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Making of Return of the Jedi (the book) Thread — Page 5

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I'm interested to see what role the speeder-bikes were originally meant to play in the sail barge scene. I've always had a suspicion that they were designed for that scene as the fins on the front and overall shape/design and color looks like Jabbas sail barge and skiffs. Now that BTS photos of them at the sail barge shoot have emerged, I'm more convinced than ever.

Ray’s Lounge
Biggs in ANH edit idea
ROTJ opening edit idea

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ray_afraid said:

I'm interested to see what role the speeder-bikes were originally meant to play in the sail barge scene. I've always had a suspicion that they were designed for that scene as the fins on the front and overall shape/design and color looks like Jabbas sail barge and skiffs. Now that BTS photos of them at the sail barge shoot have emerged, I'm more convinced than ever.

I always thought the explanation for their presence was simply that all the ROTJ stuff was in trailers, and all the trailer came to the shoto.

ROTJ Storyboard Reconstruction Project

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Got my hard copy today! I wasn't expecting it for another couple of days, so I'm extra pleased.

So far it all looks very interesting--there's quite a lot of never-before-seen concept art. There are also a lot more passages from the various script drafts than in the ESB book--it's more like the one about ANH in that regard.

Rinzler does (thankfully) acknowledge that Leia wasn't always meant to be Luke's sister and that this was a decision Lucas took in brainstorming ROTJ.

On a more skeevy note, I noticed a rather alarming passage from the second draft (Kasdan's first crack at the story), which is the first one where Leia shows up at Jabba's palace.

JABBA

(to Leia, in Huttese)

I have seen you like to kiss. I like the way you kiss.

(he grins)

And I like to kiss, also!

Leia looks at Threepio, questioningly.

THREEPIO

You're not going to like it, Your Highness.

LEIA

Death?

THREEPIO

Worse.

Jabba speaks to the Guards holding Leia and they bring her toward him. Inexorably, her tiny face crosses the distance to his immense blob of a head. Jabba puckers up. Leia looks sick.

Later on the script describes Leia's slave girl outfit: "dressed in the skimpy costume of a dancing girl; a chain runs from a manacle/necklace on her neck to her new master, Jabba the Hutt."

The word-for-word invocation of the old euphemism "a fate worse than death," taken along with Leia's offscreen forced costume change, is a pretty ugly reminder of the subtext of these scenes. I don't think I really needed that mental image, thanks, Lucas.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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The speeder bikes are only there in Yuma because it's like a traveling circus, the Northern California shoot is still to come on the schedule.

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ATMachine said:

Got my hard copy today! I wasn't expecting it for another couple of days, so I'm extra pleased.

So far it all looks very interesting--there's quite a lot of never-before-seen concept art. There are also a lot more passages from the various script drafts than in the ESB book--it's more like the one about ANH in that regard.

Rinzler does (thankfully) acknowledge that Leia wasn't always meant to be Luke's sister and that this was a decision Lucas took in brainstorming ROTJ.

On a more skeevy note, I noticed a rather alarming passage from the second draft (Kasdan's first crack at the story), which is the first one where Leia shows up at Jabba's palace.

JABBA

(to Leia, in Huttese)

I have seen you like to kiss. I like the way you kiss.

(he grins)

And I like to kiss, also!

Leia looks at Threepio, questioningly.

THREEPIO

You're not going to like it, Your Highness.

LEIA

Death?

THREEPIO

Worse.

Jabba speaks to the Guards holding Leia and they bring her toward him. Inexorably, her tiny face crosses the distance to his immense blob of a head. Jabba puckers up. Leia looks sick.

Later on the script describes Leia's slave girl outfit: "dressed in the skimpy costume of a dancing girl; a chain runs from a manacle/necklace on her neck to her new master, Jabba the Hutt."

The word-for-word invocation of the old euphemism "a fate worse than death," taken along with Leia's offscreen forced costume change, is a pretty ugly reminder of the subtext of these scenes. I don't think I really needed that mental image, thanks, Lucas.

