CT The Original Original Return of the Jedi

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by MidKnighT, Apr 12, 2022.


Which Return of the Jedi Would You Have Preffered?

  1. The Return of the Jedi We Got

    32 vote(s)
  2. The Original Ideas of Return of the Jedi

    7 vote(s)
  3. A Mix of the Two

    16 vote(s)
  1. gezvader28

    gezvader28 Chosen One star 6

    Mar 22, 2003
    I think it was Fantastic Films magazine that ran a speculation piece that supposed that Kenobi was a clone : "Obi-One" .
    Tosche_Station likes this.
  2. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 14, 2018
    Or OB-1 - "Old Ben-1".

    Intriguingly, Frank Herbert's novel Destination: Void (published in 1965 and later revised in 1978) features a ship crewed by clones who all have the middle name "Lon" - after Lon Chaney, "Man of a Thousand Faces". It seems very possible that Lucas read it and took some inspiration from it. Maybe the "-wan" part of Obi-wan's name was meant as a possible story thread where, as a clone, he was a "pale imitation" of the original "Obi Kenobi"?

    In the 1978 revisions, Herbert also expressed some feelings about a certain SF movie "cloning" his own work: one of the clones mentioned as being on the ship is named "Legata Lon Hamill."
    Darth Caliban and Tosche_Station like this.

    JEDI-RISING Chosen One star 6

    Apr 15, 2005
    the book "Star Wars the annotated screenplays' goes through different versions of the OT's scripts, and none of this stuff was in early versions, so whether any of this wsa discussed , it didn't make it to paper.
    UnlimitedSarcasm likes this.
  4. Dark Ferus

    Dark Ferus Chosen One star 8

    Jul 29, 2016
    There are treatment ideas that might have been cool, but absolutely not Han dying or Luke ending up on the dark side.

    I never understood why Gary Kurtz or others thought that the film would have been better if those had happened, or why Lucas just was in it for the money by giving ROTJ a genuinely happy ending. I also prefer the end celebration to the Spaghetti Western idea, and I don't get why the upbeat note of ROTJ's finale is just for merchandise.

    I don't think anything would have made Lucas make an ST in the 80s.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2022
  5. patbuddha

    patbuddha Jedi Grand Master

    Feb 3, 2002
    The earliest version of ROTJ is basically the third act of the 1974 rough draft. This is the basic structure of that screenplay:

    ACT 1. We are introduced to a family of Jedi. Imperial forces commanded by Darth Vader lay siege to Princess Leia's planet with their space fortress. She has a contentious relationship with one of the heroes. Pilots loyal to her launch a counterattack on the space fortress.

    ACT 2: Following the counterattack, the Empire invades Leia's planet. The male heroes escort her off-world with the goal of reaching a safe location. Darth Vader brings in a specialist to help track them down. The good guys temporarily escape by flying through an asteroid field. Leia and the hero she has the contentious relationship with begin to fall in love.

    ACT 3. Leia and her protectors land on a forest planet that's home to a tribe of furry primitives. The tribe helps the heroes attack an Imperial outpost on the planet. Pilots launch their second counter offensive against the Empire's space fortress. The young Jedi hero is aboard it when the attack begins. He is set to be executed when a Sith switches his allegiances to help the him escape before the fortress is finally destroyed. Vader is killed and Leia and her paramour cement their relationship with a kiss.

    So even if there had been an idea not to have a second Death Star in the eventual film that got made, it wouldn't have been the "original" idea as the narrative had always been more or less structured around these two separate attacks. Lucas’s first draft of ROTJ has not one, but two of them.

    Han Solo doesn't die in that draft either. You will often see click bait articles stating that him dying was the "original" story but it simply wasn't. It was something Harrison Ford was lobbying for, but which Lucas never took seriously. Lucas and Kasdan have a discussion during the story conferences on the subject of killing off characters:
  6. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 14, 2018
    And the "space fortress" the villains have orbiting Princess Leia's birthworld is really more of a command center, akin to the Trade Federation battleship in TPM.
  7. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 13, 2014
    It’s a little murky but Kurtz was largely replaced before Empire was finished. Howard Kazanjian effectively took over producer responsibilities with post production.

    Production on Empire was a mess that spiraled out of control going way over budget. Responsibility for that fell to Kurtz. It nearly bankrupted LucasFilm which would have cost Lucas the ownership rights to Star Wars.

    Some of the setbacks were outside anyones control. But Kurtz would not pressure the director and production to move faster to get back on schedule. Then Kurtz personally okayed props like stormtrooper costumes to be sent away for promotional use. Problem was those items were still needed for filming. That mistake cost millions of dollars. Money LucasFilm did not have.

    That’s when Kazanjian was brought in to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Kazanjian had just finished successfully producing More American Graffiti without any issues or budget problems.

    Empire was a production riddled with setbacks and problems. It beat the odds to turn out like it did. There was no way that process could have worked a second time. Lucas wasn’t sure if he could keep making movies after that. Luckily Raiders of the Lost Ark was next - and it finished ahead of schedule and under budget. Kazanjian was also producer on Raiders.

    Lucas for his part was loyal to Kurtz and shielded him from criticism. Kazanjian is an uncredited producer on Empire. Irving Kershner most likely didn’t come back for Return of the Jedi because he knew they just pulled off Empire.

