Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
Luke Skywalker was a Tatooine farmboy who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the greatest Jedi the galaxy has ever known. Along with his friends Princess Leia and Han Solo, Luke battled the evil Empire, discovered the truth of his parentage, and ended the tyranny of the Sith.
Princess Leia Organa was one of the Rebel Alliance’s greatest leaders, fearless on the battlefield and dedicated to ending the tyranny of the Empire. Daughter of Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, sister of Luke Skywalker, and with a soft spot for scoundrels, Leia ranks among the galaxy’s great heroes.
Smuggler. Scoundrel. Hero. Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon, was one of the great leaders of the Rebel Alliance. He and his co-pilot Chewbacca came to believe in the cause of galactic freedom, joining Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa in the fight against the Empire.
Once a heroic Jedi Knight, Darth Vader was seduced by the dark side of the Force, became a Sith Lord, and led the Empire’s eradication of the Jedi Order. He remained in service of the Emperor -- the evil Darth Sidious -- for decades, enforcing his Master’s will and seeking to crush the fledgling Rebel Alliance. But there was still good in him…
Wicket W. Warrick was the brave young Ewok who willingly joined the Rebellion and aided in the battle against the Empire on the forest moon of Endor. Even before he encountered the Rebels, Wicket had devised methods for defeating the Imperial machines, plans which were implemented after the Ewok befriended Princess Leia and recruited his tribe to the Alliance's cause. During the Battle of Endor, Wicket fought valiantly alongside his new allies.
Scheming, powerful, and evil to the core, Darth Sidious restored the Sith and destroyed the Jedi Order. Living a double life, Sidious was in fact Palpatine, a Naboo Senator and phantom menace. He slowly manipulated the political system of the Galactic Republic until he was named Supreme Chancellor -- and eventually Emperor -- ruling the galaxy through fear and tyranny.
The Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi opening crawl was one of the last-completed elements of the film. “Shooting that crawl is actually one of the hardest things,” said Ken Ralston of ILM.
This Return of the Jedi teaser trailer from 1982 features early looks at many of the film's most famous scenes, and is the first trailer to feature the movie's new title - famously, it was originally called Revenge of the Jedi until George Lucas opted to change the name, noting that revenge is not the Jedi way. The trailer focuses heavily on the idea of "return," with the narrator opening the preview by saying, "Return to a galaxy far, far away," and later, "Return to heroic adventure," and "Return to the ultimate confrontation."
A harsh desert world orbiting twin suns in the galaxy’s Outer Rim, Tatooine is a lawless place ruled by Hutt gangsters. Many settlers scratch out a living on moisture farms, while spaceport cities such as Mos Eisley and Mos Espa serve as home base for smugglers, criminals, and other rogues. Tatooine’s many dangers include sandstorms, bands of savage Tusken Raiders, and carnivorous krayt dragons. The planet is also known for its dangerous Podraces, rampant gambling, and legalized slavery. Anakin Skywalker and Luke Skywalker both grew up on Tatooine, and Obi-Wan Kenobi spent years in hiding on this desolate world.
Home to Yoda during his final years, Dagobah was a swamp-covered planet -- a forgotten world where the wizened Jedi Master could escape the notice of Imperial forces. Characterized by its bog-like conditions and fetid wetlands, the murky and humid quagmire was undeveloped, with no signs of technology. Though it lacked civilization, the planet was teeming with life -- from its dense, jungle undergrowth to its diverse animal population. Home to a number of fairly common reptilian and amphibious creatures, Dagobah also boasted an indigenous population of much more massive -- and mysterious -- lifeforms.
Secluded in a remote corner of the galaxy, the forest moon of Endor would easily have been overlooked by history were it not for the decisive battle that occurred there. The lush, forest home of the Ewok species is the gravesite of Darth Vader and the Empire itself. It was here that the Rebel Alliance won its most crucial victory over the Galactic Empire.
With its sleek arrowhead shape, streamlined cockpit, and massive twin engines, the A-wing starfighter suggests raw speed even when parked within Alliance hangar bays. Faster than even the TIE interceptor, the A-wing is well suited for lightning strikes. It sports a pair of pivoting laser cannons on each wingtip. The starfighters of Green Squadron, which flew in the Battle of Endor, were made up of A-wing starfighters.
Hoping to crush the Rebellion once and for all, the Empire began construction of a second dreaded Death Star near Endor. But the project ran behind schedule; Death Star II was only half-finished, and the Emperor himself visited to oversee its completion.
Perhaps the oddest-looking starfighter in the Rebel Alliance fleet, the B-wing fighter is as powerful as it is ungainly. The ship's structure is almost entirely taken up by its primary airfoil, which houses a cylindrical cockpit on one end, an engine cluster in the center, and a heavy weapons pod at its base. Located just below the engine cluster are a pair of S-foils which can deploy to extend the firing arc of twin laser cannons. The B-wing's command pod has a unique gyroscopic control system. The pilot can orient it so that it always stays level with a horizon line. No matter which way the B-wing may maneuver laterally, its pilot remains upright.
Behind the Scenes //
Ken Ralston, who worked on the visual effects for Return of the Jedi, discusses the "moving storyboard" created for the film's climactic Death Star attack sequence.