Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi was released into theaters on May 25, 1983. Filming locations include Death Valley National Park, Grizzly Creek Redwoods St. Park, Yuma Az. and England. It was directed by Richard Marquand and written by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas. It was the first movie to gross over $20 million dollars in it's opening weekend. The films score, like every Star Wars film, before and after, was done by John Williams. The films first DVD release was on September 21st, 2004.

Luke puts the finishing touches on his new lightsaber - 20 Mule Team Road
(Death Valley National Park)

The was one of the deleted scenes from the film. After driving a short distance on 20 Mule Team Road there will be a small pull-out on the right side of the road. Park here and walk up the hill and you'll be at the spot where the cave used to be. It has since been collapsed by the park service for safety reasons.

All "Now" pictures taken in 2019.

R2-D2 & C-3PO making their way to Jabba's palace - 20 Mule Team Road
(Death Valley National Park)

This location is just a short drive past the lightsaber cave spot. Once you recognize the large rock formations to the left, park and walk up the small embankment on the left side of the road to be at the same spot they were traveling along. On the screenshot, all the rock formations on the left side are natural and what you'll actually see at the location, while the right side, along with Jabba's palace and the far off mountain peaks were matte paintings.

All "Now" pictures taken in 2019.

Speeder bike chase - Hwy. 36 Carlotta, Ca. 95528
(Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park, Owen R. Cheatham Grove)

The point of view shots for the sequence were done by having a camera mounted on a rig attached to an operator who walked through the grove at a steady pace with the camera filming one frame per second. When the footage was played back at twenty-four frames per second, it gave the illusion of flying through the forest at high speeds. The actors did all of their shots in front of a green screen in the studio. On the third comparison picture below, the filmmakers actually reversed the shot and in reality it's backwards from what you see on the screen. This is a relatively small grove, but it contains some massive, breathtaking trees. The hike is a short loop, with the first recognizable shot from the film near the beginning of the path if you start on the right side. To be honest, I'd enjoy visiting this grove regardless of if it was featured in a Star Wars movie or not.

All "Now" pictures taken in 2019.


  1. Great post! Thank you. Grizzly creek is a really beautiful place. what a nice trip.