Can I just say – how is this one scene? Is it because it all takes place in the same area? Maybe I should revisit what an actual “scene” constitutes in a film. Wikipedia is telling me:
In Filmmaking and video production, a scene is generally thought of as the action in a single location and continuous time…While the terms refer to a set sequence and continuity of observation, resulting from the handling of the camera or by the editor, the term scene refers to the continuity of the observed action – an association of time, place or characters.
Okay. So this is a scene. I just find that these scenes in ANH are a lot longer than scenes in the Prequels and it’s weird. Maybe it’s a sign of the changing times and how audiences nowadays need faster changing of events than a film audience in 1977. Now, it’s all scene, cut, scene, cut, scene, cut. Perhaps I should develop a more thorough analysis of this when I have more time…
Reading this scene did clear up a few minor points for me. For instance, when Luke says, “Sandpeople! Or worse!”, I always thought he said, “Sandpeople! The worst!”
So not a big deal, but if you read it how I always thought, you think that Sandpeople are the worst beings out in the Tatooine desert. But if you read it how the script is written, it makes me wonder – what’s worse than the Sandpeople? All that keeps flashing up in my mind is that giant worm from Dune, the Sandworm.
Another line clarified for me is when Obi-Wan/Ben says, “The Jundland wastes are not to be traveled lightly.” I had NO idea what he said there and never had the desire to find out either. It was always, “The alkjdvijdoijva;iejap;iej are not to be traveled lightly.” I got the basic gist of it.
Looking it up on Wookiepedia, I see that the Jundland Wastes are basically where the Tusken Raiders live and also where Anakin massacred all the Raiders because of their treatment towards his mother. So it’s not like I missed much by not understanding what he mumbled. (Tangent: though Padmé looked concerned that Anakin had slaughtered all the Sandpeople, I don’t think she was freaked out enough. HELLOOO. The guy you’re in love with just slaughtered tons of innocent beings…and you comfort him?! When you see that bully on the playground throwing rocks at the little baby bird that fell out of the nest and is trying to kill it, do you cheer and do it too? No. Her reaction was totally whack.)
Can you imagine reading this script for the first time? Look at the words thrown about:
- Sandpeople/Tusken Raiders
- Laser rifle
It’s these words, that are thrown with such casualty into the script, that really make me believe this is another world. The world building that gets built (for lack of a better word) through these small worlds is enormous. Oh, the power of words and the power of imagination coming together.
EXTERIOR: TATOOINE — DESERT WASTELAND — LUKE’S SPEEDER — DAY.
The rock and sand of the desert floor are a blur as Threepio pilots the sleek Landspeeder gracefully across the vast wasteland.
LUKE: Look, there’s a droid on the scanner, dead ahead. Might be our little R2-unit. Hit the accelerator.
EXTERIOR: TATOOINE — ROCK MESA — DUNE SEA — COASTLINE — DAY.
From high on a rock mesa, the tiny Landspeeder can be seen gliding across the desert floor. Suddenly in the foreground two weather-beaten Sandpeople shrouded in their grimy desert cloaks peer over the edge of the rock mesa. One of the marginally human creatures raises a long ominous laser rifle and points it at the speeder but the second creature grabs the gun before it can be fired.
The Sandpeople, or Tusken Raiders as they’re sometimes called, speak in a coarse barbaric language as they get into an animated argument. The second Tusken Raider seems to get in the final word and the nomads scurry over the rocky terrain.
EXTERIOR: TATOOINE — ROCK MESA — CANYON.
The Tusken Raider approaches two large Banthas standing tied to a rock. The monstrous, bear-like creatures are as large as elephants, with huge red eyes, tremendous looped horns, and long, furry, dinosaur-like tails. The Tusken Raiders mount saddles strapped to the huge creatures’ shaggy backs and ride off down the rugged bluff.
EXTERIOR: TATOOINE — ROCK CANYON — FLOOR.
The speeder is parked on the floor of a massive canyon. Luke runs up to stand before little Artoo.
LUKE: Hey, whoa, just where do you think you’re going?
The little droid whistles a feeble reply, as Threepio poses menacingly behind the little runaway.
THREEPIO: Master Luke here is your rightful owner. We’ll have no more of this Obi-Wan Kenobi jibberish…and don’t talk to me about your mission, either. You’re fortunate he doesn’t blast you into a million pieces right here.
LUKE: No, it’s alright, but I think we better go.
Suddenly the little robot jumps to life with a mass of frantic whistles and screams.