Even Ming the Merciless had his "personal" slaves. It's just more disturbing when the bad guy is a giant slug who's taking hits off a frog bong.

Frink should steal that unused dialog for his ridiculous edit. ;)

 

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

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True, and judging by the story conference transcript excerpts it doesn't seem that too much was meant to be read into the scene. Perhaps Kasdan played it a little darker than Lucas intended.

I'm currently going through the story conference transcript excerpts between Lucas, Kasdan, and Marquand. It's interesting how argumentative Lucas and Kasdan seem to be--Kasdan seems to object to a lot of Lucas's ideas and vice versa, while Marquand tends to be a mediating voice.

Kasdan also has trouble detecting when Lucas is kidding around. For instance when Lucas suggests that Luke should put on Darth Vader's mask and declare himself Emperor, Kasdan says he likes the idea but Lucas is actually horrified that he does.

Kasdan really wants to kills off a hero--possibly Luke, so that Leia is left as the sole Jedi, or possibly Lando. Lucas objects strongly to this, criticizing Kasdan for being "a product of the 1980s" and arguing that movies don't need character death to be emotionally powerful.

(Kasdan also rather bitterly suggests Lucas may have "misled" Billy Dee Williams into thinking he would have a greater part in the third film due to Han Solo being stuck in carbonite.)

Re: Luke's "plan" to deal with Jabba, Lucas suggests that Luke's overall goal was always to lure Jabba and his cronies out on the sail barges over the Sarlacc pit, where they would be trapped in a confined space. Thus Luke and his friends who had infiltrated the palace could take them on more equally. Bargaining for Han's life was not the primary plan, but it would've been a nice bonus if it actually did work.

Lucas is having difficulty fitting an explanation into the film of how Luke built a new lightsaber (or "lazer sword," as the transcript consistently refers to it.) Kasdan suggests it should be a different color blade. (This idea would not be implemented until post-production, when the originally intended blue saber color showed up poorly against the California sky in the sail barge scenes. The change of color moreover allowed Lucas to delete the rather poor-quality expository scene earlier in the film of Luke completing the saber and giving it to Artoo.)

Lucas notes that it was Obi-Wan who cut off Anakin's right hand during The Duel on the volcano planet. That was how Ben got Anakin's saber to give to Luke; Vader cutting off Luke's hand was thus an act of symbolic revenge. (Anakin then lost his other arm and his leg when he fell into the lava pit.)

More to come....

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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As for Vader's motivation: Lucas suggested that Vader knows he isn't powerful enough to turn Luke to the dark side on his own. Thus, he wants the Emperor to do it--at which point (Vader thinks) he and Luke can unite to overthrow the Emperor and take over the Empire themselves. (Unbeknownst to Vader, the Emperor of course has other plans.) This is a motivation much more consistent with Vader in ESB.

Lucas immediately hamstrung this interesting idea, however, by suggesting that it should never be stated outright, but only hinted at obliquely. Otherwise, he thought it would telegraph the fact that Vader is the one to kill the Emperor at the end of the film.

---

Lucas' initial idea in regards to the Imperial capitol planet--Had Abbadon--was that the Rebels should capture the Death Star being built in orbit, use it to destroy Had Abbadon, and then destroy the Death Star itself. But he came to regard this as too cumbersome a plot, and found having the Rebel fleet itself bomb Had Abbadon to smithereens visually dissatisfying. (He wanted a single gigantic explosion to cap the film.)

The problem seems to have been that Lucas was leery of having a massive city as a major set-piece of the film, especially in terms of showing the massive (and no doubt expensive) air and ground battle required to destroy it. Instead he was much keener on a battle in the forest, with the primitive Ewoks overcoming the Empire. As he puts it "I wasn't very successful in coming up with another idea of how to finish it off and still keep my Ewoks going."

