Flashback: 'Return of the Jedi' 30 Years Ago Today

By DAVID WEINER

May 25, 2013

May the Force Be With you! Return of the Jedi turns 30 years old today, and in celebration of the release of the third film in George Lucas' original Star Wars trilogy, we're flashing back to May of 1983 with vintage ET footage of a special benefit screening of the film with C-3PO himself, Anthony Daniels!

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Darth Vader, a piggy Gamorrean Guard and a handful of enthusiastic Star Wars cosplayers – including a Slave Leia, Yoda, Jawa and overly fuzzy Chewbacca -- attended the Ladies of Variety Club fundraiser for juvenile diabetes red-carpet event in '83.

Drink in hand at the afterparty, the polite Brit Daniels told ET that he was "extremely nervous" watching himself perform as Threepio for the first time in Jedi, calling it "a terrific movie."

"This film, Return of the Jedi, I think is really going to surpass the other two," he said. "Not only because it's built up a following over the years of course, but people are really knocked out by the effects, by the characterizations and by the acting in this and the extraordinary creativity."

Asked if he thought Lucas would make another Star Wars installment, he replied, "George Lucas is going to take a long break and we're going to see in maybe four years' time if there's more, but I think the fans can have a lot to do with it. They can say if they want to see another Star Wars, because you've got to really tell George what you want, you know? He relies on the fans."

Video: Meet the Man Behind C-3PO, Anthony Daniels

Of course, we all know Lucas wouldn't return to the saga until 1999, when he released the first part of the prequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace, and now the world is patiently waiting for J.J. Abrams to start lensing Star Wars VII, expected in theaters in 2015.

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