Return of the Jedi begins as the Rebel Commanders are planning their next move against
the evil Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia have made their way to the
desert planet Tatooine in an attempt to rescue their friend Han Solo, who remains frozen
in carbonite, from the clutches of the vile gangster Jabba The Hutt.
After re-grouping with the Rebel Fleet near the forest moon of Endor, construction site of
the new Death Star, the party splits into two groups. Lando Calrissian and the Rebel
warships prepare for the assault on the Death Star, while Luke, Han and Leia lead a group
on the forest moon attempting to disable the force-field around the unfinished battle
station. When Luke turns himself over to Darth Vader in the hope of converting him from
the dark side, he comes face-to-face with the Emperor himself. His battle with the Emperor
and Darth Vader heats up just as the Rebels commence their attack on the space station.
Along with countless other firsts, Return of the Jedi was the only Star Wars film to
employ U.S. locations for filming. Buttercup Valley, just outsite Yuma, Arizona, may have
been on American soil, but it felt more like the equator. Arriving from the UK's
climate-controlled set, the cast and crew endured temperatures of 120 degrees. Buttercup's
spectacular dunes provided the perfect backdrop for the creatures of Tatooine.
In contrast to the hellish dunes, Endor's mist-shrouded woods were a cool relief for both
cast and crew. Crescent City, with California's spectacular sequoias, some of which can
like for 2,000 years, provided total shade, unique scenery, and a home for the combative
From Jabba the Hutt to Admiral Ackbar, Jedi features more bizarre aliens and creatures
than both previous Star Wars epics combined. Considered the creature movie of the trilogy,
Jedi stunned audiences with an array of characters only its creators could have imagined.
Phil Tippet, the film's supervisor of makeup and creature design, explained three ways he
brought the magical creations to life. "Sometimes a real actor can fit inside a
creature costume. That actor is often supplemented by a cable running into the costume,
winding its way up the actor's back, then running via the mask to the face and eyes. The
cable grips are operated manually by someone else who is off-camera and the grips are
synchronized in order to make the face move and the eyes blink. We also used air bladders
and tubes attached to bellows, so when an off-camera operator presses a bladder, the lips
or the cheeks on a creature will pooch out a bit."
With over 900 special effects conceved and executed, the Oscar-winning production staff
helped create a pulse-racing unequaled for excitement and adventure.