublished 5 years ago 5 min read

It's been a while since I've done one of my "ten fun facts" articles. So, I decided to start it up again.

Return of the Jedi is the final episode of the original Star Wars trilogy. Whether you love it for the story or hate it for the Ewoks, here are ten fun fact facts that you didn't know about ROTJ.

1. The film's working title was 'Blue Harvest.'

After the success of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, Lucasfilm wanted to keep the film's production from fans and journalists in order to stop on-set secrets from getting leaked.

So, during the making of the movie, they pretended they were making a horror film called Blue Harvest, and had all the Jedi crew members wear Blue Harvest shirts. The tagline? "Horror beyond imagination."

2. Yoda originally wasn't supposed to be in the movie.

George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan originally didn't have Yoda in the script, planning on having Jedi begin with Luke after he finished his training on Dagobah.

However, director Richard Marquand suggested that Yoda appear in the film, and Lucas agreed because he decided that Yoda should be the one to confirm that Darth Vader was Luke's father, so that children wouldn't dismiss it as a lie.

At the end of Jedi, Luke takes off Darth Vader's mask and we see his face for the first time. Before they cast the role of Vader unmasked, Lucas and Marquand wanted to cast a well-known movie star such as Laurence Olivier to play the role.

However, they ended up deciding that having a recognized actor as Darth Vader would distract from the impact of the moment, and they decided to cast lesser-known actor Sebastian Shaw.

4. Sebastian Shaw had little knowledge about the film prior to playing his role.

When Shaw arrived on the set of Jedi to film his scene, he ran into his friend, Ian McDiarmid, who plays Emperor Palpatine. When McDiarmid asked what he was doing there, Shaw replied, "I don't know, dear boy. I think it's something to do with science fiction."

Looks like he didn't do his Star Wars homework.

5. Luke and Leia weren't supposed to be siblings.

In Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, Luke and Leia were not written as brother and sister. This is why Luke had a "crush" on her in the original, and it explains the very awkward kiss between the two in Empire.

Lucas was planning a sequel trilogy where Luke went on a journey to find his long-lost sister, but he decided against it, wanting to tie everything up with Jedi. And since Han and Leia were in a relationship, Luke and Leia became siblings.

Kasdan and Lucas wrote the script for the film, calling it Return of the Jedi. However, Kasdan suggested that Lucas change the title, as he felt the title was weak. So, Lucas renamed the film Revenge of the Jedi.

Posters and a trailer above were made advertising the film as Revenge of the Jedi, but Lucas eventually decided that Jedi do not practice revenge, and changed the title back to Return of the Jedi. Lucas eventually used a similar title with the final installment of his prequel trilogy, titled Revenge of the Sith.

7. Luke was supposed to have a blue lightsaber in this movie.

As seen in the "Revenge of the Jedi" trailer

After Luke lost his lightsaber on Cloud City near the end of Empire, he would need a new one in this film. In early cuts and trailers of the film, Luke wielded a blue lightsaber just like his old one.

However, Luke first ignites his lightsaber on Tatooine, and his blue lightsaber ended up blending in with the blue sky. So, Lucas changed the color of the lightsaber from blue to green so that it would be easier to see.

8. Creating Jabba the Hutt was a nightmare.

Creating Jabba the Hutt required half a million dollars and it took three months to make. Multiple puppeteers were required to move the puppet's arms, mouth, head, and tail, some of the puppeteers being members of Jim Hensen's Muppet group.

During the scene where Leia kills Jabba, actress Carrie Fisher climbed over the puppet and one of her heels went right through the puppet, injuring one of the operators.

9. The role of Ewoks in the film was originally supposed to be filled by Wookiees.

Originally, Luke, Han, and Leia were going to receive help from a large group of Wookiees. However, Lucas and his production team ended up realizing that as Chewbacca could fly the Millennium Falcon, it meant Wookiees were too technologically advanced for the plot, so they were changed to a new creature called Ewoks.

And by the way, did you know they made TWO television films centered on Ewoks, and an animated TV show called Star Wars: Ewoks?!

10. Anthony Daniels had a panic attack while filming a scene.

There's a scene in Jedi where C-3PO gets his eye chewed on by Salacious Crumb (Jabba's cackling friend). While filming in the suit, actor Anthony Daniels had a panic attack. Instead of delivering his lines, he simply repeated, "Get me up. Get me up."

In postproduction, his cries for help were dubbed over and the take ended up in the film.

And that's it! Hate me if you must, but I actually didn't like 'Return of the Jedi' as much as I liked 'The Last Jedi.'

Sorry, not sorry.

star wars

About the Creator

Jonathan Sim

Film critic. Lover of Pixar, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Back to the Future, and Lord of the Rings.

For business inquiries: [email protected]

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