Check Out This Incredibly Rare Early Teaser For ‘Revenge of the Jedi’
Although May 4 has become Star Wars Day (Observed) because of the cutesy “May the 4th be with you” thing, the real anniversary of Star Wars’ first unveiling, the day we should celebrate, is May 25. Which just so happens to be today.
To mark the occasion, here’s a fantastic discovery just unearthed from the archives of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences: A very early teaser for Return of the Jedi, back when it was still known as Revenge of the Jedi. While a few other trailers with the Revenge title do exist on YouTube, this one is really rare. The Academy explains more:
The Academy Film Archive holds several trailers from the United States with the initial Revenge title, all of which announcing a May 25th, 1983 release date which coincided with the anniversary of the original Star Wars stateside release in 1977. However, the Archive recently acquired a peculiar and very brief Revenge of the Jedi teaser trailer which originated from a cinema in the United Kingdom. Curiously, the title cards prominently feature a Christmas 1983 release date and the footage consists only of publicity stills set to triumphant and familiar theme music from a galaxy far, far away.
According to the Academy, the teaser above played before a double-bill U.K. re-release of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back in the summer of 1982 while Lucasfilm and Fox briefly considered a Christmas release for Revenge/Return of the Jedi in England. American audiences didn’t see any Revenge of the Jedi footage until their own Star Wars re-release later that summer, leading AMPAS’ researchers to conclude that this “may be the earliest Revenge trailer distributed.” Either way, it’s a really cool artifact, and a perfect way to celebrate (the real) Star Wars Day. May the 25th be with you.