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by Bill Kimberlin
January 25, 2011

When we finished, "Star Wars:Return of the Jedi", the television program, Nova, came by to find out how we did it. My sequence, in the film was, "The Space Battle", and I worked under the direction of Ken Ralston, who was the master mind behind it.

Originally, this chapter of the Star Wars saga was called, "Revenge of the Jedi", so it will always be "Revenge" to me. But, George Lucas changed the title because, legend has it, some little kid complained that Jedi Knights don't seek revenge. I wouldn't know, I went to Anderson Valley High, and we didn't study much besides cars and girls. Which, by the way, has worked out very well for me.

Films often have working titles either for security reasons or because no one has thought of anything better yet. With the Star Wars series it was for security. "The Empire Strikes Back" was called "Blue Harvest" when filming on location, because if anyone knew the real title a mob of fans would quickly form and the crew wouldn't get any work done.

The shot featured in this clip from the Nova program, was called SB19 because it was the 19th shot in the Space Battle sequence. Ken had multiple camera crews working for almost a year to get this shot, which was but a few seconds long. Every day my editing bench was piled with new film that would be part of this great, "wow" shot.

We started with 10 hour days and that quickly became 12 to 14 hour days. Then we went to six day weeks, same hours. In the last month or two it was seven day weeks. It was hard work and there was a lot of pressure because, as we used to say, "The seats are already sold", but it was also a lot of fun and I don't think any of us will ever forget it.


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