Return of the Jedi: New Ending

image Here's something that's causing serious Star Wars fans to roll their eyes in disgust. The rumor going around is that in the upcoming DVD release of the Star Wars series, George Lucas has altered the ending of Return of the Jedi (Episode VI) so that Hayden Christensen has replaced Sebastian Shaw in the final scene that shows the ghosts of Darth Vader, Yoda, and Obi wan Kenobi standing together. As some have pointed out, this doesn't make sense because why would Darth Vader's ghost be young, while the ghosts of Yoda and Obi wan are both old? Nevertheless, there's photographic evidence to back up the rumor, as well as a film clip hosted over at If it's a hoax, someone has put a bit of effort into manufacturing these altered scenes.


Posted on Tue Aug 03, 2004


no, unfortunately this is not a hoax, this is true.
Posted by 3Dman  on  Tue Aug 03, 2004  at  12:23 PM
How absurd. If true, why wouldn't Obi-wan and Yoda be young too?
Posted by Me  on  Tue Aug 03, 2004  at  04:15 PM
Because Darth Vader's "good force" spirit died when he became Darth Vader. Hence, when he turned back to good, his "force spirit" was frozen back to the moment of his "turning."

God, you guys are so dense! Duh.

Posted by someone  on  Tue Aug 03, 2004  at  08:02 PM
Y'never know . . . they might reshoot the whole scene with Ewan MacGregor and CGI Yoda. tongue laugh
Posted by Jim North  on  Wed Aug 04, 2004  at  12:56 AM
Hm, someone has a good point. Personally, I was never satisfied with the actor who played Anakin Skywalker at the end of Return. I mean, he was *way* too old! After all, he was nine in Episode one, making him a mere *forty one* in Episode four: A New Hope. Even if you figure that the events of the original trilogy lasted ten years, which is pushing it, Vader would only be in his early fifties! And this is an active man, not some guy at a desk job! He'd be buff! Yeah, he'd be scarred and have lung problems, hence the mask, but other than that he'd be in excellent physical shape. Personally, since X-files, I always thought Mitch Pileggi would make an excellent post-Return of the Jedi Anakin.
Posted by Psi Fi  on  Wed Aug 04, 2004  at  01:19 AM
Vader should be old. Possibly not Sebastian Shaw old, though I don't have a problem with it. Certainly old though. The whole point of the end of Jedi is that Anakin turns back to the light side. Therefore the theory about his "force spirit" being frozen doesn't sit well with me. I will of course buy the DVDs when they come out, but under heavy protest, and with a great sigh of relief that I still have the Laser Discs and a player on which to watch them in all their matte-painted glory.
Posted by Matt  on  Wed Aug 04, 2004  at  09:14 AM
On the Star Wars website they detail many changes made for the Episode VI DVD, but switching out old Anakin for young Anakin isn't one of them:
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Aug 04, 2004  at  11:41 AM
Like i said - it is replaced. I already have XviD rip from future retail version of DVD, and there is young Anakin ghost. I was pissed to see that :(
Posted by 3Dman  on  Wed Aug 04, 2004  at  12:36 PM
Alex, I'd have thought your usual inquisitive mind would have seen the date on that article on the website..... something tells me an article posted in January 1997 doesn't have much bearing on the DVDs released 7 and a half years later.
Posted by Andrew Nixon  in  England  on  Wed Aug 04, 2004  at  01:46 PM
Andrew (and other skeptics), i dont know about those websites and wrong dates, but this screenshot from new version of Episode VI is real, unfortunately. I can make screenshots of more frames maybe, if anyone needs more proof.
Posted by 3Dman  on  Wed Aug 04, 2004  at  02:53 PM
3Dman, might I remind you that the whole point of this website, among other things, is to not trust a single person's declaration of fact, nor some examples of "evidence" that cannot be verified as being 100% accurate. While some screen shots can certainly lend credence to a claim, they don't make up an airtight case for this being a "fact." Additional screenshots won't hurt, but also won't ultimately "prove" this story as true, especially when they come from such a dubious place as an "XviD rip from a future retail version."

Personal convictions on whether you think the changes are warranted aside, I beleive this story needs more information from either side to label it either true or a hoax.

and being skeptical is hardly a negative trait
Posted by Lothar Ignatius  on  Wed Aug 04, 2004  at  03:53 PM
Andrew, you're right. I didn't see that 1997 date. Doh!

