BTS JW Rinzler's 'Making of Return of the Jedi'

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth_Nub, May 23, 2013.

  1. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    That's one of the things I've been hoping will be covered with this release - finding out just what involvement Kurtz had with ROTJ, including the very earliest discussions about 'the third film' at the time of ESB. To those who've read it, does he figure much in it, or is it a case of him being sacked & that's the end of it?
  2. Pfluegermeister Chosen One

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    Speaking of Prowse, it's amazing what this book reveals about the deteriorating relationship between LFL and Prowse; by the end they were threatening to hold him in breach of contract if he leaked one more time.
  3. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    Going back to my earliest post in the thread, about how Kasdan treated the scene of Leia's capture by Jabba:


    Given what went on in the story conferences, I'm now much more inclined to blame Kasdan for this scene, which implies the proverbial "fate worse than death" (i.e. rape) happening to Leia offscreen. It's a very adult and disturbing idea, one I can't believe Lucas would ever happily countenance.

    Worth remembering here is that in the Raiders script Kasdan gave Marion a line about her life at the Raven Bar in Nepal: "I worked here. And I wasn't the bartender!" implying that she was forced to prostitute herself to survive.

    Later in the third draft script of Raiders, when Marion is wearing that sheer nightgown aboard the Bantu Wind, there was another reference to this idea:


    This idea was cut from the final film.

    Notably, in a later draft of ROTJ by Kasdan (glimpsed later in the Making) the above dialogue apparently disappears, and the scene between Jabba and Leia approaches the final film much more closely. Presumably Lucas--given his insistence that "this is a fairytale" and "nothing bad happens to anybody"--urged Kasdan to drop this disturbing implication. (To which I can only say: Good on him.)

    In fact Lucas wanted to further edit Kasdan's revised scene, so that Leia herself was cognizant of the fact that she was never in any real danger:


    I'm reminded of the apparent debate in ESB over whether Luke should lose a hand. Lucas's second draft script (the first to feature the Father Vader revelation) doesn't include that element; it only appears in Kasdan's first crack at the screenplay. (In that version Luke loses his left arm at the elbow, and gets a nakedly mechanical replacement much like Anakin's in the prequels.) I now wonder if it wasn't Kasdan who suggested this violent means of having Vader defeat Luke.

    But in Kasdan's next draft, the calls for the secret pages in which Luke loses a hand are entirely absent, although those for the Father Vader dialogue remain. Perhaps Lucas got cold feet about "castrating" his hero? In any event, the maiming (now transferred to the right hand) was reinserted by the time of the final shooting script.

    PS: Just noticed one unusual thing in Kasdan's second draft script of ROTJ: in the Throne Room scene Vader doesn't throw the Emperor down a convenient bottomless pit but rather out the window and into space. Luke and Vader somehow avoid being sucked out themselves.
  4. gezvader28 Force Ghost

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    As far as I know Leia being put in the metal bikini was Lucas's idea , which was pretty far out at the time , I know I was surprised when I saw it , nothing like that had been seen before in SW !

    some critics interpreted the torture scene in ANH as a rape metaphor : Vader moves towards her with an instrument designed to 'penetrate' her and the door slams down violently as a jackboot crosses the frame .
  5. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

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    And yet, there's implied rape in AOTC--in the way the Sand People tied up Anakin's mother.
  6. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    I never got the implied rape in AOTC. What would make one presume that the Tusken Raiders did that to her and not just punch the ever loving crap out of her?
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  7. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

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    The way she's tied up. Plus the fact that she's a woman, and she'd been kidnapped (what else would be the goal of doing that?).

    Anyway, that's a different thread.
  8. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Not to derail, but that's the type of position for body blows. Also, ask yourself this, were they going to rape Luke? After all, they drag him to his speeder before they rummage through there. He's alive and unmarred. Who is to say that they wouldn't take him back home as well?
  9. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

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    Of course you can create a narrative where Shmi wasn't raped--but IMO the suggestion is there. And there are ways to basically tell the same story without that suggestion being there. So I find it fairly obvious. I'm not sure if Lucas has ever commented on it.
  10. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    Part of the squick with the Jabba scene quoted above, I think, is that in the old Flash Gordon comics, even though Ming the Merciless (or King Vultan of the Hawkmen, or whoever) frequently had Dale Arden dressed up in a harem outfit, you could always be absolutely sure that the villain would wait until after a proper marriage ceremony to "take advantage" of the heroine. But this ceremony would of course never actually come to pass, due to it invariably being foiled by Flash and friends.

