LUKE SKYWALKER RETURNS TO THE GALAXY, FROM DECEMBER 15TH, 2017

ARRIVING IN THE NETHERLANDS, FROM 30/9/17. BOOK NOW FOR THE ULTIMATE 'STAR WARS' EXHIBITION

Friday, 30 September 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: NEW ARRIVALS AT EWOKVILLE!


With some of the accompanying inhabitants literally swinging in to join them, the Ewoks and their golden "God", C-3PO, alongside the captured Rebel party, arrive in the treetop village on Endor, in this scene that does not appear in the final cut of the movie.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: A DIVERSIONARY DRINK!


With Anakin searching the Coruscant Sportsbar for the mysterious Changeling creature/assassin, Obi-Wan Kenobi gets the chance to enjoy a quick drink before using the Force to ward off a pesky Death Sticks salesman, Elan Sleazebaggano (Matt Doran).

A great little moment which I remember got a good laugh from the audience at the ATTACK OF THE CLONES UK press screening several weeks before the films official release...

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

ILM CLASSIC IMAGE: THE REBEL CRUSHER!


The huge frame of Darth Vader's Super Star Destroyer, The Executor, moves through space intent on finding and destroying the Rebel Alliance once and for all. I don't recall this exact shot appearing in either THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK or RETURN OF THE JEDI, so I'm assuming it's a specially composed ILM image, probably by stalwart Terry Chostner, who did a lot of that type of inventive photography for the Classic Trilogy...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: JEDI CONFRONTATION!


On the grim and misty world of the third moon of Vassek, Jedi Knights Kit Fisto and his former Padawan, the Mon Calamari Nahdar Vebb, alongside a small force of Clone Troopers, unwittingly find themselves caught in a trap by Count Dooku to test the allegiance, power and capabilities of the fearsome General Grievous, in the superb CLONE WARS Season One episode: THE LAIR OF GRIEVOUS, written by Henry Gilroy (a much missed writer for the series) and directed with stylish verve by Atsushi Takeuchi.

In the US, watch out for the return of Grievous this week on THE CLONE WARS, as he leads a battle against Naboo in the Season Four episode SHADOW WARRIOR.

Monday, 26 September 2011

AFICIONADO REVIEW: FATE OF THE JEDI - ASCENSION


The penultimate book of the FATE OF THE JEDI series, ASCENSION, by Christie Golden, published in the UK by CENTURY PUBLISHING, recently hit the stands and sees the continued pursuit of the Abeloth creature by Luke and Ben Skywalker (looking suspiciously like Shia LeBeouf on the jacket cover!), and the threat of political dangers escalating on Coruscant.

Find out what we thought of the new adventure here: ASCENSION - BOOK REVIEW

Sunday, 25 September 2011

AFICIONADO ARCHIVE: "REBEL MISSION TO ORD MANTELL"


Join AFICIONADO's ARCHIVE section as we take a trip back in time to Brian Daley's classic story with our Original Trilogy heroes, set between Episodes V and VI: REBEL MISSION TO ORD MANTELL!

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3161012/ord-mantell-design-pdf-september-25-2011-3-41-pm-241k?dn=y

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARK HAMILL!


Many happy returns to the writer/director/actor, never better than in his portrayal of one of movie history's greatest characters: the world beloved Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Knight who was A NEW HOPE, in George Lucas STAR WAR SAGA Classic Trilogy!

From STAR WARS AFICIONADO, and all STAR WARS fans everywhere: HAPPY SIXTIETH BIRTHDAY, Mark! Have a great day with family and friends, and May the Force ALWAYS be with you in your continued endeavours...

Saturday, 24 September 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: TO SHOW THE TRUTH...


Within the damaged but functional control centre of the desecrated Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Obi-Wan Kenobi looks towards an out of shot Yoda for guidance and confirmation as to who was responsible for the attack/massacre on their hallowed order. It's a truth that neither Jedi Master truly wish to confirm....

AL LAMPERT REMEMBERS " STAR WARS"


In one of the halls of the snared Blockade Runner, Darth Vader, with the equally ruthless Imperial Commander, Daine Jir, alongside him, confronts the captured Princess Leia about her associations with the Rebel Alliance and the location of its secret base.

Being one of the only Imperial commanders able to talk back to Vader in the Original Trilogy without get strangled to death, the role of Jir was played by British actor Al Lampert. Earlier this year, Ian Trussler got the chance to meet Mister Lampert and discovered some great behind the scenes material from him.

Here’s what he found out…

Al originally met with George Lucas alone for consideration for a part in the movie. It was at the 20th Century Fox offices in London. No one else was there-it just the two of them. He was not told about any specific part he was up for it was a general audition for whatever roles Lucas felt you may be suitable for.

Around the same time he went up for a part in A Bridge Too Far and ended up being offered both films and turned down ABTF for Star Wars, mainly because ABTF was working in Belgium in the mud, which he didn’t fancy even though the role was bigger and more weeks work.

He accepted a generic role of an Imperial Officer from Lucas so he didn't actually know that he would be playing Daine Jir. In fact on set the part of Daine Jir had actually been given to an actor called Ken Hutchison (maybe Hutchinson) but when he arrived at ELSTREE he had a beard and Lucas told him "No Beards", presumably Hutchison would not shave it off, and Lucas then gave the role of Jir to Al.

Al went to drama school with Jeremy Bulloch but has not seen him since those days, they have never actually done a show at the same time.
  
He gives all his signing money to charity, which is really nice of him, I thought. He is currently writing a sci-fi screenplay, which he hopes to finish soon, and has been working on for years.

Up until a couple of years ago when he did his first ever show which was LFCC I think he had no idea that cons and signing were going on and SW actors had so much interest. He has done a few shows abroad and enjoys them, and he told me of a tour he had in America of a massive fan collection which sounded like he had been to Ranch Obi Wan, I said Steve Sansweet’s name and he sort of recognized it.

Back in 2007, I also got the chance to meet Al and can re-confirm what a really nice guy he is. When asked why it had then taken him so long to attend a convention, he simply replied that he had never been asked! As far as he was aware, all of his scenes filmed were in the final movie and nothing was cut, his part in STAR WARS having been just after he had competed work on SPACE:1999’s Season Two story “The Bringers of Wonder”. Lampert was aware of the time pressure to try and finish the first STAR WARS movie, recalled the slightly flimsy Blockade Runner corridor set, and the time when George Lucas had to pull the plug on the shoot when they run out of off money. Even at that point in the films genesis, it had certainly not been finished in Lucas’s eyes.

Friday, 23 September 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: THE NEW GUNNER...


