What was Return of the Jedi originally going to be called?

Dec 15, 2020
Revenge of the Jedi movie poster

What was Return of the Jedi originally going to be called? 

When George Lucas was making his third Star Wars feature film, he wasn't making Return of the Jedi.

He was making a film called Revenge of the Jedi.

It was revenge in the sense that Luke was going to win the battle against the Evil Empire, taking his revenge for all the wrongs done to himself and his family.

Things got so far into production that promotional posters of the film with the name Revenge of the Jedi were produced and sent out into the wild.

But then George had an idea.

A great idea which changed the whole tone of the movie.

He named it Return of the Jedi to signal what the movie was really about. 

That being the return of Anakin Skywalker from the dark side of the Force and his rightful place as a Jedi. 

It also is a reference to how Luke becomes a Jedi ("So be it, Jedi" declares the Emperor) and when that happens, the Jedi in the plural sense have returned.

Lucas also thought that true Jedi would not actually seek revenge which makes a lot more sense. Lucas did, however, continued with his thinking that Luke Skywalker was going to be pushed to the Dark Side of the Force by Palpatine.

Which would have made this alternate Jedi ending a bit more interesting... The short version at one point before final script decisions were made, Lucas toyed with the idea of Luke picking up Vader's helmet and putting it on - thus making himself the bad guy of the galaxy. 

Years later, Lucas was able to reuse his concept for the Revenge of the Sith (what's in a name?). 

1 comment:

  1. This may or may not be true. This is a quote directly from Wired:

    "The reasoning behind the switch from the title Revenge of The Jedi to Return of The Jedi is murky, with various motivations given by various people at various times. One story has it that the switch returned the movie to its original title after Lucas temporarily changed it when Kasdan complained 'Return' was 'too weak.'" (Kasdan being the co-director, I believe.)


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