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The Making of Return of the Jedi: The Definitive Story Behind the Film [Hardcover]

Brad Bird , J.W. Rinzler
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
RRP: 40.00
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Book Description

1 Oct 2013

Just as Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi completed the most successful cinematic trilogy of its generation, perhaps of all time, this splendid thirtieth-anniversary tribute concludes New York Times bestselling author J. W. Rinzler’s trio of breathtaking books celebrating George Lucas’s classic saga.
Once again, the author’s unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm Archives has yielded a mother lode of fascinating and often unexpected revelations from behind the scenes of a blockbuster in the making. Brimming with previously unpublished photos, concept artwork, script excerpts, storyboards, on-set interviews and present-day commentary, The Making of Return of the Jedi chronicles ‘how George Lucas and his crew of extroverted artists, misfits and expert craftspeople roused themselves to great heights for a third time’ to create the next unforgettable chapter in one of the most beloved stories in movie history. Get up close to the action and feel like a studio insider as:

* George Lucas, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and director Richard Marquand huddle in a script conference to debate the destinies of iconic Star Wars characters

* The artists and technicians at the ground-breaking Industrial Light & Magic facility surpass their own revolutionary innovations with boundary-pushing new visual effects

* A crack team of sculptors, puppeteers, actors and ‘monstermakers’ brings Jabba the Hutt and his unsavoury cohorts to startling, slobbering life

* Actors and crew race to the finish line at Elstree Studios, in a fiery desert and beneath the canopy of a dense redwood forest to provide answers to the questions that audiences had waited three years to find out: Is Darth Vader really Luke’s father? Who is the mysterious ‘other’? And who, or what, is the Emperor?

Star Wars luminaries from both sides of the camera, including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Alec Guinness, director Richard Marquand, producer Howard Kazanjian, Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett and mastermind George Lucas, all weigh in with candid insights on everything from technical crises and character design, to the Ewoks and the ultimate challenge of bringing this phenomenal space fantasy to a dramatic close.
A gloriously illustrated and painstakingly researched tribute to a truly spectacular movie, The Making of Return of the Jedi invites you to return to a galaxy … far, far away.

Frequently Bought Together

The Making of Return of the Jedi: The Definitive Story Behind the Film + The Making of The Empire Strikes Back: The Definitive Story Behind the Film + The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
Price For All Three: 81.25

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (1 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781310769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781310762
  • Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 27 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘The real treat, however is the film’s dazzling concept art. The Force is certainly strong with this one.’

(SPORT Magazine)

‘Bursting with unparalleled access, previously unseen photos, exclusive interviews and on-set tales from the cast and Lucas’s crack team of craftsmen, crew and jaunty model makers, Rinzler constructs a unique view of one of history’s best-loved sequels.’


‘Concluding Rinzler’s trio of books celebrating George Lucas’ “Star Wars” films is this “mother lode” of revelations about the making of “The Return of the Jedi” which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2013.’


‘Another cracking book.’

(Jedi News)

‘The last of the original Star Wars trilogy ‘Making Of’s’ is every bit as good as its predecessors. It’s a rich, lovingly assembled book with enough treats to keep you occupied through a stay in the Sarlacc’s belly. It’s so packed with rare behind-the-scenes photos and gorgeous concept art that it would be worth buying for the visuals alone. But it’s in the words that the real treasure lies. Even the most obsessive Star Wars fan will learn something here.’

(SFX Magazine, Five *****s)

‘The book charts every step of the way, and chronologically we end up with not just the release and various poster camaigns, but also the aftermath of the film.’


One that you will keep on your coffee table with pride. This book is in honour of the 30th anniversary and is the wonderful creation of bestselling author J. W. Rinzler. Rinzler was given access to the Lucasfilm archives and found the most fascinating revelations from behind the scenes of the film. Great to have such an in depth insider look at one of the most famous sci-fi films of all time (and personally my favourite Star Wars film). Now all I need to do is get the back catalogue and clear some bookshelf space…’


