Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was first released in theaters on May 25, 1983, directed by Richard Marquand and written by George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan, with Lucas as executive producer. It was the first film to use THX technology, and is set one year after The Empire Strikes Back. Filming took place in England, California, and Arizona from January to March 1982, with Lucas handling second unit work. Strict secrecy surrounded the production and the film used the working title Blue Harvest to prevent price gouging. The film grossed over $475 million worldwide, with several home video and theatrical releases and revisions to the film following over the next 20 years. Continue reading for more rare behind-the-scenes photos.
The original teaser trailer for the film carried the name Revenge of the Jedi. In December 1982, Lucas decided that “Revenge” was not appropriate (as Jedi should not seek revenge) and returned to his original title. By that time thousands of “Revenge” teaser posters (with artwork by Drew Struzan) had been printed and distributed. Note that the poster changes the correct color of the light sabers; Luke is seen wielding a red lightsaber while Vader wields a blue one, while in the movie Luke’s saber is green and Vader’s red. Lucasfilm stopped the shipping of the posters and sold the remaining stock of 6,800 posters to Star Wars fan club members for $9.50. These posters now sell for $250 – $500 depending on condition.