Unusual 35mm Revenge of the Jedi trailer

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Hello everyone,

[it seems I am not able to post any images from my computer yet. Presumably because I’m 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.

It’s a thirty second teaser trailer composed of publicity stills from the film with no live action shots.
It’s 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 it’s the Star Wars theme.

One curious thing near the end of the trailer is the text “for the Christmas of 1983.”
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 1980’s 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?
 
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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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Sounds interesting! :)

Your description reminds me of this teaser trailer for The Empire Strikes Back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RadNPPnZQKM

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?

--Steve
 
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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.


 
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Yes well, sometime later...:oops:

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,

Bill.
 
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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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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.
 
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Thank you Scott and Rogan. :D


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!:ninja:)


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,
Bill
 
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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?
 
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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?
I had the same thought, Scott. With Jedi's U.S. release date being associated with the corresponding original release date for Star Wars, I wondered if there was an earlier plan for the UK release to coincide with their December release date for the original? Those teal-colored title cards are certainly unusual as well.

"Lame" as it might be on the surface, this is definitely significant, and it's great to see it survive in such good condition! :)

--Steve
 
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Chris G pointed me to this thread. ROTJ was indeed being considered for a Christmas 1983 release in the UK. I've found documents strongly arguing against the idea in the LFL marketing archives. Fortunately, sanity won out ;)

Pete
 
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Thanks Pete, that's very interesting.
If you don't mind me asking, how did you find these documents? I thought Lucasfilm's archives were under lock and key at the Skywalker Ranch.
If there are documents arguing the case for and against a Christmas '83 UK release as you say, it would be useful to see them.

Bill.
 
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Chris G pointed me to this thread. ROTJ was indeed being considered for a Christmas 1983 release in the UK. I've found documents strongly arguing against the idea in the LFL marketing archives. Fortunately, sanity won out ;)
AHA! I suspected as much. Would it be possible to post pictures of said documents Pete? It would be cool to see.
 
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If you don't mind me asking, how did you find these documents? I thought Lucasfilm's archives were under lock and key at the Skywalker Ranch.
The collector community has an insider and true fan on the scene ;)
 
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The marketing docs came to Lucasfilm and didn't stay at Skywalker. I've been going through them as I have time and made a note of a series of docs that indicated that a Xmas 1983 release for ROTJ was being considered for UK markets. Since these were internal docs I unfortunately cannot share them without seeking multiple approvals. Sorry
 
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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.
Run a couple trailers in flat --> lens change --> run a trailer or two in scope then onto the Feature in scope

the original theatrical print of Jedi was in scope so it makes sense. (though wouldn't surprise me that this trailer was also released in flat)

Happy detective work withthe release dates, guys, great read so far :)
 
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Thanks for the comments guys;), it's good some information is coming together. Shame we can't see the documents, but there it is.
At least we know it's a rare trailer and can be dated. I wonder how many of these trailers are in existence today?
 
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Thanks for the comments guys;), it's good some information is coming together. Shame we can't see the documents, but there it is.
At least we know it's a rare trailer and can be dated. I wonder how many of these trailers are in existence today?
Happy to see the picture becoming clearer on this item, Bill! I would assume with it being from the early going and (given what Pete has discerned from those marketing files) with little doubt specifically for the UK market, there aren't many out there, especially in decent condition with good color. I wonder if the BFI might have a copy at the National Archive? I checked their collections search page and was only able to pull up records for Star Wars trailers. Nothing for Empire or Jedi. This doesn't necessarily mean they don't have it, though.

In other marketing files news -- I just posted this wonderful find to the starwars.com blog -- 1976 Star Wars Memo: "The Public Will Be Electrified" | StarWars.com
This is absolutely fantastic, Pete! It's wonderful that something like this is being highlighted on the official site. I hope more discoveries can get similar treatment as they are unearthed.

"It is quite possible STAR WARS will emerge as the all time box office champion." -- How prophetic!

Ah, how I love archives. :)

--Steve
 
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I thought I'd resurrect this thread (and forum!) with an update on this unique little trailer. It was recently preserved and shared online by the Academy Film Archive: https://youtu.be/MAW1E3JIQZE

Pete Vilmur and I collaborated on a piece for the Academy website that includes the trailer and a bit on its relationship with the history of Jedi's British release: http://www.oscars.org/news/heres-st...ver-seen-unless-you-were-british-theater-1982

And finally, with some great photos and information from Bill (the one who started this thread and deserves all of the credit for bringing this little gem to light :)) I put together a blog post for the SWCA that provides some details on the trailer's provenance and preservation: http://blog.theswca.com/2016/06/provenance-is-paramount-uk-revenge.html

Enjoy!

--Steve
 
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Funny that I was discussing this advert with a friend a week ago. I can still remember it to this day because in the UK it was the most exciting thing ever. It's funny that the lack of content made it all the better. I cannot remember any other film advert at that time using just stills and it lent a feel of 'this is so secret and important we are only going to show you a few stills'. We hung back for the second show just to watch the advert again.

I cannot speak of the 'December' issue except to say that in the UK we knew about Jedi's June release a good deal ahead of the date.
 
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