Star Wars Secrets: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Are you a fan of Return of the Jedi? Then you just have to read this article! Enjoy the amazing stories and test your Star Wars knowledge. Plus there are great pictures and a funny video at the end!

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Chewbacca Leia Behind Scenes

Did You Know that Chewie was in Danger? While filming the Endor forest scenes, Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) had to be careful of hunters coming after him. This is because of how much he looked like Big Foot in his costume!

It Was Logged: The Californian Redwood Forest where they filmed many of the Endor scenes was scheduled to be logged. Therefore, the production was allowed to knock down trees for the film.


They Had Screaming Matches! 

The Quarrelling Jedi Twins

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Luke Leia

Did You Know That Luke and Leia Were Never Intended to Be Twins? Hence the kiss. In fact, at one time a sequel was planned where Luke would go in search of his long lost sister. In the end, however, George Lucas decided to resolve the issue in Return of the Jedi, and so made Leia his sister.

They Had Screaming Matches! Perhaps they aren’t really siblings but they certainly acted like it sometimes. Mark Hamill (Luke) says “Harrison and I never fought in either picture. It was Carrie (Leia) and I who had screaming matches from time to time, though afterward neither of us could remember what they were about.


Could There Ever Be a Real Death Star?

A Real Death Star

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Death Star

It is Possible! According to physicists the basic Death Star design is possible…theoretically. But the amount of money, time, and materials would make it impractical.

Did you know that originally the Death Star was never supposed to appear until Return of the Jedi? Budget cuts were the cause of the change in plan.

The second Death Star is 460% larger than the first one. And some of it’s unfinished parts look like the San Francisco skyline!


She Stabbed Jabba the Hutt!

Jabba the Hutt

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Jabba the Hutt Strangled Toy

He Was Stabbed with Her Heel! The Jabba the Hutt puppet was operated by six people, one of which (Mike Edmonds) received a nasty surprise one day. Carrie Fisher (Leia) was climbing over Jabba when one of her high heals punctured the suit–and Mr. Edmonds inside!

Have you noticed this? The dancer that Jabba drops into the Rancor pit loses her top as she falls in. Can’t believe this? I included the original scene towards the end of this post, so you can check it yourself.

It was big! Did You Know that the Jabba puppet weighed 2,000 pounds? And it cost $500,000!


You Won’t Believe Who Else Was Wearing Heels!

Vader in Heels

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Luke Darth Vader Fight Behind the Scenes

He Wasn’t Allowed to Fight! Whenever he duelled, David Prowse (Vader) was so rough that he would always break the poles they used for lightsabers. They eventually had to bar him from fighting at all!

The Sword Master Filled in: Because Prowse couldn’t do it, the sword master, Bob Anderson, had to fill in as Vader during the fight scenes. He wasn’t as tall as Prowse, however, so had to wear platform shoes!


Who From Star Wars is a Real Life Hero?

Han Solo – A Real Life Hero

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Han and Luke

He Was a Rescue Pilot! Kind of. He is a helicopter pilot. Harrison Ford (Han Solo) once used his helicopter to go to the rescue of a stranded hiker (Sarah George) near his home in Wyoming. That must have been something of a shock for Sarah when he showed up!

He is also Conservation Hero: Due to his environmental work, Harrison Ford has a species of ant and a species of spider named after him!


What Does Star Wars Have to Do With Terminator?

Leia as Sarah Connor

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Leia and Terminator Sarah Connor

She Was Offered the Role! After filming Return of the Jedi, Carrie Fisher (Leia) could have any role she wanted. She was even offered the part of Sarah Connor in The Terminator!


What is the Emperor’s Dirtiest Word?

The Emperor’s New Voice

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Emperor Palpatine Behind Scenes

He Wasn’t Wanted! George Lucas was originally against hiring Ian McDiarmid to play the Emperor. And when he did finally agree to cast him, he still wasn’t planning to use Ian’s voice. Ian impressed him in the end by developing the Emperor’s voice with a Japanese method of projecting an odd guttural croak from the stomach.

The Emperor’s Dirtiest Word: Ian McDiarmid (the Emperor) says of his character: “I like the notion that he was just solidly evil and the dirtiest word in his vocabulary was ‘friend’. I thought it was terrific.”


