At the time of release, a Louisville news program asked a Louisville newspaper movie critic to rank the film on a scale of 1 to 10. He gave it an 11. I think he called it one of the greatest movies ever made.
I had heard that Lucas was angry with either the director or the producer for making the film too good, believing they could make more money by keeping it under budget. I am disappointed in Lucas because the final product is a great film.
Alan Ladd was willing to help Lucas with a loan but was later pushed out by Fox for making a bad deal and not getting more money especially after the movie was a huge hit.
You would think that George Lucas would have had all the money in the world at his disposal, but in Return of the Jedi the reason we got a planet of Ewoks instead of Wookies, like Lucas wanted, was because he lacked the funding. I think that the Wookies would have made a better movie, and later we saw a planet of Wookies in Episode III Revenge of the Sith.
"Return of the Jedi" was going to called "Revenge of the Jedi", but this was thought to sound too much like "Revenge of Khan", so both movies renamed their titles to avoid any confusion. It was also thought that "Revenge" was inappropriate for "Jedi". Recently, the animated Clone Wars series stated, "Revenge is not the Jedi way." I think that this was a deliberate reference to the movie.
On Fri, Sep 1, 2023 at 8:55 AM Larry wrote:
All of the OT's successes originated from George Lucas. Did you know that the first cut of 'The Empire Strikes Back' was a disaster? Here's what a now deleted article from ScreenRant says, titled '15 Things You Never Knew About The Empire Strikes Back'. Fact #7 was that, you guessed it, "The First Cut Was A Disaster, Requiring Heavy Reshoots". The article then goes on to say "With shooting way behind schedule and costs running out of control on The Empire Strikes Back , George Lucas started to panic. With his entire personal fortune invested in production on Empire , the failure of the movie would mean persona and professional ruin. Shooting wrapped, and Lucas breathed a sigh of relief". That's good, you might say. However, the article continues with: "Then came the disastrous rough cut, which left Marcia Lucas in tears. Lucas exploded, furious with Gary Kurtz and Irvin Kershner at having spent his personal fortune to make a bad movie. Lucas tried reediting the movie himself to no avail. He then decided to film extensive reshoots, reworking the Han/Leia love subplot. That raised the cost of the picture even more, as Lucas had to divert funds from construction of Skywalker Ranch to keep the movie shooting. He also had to approach Fox for a loan, which production executive Alan Ladd, Jr. helped him secure. Ladd would later quit Fox over the loan, when Empire became a runaway hit