Star Wars Film Site

Return of the Jedi - Imperial Sand Dunes

 

A long, long time ago, in a desert not that far away.... I sat in the driver's seat of my Jeep with my son Jim and Dave Adams, headed into the Sonoran desert in southeastern California. It was a beautiful day, and the temperature was well above 90°F as we sped east along Interstate 8.


Photo at the Star Wars site  of hover craft

 

We had heard rumors that there was a huge space ship out in the desert near Yuma, Arizona. Rumor had it that it had been built for the filming of Return of the Jedi, the third movie of the Star Wars trilogy. Would we be able to see it? Could we find it with the limited information we had? As we approached the Imperial Sand Dunes, our excitement rose to a fever pitch. We entered the Dunes area and headed for Buttercup Valley, a flat depression completely surrounded by sand dunes.

DVD of Star Wars 3
DVD

 

Clip from film
Clip from the film

Suddenly, there it was! Big as life, looming above us in that strange and wonderful landscape. It was very easy to get to! A week later, it was gone. All that remains are the photos we took that day, and of course, The Return of the Jedi movie.

Rear view of structure built in the desert for Star Wars
Rear View
Another view of structure built in the desert for Star Wars

Vew of structure built in the desert for Star Wars

Jim Bremner and Dave Adams on the set of Return of the Jedi

Jim Bremner and Dave Adams on the set of Return of the Jedi

 

Story and photos by Jim Bremner

Imperial Sand Dunes

Overview - Description - Recreation - Plank Road - Where to Stay

 

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