The Return of the Jedi that we all know and love could have turned out very, very differently.
Back in 1981, coming off the critical success of The Elephant Man and the cult success of Erasherhead, surrealist director David Lynch was offered the directing duties on Return of the Jedi by George Lucas. Lynch goes into detail about the offer that Lucas made him in this clip, where he says that even though he had “next to zero interest in doing it,” he went ahead and met with George Lucas anyway. Lynch turned down the movie, and then went on to direct the big screen version of Frank Herbet’s Dune instead, which ended up being something of a celebrated disaster. The fallout of Dune’s failure however, ultimately led to Lynch’s Blue Velvet, and the rest is history.
But what if Lynch had decided to make Return of the Jedi? This awesome fan parody trailer gives us an idea of what that might have looked like. If you’re not a fan of David Lynch, you might not get all the references, but if you are, they went out of their way to include nods to Twin Peaks, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, The Elephant Man and Blue Velvet.
Also, listen closely to the voices, you might recognize some. Tom Kane, who played Yoda on the Clone Wars animated series reprises his role, and Sam Witwer–best known as Aidan from the American version of Being Human–does the voice of the Emperor, a role he played once before for the Force Unleashed video game.
Yoda/Twin Peaks mash-up art is by artist David Di Lorenzo, and more examples can be found here.