May 25 marked the 39th anniversary of the release of the original “Star Wars” film. It also marked the 33rd anniversary of the release of “Return of the Jedi.” While those usually don’t make for significant anniversaries (next year marks the much more important 40th anniversary of “A New Hope”), there’s always a good reason to celebrate “Star Wars.”
This year, the Academy dug into its film archive and released a rare trailer for “Revenge of the Jedi” on its YouTube page.
Now, you might be thinking that there is no “Star Wars” movie called “Revenge of the Jedi.”
That is true, but there almost was.
“Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,” which was released in 1983, was originally titled “Revenge of the Jedi.” While changing “revenge” to “return” doesn’t seem like a big deal, it made a world of a difference to “Star Wars” creator George Lucas.
“Return of the Jedi” originally had the much darker-sounding title “Revenge of the Jedi.” However, a few months before its release, Lucas decided to change the name to “Return of the Jedi.”
Lucas believed that a Jedi should not seek revenge. Fans likely agreed, but in 1983 it was much harder for them to voice their opinions and draft petitions without the internet.
While Lucas got his way, there was one big hiccup: by the time he had decided on the change, posters and trailers with the original title had already been circulating.
Watch the very brief teaser, which was originally shown in the United Kingdom in 1982:
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