There's no time to lose for young Luke Skywalker as he makes his way to one of the Millennium Falcon gun ports, as the ship prepares to encounter four lethal TIE fighter sentry ships gaining ground for an intercept and attack course.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

CLASSIC RAIDERS: ADVENTURERS AND FILM-MAKERS...


Icons forever! Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg catch a rare breather moment together in this great behind the scenes shot from the filming of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Friends for life from this original shooting adventure within an adventure, the duo, alongside series creator George Lucas, are confident that Indiana Jones may yet return for a fifth film...if they can agree on a story that has no aliens in it!

Check out some recent news items linked to the September screening of RAIDERS in Los Angeles for it's Thirtieth Anniversary:

Steven Spielberg on the future of Indiana Jones [video] | Hero Complex – movies, comics, fanboy fare – latimes.com

Steven Spielberg looks inward before ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ | Hero Complex – movies, comics, fanboy fare – latimes.com

Harrison Ford: ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ swordsman scene was my idea | Hero Complex – movies, comics, fanboy fare – latimes.com

The Geek Life: 30th Anniversary Screening of Raiders - Mania.com

CLASSIC IMAGE: KNOCK-KNOCK...


At ELSTREE STUDIOS in January 1982, under the supervision of director Richard Marquand, Anthony Daniels once more dons his Golden Protocol droid costume alongside one of the remote controlled Artoo Detoo units to film the characters first scenes for REVENGE (later RETURN) OF THE JEDI.

This classic scene would be "enhanced" for the recent Blu-ray release of the film, with Lucas and his effects team giving the shield door to Jabba's Palace a more aged, battle scarred and expansive look (pictured below, with thanks to darthpsychotic).

A DARK DAY FOR UK "CLONE WARS" FANS...


The bad, very bad, news has come in this morning from SKY MOVIES HD in the UK that it will no longer be showing the critically acclaimed THE CLONE WARS animated series on its channel from its brand new fourth season onwards. A shame as they really were the best channel to showcase the series and did a very good job publicising it. No reasons have yet been given for this important decision-though I'm assuming it may be down to the usual bug-bears of high purchase costs and possible low ratings. No news yet either as to who may be showing the series in its place, though perhaps CARTOON NETWORK UK (owned by WARNER BROTHERS, who showcase the series for LUCASFILM) may finally get it exclusively sooner rather than later...

Looks like the only way we'll get the series in future without commercials, and in proper widescreen, will be to purchase it as complete season box sets, though I hope this isn't the case-such a well crafted series should be made available on TV and DVD/Blu-ray for everyone to enjoy!

This news is not a great way to start a Thursday, and a major blow for UK fans, but more info as and when we get it...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

GIRL POWER! "JEDI"s FEMALE FIGHTER PILOTS...


Though women fighter pilots were witnessed amongst the heroic crowd within the Rebel Cruiser briefing room earlier in RETURN OF THE JEDI, it was believed that none were seen in the actual final battle above Endor...until now, with the Blu-ray revealing that one of the brave A-wing pilots was indeed female (as seen in the above image, played by UK actress Poppy Hands) but, for reasons unknown (probably an accident made during the Post Production dialogue re-dubbing phase in the US) replaced with a male actors voice instead (with one line: "Got it"). Her character was seemingly killed mere seconds later by a TIE fighter.


The full undubbed footage of Miss Hands pilot, and a previously unseen older A-wing colleague (pictured above), both speaking classic STAR WARS combat and technical dialogue, can be found on the new Blu-ray release. Hopefully, someone like fan entrepreneur Jason Joiner will eventually find these actresses for signings and we'll get more behind the scenes filming info.

In further unknown reasoning, the footage of the two lady X-wing pilots (including actress Vivienne Chandler (pictured below)), filmed at Elstree Studios during March/April 1982, were not made available for this release. Perhaps they'll show up in the future, too...

Continuity Polaroid of Vivienne Chandler as an X-wing pilot at Elstree- Feb/March 1982.

With thanks to Chris Baker and Adywan for selected images.

UPDATE: 8/2014  Scenes of Vivienne Chandler as the X-wing pilot would be included on the e-book version of J.W. Rinzler's MAKING OF RETURN OF THE JEDI. The footage shows her character about to die in the Endor space battle, after heavy damage and stabiliser failure to her craft.


A female X-wing pilot (Lynn Hazelden) joins in with the Ewok celebrations on Endor.

▶ Rare Return of the Jedi unedited scene | Star Wars Celebration Europe 2 - YouTube
Return of the Jedi: Battle of Endor: The Lost Rebels - YouTube


B/W deleted footage of Miss Chandler from ROTJ. With thanks to ADYWAN for the image.

Get hold of the e-book here: The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Enhanced Edition) eBook: J. W. Rinzler, Brad Bird: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: GRIEVOUS ESCAPE!


In the only remaining escape pod, the always cowardly General Grievous departs from his partially destroyed cruiser, the Invisible Hand, with its trapped Jedi occupants still aboard the doomed, about to crash vessel!

Monday, 19 September 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: PISTOL PACKING BOUNTY HUNTER!


In a posed publicity image shot against blue screen at FOX STUDIOS, Australia, deadly Bounty Hunter Jango Fett gets ready to strike against his Jedi enemies.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

CLASSIC IMAGE: "GET BACK TO THE SHIP!!!"


Within the dangerous corridors of the Death Star, the ever defiant Han Solo, soon followed by Chewbacca, chases off a patrol of Stormtroopers to buy escape time for Luke and Leia, in this classic character moment from the original STAR WARS.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

FOR YOUR CONTINUED VIEWING PLEASURES...


To enhance your enjoyment of the STAR WARS viewing experience, check out these great behind the scenes documentaries that should have been, but sadly aren't, on the Blu-rays. Let's hope future official releases amend these errors...

