If, like me, you love all things “Making Of”, then J. W. Rinzlers “The Making Of Return Of The Jedi” is for you.
And when I say “Making Of” I mean true “Making Of” books that tell everything about a films production warts and all, rather than just pure promotional guff that tells you how great everyone was. It’s the honesty of the people featured in the book (and it features A LOT of people) that makes this a truly engrossing read. For example, even during pre-production some members of the crew weren’t sold on the Ewoks; during the writing stage the co-screenwriter didn’t totally believe the story he was telling; through to a key person in the sound department who admitted he had burnt out on Star Wars.
Like it’s predecessors it’s a big book, but is lavishly illustrated with many unseen images from the Lucasfilm archives. It also reproduces sections of previous drafts of the script giving the reader a glimpse at how the story transformed over time in the journey from page to screen. For example we find out how Leia became “the other” that was first mentioned in The Empire Strikes Back in order to resolve one of many dangling plot threads.
Reading through this book you begin to get a sense of just how big an undertaking the making of the movie was whilst getting a feeling for just why the film may seem slightly less than the sum of its parts. All in all it rounds off the “Making Of” trilogy in much the same way as the film it covers. It picks up all threads from the previous two films and brings them together to create a rousing conclusion.