Richard Marquand might have been the director behind Star Wars: EpisodeVI – Return of the Jedi, but little do Star Wars fans know that Star Wars creator George Lucas actually offered experimental filmmaker David Lynch the opportunity to helm the film.
Hearing the story of Lucas offering Lynch the director's seat to Return of the Jedi shouldn't come as a surprise. The filmmaker has a great eye for the story, and Lucas was probably interested in seeing what Lynch would add to his galaxy far, far away.
However, the director known for his films like Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive turned down the offer, mainly because he thought that it was out of his depth and because he wasn't a big fan of science fiction movies.
Lynch discussed the offer in an anecdote in his book Lynch on Lynch (via Mental Floss), revealing the reason why he passed up on directing The Phantom Menace.
"I went to meet George Lucas, who had offered me the third Star Wars to direct, and I've never even really liked science fiction," the filmmaker explained, "I like elements of it, but it needs to be combined with other genres. And, obviously, Star Wars was totally George's thing."
In a separate interview, Lynch does into detail about his meeting with Lucas, saying that he immediately experienced headaches after hearing the Star Wars creator's vision to the film.
"I was asked by George to come up to see him about directing what would be the third Star Wars...and I had next door to zero interest," Lynch admitted.
At the end of the day, you can't force directors to board projects they have no interest in. Luckily, Marquand came in to direct the film, turning Return of the Jedi into a Star Wars film that many consider as one of the best entries in the Star Wars franchise.
Lucasfilm's next movie, Star Wars: Episode IX premieres April 26, 2019.