FEEL THE FORCE SKY ONE DOCUMENTARY SKY TV 2005: Star Wars: Feel The Force Part I - YouTube

WHEN STAR WARS RULED THE WORLD (VH-1 DOCUMENTARY): When 'Star Wars' Ruled the World (part 1) - YouTube

FROM STAR WARS TO JEDI: THE MAKING OF THE SAGA 1985 (LUCASFILM): From Star Wars to Jedi - the Making of a Saga - YouTube

THE MYTHOLOGY OF STAR WARS: The Mythology of Star Wars [FULL DOCUMENTARY] - YouTube

OMNIBUS: "HOW TO FILM THE IMPOSSIBLE" 1984: Horizon, "HOW TO FILM THE IMPOSSIBLE" - YouTube

EMPIRE OF DREAMS: 2004 DOCUMENTARY (LUCASFILM): Star Wars Documentary - Part 1 - YouTube

OMNIBUS: STAR WARS (BBC 1): Omnibus - Star Wars (1999) Part 1 of 6 - YouTube

STAR WARS: THE MAGIC AND THE MYSTERY (FOX): Star Wars: The Magic & the Mystery part 1 of 5 - YouTube

STAR WARS: MUSIC BY JOHN WILLIAMS (1980): STAR WARS MUSIC BY JOHN WILLIAMS part 1 - YouTube

MAKING OF STAR WARS EPISODE ONE: THE BEGINNING: Making of: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace - The Beginning Part 1 - YouTube

STAR WARS SPECIAL EDITIONS: MTV MOVIE SPECIAL 1997:
Star Wars MTV Movie Special 1997 part 1 of 3 - YouTube

DELETED MAGIC: THE ORIGINAL BEHIND THE SCENES FAN DOCUMENTARY (from Garrett Gilchrist): Star Wars Deleted Magic - Part 1 - YouTube

STAR WARS BEGINS (FAN DOCUMENTARY-ESSENTIAL VIEWING):
Star Wars Begins - The Complete Documentary (2011) @jamieswb - YouTube

BUILDING EMPIRE (FAN DOCUMENTARY-ESSENTIAL VIEWING):
Building Empire - Part 1 - By Jambe Davdar @jamieSWB - YouTube

RETURNING TO JEDI (FAN DOCUMENTARY-ESSENTIAL VIEWING):
Returning to Jedi - The Complete Documentary - MUFF Edition @jamieswb - YouTube

Friday, 16 September 2011

NEW WORLDS, NEW STRUGGLES FOR "THE CLONE WARS" SEASON FOUR

Friend or foe? One of the new Mon Calamari characters to be introduced in the new Season Four opener: Water War.

Now has never been a better time for new audiences young and old, Prequel and Classic Trilogy fans, to discover, or even re-discover, the incredible animated worlds of THE CLONES WARS, as the fourth season begins it's bold twenty two episode run with a two episode, hour long special tonight in the US on CARTOON NETWORK. From the trailers for these adventures, and the new series overall, the animation looks even more groundbreaking and innovative, the action bigger, better and more ambitious than ever (we're also hoping that some of these new episodes will also be shown on the big screen, not just in the US but in the UK, too. Having previously seen the three episode Savage Opress Trilogy on a cinema screen, thanks to WARNER BROTHERS UK, we can tell you that the series looked absolutely superb!), and the series overall plotline continuing to gain ground as it nears towards the darker, harder edges seen in the Saga with the much fan acclaimed live action movies EPISODE's III-V. Watch intriguing new facets brought to life with Jedi heroes like Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, see fearless and inspiring senator Padme Amidala Skywalker become more heroic away from the political arena of the Galactic Senate, and see everyone's favourite droids, Artoo and Threepio, get involved in several all-new hair raising adventures, alongside freshly conceived aliens and heroes that will surely prove memorable. Finally, as the galaxy's greatest baddies (the likes of Count Dooku, Asajj Ventress, General Grievous, Cad Bane and Aurra Sing) gear up for more intergalactic havoc and terror, fans of the Clone Troopers from the Prequel Trilogy prepare yourselves...shocks and surprises await as the ominous declaration of ORDER 66 looms ever nearer...

Submerse yourself into the latest extended trailers from THE CLONE WARS here: Star Wars: The Clone Wars | Videos and More from the New TV Show | Cartoon Network

More trailers: Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 4 trailer - YouTube

Episode teaser for "Water War": Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 4 : "Water War" Teaser - YouTube

Look out for the new series of THE CLONE WARS on the UK's SKY MOVIES PREMIERE HD channel in the not too distant future...

NOW AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE - STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA!

There may have been some controversial changes made to them from LUCASFILM (so much so that the two additional Vader "No"s to RETURN OF THE JEDI have not only met almost universal derision worldwide but, with their implementation, may also have damaged Lucas's credibility as a film-maker), alongside some major friction and criticisms in fan circles about the films picture quality/conversions (notably the Classic Trilogy) and extras compiled for their release on the new STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA Blu-ray sets, but nothing can alter the fact that these six films, created by George Lucas, which have inspired three (now four) generations of enthusiasts the world over, are still superior entertainment for fans of all ages, and are the best you're going to get picture quality wise for the foreseeable future. STAR WARS fans look unlikely to ever get the ultimate box set of films and supplemental material they deserve, and lot of the extras on the new set have indeed been picked with the more casual and younger STAR WARS fans in mind rather than for the die-hards (like me!)- there's also the fact that some of the overlooked documentaries from previous DVD releases should have been on there!- but there's still some great rare material in the package to be discovered and savoured, and the majority of the deleted scenes finally released make it well worth the purchase.

STAR WARS endures and remains the ultimate science fiction and fantasy franchise.

To all those worldwide receiving the box sets this week, have a great time watching them and May the Force be with you...always!

Look out for more features and reviews regarding the box set, across all areas and beyond, within the entire STAR WARS AFICIONADO online platform.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

"STAR WARS" WEEK INVADES LONDON, AND ONE MOTHER OF ALL LIGHTSABERS!

Imperial arrival! Darth Vader and the 501st inspect London. Image: FOX/SUBSTANCE.

It's been a busy week for FOX and their UK Blu-ray press team as they, with star support from Anthony Daniels and numerous iconic STAR WARS characters, launch THE COMPLETE SAGA on Blu-ray.

Here's the press release:


LONDON, UK. (September 12, 2011)  As the UK becomes the first country in the world to release STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA on Blu-ray, London will feel the Force like never before as droids, Stormtroopers, Jedi and the Sith invade the city in a week-long Star Wars spectacular culminating in the galactic transformation of the BT Tower into the World’s Largest Lightsaber™.

The week commenced with a rude awakening from the Dark Side, as Darth Vader and a sinister fleet of Stormtroopers took to the streets in an Imperial March that will sent shivers down the spines of Londoners.  The march began at St. James’ Park where they joined Changing of the Guards activities, before proceeding to HMV on Oxford Street to meet shoppers as they queued to get their hands on the highly anticipated Blu-ray release.

Star Wars legend Anthony Daniels (C-3PO in all six episodes) will provide a lighter touch on Tuesday 13 September as he meets fans at the grand opening of the HMV at the new Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford, signing copies of STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA on Blu-ray.  The loveable droid was central to all six smash hit movies and Daniels’ portrayal makes him a favourite with many Star Wars fans.

On Thursday 15 September, from inside the exclusive star-studded launch party at the top of the BT Tower, Daniels will press a button lighting up the London skyline for one night only as it morphs into a Jedi Knight’s elegant weapon of choice, projecting a giant ‘blue ray’ of light from the top of the tower.

