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Ed Asner as Jabba the Hutt Autograph

May 24, 2010

I’ve always liked the Star Wars radio plays they did on National Public Radio. They used the original cast for the most part, and the original music and sound effects, but they were much longer than the movies so you kind of got the feeling that you were listening to the “extended edition” of the films. While the first two episodes were done in the early eighties, the Return of the Jedi radio play was not produced until 1996, and didn’t feature as many of the original cast as the others. Anthony Daniels returned as C-3PO, but most of the other actors were different. I’m not sure how they went about casting the show, but they did get some fairly well known people to play relatively minor parts. For example, John Lithgow as Yoda and Ed Begley Jr. as Boba Fett.

Ed Asner played Jabba the Hutt. I heard about him playing this role before I heard the actual show, so I imagined that they had decided to have Jabba speak in English. After all, it was radio and I figured they would want the listener to be able to understand what he was saying. But instead they had Asner speak Huttese with C-3PO playing the interpreter. I prefer the movie voice, but he did a pretty good job, all in all.

I made this composite photo in Photoshop and sent it to Ed Asner to sign, which he kindly did. Play the video below to listen to a snippet from the radio show.

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