Return of the Jedi Vehicles

The Return of the Jedi era in Canada (1983-1984) was a time when the Star Wars line of toys was beginning to wind down. This was due in part to the announced termination of the joint venture between General Mills/Kenner USA and Irwin Toys. As a result, several vehicles slated for the ROTJ line had been advertised as upcoming releases in the catalogues that were enclosed with Canadian vehicles and playsets, but never saw the light of day in Canadian packaging, such as the Imperial Shuttle and TIE Interceptor. Advertisements of the era show that ROTJ items were beginning to take a back seat to other lines such as GI Joe and The Masters of the Universe. As a result, the breadth of the ROTJ line in Canada was quite small in comparison to other countries, much to the dismay of Canadian fans. Canadian items sported the familiar Star Wars / Return of the Jedi logo on the English side of its ROTJ packaging, and the La Guerre des Etoiles: Le Retour du Jedi on the French side. The vehicles' boxes had English printing on one side, and French printing on the other; a tell-tale sign that the item is Canadian.

1983:  Speeder Bike   -   Millennium Falcon   -   Snowspeeder   -   Battle Damaged TIE Fighter

1984:  B-Wing Fighter   -   Y-Wing Fighter

Speeder Bike

Speeder Bike:

The speeder bike in a ROTJ box.

ROTJ Millennium Falcon

Millennium Falcon:

Shown here is the ROTJ version of the Millennium Falcon. The Millennium Falcon came in a box that sported "all-over" graphics. In 1984, the ROTJ Falcon's box style changed to "fold-over" flaps that were glued/stapled together; departing from the SW, ESB and early (1983) ROTJ box versions that had "fold-in" flaps.

The same graphic was also used throughout the release of the Millennium Falcon, whereas other countries would use updated images to re-enact scenes from the movie that was in theatres at the time. This was a cost-saving move on Kenner Canada's part. With the lower production levels in Canada, Kenner Canada could not realize the same economies of scale that other countries could, so cost saving measures were taken whenever feasible. Notice the rectangular Star Wars: Return of the Jedi logo on the French side of the Millennium Falcon box. It is in the style of the former Empire Strikes Back logo, where the word "Star" rests on top of the current movie logo, and "Wars" rests underneath, as opposed to the common version where "Star Wars" is totally on top of the Return of the Jedi logo. There was also a special offer version of the ESB version of the Millennium Falcon.

ROTJ Snowspeeder


Shown here is the ROTJ version of the Rebel Armored Snowspeeder. Released in 1983, the Canadian ROTJ version of the Snowspeeder in its original pink background box was unique to Canada; other countries saw the Snowspeeder released in an updated blue background box. The Snowspeeder was an odd choice for the Canadian ROTJ line as the vehicle never appeared in the last installment of the original trilogy. Nevertheless, Kenner Canada found it suitable for release among the new line of ROTJ toys. The ROTJ version of the Snowspeeder saw limited release in 1983 and is rarely seen today. It is likely that it only saw release through Sears Canada.

Battle Damaged TIE FighterRevenge Logo

Battle Damaged TIE Fighter:

The original, white TIE Fighter was changed to a blue colour that came with "battle damaged" stickers. One of the interesting features about the Battle Damaged TIE Fighter is the French version of the Return of the Jedi logo. The English version is the regular "Return" of the Jedi logo, but the French version is actually the "Revenge" of the Jedi logo (ie: La Revanche (Revenge) des Jedi seen above). It is well known that the original title for the final movie in the original trilogy was to have been called Revenge of the Jedi, but it was changed to Return of the Jedi when it was pointed out that the Jedi do not seek revenge. Some early promotional items like posters and buttons had already been released to the public with the "Revenge" logo before the name change, and Kenner also had some early paper items and action figure offers with the Revenge logo on them in the United States. Box proofs for several Kenner vehicles that were never released in production under the "Revenge" logo have surfaced in the collecting field over the years, but the Canadian Battle Damaged TIE Fighter is believed to be the only production vehicle to have the "Revenge" of the Jedi logo on it that was released for retail sale. All other French logos on other Canadian items have the Return of the Jedi logo (ie: Le Retour (Return) du Jedi) in one design or another.

B-Wing Fighter

B-Wing Fighter:

The B-Wing Fighter in a ROTJ box.

Y-Wing Fighter

Y-Wing Fighter:

The Y-Wing Fighter in a ROTJ box.