CATEGORIES Movie News


Finally, the 'Star Wars' Saga is on Blu-ray. (Yes, I realize that in a few years I'll be writing, "Finally, the 'Star Wars' Saga is on Holo-disc," or something.) If you're like me (if so, I'm sorry) the main attractions of this new Blu-ray release are the deleted scenes from the Original Trilogy. It's like having a brand new Luke, Leia and Han 'Star Wars' movie! Well, not really. Regardless! Of course I went straight for disc eight of the nine-disc set just so I could watch the highly coveted deleted and extended scenes. And, I must say: I'm for the most part satisfied, but there are some duds. So, with that, let's grade each and every one of the 23 deleted scenes that span the Original Trilogy.

'Star Wars'

Tosche Station



Far from a great scene and it's fairly evident why it was cut out, but it does fill in some pretty important back story on not just the relationship between Luke and Biggs, but the rebellion, too. Luke is on the moisture farm -- doing whatever it is that moisture farmers do -- when he notices above him the iconic battle that opens up the film. Which, from the planet, does look... odd. Regardless, soon after, Luke happens upon his old pal Biggs. You see, Biggs is epitome of success: he's at the academy, he now wears a cape, and he patronizingly refers to Luke as "hotshot." (Actually, come to think of it, Biggs may be a bit of a jerk.) Biggs does reveal to Luke that he is going to attempt join the rebellion against the Empire. What's interesting here is how difficult of a thing this is to do, at least according to Biggs. So, yes, when Luke and Biggs meet again at the end of the film, there would have been slightly more emotional gravitas when Vader shoots down Biggs' X-Wing. Then again, imagine for a second that you've never seen Star Wars: Why would anyone care about what this mustachioed man in the cape is saying? Yes, it fills in some story, but, to a first time viewer, it would be pretty dull.

Verdict: The Force is with you, but you are not a Jedi yet



Old Woman on Tatooine

You see, Luke is a rapscallion and does not always obey the local Tatooine traffic laws. Even on Tatooine, the elderly do not think highly of teenagers who drive their vehicles too fast. Even though this scene is only about five seconds, thankfully, it was cut.

Verdict: Bantha Poo Doo



Aunt Beru's Blue Milk



I have to admit, I've always found the Lars family blue milk very appealing. No joke: I really want to drink some. So, yes, an additional scenes of this tasty looking beverage is more than welcome. Also, why Lucasfilm has yet to mass market the blue milk is beyond me.

Verdict: The Force is strong with this one



The Search for R2-D2



Wow, this looks like hell. Luke and C-3P0 go in search of R2-D2 who is trying to deliver the secret Death Star plans to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The scene is filmed in front a projected background that, as stated, looks quite awful.

Verdict: Bantha Poo Doo



Cantina Rough Cut



This is worth watching for a couple of reasons. First, to watch Han Solo make out with a woman that we are told is named Jenny -- which becomes even more interesting when you consider that Solo decides to make his move immediately after Obi-Wan slices off the arm of Luke's assailant. Second, and so far the highlight of the deleted scene for me, listening to Greedo threaten Han Solo with a high-pitched British accent.

Verdict: The Force is strong with this one



Stormtrooper Search

Well, this was a heaping pile of nothing. The scene starts with a very small man wearing a miniature Han Solo outfit run through the legs of what I can only assume is... actually, I have no idea, that was just plain weird. After that, some Stormtroopers knock on the doors of a few docking bays. I could have lived the rest of my life without seeing this scene and have been perfectly content.

Verdict: Bantha Poo Doo



Darth Vader Widens the Search



There are two things about this scene that I like: Vader's voice is David Prowse's voice – which, like Greedo before, is fairly high pitched and very British. And I love that Vader just walks down the halls of the Death Star, chatting it up with an officer, while the people passing Vader in the hall don't seem to notice, much less be intimated by, Vader's presence at all.