Kasdan on the other hand was much keener to keep Had Abaddon in the picture; he liked that it was visually and plot-wise different from the Death Star of the first film.

Kasdan suggested that Luke should take over the Empire at the end of the film, becoming the new monarch of the galaxy. Lucas on the other hand rejected this suggestion, insisting that the Republic would have to be restored, and that Luke wouldn't want political power.

There was a lot of discussion of Darth Vader's appearance; Kasdan encouraged Lucas not to "wimp out" and make Vader too normal-looking; Lucas on the other hand suggested that the glimpse of Vader seen in ESB was too over-the-top and scarred for his liking. They did agree that Vader might have only one good eye, and perhaps a gray beard to better resemble Ben Kenobi.

Lucas was already pondering the possibility of cutting away during the final celebration scene to scenes on other planets. He rejected it at that time, considering it more proper to keep the ending small-scale.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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 (Edited)

two things of interest: han's rescue attempt makes more sense now, and kershner and kurtz definitely were trying to make star wars more adult.

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Some interesting quotes from the story conference follow.

On Lucas' facetious idea for an ending, and Kasdan taking it seriously:

Lucas: .... and then Vader gets his cape caught in the door and says, "Leave without me" and Luke takes his mask off. The mask is the very last thing--and then Luke puts it on and says, "Now I am Vader." Surprise! The ultimate twist. "Now I will go and kill the fleet and I will rule the universe."

Kasdan: That's what I think should happen.

Lucas: No, no, no. Come on, this is for kids.

On killing off characters, part 1:

Kasdan: I think you should kill Luke and have Leia take over.
Lucas: You don't want to kill Luke.
Kasdan: Okay, then kill Yoda.
Lucas: I don't want to kill Yoda. You don't have to kill people. You're a product of the 1980s. You don't go around killing people. It's not nice.

Lucas: I have always hated that in movies, when you go along and one of the main characters gets killed. This is a fairytale. You want everybody to live happily ever after and nothing bad happens to anybody.

On the three central components of the movie, as envisioned by Lucas:

Lucas: There are three parts to the movie: Jabba, the Ewoks, and Luke and the Emperor. Luke and the Emperor are not fun and the other two are.

Some discussion on Luke's new lightsaber and its symbolism in the film:

Kasdan: Maybe it should be a new color. 

Lucas: But the idea running throughout the whole trilogy is: First he's given his father's sword, because his father lost it in the fight with Ben Kenobi: Ben cut his hand off and Vader fell into the volcano, so Ben then pried the lazer sword out of the hand and kept it for the son. So then what the father did was cut his son's hand and lazer sword off--and that was a way of severing the relationship between father and son. Not only did Luke lose his weapon and was castrated, but at the same time his father split that relationship. Luke was carrying his sword for his father. Now he is not doing that anymore. In this one, he's built his own. He has built his own lazer sword; he is his own man, he is not a son anymore. He is an equal.

On Luke's plan to deal with Jabba:

Kasdan: See, the trick is that we have to work back from the Sarlacc pit.

Lucas: What Luke wants to do is to get on that barge and the only way he can do it is as a prisoner. He has to become a prisoner and Chewie has to become a prisoner; they have to unfreeze Han and they all have to be at the same execution, which is what his plan is. He figures once he kills the rancor, then they have to go to the pit. He knows that's where the execution is going to be anyway. What they do with ordinary nuisances, or solicitors, is they drop them into the rancor pit. Luke knows or doesn't know that is what would happen, what kind of trap they have laid for him. He's assuming that when he is discovered and when he is subdued, which he will be, that he is bound to end up with Han and Chewie in the skiff over the Sarlacc pit.

The plan is, "I am going to knock everybody overboard into the pit and we're going to take off"--but it goes a little awry because Boba Fett screws everything up and suddenly they are in trouble and they get into the fight.

Kasdan: You can assume that Luke's plan is multilayered and the court of last resort is they are going to take him to the Sarlacc pit and they'll all be in place. But when he comes in and says, "I want to bargain for Han," he is hoping that will work.

