Most die-hard Star Wars fans know that a good deal of scenes from the original script didn't make the cut. Whether it was time, continuity issues, or simply an unfinished scene, several small scenes just didn't have what it took to make it into the film. I love re-discovering the little nuggets of production gold that often go overlooked. Today, I present one particular scene that didn't make the cut in Return of the Jedi.
After destroying Jabba's barge, our band of heroes (Luke, Han, Leia, Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, R2-D2 and C-3PO) make their escape in the middle of a treacherous Tatooine sandstorm. This scene is chock full of great, quick character exchanges, but I can understand why it was cut: at this point, the audience was pretty well aware of the little nuances of each relationship between the heroes, so the scene wasn't exactly needed. Regardless, it's still a great scene for people like me who obsess over the characters of the Star Wars universe.
Unfortunately, the best cut of the scene has horrible audio, so I've included the script (with screenshots) below.
EXT DUNE SEA - LANDING AREA
A ferocious sandstorm blocks our view. Then, through the ROAR, we HEAR THE VOICES of our heroes. They emerge slowly from the veil of sand, pressing on against the wind.
First come Artoo and Threepio, followed by Leia guiding Han, then Luke and Lando come into view, each supporting one side of the towering Chewbacca, who hobbles from his wound.
Soon, they can make out some large vague shapes in the blowing sand. It is the Millennium Falcon and, parked beside it, Luke's trusty X-wing and a two-seated Y-wing. They must shout to be heard.
I don't know. All I can see is a lot of blowing sand!
That's all any of us can see.
Then I guess I'm getting better.
As soon as the group huddles under the bulk of the Falcon, the wind dies down to something more describable as a severe weather condition. Threepio hits a switch, and the gang-plank lowers with a HUM.
HAN (turning to Luke)
I've got to hand it to you, kid, you were pretty good out there.
LUKE (shrugging it off)
I had a lot of help. Think nothing of it.
No, I'm thinking a lot about it. That carbon freeze was the closest thing to dead there is. And it wasn't just sleepin'. It was a big wide awake nothing!
Luke nods, as Chewie growls affectionately at the young Jedi warrior, mussing his hair like a proud uncle. And Leia warmly hugs him.
LUKE (moving to his ship)
I'll see you back at the fleet.
Why don't you leave that crate and come with us?
I have a promise I have to keep first... to an old friend.
Luke and Artoo take off in their spacecraft.
In the original script, we cut to Lando, Leia and Han inside of the Falcon, exchanging friendly jabs at each other and then taking off.
But in the filmed scene, the camera follows Luke instead to his X-Wing, where Artoo awaits.
Luke then covers his robotic hand (causing me to wonder whether or not it was a smart idea to let the thing go uncovered anyway; cant't get sand in your bolts, Luke) and boards the X-wing, taking off as the script suggested.
Full footage of this scene wasn't made public until very recently, giving Star Wars fans even more to obsess over until the December 18th release of [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](movie:711158) later this year. Are there any deleted scenes from the original trilogy that you wanted to make the cut?