The Story of Jabba’s Dancer!

Jabba’s Slave Girls

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Dancer in Jabba's Palace Gif

It’s the Same Girl! The Twilek dancer girl (the one Jabba feeds to the Rancor) was played by Femi Taylor. Fifteen years later when George Lucas decided to make the special edition of Return of the Jedi, he hired Femi again to shoot additional scenes as the dancer. Apparently she was in even better shape than the first time! To check yourself if her top actually fell, I added a video towards the end of the post.

And What About the Brass BIkini? Carrie Fisher (Leia) was tired of dressing like a boy in the previous Star Wars movies, so they gave her the famous brass bikini. It did not fit especially well, however, and had to be checked before every shot to make sure there wasn’t a “malfunction.” After all, “there is no underwear in space,” as Carrie Fisher likes to say.


What is The Revenge of the Ewoks?

Revenge of the Ewoks (and Jedi)

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Ewoks Behind Scenes Blue Harvest

On the Ewok Bus: Most fans know that the original title of Return of the Jedi was actually Revenge of the Jedi. But not many know this story. The work was so difficult for the Ewok actors that they up and disappeared, leaving a note saying that they had had enough and were going to the airport. One of the production assistants chased after them but got a flat tire. The Ewoks found him, however. They pulled up in their bus and came out wearing “Revenge of the Ewok” t-shirts!

The Ewoks are doomed, according to a group of 11 physicists. After the Empire’s second giant superweapon, the Death Star Mark II, exploded near the forest moon of Endor, a series of events would have led to the collapse of their ecosystem and the deaths of the furry, Stormtrooper-fighting teddy bears.

Did You Know that you can still find Star Wars memorabilia with the original Revenge of the Jedi name? In an episode of Storage Wars they found a jacket which was appraised to be worth more than $3,000 dollars!


How Did They Catch the Star Wars Betrayers?

The Fake Script for Star Wars Rats

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Poster Ewoks Leia Director

They Made a Fake Story! Some cast members were under suspicion for leaking information to the media. To combat this, fake scripts were made for them. And it’s a good thing! Many of the false Star Wars secrets certainly did make it to the news!

They Gave the Movie a Fake Name! During production, Revenge of the Jedi was called Blue Harvest. This was not only a measure taken to keep fans and reporters alike off the set, but helped them save money! If suppliers had known that it was the new Star Wars movie, they would have charged much more for their products.


I Bet You Don’t Know Admiral Akbar’s Story!

Akbar – From Slave to Admiral

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Admiral Akbar Gif

He Was a Slave! Akbar wasn’t always an admiral. In fact, he started out as Grand Moff Tarkin’s personal slave and pilot!

It’s a Trick! That just doesn’t sound right does it? It was the original line though. It wasn’t changed to “it’s a trap” until the film was completed and undergoing test screenings–where “it’s a trick” was negatively received.


Who Should Have Had a Better Death?

The Popularity of Boba Fett

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Boba Fett

He Should Have Had a Better Death: George Lucas says that he wishes that he gave Boba Fett a better death scene. At the time though, he didn’t realize how popular the character had become.

He even considered adding a scene in the newer version of the film, where Fett escapes the Sarlacc. In the end he didn’t add the scene but the story became a part of the Expanded Star Wars Universe.


You Won’t Believe Who Could Have Been Luke Skywalker!

Freddy Skywalker

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Luke Freddy Kreuger

He Could Have Been Luke! Mark Hamill’s (Luke’s) friend Robert Englund, who plays Freddy Kreuger in A Nightmare on Elm Street, actually auditioned for the role of Luke! When he didn’t get the part, he is the one that encouraged Hamill to go and give it a shot!


What’s Next? Why Vader’s Body Didn’t Disappear When He Died!

Why Vader Didn’t Disappear

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Darth Vader Behund the Scenes

He Didn’t Know How! According to the story, the ability for a jedi (or sith) to become a force-ghost is actually passed on from other force-ghosts. So Obi-Wan or Yoda’s force-ghosts passed on the knowledge to Vader shortly after he died–meaning that his ashes must have disappeared!