Lucas: Yes.

On the change in emphasis regarding Vader's motivation between films:

Lucas: I don't like the idea of Vader saying to Luke, "Come on over to our side." Let's forget what Vader is really trying to do, kill the Emperor.

Kasdan: That's what Vader said at the end of Empire.

Lucas: I know, but I don't think at this point we should bring up that his plot is to get rid of the Emperor. It's going to foretell, in an oblique way, that he's going to kill the Emperor. The way to do it here is to make Vader evil and terrible and turn his son in, and they go before the Emperor and they have a fight.

Kasdan: You're willing now to drop Vader's explicit plan.

Lucas: It's there implicitly. It doesn't have to be an explicit plan. It has to be what is operating in the character's head.

Kasdan: What is operating in Vader's head when he brings Luke to the Emperor?

Lucas: What is operating in his head is: "The Emperor will turn Luke to the dark side because I can't do it, because I am not strong enough; he will turn Luke and then I will be able to..."

Marquand: "...join with Luke and destroy the Emperor..."

Lucas: "...join with Luke and eventually turn him to destroy the Emperor. Once he is on the dark side, then it will be easy; then we are a team, then we are father and son."

Marquand: But it is never spoken.

Lucas: Vader doesn't realize that the Emperor wants to replace him.

On the problem of fitting Had Abbadon and the Death Star into the same film:

Lucas: One of the troublesome things for me on a practical level is the rebel fleet destroying the planet [Had Abbadon, the Imperial capital]. How in the hell are they going to do it? You can blow up a city by bombing. You can't destroy the whole planet. What does the audience get that tells them, "Oh, boy, the Empire has been destroyed?" It has to be something that gets blown up. The universe has been cleansed of this evil thing. In the first show, it was a Death Star. That was the personification of the Empire.

So there is a very convenient thing of being able to have the Death Star blow up the planet and have the rebel fleet blow p the Death Star. We've gotten ourselves into a fix here.

Marquand: What you really have to decide is whether you want the rebel air force to destroy Had Abbadon or not.

Howard Kazanjian: Let's think it out.

Lucas: What about this, if the rebel plan was to capture this half-finished Death Star, turn it around so that it's pointed at the planet, the guys over there pull the plug on this protective shield and we zap the planet.

Kasdan: I can't imagine an operational Death Star is so easy to take over.

Lucas: I agree.

Lucas eventually decided to get rid of the Imperial city-planet altogether, which Kasdan didn't like:

Lucas: Just having the moon and the Death Star and not having Had Abbadon at all is... then you can have Vader's fleet, a limited number of starships out there. It's out in the middle of nowhere. It justifies the primitive moon. Right now, Had Abbadon is getting in the way of everything. It's cumbersome. And I like the idea that the trap is that the rebels think they're fighting a half-finished Death Star.

Marquand: It's wonderful.

Kasdan: I think Had Abbadon is worth saving. I think it's worth destroying the nerve center of the Empire. Forget the Death Star.

Lucas: But then you're still dealing with the question as to why have the fleet? The thing about the Death Star is it's so manageable. The planet is not manageable at all. It is too big to be manageable.

Kasdan: But it's much more interesting and it is new. The look of it is new and the idea that it's bigger than a Death Star is interesting.

Lucas apparently thought that he had to choose between one of two set-pieces going into the film: either the immense Imperial capital world-city of Had Abbadon, or the lush primitive jungle moon of the Ewoks.

We know which option Lucas ultimately chose, but Kasdan repeatedly argued for going the other way--keeping Had Abbadon and dropping the Forest Moon (and the second Death Star) entirely:

Kasdan: I think that we have to break out of here somehow and think of a simpler idea. Maybe get rid of the Ewoks.

Lucas: I know they're one of the things that are causing trouble.

