It’s a well known story that David Lynch was once offered the director’s chair for Return Of The Jedi by Star Wars creator George Lucas. Although Lynch turned the offer down, he never really discussed how the meeting between himself and Lucas went until recently, when he spoke about it last month at a speaking engagement at New York’s Russian Tea Room.
Given Lynch’s own science-fiction film Dune, which he released just a few years after Jedi, it is hard to imagine what kind of film Return Of The Jedi would have been if he were to be given free reign by Lucas. But the truth of the matter is that Lynch would have been strictly a director for hire on the project and very likely would have chaffed under the micro-management that Lucas supposedly subjected Richard Marquand, the director who eventually won the job, to. If he just didn’t walk off the picture, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lynch would have wound up taking his name off the film, perhaps giving credit to “Judas Booth,” the name he had placed on the extended TV version of Dune assembled without Lynch’s participation or approval.
And if you’re having trouble wrapping your head around a Lynch-helmed Return Of The Jedi, your brain will probably explode contemplating what another project he was offered to direct that he declined would have looked like- Fast Times At Ridgemont High.