Perhaps He Didn’t Really Switch Sides! James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader) doesn’t believe that Vader really became a good guy in the end! He says “I didn’t want to believe him. I thought he was lying.”


His Lightsaber Was Stolen!

Stolen Lightsabers of the Dark Side

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Darth Vader

They Just Disappeared! All of Darth Vader’s lightsaber props completely disappeared after filming The Empire Strikes Back. As a result, one of Luke Skywalker’s had to be taken and modified to look Vader-esque.

Why Was Luke’s Lightsaber Green? If you come across the original movie posters for Return of the Jedi, you will notice that Luke’s lightsaber is blue, like his old one. It was changed to green later as George Lucas was afraid that the audience wouldn’t understand that it was a new lightsaber.


Do You Remember Who Red Leader is?

Red Leader and Red Leader

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Wedge

The Only Other Survivor! That’s right. Wedge is the only X-wing pilot besides Luke that survives all three Star Wars movies. His call sign is Red Leader–but so is someone else’s. Denis Lawson (Wedge) happens to be Ewan McGregor’s (Young Obi-Wan’s) uncle! As a tribute to Wedge, in The Revenge of the Sith Obi-Wan is given the same call sign of Red Leader!


C-3PO Had a Panic Attack!

C-3PO’s Panic

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Salacious Crumb C-3PO

He Had a Panic Attack! In the scene in Jabba’s palace where Salacious Crumb (the rat-like creature) is chewing on his eye, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) had an anxiety attack. Throughout the shot he repeated “Get me up. Get me up” over and over. His actual lines were added in during post production.

Not a Sci-fi Fan: Anthony Daniels claims to not even be a fan of science fiction, so it probably didn’t help his anxiety to be surrounded by hostile aliens in the palace scene. At least in Return of the Jedi, his C-3PO suit only took ten minutes to put on. In the previous films it was two hours!


Yoda Wasn’t Supposed to Be in the Movie!

Yoda’s Purpose in Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Yoda Puppet Art

He Wasn’t Supposed to be in the Movie! Originally Yoda was not included in the script of Return of the Jedi. He was added later after George Lucas visited a child psychologist. The psychologist told him that children would not believe that Darth Vader was really Luke’s father–not unless it was confirmed to them by another character.

George Lucas decided that the best way to show that Vader really was Luke’s father, was to have it come from Yoda.


You Won’t Believe Which Iconic Voice Had a Stutter!

The Voice of Darth Vader

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Darth Vader Behind the Scenes

He Has a Stutter! In fact, that is how James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vadeor) actually got into acting in the first place. As a child he went to acting school just so that he could learn to speak without stuttering. He claims he still has to think carefully before he speaks to avoid this problem!

In the Credits for the First Time! James Earl Jones is well known for his modesty. In the first two Star Wars movies he actually declined to have his name in the credits, feeling that his contribution was too small! Return of the Jedi is the first Star Wars movie where he allows his name to be credited!


The Fighter Pilots Were Women!

The Lost Female Fighter Pilots

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Female Fighter Pilots

There were at least three female fighter pilots in the battle!

And all were cut! One who was played by a French actress named Vivienne Chandler, had over a page of dialogue. Now gone. Another is shown in the finished movie but her dialogue has been replaced by that of a male actor!

Apparently the studio was afraid that the audience wouldn’t like the idea of women being killed in a battle.


Did You Know That E.T. Makes a Guest Appearance in Star Wars! 

E.T. as Princess Leia

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Bounty Hunter Boushh ET

It Was E.T.’s Voice! When Princess Leia enters Jabba’s lair, disguised as the Bounty Hunter Boushh, her voice in the suit is done by Pat Welsh, who also does the voice for E.T.! Apparently Welsh smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, which gave her that raspy alien quality.

Han Solo Was in E.T.? It’s true. Harrison Ford (Han Solo) actaulled played the principal in E.T. His scene (where he reprimands Elliot) was taken out because Steven Spielberg was afraid that Ford’s appearance would distract the audience from the story!


What if Luke Had Turned to the Dark Side?