Howard Kazanjian: Let me ask you a question: Just for five minutes, pretend that the Ewoks don't exist. What would we accomplish?

Lucas: Then you have a giant hole in the script that we have to fill with new ideas.

On Kasdan's idea of Luke becoming a new benevolent Emperor, after the fashion of John Carter of Mars and Dune:

Kasdan: ...There has to be some transfer of power from the Emperor to Luke. That would be very poetic in terms of your whole story. That would be the perfect thing if you had a moment where all these Imperial guys see Luke take over. That would be a real Olympian conclusion to this trilogy.

Lucas: Explain that further.

Kasdan: Luke usurps all the power of the Emperor in their final confrontation and is recognized as the ultimate power in the galaxy.

Lucas: Luke can't rule the universe, because if he's destroyed the Emperor and, consequently, the Empire, then it's a Republic again and the senate will come back. They will elect their own officials. He is a warrior. He is a Jedi Knight. He does not want to be mayor, he does not want to be president; he has sworn to be a police officer and that's what he wants to do.

On accusations that Lucas "misled" Billy Dee Williams about the size of his role (and on killing off characters, part 2):

Lucas: We're going to have to cope with Billy.

Marquand: Well, seriously, the Falcon is the thing to send him in.

Lucas: I'm just going to have to break the news that it's not about him.

Kasdan: Why does he think it's about him?

Lucas: Because he's an actor.

Kasdan: It's not because you misled him?

Lucas: No, I didn't mislead him. I said his part would probably be bigger in the next film than it was in Empire.

Marquand: You can give him something really smart to do.

Kasdan: What about killing him now, since it's so late in the picture?

Lucas: You can't kill him now.

Kasdan: Why not? What if they need someone to go to Had Abbadon for some reason and he volunteers to do that and then accomplishes his mission but is killed by Vader?

Howard Kazanjian: Then you make him a hero.

Lucas: Well, the trouble is that it's complicated. Then you have another story line that you have to intercut.

Marquand: I think Lando should fly straight into the Death Star. Give him a great ending.

Lucas: I think it'd be better to put him in the air battle, because then we've personalized the air battle.

Kasdan: The air battle at the end?

Lucas: If he dies right at the end of the movie, then you come back to the celebration and yet you've just killed one of the main characters.

Kasdan: You want me to give him some meaningless job, hey.

Lucas: Put him with the fleet and have him lead the rebel attack.

On the appearance of the unmasked Anakin Skywalker, and whether it should be gory (as Kasdan wanted) or not gory (Lucas):

Kasdan: Is he going to have regular eyes?

Lucas: Well, maybe one. "I want to see you without the aid of this machine. I want to reject the machine." When we take off his mask, we will change his voice to a much weaker version of the same thing. It will be much older.

Marquand: He's as old as Alec, isn't he.

Lucas: He's not as old as Alec.

Marquand: But visually.

Lucas: Visually, he is close.

Kasdan: I just don't want you to go too soft on it. I'm not going to have any influence on it, but I just wanted to tell you, don't pull back too much. If when you take off the mask and he's not a bad looking guy, it's a real cheat.

Lucas: You can't be too realistic about it.

Kasdan: I am sure it will work.

Lucas: It has to be a real father. It's got to be like your father, when the mask comes off, otherwise it won't work. The whole point is he might have been able to live without all that stuff, but he would have been a weak pile of nothing. Now that he was on the dark side, he wanted to be greedy, he wanted to have all this. He relied on the machine. The whole machine thing becomes a partial metaphor for the dark side of the Force, which is: Machines have no feelings.

Howard Kazanjian: Is there any electronics or wiring just under the skin of the mask? Do we have to deal with that?

Lucas: Well, we have to deal with it so that a seven or eight-year-old kid will say, "Gee, isn't that too bad about that man." We have to elicit sorrow at this point, not repulsion. We want to make him as realistically screwed up at this point as possible without going too far. I mean, the truth of it is, we went overboard on the whole thing on the last picture. It wasn't supposed to be that grotesque; as a matter of fact you weren't supposed to see any of that at all, it was supposed to be a total silhouette.

