For some, Star Wars isn't just a movie series. It's a way of life. It brings something new to this ever-expanding universe, offering fresh ideas and challenges, just as every sequel has in the past. But to get from The Phantom Menace to The Last Jedi has been quite a journey, and it would have never happened without the original trilogy. For some, those three movies are the defining essence of Star Wars. And just in time for the holidays, we look back at how it all came to be with the classic documentary From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga.
Ever wonder what it was like to be a part of Star Wars madness when it was first unleashed on the world? This fun expose takes you back to where it all begin with vintage footage direct from VHS. This isn't a new, updated take on that galaxy far, far away. This is pure, untapped goodness direct from the source. And it is sure to have you feeling nostalgic for the adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy, Lando, C-3PO and R2-D2 all over again. Even if The Last Jedi brought you down, this fun trip will bring the love right back into your heart for all things Star Wars.
When it was released, From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga was a big deal. It was the culmination of everything Star Wars up until that point. And for kids back in the 80s, it seemed as though these were the only three Star Wars movies we were ever going to get. This video transported us straight to the set, to see how the magic came to life. It defined the legacy of the story and the characters in a way that hadn't happened up until that point. And it also allowed for us to see some exciting scenes from Return of the Jedi at home, in an era where we couldn't just call up the trailer and watch it a hundred times on Youtube.
From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga originally debuted December 3, 1983 a few months after the movie came out in theaters. And it made its debut on PBS. The 65 minute expose covered a lot of ground in its short runtime, but mostly focused on the making of Return of the Jedi, which ended the original trilogy early that May. Mark Hamill returned to narrate the documentary, which is comprised of considerable material and behind-the-scenes footage from all three Star Wars movies, including A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
Fans were allowed backstage access to watch the creation of various alien creatures, even getting to go on location in Yuma Desert in Arizona for the sequence aboard Jabba's sail barge, as well as on location in the redwood forests of Northern California for the Endor scenes. The documentary provides access to the filming of the speeder bike chase sequence, and the creation of the various alien languages and the song "Lapti Nek" as performed by the character Sy Snootles and the Ewok celebration song at the end of the film, which were later replaced in 1997 with George Lucas' Return of the Jedi Special Edition.
Perhaps most exciting at the time was that this documentary also includes footage from the original deleted Star Wars scene featuring Han Solo's meeting with Jabba the Hutt, who was then played by Irish actor Declan Mulholland. This was before the scene was restored for the 1997 Special Edition of A New Hope in which a CGI Jabba the Hutt was superimposed over Mulholland and his dialogue dubbed. And this here was the first time that fans were getting to see this holy grail of missing footage.
Not only do we have From Star Wars to Jedi: The Making of a Saga for you to rekindle your love with Star Wars this holiday season. We also have the original commercial for the Star Wars Trilogy VHS Collector's Preview 1989, which is sure to make you feel all war and fuzzy as you sip eggnog by the fire with your portable device. Let all this goodness wash over you, and remember why you fell in love with Star Wars in the first place.