Films

Axed Star Wars scenes rescued from the vaults

Luke Skywalker on Tatooine — it’s a famous image you’ve no doubt seen countless times. It ranks alongside him staring at the planet’s two suns and him with his droid companions. Like the smaller picture, above right. Except, that’s not the droid we’re used to looking at. (That didn’t quite work, but you can see what we were going for. Hopefully.)

This shot is from a scene excised from the original Star Wars that introduces Luke prior to his first meeting with C-3PO, R2-D2 and the Jawas. In it, he observes Vader’s Star Destroyer attacking Leia’s ship, then heads to the Tosche Station (a general store that’s somehow the place for Tatooine’s youth to socialise).

Lucas thought the scene “would be essential to inject some humanity early on by introducing Luke Skywalker and his friends at the local hangout”, but eventually removed it because it “slowed the action”.

Although not restored to the film, it’ll be present as a deleted scene on the upcoming Blu-ray release with a raft of content from the Star Wars hexology — the distinctly uncatchy term for a six-part series.

Also included on that release is the first sighting of the original Cantina band who were recast and redesigned as the black-eyed, bald-headed aliens present in the final version; the original opening to Return Of The Jedi, which saw Vader telepathically communicating with Luke as he constructed a new lightsaber (left); and Dominic West’s cut role from The Phantom Menace.

All this and, of course, the remastered films themselves. It would seem these are the discs you’re looking for. Oh dear, didn’t really work that time, either.