Marquand: I think it will work well. I think that his face will look great.

Kazanjian: Does he shave?

Lucas: That's a good question.

Kasdan: That might be kind of neat; a gray beard would give him a little normalcy.

Lucas: He would also look more like Ben.

Kasdan: That might be a saving grace that could hide some of the stuff.

On the idea of seeing other planets during the film's finale:

Lucas: There is another problem: If the Empire is destroyed, Had Abbadon, this whole thing is destroyed and you come back to the little fuzzy wuzzies having a party, it's like this giant thing has been destroyed and what a little party it is. Why can't you cut around the whole universe and see every planet celebrating? That's what we should do, but that's going to be boring; you just can't do that. You have to deal with it on a very small scale.

Obviously Lucas no longer thought it would be "boring" to do this by 1997!

Again, it's interesting to me how much Kasdan and Lucas seem to be at odds here--Kasdan clearly wanted a more adult film and Lucas pressed for just the opposite, a pure children's movie.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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i like that stuff about billy dee, he was saying in interviews at the time of empire he would have a bigger part in jedi.

more please.

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ATMachine said:

Lucas eventually decided to get rid of the Imperial city-planet altogether, which Kasdan didn't like:

Lucas: Just having the moon and the Death Star and not having Had Abbadon at all is... then you can have Vader's fleet, a limited number of starships out there. It's out in the middle of nowhere. It justifies the primitive moon. Right now, Had Abbadon is getting in the way of everything. It's cumbersome. And I like the idea that the trap is that the rebels think they're fighting a half-finished Death Star.

Marquand: It's wonderful.

Kasdan: I think Had Abbadon is worth saving. I think it's worth destroying the nerve center of the Empire. Forget the Death Star.

Lucas: But then you're still dealing with the question as to why have the fleet? The thing about the Death Star is it's so manageable. The planet is not manageable at all. It is too big to be manageable.

Kasdan: But it's much more interesting and it is new. The look of it is new and the idea that it's bigger than a Death Star is interesting.

Lucas apparently thought that he had to choose between one of two set-pieces going into the film: either the immense Imperial capital world-city of Had Abbadon, or the lush primitive jungle moon of the Ewoks.

We know which option Lucas ultimately chose, but Kasdan repeatedly argued for going the other way--keeping Had Abbadon and dropping the Forest Moon (and the second Death Star) entirely:

Kasdan: I think that we have to break out of here somehow and think of a simpler idea. Maybe get rid of the Ewoks.

Lucas: I know they're one of the things that are causing trouble.

Howard Kazanjian: Let me ask you a question: Just for five minutes, pretend that the Ewoks don't exist. What would we accomplish?

Lucas: Then you have a giant hole in the script that we have to fill with new ideas.

I completely agree with Lucas on "Imperial city vs. remote moon" argument. Final battle on imperial city wouldn't be "something new" but rather something very casual on predictable. On top of that unrealistic.

But obviously I agree with Kasdan on Ewoks. It is very interesting to see that Lucas did not inherently oppose the idea of getting rid of Ewoks. According to this conversation, he even thinks they are causing the trouble.

真実

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Currently delving into the bits later in the book--one thing that becomes painfully apparent is that the camerawork on principal photography was astoundingly incompetent.

Among other things, Richard Marquand and Lucas clashed over the issue of how many cameras to use. Lucas preferred to keep several cameras running at once, so as to maximize his options in the editing room. Whereas Marquand generally tried to determine how he wanted to shoot a scene in advance, using only one or two cameras, leaving little fallback option if the results proved unsatisfactory later.

Also, apparently some old film stock was used that resulted in many scenes having an uncomfortably bluish tint. ILM ended up having to fix the color timing on numerous shots, putting further pressure on an already hectic post-production schedule.

