Scene it on Friday – ROTJ Scene #20

Wow, this was a surprise: a deleted scene from Return of the Jedi!  I had heard about this scene, but had never really looked into it, because well, it wasn’t in the movie.  So when I randomly came upon this scene today, I just kind of sat there…wait, what?  I was so confused for a few because I didn’t know my webpage kept deleted scenes.  I had assumed it was only the final movie scenes.

My first thought upon reading this scene was, of course, MUST FIND SCENE.  I found plenty of pictures and upon researching some more, found a clip of the filmed scene.  There was no dialogue between Han and Lando at the end, but otherwise, the scene is spot on.

The clip to the deleted scene can be found here at 02:52:

I was a little disappointed to see that the Lando dialogue was cut, only because I have always wondered how Han reacted when he saw Lando again.  Think about it…the last time he saw Lando was when he was going into the carbon freezing chamber.  Pleasant.  And, I’m sure, I would wake up hating him for the betrayal so maybe it was hard for Han to accept that he really had come around.  I did like seeing in the script that there was that confrontation and Han was able to thank Lando for saving him.

I also liked the exchange between Luke and Han on paper, but hated the way they filmed it.  Luke was just so serious and almost holier-than-thou.  He had this lofty way of saying everything that made me roll my eyes.  I do realize that in the majority of ROTJ he is a lot more serious than where he started in ANH.  His shift in personality is to be expected with his training to become a Jedi, as well as everything his friends and him have had to go through, but c’mon Luke!  Ugh, just stop being so, well, grim.  I think this was supposed to represent a real turning point between Han and Luke in their friendship.  I’ve read other speculations online about this scene and it seems like most people like this scene better.  I am of a differing thought on this as I think Luke is out-of-place.

A significant part of this scene, which I almost overlooked, was that it’s the first time the heroes are reunited again.  All four of them are together, no one is chasing them or fighting them, and they get to talk casually once more.  It’s a moment of respite before the final battle kicks in.  I guess we lose that sense of a momentary peace with how the movie actually ended up.  When they both leave on their ships and go in opposite directions, they still are not together, but once again off to fulfill separate missions.  They were briefly joined on the skiff before they blew up Jabba’s Sail Barge, but they aren’t truly together again until the end of the movie.

I believe most of this scene was unneeded and could be put elsewhere in the movie, which is why George cut it.  I much preferred Hamill’s acting and take on the scene when they were communicating to each other on their X-Wing/Falcon, but it’s hard to judge it like that because I love the way it’s written in the script.  I’m still bothered by the way he said those lines in the scene.  “I am a Jedi and will act very serious and talk very slowly.  That way it gives more gravity to my acting.”  Fail.  Ok, I’ll get over talking about that now.

I wonder if George threw the sandstorm scene into TPM as a nod to this deleted scene.  Though not as powerful a scene emotionally by any means, it seems like he really wanted to throw the sandstorm into Tatooine’s meteorological patterns.  I do like seeing the Falcon as an actual physical prop here as it reminds you of the days before green screen and CGI Yoda.

Random thoughts on the scene:  what was on Luke’s mechanical hand?  I couldn’t see it properly; does anyone have insight on this?  And Luke definitely got a little too close to Leia for that kiss.  Almost looked like an on-the-mouth kiss for a second there.  (Which, by the way, totally reminds me of this lol) Anyone notice that Leia was still in her bikini?  I mean, obviously she should be, but it was cool to see some more glimpses of it.  We also get to hear Han describe, for a brief instant, what it was actually like to be frozen in carbonite.  “Big wide awake nothing”…interesting way to describe it.

In the end, I can see why George cut the scene, though I still think the Lando confrontation was important and wish he had kept it in.



 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.

 HAN: I don’t know. All I can see is a lot of blowing sand!

 LEIA: That’s all any of us can see.

 HAN: (blinking) 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.

 HAN: 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.

 HAN: Why don’t you leave that crate and come with us?

 LUKE: I have a promise I have to keep first… to an old friend.

 Luke and Artoo take off in their spacecraft.

 HAN: (looking dubiously at Lando, obviously remembering his friend’s betrayal and subsequent aide) Guess I owe you some thanks, too, Lando.

 LANDO: Figured if I left you frozen like that you’d just give me bad luck the rest of my life, so I might as well get you unfrozen sooner or later.

 LEIA: He means “You’re welcome.”

 LANDO: Come on, let’s get off this miserable dust ball.


4 thoughts on “Scene it on Friday – ROTJ Scene #20

  1. First time I’ve seen this scene too. it’s an interesting piece, but definitely slows down the pacing. I love Han’s dialogue. It’s spot on for his character.

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