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1. Although Return Of The Jedi was officially directed by Richard Marquand, George Lucas actually stepped in and directed large portions of the movie, particularly the scenes requiring special effects. But Marquand wasn't Lucas' first choice for director, he offered the job to David Lynch! Lynch, in his own words said he had "next door to zero interest" in Star Wars.
2. Return Of The Jedi marks the first appearance of Ian McDiarmid in the role of the Emperor, however he very nearly didn't play the part at all. 32 year old McDiarmid was on a shortlist of two actors, along with 76 year old actor Alan Webb. Lucas originally chose Webb, who became ill soon after landing the job and passed away shortly after. So McDiarmid got the part, and was the right age to return for the prequels.
3. Everyone knows the Ewoks right? Yet at no point in time during Return Of The Jedi does any cast member ever say the word "Ewok".
4. Sticking with the Ewoks. Their language was derived from a combination of Tibetan and Nepalese.
5. As Return Of The Jedi went into the early stages of production it was unclear if Harrison Ford would return as Han Solo as his contract didn't include the third movie. Originally it was thought that, at most, he may only agree to a brief cameo, so an early script has Han being 'defrosted' at Jabba's palace only to die shortly afterwards during the escape.
6. Remember that line from Episode IV, when Obi-Wan says to Darth Vader "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.". George Lucas developed a plan for that to pay off in Jedi. His idea was that Obi-Wan's
Force ghost was keeping the Emperor from exerting his full powers, and when Luke faced Vader in combat, Obi-Wan (and also Yoda) would return to a physical existence at a crucial time and all deliver the 'final blow'. This was pitched to Alec Guinness as he was hesitant about returning for another film if all he was going to do was stand in front of a green screen and give a 'wise man' speech to Luke.
7. Another plan for Obi-Wan was that he would reveal that 'Uncle Owen' was actually his brother.
8. One change director Richard Marquand wanted to implement was when Darth Vader
removed his helmet at the end there would be a famous British thespian
underneath it, somebody like Laurence Olivier or John Gielgud. Lucas
rejected the change fearing that it would be too distracting to the
audience and they wouldn't take the scene as seriously.
9. However, at one point in time Lucas had that scene finishing very differently. After Luke helps Vader remove his helmet, Luke then claims it as his own! As reported in an early transcript from a
story plotting session between Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan, Lucas says: "Luke takes his mask
off. The mask is the very last thing, and then Luke puts it on and
says, 'Now I am Vader.'... Surprise! The ultimate twist. 'Now I will go and
kill the [Rebel] fleet and I will rule the universe.'" Kasdan
immediately responded, "That's what I think should happen".
10. Think that Leia's bikini was the most revealing thing in Return of the Jedi? Think again! Remember Oola, the green Twilek dancer in Jabba's palace? Well when Jabba tugs on her chain (that's no kind of euphemism by the way!) there's a little bit of a wardrobe malfunction. The kind that drove a million teenage boys to madness in the mid 1980s, as they tried to freeze frame their VHS video tapes on that split second of visable green boob!!! Surprisingly with all the tinkering George did for the special editions, he never removed that shot...
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