    Kasdan's Jabba, on the other hand, is a creature of our modern world, where chivalry is dead. He doesn't belong to the knights-and-spaceships, capes-and-rayguns archetypes created by Edgar Rice Burroughs before WWI and continued by Alex Raymond. In the latter type of story, we can enjoy the heroine being forced into skimpy outfits (or, as with Dejah Thoris, casually gallivanting around Mars wearing nothing at all) and still not fear for her safety; in the former that is impossible.
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  11. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    On another note, a quote in the book from Richard Marquand suggests that part of Harrison Ford's motivation for wanting to kill off Han Solo was so that Leia and Luke could get together romantically. By that time Marquand knew that Lucas wanted Luke and Leia to be revealed as siblings, but he wasn't allowed to tell Ford that yet!

    The idea of Han dying and Luke and Leia becoming an item is intriguing. It harks back to Lucas's older ideas for the future of the OT, during production on ANH, when he imagined Han leaving at the end of the second film and Luke and the Princess getting together:


    By the time of ESB, of course, Lucas imagined that Han and the Princess would be the ones to hook up in the end. This was decided early enough that Lucas told Leigh Brackett that's what would happen. At the end of the Brackett draft Han still leaves--to convince his powerful stepfather Ovan Marekal to join the Alliance--but he plans to come back to Leia.

    However, if you combine Han's death (and perhaps Luke winning Leia's hand) with Kasdan's idea of Luke taking over the Empire and becoming a benevolent monarch.... well, you can start to see where some of the Gary Kurtz rumors come from.

    Of course, it shouldn't be forgotten that the very first rough draft for ANH--the one simply titled The Star Wars, now being adapted by Dark Horse--ended exactly this way, with the new Queen Leia and her consort Annikin Starkiller (the "Lord Protector") appearing gloriously enthroned in the royal palace of Aquilae.

    (Mark Hamill was also interested in getting Luke hooked up. He gave Lucas a book full of drawings of alien creatures, with a handwritten inscription asking him to pick out a girlfriend for Luke from among the various aliens. It didn't work.)
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  12. Vthuil Force Ghost

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    That's hilariously bizarre.
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  13. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Given that the Shmi kidnapping by the Tuskens is directly inspired by The Searchers, I think, yes, there is a suggestion that she'd been raped, and you have to wonder why they'd otherwise keep her alive - but being the SW universe, it's not necessarily something that actually happened, if that makes sense. Likewise, Leia wasn't necessarily sexually assaulted by Jabba & his cronies in ROTJ, but the direct impression the audience gets when they see her in the slave girl outfit is that she's been degraded and violated.

    It's not unlike what I referred to a few posts back about Luke being 'castrated' in ESB. Certain actions and imagery provoke a particular response in the audience, inspired by real-life fears. Kasdan seems to speaking in those terms regarding the 'fate worse than death' that faces Leia, just as GL is when he speaks about Luke's 'castration'.

    Similarly, one has to remember that SW subscribes to fairy tale rules, for the most part - in folk tales a princess could find herself pregnant simply by being kissed once by a prince. No need for kids to have to hear about the nitty-gritty of actually bumping uglies if all you want is a baby to turn up in the story.
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  14. gezvader28 Force Ghost

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    I always thought he belonged to the old Arabian stories - Sultans and harems etc.
  15. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

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    Well, that's why I pointed out that Luke was still alive. Granted, Lucas didn't have this in mind back in 76, but it is interesting to note that Luke was alive and unharmed, before the Tuskens were chased off by Obi-wan. While Shmi was taken and tortured, before dying. While rape might be the first thing that comes to mind, it isn't always the only motivation. Sometimes sadism without sexual assault occurs.
  16. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    Yeah, exactly. All of Kasdan's drafts of the ROTJ script make a big deal out of Jabba kissing Leia for that exact reason--the symbolism of violation.
  17. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    In addition to the wonderfully enlightening text which I've referenced above, the concept art in the Making of ROTJ is also quite good and mostly never before seen.

