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Thread: Unusual 35mm Revenge of the Jedi trailer

  1. #1

    Unusual 35mm Revenge of the Jedi trailer

    Hello everyone,

    [it seems I am not able to post any images from my computer yet. Presumably because Iím a new member. As soon as I can I will.]

    I must emphasise this is not the trailer than can be seen on the internet, You tube etc.

    Itís a thirty second teaser trailer composed of publicity stills from the film with no live action shots.
    Itís been so long since I ran the film my memory is hazy as to what form the soundtrack takes, but as far as I can remember itís the Star Wars theme.

    One curious thing near the end of the trailer is the text ďfor the Christmas of 1983.Ē
    Odd, as Return of the Jedi was released in May of that year.

    The film contains no joins other than a header spliced to the end(!)of the trailer. There are some dust scratches throughout and four motor dots next to the Lando frames. The sprockets are intact and the film could be run with the right equipment.

    I was a cinema projectionist in the 1980ís and the trailer was given to me as a present when I left.

    Do members have any information about this trailer? I would really like to know as I can find nothing about it on the internet.
    I wonder if its worth anything?

  2. #2
    Sounds like it could be a interal trailer only. (Theater distrubuters only) Basically something to say this movie is comming can you place it on your schedule.

    The Dec date may have been one of the original release dates before it got finalized to May.
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  3. #3
    Thanks VideoViper, that's something I hadn't considered, I'll look over the trailer again.

  4. #4
    Sounds interesting!

    Your description reminds me of this teaser trailer for The Empire Strikes Back:

    Is this Revenge trailer similar in style? Does it contain only production stills or is there any artwork depicted?

    The "Christmas of 1983" date is peculiar. I wasn't aware of Jedi having any other planned release date than the Summer of 1983. This June 1983 article from American Cinematographer notes:

    "One of the first things Howard Kazanjian did as producer of The Return of the Jedi was to lay out a calendar for the production starting with a release day of May 27, 1983, and working backwards. (the release date was subsequently changed to May 25 to coincide with the sixth anniversary of the initial release of Star Wars.)"

    I don't have anything more recent or definitive on hand to corroborate this, but I assume that was indeed the case?

    Is there any accompanying paperwork, labeling, or leader with any information that might provide more information?


  5. #5
    Thanks Steve, and a big thank you to Chris Wyman for informing me how to post images.
    Now that I'm wised up, here are a couple. The main pictures are in my photo album: Sullust's Star Wars Stuff.

    Thanks for PM Steve, bit pressed for time right now, but will be back later.

    Last edited by Sullust; 11-20-2015 at 04:33 AM. Reason: morning spelling on last of holiday not good!

  6. #6
    Yes well, sometime later...

    Hello again everyone,

    I have re-photographed the Revenge trailer in sequential order so as to give a fuller picture of what the film looks like if you were to view it in a cinema.

    I apologise that most of the images are not brilliantly focused despite them having the Photoshop treatment, the light was fading at the time. And three of the images you’ve already seen.

    The film starts with a light turquoise colour and reads from left to right. The Revenge text at the end of the film fades out to black.

    Have fun,


  7. #7
    VERY interesting! Thanks for posting this. I pulled out some reference material I had and I found a comment made by Ken Ralston years ago on the Revenge trailers:

    "The first trailer for Jedi had been released that summer (1982 - probably referring to it being shown with the rerelease of Star Wars that summer). A second trailer was planned for Christmas, and a third for spring 1983. "We have a couple trailers for the show, which basically show nothing, because George didn't want to reveal very much, and, frankly, they're kind of lame," says Ralston. "There's a certain edge they don't have, only because George was far too busy to do them himself. But people in the theaters are going bananas over them." "

    Some additional info:

    Work on the film, and now its promotion, progressed in multiple areas. A short (around a minute and a half) Jedi teaser trailer played in theaters throughout America that December.

    Ralston's comments about the trailer being 'lame' seems to fit with your description of the lack of new footage but stills being shown. The Christmas 1983 date puzzles me though.

    Did you obtain this trailer in the USA or are you from another country? The only countries that had ROTJ released around Christmas (December) 1983 were Argentina, Greece, West Germany, Mexico and Peru. If the trailer were to have been played in these countries then the text probably would not have been in English. I wonder if the Christmas 1983 date was a typo of some kind?

    BTW it is definitely worth something

    I would love to see it in its entirety if you could somehow digitize it.
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  8. #8
    I have the regular 'Revenge' trailer on 16mm but having a 35mm revenge trailer in C/Scope, regardless of content, is a rarity. No fading either from the looks.

    If worse comes to worse i know a guy (who knows a guy) who has a 35mm telecine if you wanted to get it transferred and digitized.
    *Pray. For. Mo-Jo.*

  9. #9
    Thank you Scott and Rogan.

    Just to clear up a few things, I’m live in the UK and that’s where I obtained the trailer.
    After a great deal of thought about how I came by the film, Here’s the (mercifully) short story.

    There were always odd bits of film about the projection room where I worked, one of these was a partially filled two thousand foot spool of old adverts and trailers I‘d never heard of, plus hundreds of feet of headers and footers. (for those that don’t know, a header is a length of film that goes on the start of a film and usually counts down from 10, the footer goes at the end of the film. But I’m sure you already knew that!)

    Amongst these headers was the Revenge trailer. A real surprise to me. I separated the trailer and spliced it onto our test reel, and watched it once the audience had gone. It was left on the test reel.

    After I left the cinema years later, I was given the trailer and a thank you note for the time I had put in. That was 27 years ago, the trailer now resides wrapped up in the box it came in (NOT the original box) and is kept in my wardrobe. (I’m a light sleeper so you have been warned!)

    Scott: That was a very interesting post you made there. It does add weight to the theory it’s a very, very early trailer. And I would agree with your comment and Ken’s description about it being “lame” do indeed fit. I remember not being very impressed at seeing the trailer, that’s why I left it on the test reel.

    Yes it’s that ruddy “Christmas 1983” bit that’s so curious.
    I’m in contact with Steve Danley as well, and as I said to him, the puzzle is gradually coming together.

    Roganjohn: Glad you have the other Revenge trailer on 16mm. Something worth hanging on to. I was surprised my trailer is in ‘scope. Doing a lens change for a thirty second trailer is no fun, so it must have been run with a cinemascope main feature I would think.

    Thanks for the comments,

  10. #10
    Thanks Bill - I think we're getting somewhere.

    I recall that Star Wars was originally released in the UK during Christmas/December 1977. I wonder if there was a point in 1982 where Jedi was considered for a Christmas UK release in 1983 but then switched to its eventual summer date release?

    Were there any special events in the UK during December 1983 that could have warranted a Christmas 1983 showing that was planned a year earlier in 1982?

    Would the theater you worked have held any special showings for private screenings or events back around Christmas 1983?
    Visit the Canadian Star Wars Gallery:
    Star Wars with a Canadian focus
    WTB: a Canadian carded 4-LOM and Kenner Canada 3-Packs / Multipacks

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