Verdict: The Force is with you, but you are not a Jedi yet



Alternate Biggs and Luke Reunion



"I met your father once when I was just a boy. If you've got half the skill he does, you'll do all right." This scene was reinserted into the 1997 Special Edition, but that line of dialogue from Red Leader was still omitted. I guess there was really only two ways to go with that: either delete the line, like they did, or add a quick, "Too bad he then slaughtered a bunch of children. Well, good luck!" to the end of that sentence.

Verdict: The Force is with you, but you are not a Jedi yet




'The Empire Strikes Back'

Han and Leia: Extended Echo Base Argument



This scene was released early a couple of weeks ago, which I already covered at that time. What I didn't know was that this scene isn't an alternative take, but, instead, happens immediately after Han yells, "You could use a good kiss!" Basically, this proves how letting a scene linger on too long can make one of the best scenes in a movie into something that's awful. I mean, Han Solo saying "spare me, please," and Leia calling Han, "hot shot." Please make it stop. Please make it stop!

Verdict: Bantha Poo Doo



Luke's Recovery



In the final version of 'The Empire Strikes Back,' after Han rescues Luke on Hoth, we see Luke, briefly, recovering in something called a bacta tank. This is just a much-extended version of that -- which basically consists of Han Solo walking around looking confused. Though, for whatever reason, it's somewhat fascinating.

Verdict: The Force is with you, but you are not a Jedi yet



Luke and Leia: Medical Center



OK, this scene is fantastic. It begins with Luke playing the pity card in order to make the moves on Leia. Something about, "I may never get the chance to..." But he stops! Chance to what? What is Luke talking about? Does he mean sex? Is Luke a virgin? I must know this! Then, inexplicably, Luke makes his move on Leia -- coming oh so close to a full-blown make out session, except that C-3P0 interrupts (which, I'm discovering, he has a habit of doing in this movie). Then, Leia and Luke have a discussion about Jabba the Hutt and the Wampas that have been captured on the base (a whole subplot about Wampas attacking the rebel base was cut from the final version of 'Empire')

Verdict: The Force is strong with this one



Deleted Wampa Scenes



As mentioned above, there was an entire subplot surrounding Wampas and their rabble-rousing at the Rebel base. I've always wondered why this entire subplot was cut. Now I see why! Basically, it's just a man in a Wampa suit flailing his arms around. It looks horrible and fake. The strangest part is near the beginning of this scene when Han and Leia are having their famous "'We need,' what about 'you need'?" scene, the camera pans to the side of the hallway where a little Wampa hand is desperately clawing at the ice while we still hear Han and Leia argue. It's a montage of crap scenes, but, for historical perspective, it is rather fascinating.

Verdict: The Force is with you, but you are not a Jedi yet



The Fate of General Veers



Poor General Veers. In the final version of the film, Veers' AT-AT had just taken out a Rebel power generator. I had always assumed that, after, Veers was taken out for a few bottles of suds by his troops for a job well done. Alas, what we didn't know was that a Rebel pilot named Hobbie crashed his Snowspeeder into Veers' walker, killing Veers and his men. Unfortunately, this scene is far from finished and relies heavily on storyboard animation.

Verdict: The Force is with you, but you are not a Jedi yet



Yoda's Test

Remember that YouTube video of the kid frantically waving his lightsaber around? Remember how ridiculous he looked? This is what Mark Hamill looks like in this scene. Apparently it was supposed to consist of Yoda challenging Luke to slice a metal bar thrown at him – but the effects were never finished, so it's just Hamill desperately waving around a wooden stick.

Verdict: Bantha Poo Doo



Hiding in the Asteroid

Nothing more than a couple of quick takes of Han and Leia listening for Imperial activity while they are hiding in what will turn out to be a space slug. The best part about this clip is just to listen to director Irvin Kershner yell out "Bang!" every time there's supposed to be an explosion outside. Other than that, this scene doesn't offer much.