In the words of Darth Vader himself, “This will be a day long remembered” by Star Wars fans in the UK and across the world.

For the latest news and updates for Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, be sure to visit www.facebook.com/starwars.uk or www.bluray.starwars.com

May the force be with you…

Check out the great photos at the FACEBOOK site here: Stormtroopers in London | Facebook

UPDATE: 16/9/2011. Check out the London BT Tower lit like a lightsaber!
Darth Vader and the World's Largest Lightsaber (London BT Tower) (4)

Win a copy of the saga on Blu-ray via SCIFI NOW magazine:
Win Star Wars: The Complete Saga Blu-ray | SciFiNow

Check out the ebay related site for the Blu-ray with clips and behind the scenes info: Star Wars | eBay

Monday, 12 September 2011

AFICIONADO REVIEW: "CHOICES OF ONE"


Timothy Zahn's newest novel for the STAR WARS Expanded Universe range, CHOICES OF ONE (published in the UK by CENTURY), sees the return of Mara Jade and the shrewd alien Imperial tactician Thrawn in a story of action and intrigue set between EPISODE's IV and V.

How does it measure up to previous Zahn created tales? Check out our review here: CHOICES OF ONE: BOOK REVIEW

Sunday, 11 September 2011

THE BLU-RAY PREQUEL EVOLUTION...


The film, like the rest of the Prequel Trilogy itself, may not be to everyone's tastes, but one aspect that we can all agree on is that EPISODE ONE has never looked better, more colourful and detailed than in it's new Blu-ray home, alongside its new re-mastering and selected revisions, as seen in these great grabs (click on the pics for bigger sizes) from Adywan and Budwhite at the ORIGINALTRILOGY.COM site.

Clip of the new Yoda from EPISODE ONE: Star Wars Blu-Ray: 3D Yoda at the end Episode 1 - YouTube

NEW: 'Every Moment" trailer for the Blu-rays: Star Wars Blu-ray | Every Moment - YouTube







Beyond the Prequels, also check out film-maker Adywan's intriguing, labour of love revised editions of the Classic STAR WARS Trilogy, here: Star Wars: Revisited -The Saga | Facebook And this is a great trailer for his revised EPISODE IV: Adywans Star Wars Revisited - Final Trailer - YouTube

Friday, 9 September 2011

AFICIONADO EXCLUSIVE FIRST-LOOK: "THE COMPLETE SAGA" BLU-RAY DELETED SCENES.

On the Thursday morning of 1st September, I was lucky enough to be invited by FOX’s online publicity people to sample some of the new STAR WARS Blu-ray special features material. I felt like Indiana Jones unlocking the long lost treasures of mankind as I sat down to enjoy and absorb as much as I could in the allotted two hours available to me. I could have stayed in that room all day and never left it!

The majority of the material I saw was from the deleted scenes (though be aware that what was displayed was only two thirds of what is apparently on the actual discs in that area-and not all of the deleted scenes were on these samples) as well as some of each of the Classic Trilogy’s interview/overview pieces. They’ll be more on the latter when I do the eventual overall review of the entire Blu-ray set, but I thought fans in the meantime would be very interested to read (nay, devour!) my observations and analysis on the deleted scenes:

THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY

Note: neither the Classic Trilogy nor Prequel Trilogy deleted scenes come with any crew commentaries or on screen cast or crew introductions as far as I could determine, unlike the prior Prequel releases on DVD. There are, however, introductory picture captions/info instead.

EPISODE IV: “A NEW HOPE”


TOSCHE STATION

No longer the patchy black and white version seen in the BEHIND THE MAGIC CD-ROM of the nineties, this is a full colour version of this sequence showing a goggle hat wearing Luke Skywalker at the Vaporators, with minimal sound. The picture quality starts off full of dirt, specks and scratches but gets better as it goes along. Luke is fiddling with a white gadget box with some buttons on when he is distracted by a sight in the heavens above. There is an insert of a long rainbow lense flare and a brief flashing light in the skies above. An enthusiastic Luke leaves his breaking down Treadwell and gets in his Landspeeder.


Again, as once seen in the BTM, we see Luke arrive and go inside Tosche station and tells his friends, including the returned Biggs, about the space battle above them. The colour footage is much improved and cleaned up, as is the sound quality. Though I still couldn’t make out who played Windy in the background of that scene! As the sequence goes into the exterior scene filmed in Tunisia, and everyone ignores Luke’s witnessing of a space battle, Camie (Koo Stark) has one extra line not in the BTM: “Don’t worry about it, Wormie,” she says, after throwing Luke’s precious binoculars back to him...


The later scenes of Biggs outside telling Luke that he is joining the Rebellion, again seen in the BTM, are also present: cleaned up and much improved.

OLD WOMAN ON TATOOINE


This is the classic scene talked about by Dr. David West Reynolds in his years ago LOST CUT feature for STAR WARS INSIDER, where Luke’s speeder drives past an irate old woman/hermit, who apparently says something like “Haven’t I told you kids to slow down!” The scene is presented in good quality colour, but, for reasons unknown, the audio is silent and just shows the old woman in long shot looking angry and complaining about Luke and the Landspeeder off camera. Nice to see but ultimately adds nothing to the film. There’s no sign of any dog in the clip, as mentioned in Alan Dean Foster novelization of STAR WARS from 1976, but it does have in the far right distance, laying against a building wall, two Jawa’s either passed out from the sun or inebriated!

AUNT BERU’S BLUE MILK


A very brief scene where you can hear someone say “Action,” then Shelagh Fraser, within John Barry’s Homestead kitchen set, which you see in its full glory, goes from one side of it to the other, pours some blue milk and then heads out the entrance towards the dining area (seen on location filming). Then you hear “Cut”. The scenes in good quality, the on set production sound is okay, and that’s about it, really…

THE SEARCH FOR R2-D2


In the Landspeeder (where we see an outdoor full length shot of it speeding from left to right, I think from the January 1977 re-shoot footage at China Lake Acres or La Mirage, California, showing the reflecting mirrors in front of the tires), Luke and Threepio search the Jundland Wastes for the missing Artoo. Filmed against unsuccessful back projection (showing Tunisian backdrop footage) this is a proper full on scene and not like the partially seen version included in EMPIRE OF DREAMS, with the conversation between Luke and Threepio (not redubbed but presented in its raw state, with Anthony Daniels talking through the mask) is longer than anything seen before from the 2004 DVD documentary. The picture quality for this deleted scene is pretty crisp overall and the raw on-set sound quality is very good. Sadly, the scene fades out before the moment where they pick up Artoo on the scanner, so we don’t see any insert showing the unused Jay Teitzell created graphic on the speeder’s radar control panel.

