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Ewok attack! 30 years of Return Of The Jedi

October 31, 2013

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If you go down to the woods today: yes, you’ll be in for the surprise that’s the original Star Wars trilogy culminating in a climax featuring teddy bears – no wonder Chewie looks a tad narked

Three full decades ago this very year saw one of the biggest mis-steps to befall cinema. Up there with the Best Picture Oscar being awarded to How Green Was My Valley instead of Citizen Kane (both 1941), Michael Cimino following up The Deer Hunter (1978) with Heaven’s Gate (1980) and everybody involved in making Xanadu (1980) deciding to make, well, Xanadu. Yes, that’s right, 30 years ago this year George Lucas came up with the bright idea of ditching his initial notion for Return Of The Jedi (1983) of sending his rebel heroes to the home-planet of loveable but awesome ‘walking carpet’ Wookie Chewbacca and opted instead to send them to the planet of the… Ewoks, a bunch of savage overgrown teddy bears.

To be fair, time has been rightly kind to Jedi. The presence of the Ewoks in its last two thirds (although often irritating and, frankly, baffling) far, far from destroys this action-packed, event-filled, fun, frolicsome, dramatic and tragic finale to the original Star Wars saga; even if, Ewoks aside, it’s undoubtedly the weakest of the first three flicks of The ‘Wars. Let’s face it, with its speeder-bikes, Leia in a bikini, awesome space battle, Luke-cum-Vader-cum-Emperor tête-à-tête and original Anakin reveal, Jedi rocks. And even the Ewoks are rather cool. In a very cuddly way. Quite frankly, Jedi is Star Wars (the original Star Wars, that is) so of course it’s tops.

And so, here it is then, George’s Journal‘s official tribute to the triginta annus-celebrating Return Of The Jedi; a behind-the-scenes-picture-packing and quote-from-the-flick-toting post that is most certainly not, Admiral Ackbar, a trap…

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HOVER MOUSE OVER images for more information/ CLICK ON images for full-size

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Han: Together again, huh?
Luke: Wouldn’t miss it
Han: How we doin’?
Luke: Same as always
Han: That bad, huh?

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Han: Chewie and I’ll take care of this, you stay here
Luke: Quietly. There may be more of them out there
Han: Hey, it’s me!

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Luke: You’re wrong, Leia. You have that power too. In time you’ll learn to use it as I have. The Force runs strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. And… my sister has it. Yes. It’s you, Leia.
Leia: I know. Somehow, I’ve always known…

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Lando: That blast came from the Death Star! That thing’s operational!

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Admiral Ackbar: It’s a trap!

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Anakin: Luke… help me take this mask off
Luke: But you’ll die
Anakin: Nothing… can stop that now. Just for once… let me… look on you with my own eyes

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Han: I’m sure Luke wasn’t on that thing when it blew
Leia: He wasn’t. I can feel it
Han: You love him… don’t you?
Leia: Yes
Han: All right. I understand. Fine. When he comes back, I won’t get in the way
Leia: Oh, Han, it’s not like that at all… [whispering] he’s my brother

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Several of the above images can be found in the newly published book The Making Of Return Of The Jedi: The Definitive Story Behind The Film by JW Rinzler

Almost assuredly all the images are copyright of Lucasfilm Ltd.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Simon permalink
    October 31, 2013 11:13 pm

    Star Wars for all it’s greatness has made the odd miss step, the Ewoks whilst a fun diversion me cynically think where a wonderful marketing and merchandising ploy…… Having said that the battle of Endor was fantastic……. Chewbacca and several 100 Ewoks in a Imperial walker 😉

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  1. 30 years ago this year ~ that was when… | George's Journal

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