Taglines: Return to a galaxy far, far away.
In the final episode of the Star Wars saga, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) emerges intact from the carbonite casing in which he’d been sealed in The Empire Strikes Back. The bad news is that Solo, together with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), is prisoner to the grotesque Jabba the Hutt. But with the help of the charismatic Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), our heroes and our heroine manage to escape.
The next task is to rid the galaxy of Darth Vader (body by David Prowse, voice by James Earl Jones) and the Emperor (Ian McDiarmid), now in command of a new, under-construction Death Star. On the forest moon Endor, the good guys enlist the help of a feisty bunch of bear-like creatures called the Ewoks in their battle against the Empire.
Return of the Jedi (also known as Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas was from a story by Lucas, who was also the executive producer. It was the third and final installment in the original Star Wars trilogy and the first film to use THX technology. The film is set one year after The Empire Strikes Back and was produced by Howard Kazanjian for Lucasfilm Ltd. The film stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz.
The Galactic Empire, under the direction of the ruthless Emperor, is constructing a second Death Star in order to crush the Rebel Alliance once and for all. Since the Emperor plans to personally oversee the final stages of its construction, the Rebel Fleet launches a full-scale attack on the Death Star in order to prevent its completion and kill the Emperor, effectively bringing an end to the Empire’s hold over the galaxy. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker, a Jedi apprentice, struggles to bring Darth Vader, who, he finds out, is actually his father Anakin Skywalker, the fallen Jedi, back to the Light Side of the Force.
David Lynch and David Cronenberg were considered to direct the project before Marquand signed on as director. The production team relied on Lucas’ storyboards during pre-production. While writing the shooting script, Lucas, Kasdan, Marquand, and producer Howard Kazanjian spent two weeks in conference discussing ideas to construct it. Kazanjian’s schedule pushed shooting to begin a few weeks early to allow Industrial Light & Magic more time to work on the film’s effects in post-production. Filming took place in England, California, and Arizona from January to May 1982. Strict secrecy surrounded the production and the film used the working title Blue Harvest to prevent price gouging.
The film was released in theaters on May 25, 1983, six years to the day after the release of the first film, receiving mostly positive reviews. The film grossed between $475 million and $572 million worldwide. Several home video and theatrical releases and revisions to the film followed over the next 20 years. Star Wars continued with Episode I: The Phantom Menace as part of the film series’ prequel trilogy. A sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was released on December 18, 2015, as part of the new sequel trilogy.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Directed by: Richard Marquand
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness
Screenplay by: Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas
Production Design by: Norman Reynolds
Cinematography by: Alan Hume, Alec Mills
Film Editing by: Sean Barton, T.M. Christopher, Duwayne Dunham, Marcia Lucas, George Lucas
Costume Design by: Aggie Guerard Rodgers, Nilo Rodis-Jamero
Set Decoration by: Michael Ford, Harry Lange
Art Direction by: Fred Hole, James L. Schoppe
Music by: John Williams
MPAA Rating: PG for sci-fi action violence.
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 25, 1983