My gut feeling is that the new ending to ROTJ isn't a hoax. George Lucas is probably worried about someone in the future watching the movies from the beginning, who would be confused that Darth Vader suddenly looks different at the very end of the series. He seems to be underestimating the audience a bit, but that would be nothing new.

And yeah, I was a bit skeptical of an XviD rip as a source also.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Aug 04, 2004  at  05:38 PM
Hey, guys, i didnt mean any offense, not by a long shot! smile Well, the thing is, Episode VI DVD has been "borroved" early and is circulating on The Net for some time now. Well, to be more precise, since july 23, 2004 (
But for definite confirmation i guess we have to wait till someone really buy real retail DVD in store. smile

But there is more. Here some more information that i found, but can not confirm:

Episode IV: A New Hope DVD:

* Light Sabers changed for Vader versus Ben Kenobi Death Star duel.
* TractorBeam control now in Aurebesh.
* Han and Greedo scene slightly changed (everyone's seen this).
* Jabba the Hutt redone from Special Edition Jabba.
* Boba Fett still mugs camera.
* Han still steps on tail - "You're a wonderful human being" - still there.
(The scene is an improvement over the SE - however, still not great.)

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

* Emperor replaced with Ian McDiarmid.
Dialogue in this scene has been slightly modified, indicating either that the Emperor knows it was Luke who nuked the Death Star, or that he is Vader's son. Maybe both. Otherwise, dialogue remains in tact. Emperor's theme from Jedi also added into the scene.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi:

* Hayden Christenson has replaced Sebastian Shaw only in the Force Ghost shot.

* Line about Leia remembering her mother while talking to Luke on the Ewok Village veranda has either been omitted, or modified.

* Naboo has been added to the final planetary celebration montage at the end of the movie. It is a shot very similar to the helicopter shot of Theed in TPM when AATs are moving up the street towards the palace.
Posted by 3Dman  on  Thu Aug 05, 2004  at  04:12 AM
also theres an age difference with Anakin and Obi in episodeII but in the original ending of Return of the JEdi it made it look as Anakin is older than Obi one.
Posted by greg  in  indiana  on  Sat Sep 25, 2004  at  10:48 AM
I watched my dvds of the original series and they did replace him. LOL You were right, 3Dman. I think it's pretty gutsy of them, considering fans usually don't like it when classics are tampered with. In this case, however, I think it was necessary for continuity. Like greg said, the age difference seemed very wrong in Jedi, based on what we know from the prequels. I guess, they just went with "young Anakin" as opposed to finding a new "older Anakin."
Posted by Psi Fi  on  Wed Oct 06, 2004  at  11:13 PM
My husband found this when he got the new DVD set. He was a little pissed a first, but then I guess he got over it, or I stopped listening...whichever happened first.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Jan 09, 2005  at  09:51 AM
Well personally I think if he's going to go around making such changes in order to preserve continuity then he should go ahead and make the last three episodes. He let everyone know that this story is actually made up of nine total episodes... goes back and makes the prequels... and has made it VERY clear in recent interviews and such that episodes 7,8,& 9 will never be made. When asked about it further he also stated that he wouldn't allow anyone else to do them either... up to and including his son. This interview w/ Mr. Lucas was on PBS locally just a mere 2 weeks ago. BUMMER!!!
Posted by Mark-n-Jen  in  Midwest USA  on  Wed Jan 19, 2005  at  01:59 PM
I agree with "someone" as well... they said the good in Anakin died when he became Vader, so there would be no reason to show the old Anakin since there really was no such person on the good side of the force. And obi-wan and Yoda were old because they have always been on the good side of the force. But I really think they should have added the original unaltered versions of the movies as an option on the DVD
Posted by J-Mizzle  in  Buffalo, NY  on  Sun Apr 03, 2005  at  12:31 AM
Holy Nerd Alert, Batman!!