LUKE: What’s wrong with him now?
THREEPIO: There are several creatures approaching from the southeast.
Luke looks to the south and fetches his long laser rifle from the landspeeder.
LUKE: Sandpeople! Or worse! Come on, let’s go have a look. Come on.
EXTERIOR: TATOOINE — ROCK CANYON — RIDGE — DAY.
Luke carefully makes his way to the top of a rock ridge and scans the canyon with his electrobinoculars. He spots the two riderless Banthas. Threepio struggles up behind the young adventurer.
LUKE: There are two Banthas down there but I don’t see any…wait a second, they’re Sandpeople all right. I can see one of them now.
Luke watches the distant Tusken Raider through his electrobinoculars. Suddenly something huge moves in front of his field of view. Before Luke or Threepio can react, a large, gruesome Tusken Raider looms over them. Threepio is startled and backs away, right off the side if the cliff. He can be heard for several moments as he clangs, bangs and rattles down the side of the mountain.
The towering creature brings down his curved, double-pointed gaderffii — the dreaded axe blade that has struck terror in the heart of the local settlers. But Luke manages to block the blow with his laser rifle, which is smashed to pieces. The terrified farm boy scrambles backward until he is forced to the edge of a deep crevice. The sinister Raider stands over him with his weapon raised and lets out a horrible shrieking laugh.
EXTERIOR: TATOOINE — ROCK CANYON — FLOOR — DAY.
Artoo forces himself into the shadows of a small alcove in the rocks as the vicious Sandpeople walk past carrying the inert Luke Skywalker, who is dropped in a heap before the speeder. The Sandpeople ransack the speeder, throwing parts and supplies in all directions. Suddenly they stop. Then everything is quiet for a few moments. A great howling moan is heard echoing throughout the canyon which sends the Sandpeople fleeing in terror.
Artoo moves even tighter into the shadows as the slight swishing sound that frightened off the Sandpeople grows even closer, until a shabby old desert-rat-of-a-man appears and leans over Luke. His ancient leathery face, cracked and weathered by exotic climates is set off by dark, penetrating eyes and a scraggly white beard. Ben Kenobi squints his eyes as he scrutinizes the unconscious farm boy. Artoo makes a slight sound and Ben turns and looks right at him.
BEN: Hello there! Come here my little friend. Don’t be afraid.
Artoo begins to whistle and beep his concern about Luke. Ben puts his hand on Luke’s forehead and he begins to come around.
BEN: Oh, don’t worry, he’ll be all right. Rest easy, son, you’ve had a busy day. You’re fortunate to be all in one piece.
LUKE: Ben? Ben Kenobi! Boy, am I glad to see you!
BEN: The Jundland wastes are not to be traveled lightly. Tell me young Luke, what brings you out this far?
LUKE: Oh, this little droid! I think he’s searching for his former master…I’ve never seen such devotion in a droid before…there seems to be no stopping him. He claims to be the property of an Obi-Wan Kenobi. Is he a relative of yours? Do you know who he’s talking about?
Ben ponders this for a moment, scratching his scruffy beard.
BEN: Obi-Wan Kenobi…Obi-Wan? Now thats a name I haven’t heard in a long time…a long time.
LUKE: I think my uncle knew him. He said he was dead.
BEN: Oh, he’s not dead, or…not yet.
LUKE: You know him!
BEN: Well of course, of course I know him. He’s me! I haven’t gone by the name Obi-Wan since oh, before you were born.
LUKE: Well, then the droid does belong to you.
BEN: Don’t seem to remember ever owning a droid. Very interesting…
He suddenly looks up at the overhanging cliffs.
BEN: I think we better get indoors. The Sandpeople are easily startled but they will soon be back and in greater numbers.
Luke gets up. Artoo lets out a pathetic beep causing Luke to remember something. He looks around.
EXTERIOR: TATOOINE — SAND PIT — ROCK MESA — DAY.
Luke and Ben stand over a very dented and tangled Threepio lying half buried in the sand. One of his arms has broken off.
THREEPIO: Where am I? I must have taken a bad step…
LUKE: Can you stand? We’ve got to get out of here before the Sandpeople return.
THREEPIO: I don’t think I can make it. You go on, Master Luke. There’s no sense in you risking yourself on my account. I’m done for.
Artoo makes a beeping sound.
LUKE: No, you’re not. What kind of talk is that?
BEN: Quickly. They’re on the move.
Luke and Ben help the battered robot to his feet.