CANTINA ROUGH CUT


The same as what was previously on BTM, but in much better sound and picture quality. This is the early extended B/W cut of the Cantina sequence where Luke and Ben meet Chewbacca, the droids stay outside, Ben kills the thug aliens and then they all meet Han Solo who finishes his little smooching about with Jenny. Then Greedo shows up and Han shoots first. Always did shoot first and always will in my philosophy!

STORMTROOPER SEARCH


A part of this colour footage was used in the infamous 1978 Holiday Special but this footage seemed longer in length to me, showing some of the Stuart Freeborn created aliens walking down a ELSTREE Studios Mos Eisley street, a blue Astro Droid going about its business and where the little person referred to as “Flash Gordon” (Marcus Powell) runs into a very tall, stilted legged alien and scurries off. There’s also a platoon of Stormtroopers in search of the droids, checking door locks and making a nuisance of themselves, different to what’s seen in the film. There’s sound but its pretty much on-set noise from the technicians: you hear “Action” and at the end then see the clapperboard man coming on to the set to finish.  A nice, if unimportant, scene but 501’ers will love it in particular!

DARTH VADER WIDENS THE SEARCH


Again, a classic scene used in the Holiday Special, but this is the original version with Dave Prowse’s un-dubbed voice as Darth Vader as he walks down a Death Star corridor with Chief Bast (Leslie Schofield). The dialogue here is pretty much as read in the comic books and novelization. It’s nice to have this scene, no matter how brief, as it’s the only deleted footage of Vader from this first film.


EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK


HAN AND LEIA: EXTENDED ECHO BASE ARGUMENT


This starts off with the scene as is from EMPIRE, in a colour print that’s got a “Lowry” time code at the bottom. As seen in the film, Han says “You could use a good kiss!” then storms off, whilst Leia looks embarrassed, but it continues into deleted scene territory as Han then comes back and the verbal sparring continues. The quality here looks completely different and has no blue colour scaling-it’s a lot darker and more shadowy, and I like it-nicely photographed. Some of the dialogue between Han and Leia in this new sequence can be found in the MARVEL comic and book novelization and the Fourth Draft shooting script. At the end of the sequence Han says to her: “We’ll meet again. Maybe by then you’ll have warmed up a little!”, whilst Leia prods him and says, “Good luck, Hotshot.” It’s really good to see the extra footage and Fisher and Ford are excellent, plus we get to look at a bit more of the Echo Base corridors, but it is too long and it was wise to it cut down to the bare essentials for the final movie. It’s great for the Blu-ray deleted scenes area, though.


LUKE’S RECOVERY


It starts off in bottom screen coded colour, with Han and the gang looking at the injured Luke in the Bacta tank, supervised by medical droids FX-7 and 2-1B, then it goes into pin sharp black and white, with sound, in a moody sequence combining interesting angles and close-ups of our main characters looking concerned as their friend is swaying about and being delirious in the tank. Luke is supposed to say things like “Dagobah” and “Yoda” in the tank but this is not heard on screen, to which Chewbacca worriedly growls to an equally concerned Han, who replies, “I don’t know what he’s talking about, either”. Threepio is concerned as to whether he will be “all there” if he recovers (a close-up of Threepio can be seen in an early EMPIRE trailer). The unlikely voice of Irvin Kershner stands in for FX-7 as the gang are told that Luke is recovering well to the treatment, and he’s then removed from the tank.

LUKE AND LEIA: MEDICAL CENTRE


Long before it was locked down that Luke and Leia were to be story convenient twins by RETURN OF THE JEDI, this deleted scene proves to be a nicely written and performed moment that I’m rather sad was cut – I suppose at the time more for pace reasons than anything else. It cements Luke and Leia’s friendship and, again I stress before the events of ROTJ, a possible love for each other. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill are good here and very much in the kind of character role playing they showed in EPISODE IV. Leia shows rare tenderness and concern in this scene with Luke, who, now removed of his facial bandages (which isn’t shown in the deleted scenes I saw, if indeed it’s on there?) realizes that he could’ve died out on Hoth’s surface without telling her how much he feels about her. Luke comes across almost like the naive farm boy and it’s gently played. As the pair are about to kiss- a scene that looked like a different angle, and shorter, than what was seen in one of the early EMPIRE 1979/80 trailers- the droids come in.  A surprised and concerned Luke (almost the gosh and golly kid of EPISODE IV) then finds out about the Wampa attacks and Han’s planning to leave (Luke mentions Jabba the Hutt by name). He also tells Leia that he’s planning his departure as well-a revelation that makes the Princess very hostile when she hears the news, showing her toughness and bite once again, going so far as to wish she hadn’t met up with what she calls her two “moon jockeys’! Again, a bit of the dialogue can be read in the MARVEL comic /novelization, some of it looked like it came from the fourth draft shooting script, and some of it was new to me

Han then comes in followed by Chewbacca in a scene that either has Ford’s voice re-dubbed in the final film’s post production or is a different take, where he tells Luke he looks strong enough to pull ears off a Gundark…

DELETED WAMPA SCENES


A noble failure here, and a shame that the scenes-the majority of which are presented here without audio-couldn’t be properly realized. The Wampa looks too muck like a man in a suit and had its scenes mostly eliminated from the films early opening scenes. Please note: the sequence when I saw them was not presented in order. Firstly is a close up moment where it breaks out from an ice wall and doesn’t look very effective. Then there’s a medium wide shot showing the three legged Artoo standing stationery in front of an obviously fake collapsing wall as the Wampa breaks free of it. Then we see a long shot of the Rebel base cave as a trio of Rebel officers with pistols come running down the corridor from right to left towards the unseen creature. Sadly, we don’t see the sequence cut in any beginning to end way, nor some of the classic photographed scenes, like the famous still of the Rebels firing the bazooka (which does exist and was shot: confirmed to me by J.W. Rinzler in 2010) or a Wampa arm reaching out for one of the soldiers (at least not on this sample disc). Instead, we cut to the remains of the Wampa dead on the floor for several lingering shots, watched over by the Rebels and the three legged Artoo coming up close to looks at its remains then, scared it will come back to life, promptly retreating backwards at speed (so fast it unintentionally almost comes off its rollers!) and back to the far end of the corridor where it can be seen cowardly rearing its head out from a darkened stalactite area (a moment briefly seen in one of EMPIRE’s early trailers). There follows another part of the attack sequence, launched by an unseen Kershner, where we see the Wampa, its face slightly obscured, trashing the Rebel corridor, with Artoo running away from it at speed and turning towards a closing shield door (as seen in the recent LUCASFILM Blu-ray deleted scenes trailer). This scene actually looks a lot better than the others I’ve described as the Wampa is more partially obscured and augmented against white so it’s not as recognizable.


