Great Galloping Galaxies!

Return of the Jedi triumphantly completes George Lucas' Star Wars trilogy

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Marquand did not always have to phone for answers: Lucas, whose official title was executive producer, was on the set something like 60% of the time, far more than he had been during the shooting of Empire. Yet, according to both men, there was rarely a conflict and only occasional confusion. "Only once did I get conflicting directions," recalls Fisher. "When I came into Jabba's throne room disguised as a man, Richard told me to stand like an English sentry. Then George walked in and said, 'Carrie, you're standing like an English sentry. You want to be more swashbuckling.' "

Lucas was particularly demanding with the people who created the creatures and the special effects, and often changed his mind. Makeup and Creature Designers Stuart Freeborn, who made the ape costumes in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Phil Tippett always started with clay models that could be recast over and over again. The mold for the sprawling Jabba took two tons of clay and was so big that no oven could hold it; an entire room had to be turned into a Jabba bakery.

At one time or another, Jedi called upon the talents of dozens of dwarfs and midgets in Britain, where the interiors were shot. The Teddy bear warriors alone required 40 of the "little people." Costumes were fitted, and several of the female Ewoks even cuddled baby Ewoks, cunningly designed hand puppets. Kenny Baker, the man who has propelled Artoo-Detoo through his more complicated maneuvers—at times Artoo-Detoo was a real machine—doubled as an Ewok and recruited his wife into the Ewok tribe as well. "Since most of the Ewoks live in trees, we had to find a good number of dwarfs and midgets who could do stunts," says Freeborn. "One even had a black belt in karate."

Sound Designer Ben Burtt devised a new language for the Ewoks, as he did for all the creatures with speaking parts. Ewokese, for example, is a combination of five tongues, including Mongolian, Tibetan and Nepali. All were garbled together in Burtt's sound mixer. When it came time to compose an Ewokese anthem, Burtt could do it without the mixer. "By that time," he jokes, "I could speak Ewokese myself."

A quarter of Jedi's budget, $8 million, went into special effects, most of which were shot at Industrial Light and Magic, a division of Lucasfilm, in Marin County, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. The model shop made everything from the Death Star to Han Solo's saucer-shaped Millennium Falcon, and the optical department made its models look as if they were both big and in movement. Most of the flying objects in Jedi were really stationary, and the camera did all the moving.

The speeder-bike chases through the redwoods were an example. To give the illusion of speed, a cameraman walked through a forest near Crescent City, Calif, while the camera strapped to his chest ran film at one-thirtieth its normal speed. When that film was put into a projector at regular speed, the cameraman's stroll became a hair-raising 150-m.p.h. race between the experienced storm troopers and the amateur rebels.

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