TimeLine : The Making of Return of the Jedi

Star Wars: 1944-1974 . 1975 . 1976 . 1977
The Empire Strikes Back: 1978 . 1979 . 1980
Return of the Jedi: 1981 . 1982 . 1983

    January 4, 1982

  • George Lucas makes some revisions to the third draft of Return of the Jedi.

    January 11, 1982

  • Filming begins on Return of the Jedi on nine stages at Elstree Studios in London. In order to throw fans and media off the track, the project was given the working title of Blue Harvest : Horror Beyond Imagination during production.

    The first scene shot was the later deleted sandstorm segment. As soon as Marquand yelled "action," the problems with the malfunctioning R2D2 started all over again. After three days, the scene was completed.

  • When Dermot Crowley arrived on set to play the role of General Crix Madine, the crew handed him a fake beard. Kenner had already begun production on action figures based on his character and the toy had a beard. So, Crowley had to wear a beard to match the toy.

    January 13, 1982

  • Costume Tests for Michael Carter as Bib Fortuna are held on Stage 6.

    Early February 1982

  • Filming of the Rebel briefing room scenes at Elstree Studios on Stage 5.

    April 12, 1982

  • Filming takes place in the Yuma Desert in Arizona for the Great Pit of Carkoon sequence.

    May 1982

  • Star Wars is released by 20th Century Fox on video to movie rental stores.

    May 20, 1982

  • Filming wraps on Return of the Jedi.

  • Random Fact: The raspy voice of Boushh is performed by none other than Pat Welsh, who also provided the voice for E.T. the Extra Terrestrial. Sound designer Ben Burtt discovered Welsh in a camera shop.

    June 1982

  • THX Sound System is developed by Industrial Light and Magic.

    June 15-17, 1982

  • A steadicam film is shot in Redwood National Park for use as forest backgrounds during the speeder bike chase. Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown filmed these shots walking down a path and shooting at less than one frame per second. By walking at about 5 mph (8 km/h) and projecting the footage at 24 frame/s, the motion seen in the film appeared as if it were moving at around 120 mph (190 km/h).

    August 13, 1982

  • Star Wars is released in theaters for the fourth time with an accompanying trailer for Revenge of the Jedi.

    Late 1982

  • The original teaser trailer and poster is released for the new film with the alternate title Revenge of the Jedi. Lawrence Kasdan claimed that he prompted the change by telling Lucas that Return of the Jedi was a weak title.

    September 1982

  • Star Wars is released by 20th Century Fox on home video.

    Late 1982

  • Kenner releases its fifth set of Star Wars action figures, including 4-LOM, General Veers (AT-AT Commander), Cloud Car Pilot, TIE Pilot, C-3PO (with Removable Limbs), R2-D2 with Sensorscope, Zuckuss, Luke Skywalker Hoth Gear, and Bespin Guard (black).

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Research and written documentary Copyright 1997-2016 Eric Townsend All Rights Reserved. Do not reproduce or publish without permission.

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