Verdict: Bantha Poo Doo



Alternate Han and Leia Kiss



Again with the "hot shot." (My God, I'm so glad those were all cut out of 'Empire.') This is basically the same scene as what we see in the final film aboard the Falcon, only here, after Han and Leia's kiss ends, Leia reinitiates another one before being interrupted by C-3P0. Overall, the scene still works, but the final version is much better. So, based on that:

Verdict: Bantha Poo Doo



Lobot's Capture



Again, just like General Veers, I had just assumed Lobot had gone on to live a long and happy life with his Lobot family. Instead, Lobot is captured by Stormtroopers. But, wait, Lando shows up at the end of this scene! He'll save Lobot, right? Ah, I see, the answer to that is, "no."

Verdict: The Force is with you, but you are not a Jedi yet



Leia Tends To Luke

Though short, this is a very interesting scene. Leia, while aboard the Falcon with Luke at the end of 'Empire,' explains that Han has been put into carbon freeze (which results in Luke saying, "Poor Han" -- understatement!) and then mentions Boba Fett by name. In the entire trilogy, Fett's name is only said once: By Solo in 'Return of the Jedi,' right before Solo accidentally sends Fett into the Sarlacc Pit.

Verdict: The Force is strong with this one




'Return of the Jedi'

Vader's Arrival And Reaching Out To Luke



This deleted scene made quite the stir when it was released over a year ago when the Blu-rays were first announced. And, yeah, it's pretty great. No need to wonder how Luke made himself that neat-o new green lightsaber -- we actually, finally, get to see him give it the finishing touches. Though, I have to say, I always just thought Vader could communicate telepathically with Luke when they were near each other. It's actually kind of creepy and disturbing that Vader can send long distance telepathic messages, too.

Verdict: The Force is strong with this one



Tatooine Sandstorm



The Holy Grail of Star Wars deleted scenes. After Han is rescued from Jabba's palace, the group reconvenes at the Millennium Falcon and Luke's X-Wing. For reasons I will never understand, this scene is depicted as happening during a giant sandstorm. The urban legend is that the scene was cut because it was too hard to decipher what was happening due to the blowing sand. Yep! This is true! Which is a shame, because there's some halfway important dialogue and it's the only appearance of the full size Falcon model in 'Jedi.'

Verdict: The Force is strong with this one



Rebel Raid On The Bunker



I laughed out loud while watching this scene. "You Rebel scum," is one of the most famous non-essential lines in 'Return of the Jedi.' After watching Han Solo lead the bunker assault (three separate times from three separate angles), we, after 28 years, finally get to watch Solo's reaction to that line – which is pretty great. In fact, I've never seen Solo look more offended than he does here (not even when he was called a nerf herder), by putting his hands on his hips and repeating, "Scum?"

Verdict: The Force is strong with this one



Jerjerrod's Conflict



I have to admit, Jerjerrod is a bit of a badass in these series of clips. I didn't know he had it in him! At one point he even tells Vader that he's not allowed to enter the Emperor's chambers. That takes guts! Of course, Jerjerrod gets choked for this. But, still! Then, later, the Emperor commands Jerjerrod to blow up the moon of Endor. Jerrod doesn't like this idea and makes his feelings clear to the Emperor. Good for you, Jerjerrod (and I'm kind of sorry you perished when the second Death Star exploded).

Verdict: The Force is with you, but you are not a Jedi yet



Battle of Endor: The Lost Rebels



This is essentially a montage of different actors sitting in a cockpit repeating the same lines over and over (including this Admiral Ackbar looking guy who isn't Admiral Akbar). The most bizarre sequence is the second one, where it appears that someone high up in the production of 'Jedi' promised their mother that she would get a chance to be a Rebel pilot. The most fascinating sequence is of two unnamed rebel soldiers manning the cannons of the Millennium Falcon -- a la Han and Luke in the original 'Star Wars.' And these guys both look like they're having the time of their lives. With both of them sporting a big ol', "Hey, I'm gonna be in a Star Wars!," kind of look on their faces. I guarantee that both of these guys now own this Blu-ray.

Verdict: The Force is with you, but you are not a Jedi yet

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.
Follow Moviefone on Twitter.