Review: The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Making of the Return of the JediIt’s that most wonderful time of the year: When all the Star Wars gift books come out. So which ones are worth putting on your gift list for the year?

If you have enjoyed J.W. Rinzler’s previous explorations into A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, then you are going to flip over his look at The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. It’s just as full of interesting stories and pictures and documents as the previous ones.

Rinzler has had unprecedented access to the archives and to the key players involved with the movies. George Lucas has done several reviews of his material to make sure things are captured correctly. He was also able to find lost interviews and pictures that complete the story for those who are no longer with us.

So yes. This is definitely one to put high on your wish list. However, if you are not an OCD completist nut like myself, you might choose to go the Enhanced Edition route and read it on your Kindle, instead. The book is heavy. The print is small for my old eyes. (Old Fart Fan, here.) And while it’s delightful to spend a few hours doing nothing but flipping pages and looking at the glorious pictures and layout, reading it on a Kindle-compatible device is much easier on both the eyes and back. Plus, the Enhanced Edition also had some pretty amazing video and audio that hasn’t been seen before. SO cool.

Go forth. Add it to the list.

Santa Maul would approve if you decided to put both the book and the enhanced versions on it. It’s only right.

7 thoughts on “Review: The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

  1. Mark Elwood

    This is an instance where I wish that buying books was more like buying blu-rays. You buy the physical object and you get the digital download for free as well… Excited to pick up the book though.

  2. Paula Post author

    Mark, I suspect we’re moving that direction. Just not yet.

    But the enhanced editions are SWEET! And I appreciate the physical ease of reading the text in the ebook format.

    Still. Sitting down with that book is really satisfying. You aren’t going wrong by getting the paper version.

  3. pgwagner

    Bought this the other day, definitely get the print edition, its big yes, but find a nice chair! Also, I haven’t read the whole book just yet, but it seems they left out (or skirted over) the rift Lucas had with Kurtz, that is the dirt I want and seems to be missing here…

  4. Jason Ward

    I don’t know pgwagner, it seems like that was handled in Making of Empire for the most part. Then in Making of Jedi, it is experienced through the company. Lucas told him he was off the picture and he shows up to the first meeting anyways and Lucas wasn’t at the meeting in question.

    Now, does it lack a Lucas interview about when he said he was off the picture? Yes. But I’m not sure it needed as Making of The Empire Strikes Back made that case and Making of Return of the Jedi deals with the aftermath and getting Kazanjian aboard.

    I think they paint Lucas as a guy getting his balls, to be blunt. He really seizes the day and tells a lot of people and the guilds to suck it.

    Lucas and Kasdan are going at one another constantly during the story meetings and at one point Marquand even says it needs to stop (to paraphrase). The whole time Kasdan is telling Lucas to not pull his punches, so to speak.

    I don’t think the book wallows in drama too much, but I think it is laying it out pretty even handed for the most part.

    My only problem with the digital version is it didn’t include the 250 page story transcript that I want to read. The movie footage is fantastic, but there’s a 250 page transcript that will never see the light of day and it would have been a great supplementary piece to include. I’m not not complaining though, the set of three is the prize of Star Wars publishing for me. Nothing better has ever existed for me.

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