There’s also the later scene where Han and Leia, following the Rebel evacuation protocols, are rushing to the Falcon and Threepio stops to take the warning label off the Wampa pen door housing the captured creatures. He does this then runs off. The next cut shows three Snowtroopers stop by the door, as other troopers run past them down the corridor, and open it. From the darkness a large Wampa hand grabs one of the Snowtroopers and takes him away as the other two troopers watch amazed. Vader then arrives, stops for a moment, obviously says something, and the troopers depart with him. Again, sadly, there is no sound for any of this footage, and the earlier scene, prior to the Imperial attack, where Artoo and Threepio discuss the Wampa Pen room has seemingly not been included in these deleted scene sections (unless it’s somewhere else on the discs?).

Ending the Wampa section is another scene from earlier in the film where, as Han and Leia are heard off camera having their first argument in the base corridor, the camera shows us a small top portion of the right side wall breaking off and beneath that a solid transparent ice wall where a Wampa hand is at first scratching then trying to break through without success. This is an interesting moment that goes on for a while. In the comic book a Wampa arm actually broke through after Leia walks down the far corridor but this is not seen in the live action sequence. I don’t know how well this scene would have worked if it had been cut into the finished film-it might have jarred badly with the light and playful audience enjoyment of the Han/Leia quarrel.

THE FATE OF GENERAL VEERS


This is a sequence in and out of sound combining black and white animatics and footage. It starts with Veers and his AT-AT drivers in the Walker cockpit. Veers asks, “Distance to power generators?”, to which the pilot (the actor speaking his own voice and not dubbed over) replies: “Six point one.” Veers then looks through the periscope and sees a black and white animatic of the power generators. The Walker cockpit shakes from some kind of unseen tremor or explosion and then we cut to an animatic of a full speed towards the camera Rebel Snowspeeder, then live-action and silent black and white footage of Richard Oldfield as Hobbie (mentioned but unseen in any of the Walker battle scenes of the finished film)- though I can’t tell you if he’s injured, as stated in the novel, or not- then an animatic of the speeder coming closer, followed by a silent moment insert in the Walker cockpit directed from an angle behind Veers and the Walker pilots and looking at them as they face the screen. The screen then explodes in front of them with a real (to me anyway!) on-set pyrotechnic. Then comes an animatic showing the headless walker collapsing.

Actor Julian Glover, who played Veers, told me that he never filmed a death scene for the character, so this live action sequence showing his demise, which is in the novelization, is something that I think was completed in insert photography at some point later in the filming, and presumably not with Glover (either at ILM or ELSTREE) with stand-ins and stuntmen for the final live-action insert, especially as we don’t see Glover’s face in the sequence: there’s no way a film director would have an actor film in front of such a large pyrotechnic, for both safety and insurance reasons…

Though short, the scene is easily one of the best and most interesting of the EMPIRE batch.

YODA’S TEST


In silent colour footage comprising different angles, we see a backpacked Yoda (with lots of close in details of the two versions of the superb puppet used in that sequence) on Luke’s back hold a metal bar in his right hand, which Luke has to then cut up with his lightsaber. We see him attempt to do this in long shot but don’t really see the end results. It looks more like test footage than anything you would properly see in a film. Then follows a good quality black and white, again soundless, atmospheric moment in long shot, where Luke, again with Yoda on his back, is moving away from right to left and about to go off camera when he stops and swings his lightsaber at something which you don’t see. It doesn’t look like Yoda’s throwing the bar. I’m wondering if this actually wasn’t part of the bar cutting sequence, but a scene referred to in the novel and an early script idea (by Leigh Brackett) where Yoda sneakily throws a seeker ball into the air and Luke deflects its brief surprise attack? In the end, to save filming time and money, several of Luke’s training scenes were abandoned or cut from the script by Irvin Kershner and George Lucas.

EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI

VADER’S ARRIVAL AND REACHING OUT TO LUKE


As seen to a cheering audience at CELEBRATION V last year, it starts off with the end of Vader’s hangar bay conversation with Moff Jerjerrod, then the Dark Lord walking down a Death Star II corridor, entering a lift, then, in his mediation pod (an unused scene lifted from Empire. Producer Howard Kazanjian confirmed this to me last year), Vader, bowing his head (presented in eerie slow motion which I never noticed before), voiced by James Earl Jones, begins reaching out with the Force to Luke. A cloaked Luke, inside a Tatooine cave, and watched by Artoo, make some last minute fixes to his new lightsaber (of which his tinkering and adjustments seem a little bit longer in duration, with added sound effects, to what was previously seen at CV). He then turns the green lightsaber on and gives it a quick wave about. But that isn’t the end of the sequence. It then cuts to Threepio outside the cave talking to an emerging Artoo about what an unpleasant planet Tatooine is and how he’d prefer to be somewhere less hostile with Master Luke. The pair leave the cave (an outdoor scene filmed at Death Valley, California, with Anthony Daniels) then we see the famous background matte plate painting of the cave and valley hosing the Millennium Falcon and Luke’s X-wing, followed by us then seeing the droids on the road to Jabba’s Palace (again filmed at Death Valley).

In Death Valley, Lucas (in leather jacket) and cinematographer Hiro Narita film the scene where Artoo emerges from the cave and accompanies Threepio (Anthony Daniels)
The legendary "unused" matte painting finally appears in the deleted scene.
A classic scene, whether it was made with Hamill’s participation or not, and worthy of resurrection on Blu-ray.

Check out Howard Kazanjian’s observations to AFICIONADO on the restored scene here: http://starwarsaficionado.blogspot.com/2010/08/luke-and-lightsaber-restoration-of-jedi.html

TATOOINE SANDSTORM


The first scene filmed and the first scene cut for RETURN OF THE JEDI (when it started out as “REVENGE OF THE JEDI” in January 1982), this never had any voice over re-dubbing, so the sound we hear of the actors within this sequence is as it was when shot at ELSTREE (with howling fans almost drowning out their voices!). Having emerged victorious in their battle with Jabba, our heroes bravely make their way to their ships and get ready to leave Tatooine. Luke and Lando hold the injured Chewie, and Lando activates a remote control device that lights up the Falcon’s red exterior lights. As Lando and Chewie go up the ramp, Han and Leia converse with Luke, who, looking quite downbeat, solemnly tells them he has to go somewhere else-“a promise to keep, to an old friend.” As they part company, Leia goes up the ramp; Han follows Luke a little further away and thanks him for coming to rescue him. They depart, Luke goes to his X-wing, and Han, before entering his beloved ship, gives it a pat and says, “Hey, old girl. How you goin’?” (a touching little scene). Meanwhile, Luke, in long shot, gets into his X-wing cockpit and gets ready to leave, with Artoo in his trusty socket at the back of the ship.