The book also makes clear how much Lucas controlled things during shooting: he was always on set, and not infrequently offered the actors advice that was contradictory to that of the director. Marquand's personality didn't help: he seems to have been very meek and introverted, and never really bonded with many of the actors. In other words, a perfect hired gun.

Other bits are interesting too--like the confirmation that Lucas wanted Luke to be dressed in black because at the time he imagined this was the costume of the Jedi Knights. Also we get to (finally!) see the script excerpt in which Obi-Wan refers to Owen Lars as his brother, as in the novelization.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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ATMachine said:

The book also makes clear how much Lucas controlled things during shooting: he was always on set, and not infrequently offered the actors advice that was contradictory to that of the director. Marquand's personality didn't help: he seems to have been very meek and introverted, and never really bonded with many of the actors. In other words, a perfect hired gun.

Which brings up the question as to why he even hired Marquand if he was spending his time everyday on the actors anyway. In Empire, while he practically directed pre- and post-production himself, he at least let Kershner work with the actors instead of him, justifying his hire.

真実

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Maybe George wanted it both ways? He didn't really want to direct, but didn't want to relinquish control to the degree he did on Empire.

Was old film stock used by accident, or to save a couple bucks?

I hope Luke is still wearing black in the sequels.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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The use of old film stock seems to have been an accident--apparently some unused film left over from Raiders found its way into the ROTJ stacks.

Here's more of Kasdan and Marquand arguing about Had Abbadon:

Kasdan: I like the idea of Had Abbadon.

Kazanjian: So do I.

Kasdan: I think it looks neat and I think the Empire should have a home base.

Kazanjian: I agree.

Marquand: But if you make it their home base rather than a planet, then it's a destructible thing and you achieve what George wants.

Kasdan: You mean blowing it up?

Marquand: Yes.

Interestingly, Marquand appears never to disapprove of Lucas' suggestions even once in these excerpts. Kasdan on the other hand challenges Lucas all the time, and Marquand seems to be rather annoyed at their constantly butting heads: "I am surprised at you guys--you spend a lot of time throwing scorn on each other's ideas."

Marquand elsewhere provided this interesting anecdote that really sums up Kasdan's thinking as contrasted to his own:

It seemed to us that there were too many lead personalities, just in terms of sheer directing, gads of people around the whole time. So Larry and I said bluntly to George, 'You've got to kill somebody.' Larry said, with a smile, 'Well, let's kill Yoda.' I said, 'I don't think that would be a very good idea. That would upset a lot of people.' And he said, 'Yeah, that's why I said it, to upset somebody.' So this started to get flippant and then we slowly began to realize that with the fans out there that it was very hard to actually kill anybody.

Kasdan wants to surprise and shock the audience, Marquand not to upset them.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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 (Edited)

Since he was the "new kid", I imagine he wanted to remain in George's good graces. And George apparently got the sort of "malleable" director he really wanted. I recall that term from some old article about the film, possibly the original making of paperback?

I'm sincerely glad we're getting to read Marquand's words in all of this. He was barely represented in the Blu Ray extras, and there was plenty of vintage stuff with Kershner. His untimely passing denied us the more candid interviews we've gotten with the other key personnel over the years.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

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One more thing before I go to bed:

Despite Vader having been deep-fried in a lava pit, Lucas et al. consider the possibility of him growing a gray beard like Ben's in the story conferences. And in Kasdan's subsequent second draft, the unmasked Vader is indeed an elderly man with a white beard. "His eyes do not focus. But the dying man smiles at the sight before him."

Incidentally, there was also a version of the third-draft script with a fake ending distributed, which was meant to throw leakers off. In this version it is Luke who, after going limp while being electrocuted, suddenly rises up to throw the Emperor down a shaft. Later, during the unmasking scene, we get this patently false tidbit:

Slowly, hesitantly, Luke removes the mask from his father's face. There beneath the scars is a horrible mutant, hardly recognizable as human. Luke is repulsed. He throw the mask down in disgust.

