25 May 2016 3:51 PM +00:00 UTC

Watch: Rare Star Wars: Return of The Jedi Teaser Trailer Unearthed By The Academy

The Academy Film Archive has acquired a copy of what may be the very first teaser for George Lucas' third Sta Wars film, Return of the Jedi (it was originally titled Revenge of the Jedi). The trailer originated from a United Kingdom cinema, and the title cards prominently featured a Christmas 1983 release, but the film actually ended up being released in the summer of that year. 

This teaser trailer was attached to the 1983 double-bill re-release of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back in the U.K., which started its run on May 30, 1982. The Academy website explains that Star Wars was retired from the double-bill by early December while Empire was allowed to play in certain situations through Christmas. Here's what they said about the teaser: 


It is unclear how long the “Christmas 1983” Revenge trailer was allowed to play in front of the British double-bill in 1982, but it was called out specifically on a snipe poster included in a rarely seen set of Marler Haley lobby posters sent out to larger theaters hosting the double-bill. Nevertheless, American audiences would not get a glimpse of the third film until Star Wars was re-released in the U.S. in August 1982, meaning that this may be the earliest Revenge trailer distributed – and fans from across the pond got the first peek!