And dedicated be that nerd, for the last comment was three months ago.
Posted by Rod  in  the land of smarties.  on  Sun Apr 03, 2005  at  12:49 AM
thanks for noticing eagle eye. the reason i posted now is becuase i just watched the new dvd version of ROTJ for the first time. and i liked the new ending.
Posted by J-Mizzle  in  ...  on  Sun Apr 03, 2005  at  12:53 AM
I'm pissed of about that ending. I don't think Lucas should have put the younger Anakin in there. Why mess with an incredible movie we all know and love. If I bought a vintage Mustang I certainly wouldn't want to find a Chevy engine in it. I liken Lucas's actions to those same A holes that run the record companies. When you buy your favorite bands greatest hits CD expecting to listen the the songs you have known since you were a kid and you end up with some "re-mastered" P.O.S. which sounds nothing like what you were expecting. It is a huge let down. I think it stinks.
Posted by mad as hell  in  atlanta  on  Mon Apr 18, 2005  at  08:40 PM
I agree with GL replacing Sebastian Shaw, especially since the movies were obviously modified to fit in with Episode I II and III. As someone said before the real Anakin died years ago and was replaced by Darth Vader, he lost his soul in a way. Once Vader died his soul was set free which would explain why the ghost appears young. Both Ben and Yoda were the same consistently, so when they died, they died. Anakin in a way was trapped in a shell, and was finally let go. Yes, I can see why OT fans would be mad, but it accomodates much better. I am sure if Lucas would have though of the original trilogy back then he would have had a younger actor play Anakin's ghost.
Posted by Joel  in  Milwaukee  on  Tue Apr 26, 2005  at  07:47 PM
i know its not going to happen, but everyone should respect GL's decision, this is the way the movie was meant to be seen in his eyes. although change has always been a fear of man kind.
Posted by J-mizzle  in  btny  on  Wed Apr 27, 2005  at  06:33 PM
At first i was like...whoa! WTF!? But after i thought about it for a while...i kinda liked the idea.
Posted by Matt Arnold  on  Thu May 05, 2005  at  06:17 PM
like other people, at first i was whoa-- that doesn't seem like the old ending or the one i watched before. But i liked it and it made sense. the good man that luke was referring to as his father was the YOUNG anakin skywalker BEFORE he "died" and became darth vader as obi wan kenobi said. anakin kinda pops through at the end when he wants to see his son for the last time with his own eyes. did you also notice added scenes of Naboo, and other planets partying?
Posted by leafy  in  usa  on  Fri May 13, 2005  at  10:40 PM
I just want to know how he's gonna explain Anakin having an American accent before he bacame darth vader and then a clipped British accent when Luke takes off his helmet...

That bit just makes no sense...
Posted by Nico  in  Melbourne  on  Sun May 15, 2005  at  06:17 PM
british? moron!
Posted by J-Mizzle  in  blowtown  on  Sun May 15, 2005  at  07:59 PM
I was shocked to see the different Anakin ghost as well but after a little consideration I couldnt care less. The thing that pissed me of was that George changed the Ewok's victory "Yowah" song. That song ruled, it was the way the triliogy ended for me. A tribal up-beat ditty that I absolutely loved. I watched it with my girlfriend (first time she had ever seen it) last night and sadly whimpered "they changed it..." I couldnt have been more upset. But who knows to make many more millions of dollars Lucas will probably release another set of dvds where you can chose what new stuff is added and what old stuff is changed. Because like a sucker I would buy it.
Posted by Romanmeal98  on  Thu May 19, 2005  at  01:38 PM
yup, it's true, I know it is old news, but I still wanted to post it
I just saw ROTJ on Fox latinamerica, and yeah, young Anakin is there
Posted by carlos  in  mexico  on  Fri May 20, 2005  at  01:25 AM
Just fished watching all 6 episodes in a row!

Had to go to the theatre to see Episode III, but it actually "somewhat" justifies switching the actor.

At first I thought it was super cool... but then I started thinking, wait a sec... I remember him being really old. Then I searched the net and found this page.

I actually liked the overall feeling it gave. It was quite clear that the Anakin as a Jedi not a Sith was being represented I thought.

However I didn't realize how much other stuff had been changed, as is posted above. Most of them do seem to have changed if memory serves, but interesting choices. There are still some remaining flaws (as should be expected - I mean come on guys, perfection?) but strange that he would cover up some and still leave glaring ones. Most notable is the Leigha remembering her mother.

Of course all of this can be explained if you extend your reasoning far enough. I think in some ways its a shame Lucas felt he had to modify things, however it did give an overall nice feeling when watching the whole set. I actually liked the extra screenshots of planets from the first three episodes right at the end of Jedi.

Anyhow, just my opinion.
Posted by Bayner  on  Sat May 21, 2005  at  02:15 PM
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