    I feel like Kurtz would have known future Star Wars stories as planned before Empire had finished filming. I also wonder if Darth Vader being sent to get the second Death Star back on schedule wasn’t in part inspired by Empire’s production problems and delays.
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  8. oierem

    oierem Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2009
  9. DarkGingerJedi

    DarkGingerJedi Chosen One star 6

    Nov 21, 2012
    May sound funny, but growing up I always thought that the DS2 in ROTJ, was just the same one from the first film, being repaired. It wasn't until the 90s I think that I realized it was completely new battle station. lol
  10. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 9

    Oct 4, 1998
    Early in 83 when the first images with DS2 were released to the public, my first thought was, 'How did they manage to salvage so much of it? It looked like it blew itself to pieces, and the novelization said it was blasted apart right down to the atoms.' Then TIME magazine published their RotJ review before the movie hit theaters, and that explained it was a new Death Star, which made a whole lot more sense to me. So of course I have a problem with TRoS and the DS2 wreckage. :rolleyes:
  11. vong333

    vong333 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 18, 2003
    I remember when I first saw Rotj in the movies when it came out. When the emperor arrived at the Death Star it was vader the moff and several generals that kneeled down when he came out. Later versions only had vader and the moff.
    whostheBossk likes this.
  12. Darth Baga

    Darth Baga Jedi Knight star 2

    Jul 21, 2021
    I'm just happy with the RotJ we got. I wouldn't want to replace the Ewoks with Wookies, either. It was interesting to see a different alien species. The Ewoks also better align with the OT's theme of a plucky underdog beating a superpower.

    Much like Yoda and the Rebel Alliance, the Ewoks are diminutive and deceptively weak. The Empire underestimated all of them. Having 7 foot tall wookies wrecking Stormtroopers would undermine that message.
  13. gezvader28

    gezvader28 Chosen One star 6

    Mar 22, 2003
    I just wish it hadn't been another DS . Obviously they needed something to destroy , but just have something else : some facility making elite star destroyers or whatever.
    BlackRanger likes this.
  14. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 14, 2018
    That's a fair point. As Yoda puts it, "Judge me by my size, do you?"

    On the other hand, I can't shake the feeling that the choice of Ewoks instead of Wookiees was at least partially motivated by the idea of selling Ewok plush toys.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
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  15. Dude111

    Dude111 Jedi Knight

    Sep 26, 2017
    I prefer the original of all 3 movies as they are the best!
  16. ezekiel22x

    ezekiel22x Chosen One star 5

    Aug 9, 2002
    The one we got is every bit as good as ESB so I'm cool with it.
  17. BobaFettHunter39

    BobaFettHunter39 Jedi Youngling

    Sep 8, 2022
    The part about Leia being Luke's sister, Mark Hamill treated it like a good news bad news jokes
  18. Tosche_Station

    Tosche_Station Jedi Master star 2

    Feb 9, 2015
  19. AndyLGR

    AndyLGR Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 1, 2014
    I was pleased that Harrison didn't get his way on Jedi and that Han lived. But he did eventually get his way in TFA. To be honest killing off the major heroes in the ST (they had no choice with Leia) means those films have little repeat value for me. I just don't enjoy seeing those characters dying at all.

    Where was all the Vader's castle elements, was that in one of Jedi's early drafts?
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2022
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  20. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 14, 2018
    Early ideas for ESB. In drafts of ROTJ, the Emperor has a subterranean lava lair deep beneath his palace on Coruscant (or "Had Abbadon", as it was then known).
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  21. Dark Ferus

    Dark Ferus Chosen One star 8

    Jul 29, 2016
    I have always been bothered by the argument that Han dying or Luke either abruptly turning dark or having a spaghetti western ending would have made for a better film, and that the actual denouement was only meant for commercialism and selling toys.

    George thought the happy ending worked best for the story he wanted to tell. That's it. And it works very well for me.
  22. Irredeemable Fanboy

    Irredeemable Fanboy Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2020
    The Return of the Jedi we got is perfect for me, one of the best Star Wars tales ever told, the axis of the entire Saga, something different would cause a very different version of the saga i love, but that doesn't stop me from being interested in seeing how that original Sequel Trilogy would have been like, i would love to see it as an alternate universe or something, but i would never change the ROTJ we have now.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2022
    AndyLGR likes this.
  23. Dr Silva

    Dr Silva Jedi Knight star 3

    Aug 23, 2021
    Agree i saw ROTJ in 1983 and will never forget the excitement and energy that was in the theatre for the climax with Luke, Vader, the Emperor and still the greatest space battle ever seen in film , i wouldnt change a thing.
  24. themoth

    themoth Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 5, 2015
    Agree about the climax with the three characters. The highlight isn’t even any of the fighting, but the dialogue, buildup, tension and emotion. The score is amazing in amplifying this too.
    Dr Silva and Sarge like this.
  25. Lord Sith Harloxzz

    Lord Sith Harloxzz Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 27, 2016
    In my opinion i would have remove the Ewoks completely and have used the Wookiees or other Alien species i think the Comedy with the Ewoks hurts the movie since ROTJ should have been a movie where that only focus on the return of the Light of Darth Vader i would also have liked to see more action with Luke since Luke has just become a Jedi and i think ROTJ does not take full advantage of that
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2022