About the Author

J. W. RINZLER, executive editor at Lucasfilm Ltd., is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Making of Star Wars and The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, as well as The Times bestseller The Complete Making of Indiana Jones. He also directed the animated short Riddle of the Black Cat and is presently working on a children’s book.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Last Volume of a superb Trilogy 4 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This,like the two previous volumes is a beautiful book covering all the elements of the films production from beginning to end with hundreds of illustrations, set pictures (including a stunning one of Princess Leia in THAT costume and a surprise foe for the Rancor that made me burst out with laughter when I saw it),not to mention reams of detailed production notes.
Its broken down into a dozen or so chapters that truly show how the film evolved through the entire production and ,just like its predecessors,its a wonderfully detailed recollection of how a very well loved film was made and brought a fitting end to a trilogy that has no equal, at least by my reckoning anyway.I've spent a good evening just browsing through it and smiling at various set photo stills,everybody looks like they had a blast on this final shoot. I'll even forgive the Ewoks appearance (and interestingly they don't appear that much in this book).
The whole series easily surpasses anything I've ever read on how these films were really made nearly three decades ago and this last one completes the series most fittingly. It's a superb addition that completes a stunning set. No real fan of the trilogy can call himself that and NOT have these.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and invaluable 4 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m a big fan not only of the original Star Wars trilogy but also of behind-the-scenes books and so this was an absolute perfect fit for me. The third in Rinzler’s series - but the first I’ve read - this is an exhaustive account of making the third Star Wars film from preparing the script right through to the release. I thought I knew a lot about the production (last year I read Peecher’s “The Making If Return Of The Jedi” and although that is quoted frequently here, this book is markedly more in-depth) but Rinzler reveals several facts here I’m sure are appearing for the first time (I didn’t, for instance, realise Ralph McQuarrie left the film early, burned out from Star Wars and Empire), building the story from contemporary interviews (in 2011 and 2012), vintage ones (from Peecher and various magazines and journals) and also production reports in the Lucasfilm archives.

What I liked most about it is that even though this is clearly sanctioned by Lucasfilm, it is remarkably candid. Interviews are often frank - nobody liked the Ewoks apart from Lucas, Richard Marquand’s filming style annoyed several actors (Carrie Fisher accuses him of treating her badly, whilst fawning after Harrison Ford), the ILM supervisors often clashed heads over equipment and Fisher’s party-girl antics sometimes affected her performance - but all the better for that, as it shows how hard people worked in often trying circumstances.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars read it iam in it 9 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
iam in it
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic 17 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
great coffee table book. You can browse for hours or just have a quick flick through. A must for all fans
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 15 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video|Verified Purchase
Second interactive book in the series and great enhancements. Very detailed and informative. Great for Star Wars and film making fans
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3.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Fine 25 May 2014
By Ian
Format:Kindle Edition with Audio/Video|Verified Purchase
This doesn't give you as much inside information that is interesting as the prior volumes. In fact it drags as it goes on endlessly about the effects and editing.

The real frustration is that none of the enhancements work on my Galaxy Tab so the primary reason for buying this is a total waste.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent work on a cult saga 28 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Like the 2 previous books, Rintzer does an excellent and remarkable labour of love. The pictures, the drawings and sketches, the text, the interviews. Everything of it is interesting.
Highly recommended at such a price.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book! 18 Jan 2014
By Sadako
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A real in depth look into ROTJ -

Great buy if you love the franchise.

A nice addition to the other 'makings of'
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Last one of trilogy and doesn't disappoint
quoted from my hubby who had it from me for Christmas 'really pleased they did the last one and it is just like the other 2 in the set, excellent and interesting read for any... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bubbles
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK
Bought this for my 13 year old granddaughter for her birthday as she likes all Star Wars items. She was very pleased to receive it so I can only give it 5 stars.
Published 6 months ago by gs kent
5.0 out of 5 stars Jedi rocks
Still, in my opinion the weakest of the three movies ... Fab book as with all Lucas produced movies it would be interesting to know how much George spearheaded on the movie... Read more
Published 7 months ago by T. M. Howsam
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it! - If you don't have the others, buy them too!
Plenty of great reviews here already - if you don't own any other Star Wars books these J.W. Rinzler definitives are the ones to get! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Thomas J Newton
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a fan - buy it, you won't regret it!
Having read the first two 'making of' books in the trilogy series this was a must read. Happy to report that I wasn't disappointed - packed full of anecdotes and pictures that I've... Read more
Published 7 months ago by DiscoFizz
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional.....but
No surprises here that this book is the definitive account of the making of one of cinemas enduring classics as its two predecessors, also by this author, set the bar so high. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sean D. Elstob
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