Code names are a common practice used in Hollywood to keep studio spies and curious fans away from sensitive film sets. Episode VI used the faux title of “Blue Harvest: Horror Beyond Imagination” while it was in production. That in turn was a tribute to Akira Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo,” which drew its inspiration from Dashiell Hammet’s 1929 novel “Red Harvest.” The eventual title was revealed to be “Star Wars: Revenge of the Jedi.” Posters were printed up, crew jackets produced, and ads were placed in trade magazines. Then for reasons that are still unclear, but most likely to broaden the appeal of the movie, the title was switched to the final version “Return of the Jedi.”
In the 100 days of Star Wars trivia series, we share 100 unique facts about the Star Wars franchise as we count down the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.
I believe the reason for the change was because Lucas felt Revenge was not part of a Jedi agenda so Return was more appropriate. Love your daily countdown – so fun! Thanks!
Actually, it was quite clear why the title was changed, back then. Fans spent time asking Lucasfilm the question “If revenge is not the way of the Jedi, why is the next movie titled Revenge of the Jedi?”
This was pre-internet days, of course.