The Making of Return of the Jedi

Over the past few weeks, we’ve posted snippets of new footage from the production of Return of the Jedi. Which is odd considering the film turned 30 years old this year.

In 1983, Lucasfilm was promoting a new edit system called EditDroid, which would have used laserdiscs as the storage media in an early digital editing system. To show off the process to the industry, Lucasfilm put 30 minutes of raw footage of one scene from Return of the Jedi on laserdiscs that could be used during demos at a convention in Las Vegas. That was the first and only time this footage was shown publicly.

The disc then resurfaced, was sold on eBay for almost $700, and after a few snippets appeared online (showing some funny outtakes, and even revealing alternate lines) the entire 30-minute video has now been uploaded to YouTube for the world to enjoy. Check it out below.

Thanks to Charlie Owen (via The Playlist) for this video. Below, you can read his explanation.

But first, 30 minutes of raw, very rare footage from Return of the Jedi.

Here’s Rose’s description of the above video:

This is the official YouTube page for the complete 30 minute, fully restored EditDroid Laserdisc Return of the Jedi raw footage that I recovered and started to release to the Star Wars community on my Facebook page starting October 23 2013. The decision to release the clips piecemeal and watermarked was to try and generate as much publicity as possible so that the community could be involved and to get public opinion on our side for obvious reasons, and of course to put Star Wars back in the news and not just for Episode VII. The plan worked beyond my wildest dreams!

The footage here is uncropped and in it’s entirety including all off-camera audio with multiple angles of Scene 50 between Luke and Yoda on Dagobah – especially the very important dialogue at 5:10! I have also cleaned up some artifacts and polished up the interlace issues that you get when converting most laserdiscs. I have also upscaled to 1080p so you can view the video as large as possible without serious degradation (the quality of the picture is not HD of course).

The Facebook page received huge amounts of press coverage from all over the world and I would like to thank everyone for their support and kind words. I hope you enjoy this historic find as much as I have. Feel free to discuss the footage on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/rotjeditdroid

As promised I have compiled the complete footage without any watermarks or text inside the actual video frame but in the outer borders. This is to help those that wish to use the footage in their own fan edits. I respectfully request that if you re-post this footage that you keep the watermarks and credits intact – don’t be “that guy” and cut them out and not give credits.

For the true fans out there, I would also ask that you support Adywan’s Star Wars: Revisited project. If you haven’t heard about it and you are a Star Wars fan, your mind is about to be blown:

www.swrevisited.wordpress.com
www.facebook.com/swrevisited

I would also like to give a special mention to “Mass5160″ on the OT forums for bringing the eBay auction to everyone’s attention. Without his post we probably wouldn’t have this in our hands to show you all :)

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