    One standout is the designs for Jabba the Hutt. While Phil Tippett's rather cartoonish design (from a maquette) was ultimately selected, Ralph McQuarrie surely gets the nod for the most terrifying Jabba concepts. One of his pieces features a wormlike Jabba with a maw full of slimy tentacles reminiscent of Cthulhu; another has a more humanoid Jabba, but with immense revolting folds of naked, sagging flesh, protruding eyes set farther apart than in a human face, and a mouth full of razor-sharp fangs.

    There's also a piece of Slave Leia concept art by Nilo Rodis-Jamero that I've never seen before: the precursor of the final costume design, but with the top specified as made out of leather instead of metal, and Leia going barefoot. (Still better than one of Rodis-Jamero's earlier ideas for the costume, featured on the Blu-rays, which included a transparent mesh fabric top, drawn complete with visible nipples.... a wardrobe later given in modified form to Oola after apparently being deemed too risqué for the leading lady.)

    McQuarrie's art for the Imperial Guards is also very interesting; he favored robing them in black and making their helmet shape resemble Vader's. It would seem Rodis-Jamero in his final design opted for red because, having been raised as a Catholic, he found it amusing to put the Emperor's minions in outfits resembling liturgical vestments. The Royal Guards outfitted in solid red, for instance, call to mind the scarlet robes of cardinals.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Oct 4, 2013
  18. Lawrence Futol Jedi Master

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    Mar 8, 2013
    Rinzler in this interview credits Marquand:

    Other tidbits:


  19. TOSCHESTATION Force Ghost

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    Got the book today!!!

    Check this out:

    page 11:

    Additional undated notes, possibly pre-Empire , include, "mother image", "girlfriend for Luke", and "the Emperor is the evil one - he kills Luke's father - Vader begs Luke to kill him - he does. "
    Last edited by TOSCHESTATION, Oct 5, 2013
  20. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    I saw that but had neglected to post about it. Those notes would indeed appear to come from the liminal stage between ANH and ESB, when Lucas was reconsidering both the backstory of Father Skywalker and the notion that Vader was a dyed-in-the-wool irredeemable villain. But the obvious solution--to combine the two ideas into Father Vader--hadn't quite gelled yet.
    Last edited by ATMachine, Oct 5, 2013
  21. Pfluegermeister Chosen One

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    If we're discussing fathers, consider this: according to the book, in the November 1, 1981 second draft of Jedi, when the Emperor tells Luke to kill Vader, Luke answeres the following: "Never! Never will I turn to the dark side. You have failed, your highness. I am a Jedi as my father was before me, and as his father was before him."

    And to make sure the most important point isn't lost on all of you, let me emphasize it: as Anakin's father was before him. Anakin's father. [face_thinking]

    Methinks the whole "virgin birth" thing was a later add-on, don't you? :p
  22. ATMachine Force Ghost

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    Ooh, great catch! I had totally missed that.
  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Going to get this on Google Play books; it'll look transcendent at 27" and 2560x1440, I suspect. Especially as the Return of The Jedi score plays over iTunes as I read. :p
  24. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    Whoa. Nicely spotted.

    Tried to get a hold of the book yesterday, but the store was sold out (still had one on hold) - said there should be more in stock next week. Gonna try another couple of reliable bookstores, then go back if no luck.

    And no, I'm not ordering online, I seem to be cursed when it comes to online shopping - my Making of ESB turned up soaking wet, having not been packed properly (thanks a lot, Book Depository), I've had Xmas presents not turn up, with Amazon & DHL blaming each other, etc etc etc.
  25. oierem Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 18, 2009
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    But that draft was written by Kasdan, not Lucas, right?

    (although of course, I doubt it very much that Lucas was thinking about virgin births back then)