It’s another great scene-long overdue to be watched by STAR WARS fans- but it’s a shame there was no sound re-dubbing. Mark Hamill, however, shines as Luke in this sequence. He’s a world removed from his acting as Luke in STAR WARS and continues the characters darker development from the terrible events of EMPIRE’s finale revelations. Here, Luke is melancholy, solemn and deadly serious, even when Han thanks him for all the trouble he and the gang have gone to (fortunately, when Luke meets Obi-Wan and hears about his sister his return to the Rebel fleet and his friends later in the film shows him in a much more positive state of mind, counterbalancing what we saw earlier). Sadly, we don’t see the moment were Han and Lando patch up their differences-it’s in the novelization, if I recall, but isn’t shown here, which is a bit of a shame (would it have even been filmed?).

REBEL RAID ON THE BUNKER


It wasn’t so easy for our Rebel heroes to get into the Imperial Bunker on Endor, as Han and his squad run into a squad of Stormtroopers and they fight their way into its command centre. The deleted action sequence, which has lots of on-set noise and behind the cameras shouting, is shown from the staircase scene onwards and doesn’t show the earlier part of the sequence where Han, Leia and the gang are moodily going through an earlier corridor before traversing the staircase (in scenes, which exist as photos, shot at ELSTREE that are not the same as the shots seen in the film). Three angles of the battle are shown, one followed by another and another: firstly from the Imperial side as our heroes come down the stairs and run into them, then one focusing on our heroes in tighter angles as they are firing at the Stormtroopers, and the final all in one take version from the Rebel sides as they run into the Stormtroopers, have their firefight and blow open the doors, as the cameras partially follows them into the command chamber. It’s a good sequence that, if intercut properly, would have been great, but I assume it was cut for time and pacing reasons, Notedly, amongst the Rebel commandos we also finally get to see the black soldier in the squad (actor/stuntman unknown. Possibly Julius LeFlore, who also doubled for Billy Dee Williams?) who stands guard at the door of the control room before he’s killed by Lt. Renz and the Stormtroopers (actor Barrie Holland confirmed to me in 2008 that this scene was filmed. We don’t see the actual death in the deleted scene as far as I recall).

Part of the bunker scene is shown from this angle.
Harrison plays the scenes with even more frantic urgency- the race against time- than he does in the finished film, as he quickly takes the Imperials by surprise (he even calls them “Twits” at one point!). The “give me the charges” scene is done from a totally different angle from what is eventually used in the film. Within seconds of throwing charges bags to his comrades-its all done in one take in this angle of filming- Lt. Renz turns up (Barrie Holland saying the classic words without any vocal changing or re-dubbing) and captures the group. Having been called “You Rebel Scum”, Han looks at Renz and then mockingly pulls a face on him, replying, “Scum?”

OTHER DELETED MATERIAL SEEN IN THE SUPPLEMENTAL INTERVIEWS

From EMPIRE, a black and white animatic of Han on his Tauntaun throwing sentry markers into the snowy wastes of Hoth, and some unseen b/w Battle of Hoth animatics, whilst from JEDI we see a colour clip of the filming of the aborted “Lightman” creature (played by Peter Diamond) climbing up the basement stairs of Jabba’s Throne Room.


THE PREQUEL TRILOGY

In comparison to the Classic Trilogy, this was a very mixed bag with regards to what was selected for Blu-ray release. Decisions made by LUCASFILM that will, I have no doubt, be controversial in certain fan quarters. Note: all the deleted scenes I watched, which were not the complete list, were a combination of colour footage mixed with animatics. Note: none of the previous Prequel Trilogy deleted scenes released on DVD seem to have been included on the Blu-ray discs that I saw…

EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE


TRASH TALKING DROIDS


As the cloaked figures of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan are escorted out of the hangar bay and into the Trade Federation ship’s main corridor by protocol droid TC-14, two small worker droids (EG-9 and PK-4, as named in Lucas’s script book) talk about the mysterious arrivals in a scene similar to what is shown in the DARK HORSE comic adaptation of the film by Henry Gilroy. It’s a pointless scene, sloppily done and executed in animatic (though at least one model PK-4 droid was filmed against blue screen for this scene but none of this footage is shown) and would not have been a good dramatic start to the first all-important prequel movie-I’m glad it was cut.

THE BATTLE IS OVER


Having captured Nute Gunray in the Theed Royal Palace Throne Room, Amidala and Panaka are contacted via viewscreen by a Naboo Trooper (played by THE WIRE’s Dominic West, filmed on the outdoor Theed street set at LEAVESDEN), who tells them that the enemy Battle Droids have been de-activated and promptly lifts the inactive hand of a nearby Battle Droid (not sure if it was a real prop or rough animatic) in demonstration. The Queen then tells the Neimoidian prisoners that they’ll have a hard time explaining this invasion to the Senate. It’s an okay scene though it lacks excitement. The cut scene and its dialogue would be later replaced with Jar Jar and the Gungans discovering the droids are inactive in the Naboo plains once the control ship is knocked out, whilst some of the Queen’s dialogue is transplanted to Panaka in the newly filmed scene, done a year later, of Palpatine’s arrival with the Jedi Knights once Naboo has been liberated.

ANAKIN’S RETURN


A combination of full size fighter props against blue screen and filming in the Theed hangar set built at LEAVESDEN, this is the scene where, having destroyed the Trade Federation control ship, the Naboo pilots return to the Theed hangar. Once there the assembled pilots (including Ralph Brown as Ric Olie, Celia Imrie as Bravo 5 and Benedict Taylor as Bravo 2), they discover the newly arrived Anakin in the cockpit of his fighter, who says something along the lines of: “I’m…I’m not in any trouble, am I?” in front of the astonished pilots.

It’s a nice little scene though it was probably not included for pace reasons. Good that it’s included here, though…

BATTLE OF THE BOARDING RAMP


In his only deleted scene on the disc that we’re currently aware of, Darth Maul leaps up to follow Qui-Gon onto the ramp of the Naboo cruiser as it departs Naboo. Qui-Gon only just repels the Sith and sends him back to the planets surface after a brief lightsaber duel.

Presented against an animatic Tatooine desert backdrop, this fight scene is short and sweet but has a couple of good ‘saber moves- perhaps it was cut because Lucas wanted a smoother final departing transition between the two sparring partners?

