The working title of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was Blue Harvest: Horror Beyond Imagination!

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Was the name "Blue Harvest" completely random or is it a reference to something?

I realize that this was a fictitious working title designed to protect the filming of the movie from journalists and curious fans. But I'm wondering if the phrase has some specific origin.

  • 7
    Clearly based on the family guy title ;) Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 2:15
  • 3
    Fun fact (though not an answer): the production crew seriously considered actually making the Blue Harvest horror film. (source)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 2:23
  • @randal'thor : Neat --- I didn't know that! :-)
    – Praxis
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 2:25
  • The working title for American Graffiti II was "Purple Haze".
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 2:32
  • I thought it was also for budgetary purposes. As seen in "Empire of Dreams" Documentary (2004). Jim Bloom - Production Supervisor: "Anytime you go in to negotiate for production facilities. People would say: 'Oh, that'll cost 2 dollars', when it might normally cost 1 dollar. So, I had the suggestion that we change the name of the picture. It was called 'Blue Harvest', and the sub line was 'Horror Beyond Imagination (...) The idea behind it was to come up with a title that would absolutely no interest whatsoever in what you were doing. It worked until Luke, Han and Leia showed up to work"... Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 13:57

1 Answer 1


Per todayifoundout

The name “Blue Harvest” was in homage to the 1929 film “Red Harvest” that in turn inspired Akira Kurosawa’s film Yojimbo, which was later adapted to the 1964 A Fistfull of Dollars.

Lucas was a huge fan of Kurosawa’s work, with elements from it being heavily borrowed in Star Wars.

Note that Red Harvest was actually a (Dashiell Hammett) novel rather than a film, but I think that's a simple typo.

  • @Praxis - I'd like to find a better source but it's late and I'm tired :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 2:51
  • Amazingly, Rinzler doesn't mention that Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 4:12
  • 3
    And even more convoluting things, there's actually a "Red Harvest" book in Licenced Star Wars EU: starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Red_Harvest_%28novel%29 . Dashiel Hammett's estate should have sued them Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 4:15
  • Yojimbo is pretty good
    – Escoce
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 18:46

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