While Lucasfilm, J.J. Abrams and “Star Wars” fans alike try to ride the line of commendable and just plain mediocre in relation to pinning a title on “Star Wars: Episode 7,” the marketing team behind George Lucas‘ brainchild has succeeded in raising interest and a bit of nostalgia for the original trilogy. Two weeks ago, they released the original 1976 teaser trailer for “Star Wars” followed the next week by the one for “The Empire Strikes Back,” and now in keeping with ritual and perhaps a countdown, the pre-‘Return’ trailer for Richard Marquand‘s 1983 installment has hit the web.
The original teaser trailer for “Return of the Jedi” showcases a franchise hurtling toward release, as ILM rushed to get all of their effects shots done for the film’s May 25th, 1983 release, while Lucas commissioned marketing materials—including another beautiful poster done by artist Drew Struzan—still featuring the original title, “Revenge of the Jedi.” This title swap has yet to be enacted in the teaser, alongside a few unfinished shots like that of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) without his blue “spirit haze,” but it’s nonetheless a charming bit of film history from Lucas when he still allowed some visual errors onscreen.
The “Star Wars” universe might see another dosage of the original cast as well in J.J. Abrams’ film, as it’s been rumored for a while that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford were in negotiations to return. While the decision has struck some as a bit lazy and tiresome, Disney might not care either way with the type of cash they received last year: in the U.S. and Canada during 2012, merchandising surrounding the “Star Wars” and “Clone Wars” franchises totaled over $1 billion (via Sacramento Bee). That’s a lot of Han Solo and Leia action figures that could be given a new coat of paint and sold again, but we’ll see which characters make the cut when 2015 rolls around and ‘Episode VII’ hits theater screens.