Original ending to The Return Of The Jedi

The original ending of the blockbuster 1983 film was much less popular with test audiences than the version that finally made it onto the big screen.

The final redemption of the film’s original unlikely protagonist was, it seems, thought to be insufficiently clear to film-going audiences of the day.  Today’s audiences, of course, would be able to appreciate the transformation of Salacious Crumb from slave-jester to dignified hero at the moment of his death at the Great Pit of Carkoon, accepting of his fate as he rode the flaming wreckage of Jabba’s sail barge down towards the unforgiving sands of Tatooine.

The studio was in a panic at the news.  At the last moment, the actor playing Darth Vader was brought in to hurriedly fill the spot.  The ‘Jedi Ghost’ effect was quite expensive and a deposit for the special ink had already been put down.  Somebody had to fill the spot, so the little known character of Anakin Skywalker was grudgingly chosen.