What's in a title? Apparently, based on buzz from a long, long time ago, a lot. Rumors from 30 years ago are resurfacing that George Lucas was forced to change the title of what he had planned to be his climax to his Star Wars trilogy. The original title of the third film was Revenge of the Jedi, but fans' outcry compelled the director to change it to the now-famous Return of the Jedi.
According to The Express, the fan base thought the title too dark, and contradicted the foundations laid out in the beloved mythology. Jedi did not succumb to emotions like love and hatred, let alone revenge. Fans made their objections known to Lucas, who relented.
Another rumor had it that Lucas decided to change the title on his own because another iconic space saga comng out almost the same time had a title that echoed his. Revenge of the Jedi was scheduled to come out in 1983. Star Trek II: The Vengeance of Kahn was slotted for a 1982 release. Lucas didn't want his new film to be a mirror to another and changed its title to Return of the Jedi. The Star Trek folks eventually did the same, and renamed their movie The Wrath of Kahn.
It sounds hard to believe that Lucas, who was already on top of his world in the 1980's, would relent to any pressure. Which makes the most believable the last rumor: Lucas had planned the change all along from the beginning in order to prevent spoilers from leaking out.