I love Return Of The Jedi. It’s become a bit of a whipping boy for the original trilogy, with many criticsising the Ewoks as the first grand Lucas mistake of “playing to the kids” in what would become a franchise tradition. However, remember these are the cute furry bears who were about to char-broil Han and Luke alive – presumably to eat them, because spitroasted meat is awesome in any galaxy – and could take down an armoured Imperial Stormtrooper with just rocks and sticks. Adorable little barbarians.
Jedi also has the best lightsaber battle, still the most beautifully choreographed multi-ship space battle to date, the speeder chase through the trees, “I don’t know – fly casual”, Boba Fett’s transformation into fan icon (and Sarlaak meal), Luke’s diving board flip, Leia’s slave attire. It’s a fantastic movie that, up until Lucas ruined the ending with Jedi ghost-swapping and soundtrack meddling, was a fitting end to a wonderful trilogy.
So, if you’re nodding along to my reminiscence, then this link is for you. Spotted on Imgur this morning, 50 photos chronicling the making of RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983) is a great selection of behind-the-scenes images that will make you grin like a schoolkid and bring back much of the wonder that has been lost a little in the last few years.
And it’s a also a sign that Lucas, who famously insisted that 19-year-old Carrie Fisher shouldn’t wear a bra under her flimsy white gown in Episode IV as “they don’t have them in space”, was still very much past of the costume design process: