Revenge of the Jedi to Return of the Jedi

22 April 2023

The change of the title from "Revenge of the Jedi" to "Return of the Jedi" was a significant moment in the history of the Star Wars franchise. 

It has become a topic of discussion among fans and film enthusiasts, as it marks an interesting shift in the film's tone and theme. 

"Revenge of the Jedi" was originally chosen as the title for the third installment of the Star Wars trilogy during the early production stages. The title was first announced in 1982, and some promotional materials even featured the original title. Fans were excited about the prospect of a darker, more revenge-driven narrative, and the anticipation for the film was high after the massive success of The Empire Strikes Back.

revenge of the jedi poster

However, George Lucas decided very late in post-production that "Revenge" was not a fitting description of the Jedi's character. 

The Jedi are meant to be guided by peace and justice, not revenge. As a result, the title was changed to "Return of the Jedi" just months before the film's release in 1983. 

This change reflected the shift in the story's focus from vengeance to redemption, as Luke Skywalker faced Darth Vader in a battle to save the galaxy and brought his father back to the light side of the Force (Anakin thus fulfilling the prophecy of being the Chosen One).

Despite the title change, some early promotional materials such as posters and merchandise still featured the original title, making them rare and valuable collector's items. The fact that the title was changed also adds an interesting element to the history of the Star Wars franchise, as it demonstrates the creative process behind the making of the film and the evolution of the story's themes.

The change in title also highlights the way in which the Jedi actually returned. Luke became a Jedi Knight, fulfilling Yoda's prophecy from "The Empire Strikes Back," while Vader's redemption saw him return to being Jedi Anakin Skywalker, bringing balance to the Force. "Return of the Jedi" ultimately became a fitting title for the film, as it accurately represented the story's themes and the characters' journeys.

It's also worth noting that the prequel film "Revenge of the Sith" may be a nod to the original title of "Return of the Jedi." This title choice suggests that Lucas was still fond of the idea of revenge as a central theme in the Star Wars universe.

Fun fact: The filming production title of Revenge of the Jedi was "Blue Harvest"


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
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