VADER
It's too late, Luke, it's too late!

The Annotated Screenplays mistakenly reported this as a real variant of the ending. In this respect it's not unlike the shooting script for ESB, which omitted both Vader's revelation and Luke's loss of a hand. (Instead of outright severing his hand, in this version Vader merely nicks Luke's forearm, causing Luke to drop his lightsaber. Later, on the medical frigate, Luke is seen getting patched up after receiving "a nasty scar" on his arm.)

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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The fake script pages have long fascinated me. One interview in the old fan club newsletter Bantha Tracks dropped the misleading tidbit that Aunt Beru was still alive! That made my brain hurt for a while at the time, trying to figure out how it was even possible. ;)

How does Dave Prowse fare in this? We've only had his interviews about the miserable time he had on the set, after being blamed for a script leak, and the frosty relations with Lucas ever since.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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By the way, I loved the candid foreword by Brad Bird, including some ROTJ criticism and OOT love. It's great to see books like these coming out nowadays!

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ATMachine said:

Kasdan on the other hand challenges Lucas all the time

Well these conversations prove that the notion that prequels failed because no one challenged Lucas is wrong. It is pretty clear to me now that he always had it his way. Luckily in OT he had relatively great ideas as opposed to the prequels.

真実

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i wish i could hate the prequels, but have you seen the horse whisperer,  good god!

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SilverWook said:

The fake script pages have long fascinated me. One interview in the old fan club newsletter Bantha Tracks dropped the misleading tidbit that Aunt Beru was still alive! That made my brain hurt for a while at the time, trying to figure out how it was even possible. ;)

How does Dave Prowse fare in this? We've only had his interviews about the miserable time he had on the set, after being blamed for a script leak, and the frosty relations with Lucas ever since.

Prowse comes off as a bit naive, sadly--he seems to have been in complete denial about the fact that Vader would likely be killed off. Of course no one ever told him that he wouldn't be the one to play Vader unmasked--in fact, he found out about the casting of Sebastian Shaw from a reporter who had studied some leaked call sheets!

Prowse was once again given fake script pages as a rule. It's also noted that he had a tendency to speak his lines on set extremely fast--so much so that Marquand had to tell him to talk more slowly because James Earl Jones would take longer to say the lines.

“That Darth Vader, man. Sure does love eating Jedi.”

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imperialscum said:

ATMachine said:

Kasdan on the other hand challenges Lucas all the time

Well these conversations prove that the notion that prequels failed because no one challenged Lucas is wrong. It is pretty clear to me now that he always had it his way. Luckily in OT he had relatively great ideas as opposed to the prequels.

Except he didn't always get his way on Empire. Which might be why he sought out someone like Marquand for the next film. And notice Gary Kurtz didn't stick around for Jedi.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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imperialscum said:

ATMachine said:

Kasdan on the other hand challenges Lucas all the time

Well these conversations prove that the notion that prequels failed because no one challenged Lucas is wrong. It is pretty clear to me now that he always had it his way. Luckily in OT he had relatively great ideas as opposed to the prequels.

No, it reaffirms what we already knew, which is that Lucas got to have it all his way on ROTJ and the prequels.

ATMachine said:

Lucas: Well, we have to deal with it so that a seven or eight-year-old kid will say, "Gee, isn't that too bad about that man." We have to elicit sorrow at this point, not repulsion. We want to make him as realistically screwed up at this point as possible without going too far. I mean, the truth of it is, we went overboard on the whole thing on the last picture. It wasn't supposed to be that grotesque; as a matter of fact you weren't supposed to see any of that at all, it was supposed to be a total silhouette.

 

The above statement from Lucas speak volumes, his dissatisfaction and bitterness on how ESB turned out is quite clear.

We want you to be aware that we have no plans—now or in the future—to restore the earlier versions. 

Sincerely, Lynne Hale publicity@lucasfilm.com