Luke and the Dark Side of the Force

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Luke Dark Side Darth Vader

He Thought He Would Switch Sides! Mark Hamill (Luke) actually thought that eventually his character would turn to the dark side. At least temporarily. He says “I figured that’s what will be the pivotal moment.”

And he wasn’t far off! Originally, in the scene where Vader dies, Luke was going to take Vader’s helmut and put it on, making himself the new Darth Vader!


What Made the Actor’s Angry?

The Director of Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Director Salacious Crumb Puppet

He Clashed With Lucas: Richard Marquand was not George Lucas’s first choice to direct Return of the Jedi and they ended up clashing a lot over how the movie should be filmed. And Lucas wasn’t the only one annoyed. Carrie Fisher (Leia) and Mark Hamill (Luke) were alienated as well, claiming that Marquand played favourites. They say that he fawned over Harrison Ford but treated them badly.


 Is Star Wars Cheesey?

The Special Effects of Return of the Jedi

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Rancor Test Shot

Chewed Gum and Fishing Rods! Random everyday objects were used as part of the Return of the Jedi set. For example, the floor of the Death Star’s reactor core is made up of 1,500 fishing rods! And what are the out of focus ships in the battle scenes? Chewed gum and old sneakers of course!

Weiner Dogs and Cheese Casserole! And what about the sound effects? Well, not quite so everyday methods are used. The sound of Jabba slithering is actually the sound of hands being run through a cheese casserole! And the growling of the Rancor is actually a pissed off Daschund!


Next for Obi-Wan’s Return!

The Return of Obi-Wan Kenobi

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Obi Wan Anakin Force Ghost Art

He Could Have Come Back! In an early draft of the script Obi-Wan actually returns at the end of the film, instead of just appearing in ghost form!

Why Was Hayden Christenson Added? Fans were angry that Hayden Christenson (young Vader) replaced the older version of himself at the end of Return of the Jedi. It was done because George Lucas felt that it was better to have him reappear as he was before he turned to the dark side.

Plus his legs and hand would have been burned off as the old man version of himself. Unless he came back with his old body but with young legs and hand attached…


The Emperor Planned to Betray Vader!

Buddies With the Emperor

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Darth Vader Moff Jerjerrod Strangled

He Was Supposed to Have a Big Part! Moff Jerjerrod (the imperial officer in the opening scene that greets Vader) was originally supposed to be the personal representative of the Emperor. Together they schemed, not only to turn Luke to the dark side, but to betray Vader!

Vader and the Missing Force Choke: Return of the Jedi is the only original Star Wars movie where Vader doesn’t force choke anyone. He did in the script however. Can you guess who he was supposed to choke? That’s right, Moff Jerjerrod!


Why Shouldn’t You Wear Luke’s Boots?

The Boots of Luke Skywalker

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Luke Behind Scenes

He Won’t Lend Them! Mark Hamill (Luke) kept his Luke Skywalker boots but he certainly doesn’t wear them–at least not out of the house. When his son asked to borrow the boots to wear to the re-release of Star Wars at the theater, Mark refused.

He said his son wouldn’t get out of the theater alive if anyone found out the boots were originals!

You’ve Almost Made it to the Video! Keep Going!


Next for the Alternate Ending!

Spaghetti Western Meets Star Wars

Star Wars Secrets Episode VI Return of the Jedi - Luke Cowboy Walk of into the sunset Desert

Luke Rides Off into the Sunset: At one point there was a plan to end the trilogy with Luke going off, tired and alone, into the Tatooine desert. Eventually Lucas decided that a happier ending would be better for merchandise sales.


Return of the Jedi: The Original Trailer

Watch the original theatrical trailer from 1982. Would you have watched the movie?


Funny Video for Star Wars Fans

Ever notice that we don’t actually see the Emperor die? He falls down the shaft and we assume he dies. But maybe, just maybe, that’s just what he wants us to think…

Enjoy this funny video about the Emperor’s life after Return of the Jedi!

Next For the Dance Video!

Has the dancer lost her top?

Have you noticed this? The story is that the dancer that Jabba drops into the Rancor pit lost her top as she fell in. Can’t believe this? You can check it yourself in this original video:


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