Star Wars: Return of the Jedi A Visual Archive Review


Have you ever wondered how hard it was for people to control that huge worm-like Jabba the Hutt puppet in extreme heat, or if the Ewoks were as huggable as you remember them being? For fans of the Return of the Jedi, this companion piece will answer those questions and make a great addition to your collection. A well-put-together visual guide containing behind-the-scenes photos and information, you’ll enjoy experiencing every element of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi from concept to execution. One cool addition to this guide is that it traces these original elements and their inspiration throughout the rest of the series, explaining how certain characters and such continue to appear in other Star Wars movies, TV shows, and expanded media like books and comics.

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The archive gathers interesting tidbits from the creation of this film, like the fact that Jabba’s home planet was almost a place called Sicemon, although most of the design ideas for the planet were re-utilized for Alderaan and other planets. You’ll also learn more information about early incarnations of Coruscant, or Had Abbadon as it was originally called, where Luke would have originally been brought to the Emperor, and also where TWO Death Stars would’ve orbited.

Jedi was definitely a gargantuan task to pull off, from the multitudes of special effects shots needed to all of the on location and set shooting required, but one thing you can definitely pull away from this book is that everything was handled masterfully, with great love and compassion for the overall vision. It only takes one person not to believe in the end goal for it all to come crashing down around you, and even though many tasks were completed at the zero hour, Lucas and ILM was able to pull off some of the greatest effects shots ever committed to screen, and it took the focus of every member of that team to get to the finish line.

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As mentioned previously, a key feature in this new visual guide is how all the different concept art and ideas conceived in Jedi continue to live on, with a lot of Ralph McQuarrie’s original concepts being reused for future Star Wars projects, especially in the prequel series and in all of the different Star Wars TV shows in production to date. It’s amazing how something that didn’t quite work for the production of a movie like Return of the Jedi can be recycled and fit perfectly somewhere else in the saga, like the designs of the Jedi temple in the prequels being reminiscent of the emperor’s tower on the Death Star II, or reusing the original plans for the Emperor’s spiky, evil-looking throne in the Rise of Skywalker almost 40 years later.

Obviously organized with love and fandom, you’ll absolutely enjoy this retrospective piece that details the most important story-telling event in Star Wars history. If you’re as much of a fan of Return of the Jedi as this author, then this book will provide you with endless hours of nostalgia and fun.

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Star Wars: Return of the Jedi A Visual Archive by Insight Editions retails for $65.00. You can grab your copy from Amazon now!

***This book was sent to Outer Rim News for review purposes.


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