EXTENDED POD RACE WAGER


Not a lot to talk about here but there’s more dialogue between Watto and Qui-Gon in the man hangar prior to the Pod Race, with the latter trying his best to win both Anakin and Shmi’s freedom, with Watto very reluctant to let them go, especially Anakin. This leads into to the “we’ll late fate decide “ scene with the dice…

It’s an okay scene, and Neeson and Andrew Secombe banter well, but the final on-screen shortened version was good enough…

EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES

Probably the most disappointing deleted scenes I saw from the Blu-rays were the collection from this particular film. Prequel fans deserved better as there are some very strange selection choices made here (nothing from Tatooine!?), especially as there’s so much more substantial and important cut material in the LUCASFILM vaults known to be in existence and waiting to be showcased…

EXTENDED SPEEDER CHASE


Nothing very exciting, really, as Anakin and Obi-Wan pursue Zam through a few more aerial animatic scenes and Obi-Wan gets up to remove a cloth/flag caught in their speeder’s engine.

THE LOST TWENTY


In the Jedi Library, Obi-Wan, just prior to continuing his unsuccessful search for the location of Kamino, looks at the face bust of Count Dooku. Jedi Librarian Jocasta Nu comes over and talks about Dooku and why he ultimately left the order and became leader of the Separatists. She tells Obi that Dooku was out of step with the decisions of the Jedi Order and, like Qui-Gon, didn’t agree with things that were going on. The performances of McGregor and McGrath (their voices not post production re-dubbed) are okay here, if hardly stellar. Sadly, despite the deleted scenes title, there is no actual mention of “The Lost Twenty” in any of the dialogue that I recall.

ANAKIN’S NIGHTMARE


On the refugee transport ship bound for Naboo, a sleeping Anakin has another grim nightmare about his mother, awakening to talk about Shmi with Padme and Artoo, the latter of which appears in the scenes as an animatic and live action version. This deleted scene is pretty good, and Hayden plays the scene well, however, it was probably removed because some of the dialogue is similar or feels repetitive to what the pair more importantly talks about on the veranda of the Naboo safe house.

ANAKIN AND RUWEE


The Jedi and Padme’s father walk on the gardens outside the latter’s home discussing Padme and how her life is in danger. Cut, I presume, because it doesn’t add anything to the story at all, though the performances of Hayden and Graeme Blundell are fine.

EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH

The EPISODE III deleted scenes material were the best and most substantial for the Prequels that I saw. Again, we only saw two thirds of the deleted scenes here. The all-important Kashyyyk/Mustafar deleted scene material/animatics were not on the disc that I saw. Note: the video picture quality of the deleted scene footage was of a very good standard.

ELEVATOR ANTICS


Just prior to their dark duel with Count Dooku, there are some fun moments where Obi-Wan and Anakin have a little bit more friendly banter and repartee together whilst facing Battle and Super Battle Droids. As they wait for the lift, Obi-Wan talks to Anakin about deciphering Artoo’s droid language. They then get into the lift after defecting blasts from Droidekas and find themselves in the company of unseen Battle Droids, which the pair imaginary cut up with their ‘sabers, ending with a nice little moment where the friends humorously say, “Roger, Roger” after so easily defeating them. The lift then makes a stop where, as the door opens, they are attacked by a legion of animatic battle droids-the Jedi deflect the blasts back and it proceeds on. It’s a nice scene, and the majority of it is not in the script presented in the ART OF EPISODE III book, but it’s ultimately too long, and presumably cut down for pace reasons more than anything else.

ESCAPE THE HANGAR


Before being caught in the Ray Shields, and inside the upturned hangar bay at its now highest peak, Anakin, Obi-Wan and Palpatine (attaching cords to themselves from their utility belts) traverse a set of pipes whilst being attacked by a group of Super Battle Droids on the opposite wall/ceiling. The two Jedi lightsaber deflect the blasts but Palpatine slips and falls, resulting in a flying animatic Artoo coming to his rescue. This is a fun scene (different to the way its scripted in the ART OF EPISODE III book-in that version Anakin rescues Palpatine, not Artoo) and has some cool action moments. But, again, it’s not necessary to the plot and the scenes on the Invisible Hand rescuing Palpy are lengthy enough as it is. Still, it’s another great addition to the Blu-ray.

CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION


Though the second half of this scene (where Palpatine makes Anakin his representative on the Jedi Council) is in the finished film, the first part of the sequence was lost, where Palpatine talks about the upcoming changes to Republic governing and their reigning in of the Jedi, as well as critically sowing the seeds of doubt into the Jedi’s actions concerning Anakin and his future as a Jedi. This scene, which is in the script of the ART OF EPISODE III book, is well written and played, and the performances by Christensen and a subtly menacing and conniving McDiarmid are spot on. I’m assuming this early part was cut because the reshoot material put together for later on in the film, amongst the scene where Anakin tells Palpatine (in his office) that Obi-Wan has engaged General Grievous, contains very similar dialogue to what was shown here, which was probably more important at that middle stage to play out in the film’s plot rather than straight at the beginning.

UTAPAU CHASE ANIMATIC


This is a very lengthy but fascinating animatic sequence showing the original conception ideas, by Lucas and “Guest Director” Steven Spielberg, for the General Grievous/Obi-Wan chase through the depths of the sink city. Its certainly very RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in places, as Obi-Wan, loosed away from his Boga hangs on for dear life on a tether at the back of Grievous’s wheel bike (similar to Indy at the back of the truck from RAIDERS). Meanwhile as the carnage chase continues and picks up speed, lots of Clone Troopers get knocked down and the antagonists get caught inside the interior of a fast speeding train, and through a dangerous windmill precipice. There’s more of Boga, and Obi-Wan uses three weapons on and off against the Cyborg: a double ended electro-staff, a blaster and a lightsaber (which he doesn’t briefly lose like he did in the finished film).

Finally, when the pair have their hand-to-hand combat its much more personal-punches, grappling bodies and throws. Finally, Obi-Wan manages to rip open Grievous’s chest cavity, grabs his heart, pulls it out, throws it across the room and destroys it with a blaster. As this happens, the eyes and life behind Grievous’s face mask wither and die. That latter scene, even in animatics form, is both exciting and pretty gruesome, adding a harder edge to the sequence if it had been realized.


STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA is officially released on Blu-ray in the UK from 12th September, from LUCASFILM/FOX.

With thanks to Lou Tambone and his STARWARZ.COM site for selected deleted scene images.

With thanks to Adam Thompson and the SUBSTANCE team for all their assistance.