Friday, 26 August 2016

THE CREATURE FEATURE!


George Lucas always wanted REVENGE OF THE JEDI to be a creature film, and ILM quickly found itself paving the way to his requests with a small army of weird and wonderful characters who'd make their way to Elstree, London by January 1982. What better way to celebrate the new "Creature Shop" of that time than with this great T-shirt!

Friday, 19 August 2016

THE RETURN OF 'REVENGE' (2011)

Princess Leia (Sandstorm outfit).

Back to the Sandstorm, and the deleted scenes of EPISODE VI linked to REVENGE OF THE JEDI's 1982 filming days, with these great 2011/2012 KENNER figures that cleverly emerged linked to the then Blu-ray saga box set release. Special illustration work, photoshopping of stills from EPISODE VI, and new artwork were used for the card covers. Interestingly, none of the stills of actor Mike Stevens in the deleted scene Falcon cockpit gun section were used for the cover art (perhaps for legal and cost issues- the figure bears no likeness of Stevens, either). Instead, a photo of an American model, who looked vaguely similar to the UK actor/extra, was used.

Luke Skywalker (Lightsaber Construction).
Lando Calrissian (Sandstorm Outfit).
Colonel Cracken (Millennium Falcon Crew).
Special REVENGE logo for Rebel Commando.
Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari).

Friday, 12 August 2016

THE LEGACY OF ALDERAAN...


She'd killed Jabba the Hutt, unthawed her rogue man in Han Solo from carbonite, proved her worth as a speeder bike pilot, and helped bring down the Imperial Shield base on Endor. Once all that was done, Princess Leia Organa, as well as discovering she was sister to a Jedi,  became a key member of the New Republic to restore full freedom to the galaxy. The events of RETURN OF THE JEDI and beyond, these certainly were. But not within the original early planning for REVENGE OF THE JEDI, and certainly not with a future alongside her friends, as Producer Gary Kurtz recalled in the nineties:

"In the original idea for JEDI there wasn't another attack on the Death Star. They spent a lot of time getting Han Solo back, and he was supposed to die in the final attack on the Empire. The end was going to be the coronation of Princess Leia as Queen of her people-what was left of them- and separate her out from the others because she then had royal obligations to her family. So, in effect, the coronation cut her off from Luke and the others and they went their separate ways. It was a slightly poignant end in the original."

Would that original ending have worked? Or would a slightly downer ending have proved box office poison, especially with the planned death back then of Han Solo before they changed their mind and stuck with it? (Until THE FORCE AWAKENS, of course- a whole different time period and a very specifically engineered passing of the generational torch). Certainly food for thought and debate...

Friday, 5 August 2016

CALL-SHEET SHOWCASE!


A selection of varying size and res call sheets for REVENGE OF THE JEDI when it started shooting under top secret frenzied conditions at London's Elstree Studios from January to April, 1982. Look out for some great info listed on the pages, like the sheet listing Peter Diamond's eventually unseen "Lightman" creature.







Friday, 29 July 2016

A 'REVENGE' WITHOUT THE EMPEROR?

Early concept art for the Emperor for REVENGE.

With the passing of time, SW fans and critics have acknowledged the incredible acting contributions and legacy brought to the Classic and Prequel sagas by Ian McDiarmid, with his portrayal of the truly evil, Dark Side lightning-bringing Emperor. But in the original story ideas being developed for REVENGE OF THE JEDI during mid-to-late 1980, this character's involvement wasn't locked down. Back then, Darth Vader was still clearly going to be the uber villain of the middle trilogy's final film, and not necessarily killed off, either.

Recalled Producer Gary Kurtz in a nineties interview: "Well, (first of all), the Emperor wasn't even supposed to have come into it, except in reference, as in EMPIRE, until the last episode of the series, the ninth one. Having the Emperor show up, in effect, emasculates Darth Vader as your chief villain."

From other previous sources, as well as further info from Kurtz, this originally conceived "ninth" film would have been about the final battle waged against a retreated Empire by the "other" (referred to in EMPIRE), and whom wasn't originally Leia, though still a female member of the Skywalker family- a character returned from a far-off realm to help our surviving older heroes.


Friday, 22 July 2016

THE US 'REVENGE' SNEAK PEEK...


Returning to US cinemas for a fourth time on 13th August 1982, the original STAR WARS latest re-release poster had an additional hook to pull in fans old and new: a teaser trailer for REVENGE OF THE JEDI. By November of that year, the rumblings of the titles changing back to RETURN were beginning to happen...

The Star Wars Saga US Release and Re-Release History | StarWars.com

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

'REVENGE' OF THE EWOK!


He may have only been eleven during the making of REVENGE OF THE JEDI, but Warwick Davis, seen here holding up a rare banner and an Ewok stick/club for an early UK newspaper article/interview, was clearly going to be one of the country's favourite acting talents by the noughties onwards, and a popular international ambassador for the franchise.

Extremley rare Star Wars footage - Return of the Ewok PT.1 - YouTube
Extremley rare Star Wars footage - Return of the Ewok PT.2 - YouTube