Jedi Minute 2: A Sky Full of Death Stars

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I want to believe.jpg


January 6th, 2015


Little does Luke know that the GALACTIC EMPIRE has secretly begun construction on a new armored space station even more powerful than the first dreaded Death Star.


Hosts only.



Starts with the opening crawl saying "Little does Luke know...:.
Ends with the end of the crawl; stuff is about to happen.


  • Once again we're discussing how little Luke knows.
  • The "new station more powerful than the Death Star" is just another Death Star.
  • Many things turn out not to be as good as promised in the crawl.

Lucas's original rough draft of the crawl - February 1981.

McQuarrie's original concept art for Had Abbadon included two "habitation spheres" that would later inspire the Death Star design.
  • There are many differences to the final crawl.
  • For example it includes two Death Stars.
  • It seems much more like the crawls from the previous two movies than the final version.
  • When this was drafted Harrison Ford was not contracted for Return of the Jedi as he was only under contract for the first two movies. As a result, Lucas wrote around Han Solo.
  • Referenced: Beneath the Planet of the Apes.
  • This draft included a planet called Had Abbadon which evolved into Coruscant.
  • Coruscant was a major planet in the Prequels but was hardly mentioned in the Original Trilogy.
  • There is a wealth of cut material from Return of the Jedi.
  • Artistic integrity was sacrificed due to budget concerns in Return of the Jedi. This was not the case in The Empire Strikes Back.

The revised draft of the crawl - June 1981

  • There are still only two Death Stars but the word "several" is used.

The Lawrence Kasdan draft - 1981 (before November)

  • Kasdan wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • He drafted a script for Return of the Jedi and this included the crawl.
  • There is only one new Death Star in this draft.
  • Luke and Leia are missing (presumably because they have gone to rescue Han).
  • This is the first time that the Death Star is hovering near a sanctuary moon - call Jus Endor.
  • Coruscant may have been an EU planet that was canonized.

Next draft by Kasdan and Lucas - November 1981

  • Han Solo is now mentioned so contract negotiations with Harrison Ford have been finalized.
  • This draft is getting closer to the final draft seen in the movie.
  • The planet Jus Endor has been renamed to just Endor.
  • Endor is a town in the Bible – it is home to a magical woman.

Final draft

  • Starts out big. The Rebels are forming an armada of their spaceships.
  • Apart from that very close to the final version.

Other notes

  • The hosts' main complaint is that many elements of Return of the Jedi are so similar to the first movie.
  • The new Death Star is revealed at the end of this minute.
    • We see the Death Star from far away - is that better or worse than seeing it up close?
    • The new Death Star is incomplete. Do we see it from any other angle?
  • Return of the Jedi is directed by Richard Marquand.
  • Marquand directed a movie called Birth of the Beatles.
  • Mentioned: podcast Alphabeatical.
 Pete's memories of Return of the Jedi.
 This is the first Star Wars movie that involved him in the cultural zeitgeist.
 He remembers seeing the line for tickets.
 He saw the movie on Long Island.
 He wanted to see the movie rather than just being taken to see it.
 He liked it and everything that came after it (e.g. cartoons, calendars etc).
 Pete was 7 to 8 years old when he saw Return of the Jedi.
 Alex's memories of Return of the Jedi
 He was 13 to 14 years old when he first saw it.
 He already really loved Star Wars.
 But was sensitive to it being referred to as "baby stuff".
 He was therefore trying to distance himself from that aspect.
 As a result, seeing this movie wasn't a big deal.
 He also read the Marvel comic adaptations of Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back.
 When he saw Return of the Jedi there was a pregnant lady waiting in line that they commented on.
 Her husband was standing next to them and told them off.
 This adds to the overall cringe factor of the movie for Alex.

Meta Minute

  • 26:43 podcast episode length.
  • In addition to being the home of the Empire, Had Abbadon was the planet around which the "green moon" (later the Forest moon of Endor) orbited.
  • Birth of the Beatles will be brought up again later this movie.


  • Pete: <As person 1> Are we going to <Jus(t) Endor> and [sic] Hababadon? <As person 2> No, Jus Endor... and Hababadon. <As person 1> Wait, I thought you said we were just going to Endor. <etc.>
  • Pete: I guess Jus Endor was shortened to just Endor.
  • Alex: <In regards to the Death Star> It's not just a flat disc floating in the sky - it's a round thing, right? Pete: Whoa, whoa - that's heresy.


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