Book Review: THE MAKING OF RETURN OF THE JEDI

PrintE-mail Written by J.D. Gillam

Review: The Making of Return of the Jedi / Author: J.W Rinzler / Publisher: Aurum Press / Release Date: October 1st

The film that completed the original Star Wars trilogy finally gets its own “making of” bible. Coming after the truly astounding previous tomes that covered Episodes IV and V, executive editor at Lucasfilm Ltd J.W. Rinzler brings us another must-have for any true fan of Lucas’ original visionary space saga.

A real coffee table book, as with the two previous entries, The Making of Return of the Jedi is jam-packed from cover to cover with some interesting and rarely seen stories from behind the camera as well as pre-production notes, various character illustrations and on-set photographs of cast and crew hard at work and on their downtime.

One of the most interesting things is the script conferences held between Lucas, Kasdan and Marquand that shows that the others weren’t afraid to challenge Lucas on just about anything. But as with anything of this nature, it is the concept art that really steals the show. Covering everything from huge vistas to the smallest character tweaks – the changes to Jabba the Hut and the Rancor monster are real treats – it gives you an insight into the work that went on during pre-production and behind the scenes as the film was created. Those that still like to trash-talk the Ewoks will find plenty of information about the furry little buggers, including even more character designs.

It interesting to read the trials and tribulations that occurred when filming the Sarlacc pit (or “sand vagina” as it is called) scenes – “The whole damn set was terrifying, a nightmare” – as two stuntmen were injured before filming even began. The sheer size of the endeavour make you hanker for a time long since passed when productions actually had sets, rather than a room filled with green screens, and the models will make you feel like a kid all over again.

Let’s face it, if you’re a real fan or if you have the two previous releases, you’re going to buy this anyway. For us to say that this is pure gold for those who still love the original trilogy and the release of Blue Harvest in particular is a given. But we’ll say it anyway. Buy this damn book already!


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