Oh…THIS scene. Some Star Wars fans love that it was added into the Special Editions, and some don’t like that it’s there at all.
Overall, I like it. However, the reason I like it is because it gives you a real glimpse into Han Solo’s life before he joined the Rebellion. Han, as we know, is a smuggler in the beginning of the movie and only works for a profit. I like seeing this slice of his life and knowing that he made a mistake. He got boarded by the Empire and somehow “dropped” his cargo, which, as we know, does not make Jabba happy. When ESB and ROTJ comes along and we see Han put into carbonite for not paying Jabba back, it gives you a better indication as to how ruthless Jabba the Hutt is as gangster.
On the other hand, I see why this scene was not needed for the original film. Everything is insinuated from Han Solo’s conversation with Greedo in the Cantina and we easily pick up the rest of the pieces by the time we get to ROTJ.
My main problem with this scene when we see it in the Special Editions is Jabba the Hutt. I can’t stand the SE version of him. He moves too fluidly and doesn’t even really look like the Jabba that we knew from ROTJ. He’s much too active. George slowly improved him with the DVD versions, but I still have that memory of the first SE Jabba stuck in my head. Yuck. And I still have a hard time believing that someone as powerful as Jabba the Hutt would actually take the time and effort to fly out to where Solo was and try to strike a bargain with him. It defeats the purpose of sending Greedo after Han Solo and, on top of that, Jabba loses the psychological power he has as a villain that never leaves his palace: a villain so powerful that he can send minions out to do his dirty work.
As a side not – I’m sure many of you know this scene with a human playing Jabba, and that’s who Harrison Ford originally filmed with. Jabba went through many changes before he became the Jabba we know today. At first, George was looking for a creature that resembled more of a Wookiee, but eventually settled on the slug like alien. As for the human actor (Declan Mulholland) that Ford films with, supposedly he was always just going to be a stand in, and Lucas planned to replace him with a stop-motion creature.
INTERIOR: DOCKING BAY 94 — DAY.
Jabba the Hutt and various grisly alien pirates stand in the middle of the docking bay. Jabba is the grossest of the slavering hulks and his scarred face is a grim testimonial to his prowess as a vicious killer. He is a fat, slug-like creature with yellow eyes and a huge ugly mouth.
JABBA: Solo, come out of there, Solo!
A voice from directly behind the pirates startles them and they turn around to see Han Solo and the giant Wookiee, Chewbacca, standing behind them with no weapons in sight.
HAN: Right here, Jabba. I’ve been waiting for you.
JABBA: Have you now?
HAN: You didn t think I was gonna run, did you?
JABBA: (fatherly-smooth) Han, my boy, you disappoint me. Why haven’t you paid me? Why did you fry poor Greedo?
Jabba puts his arm around Han, and the two walk together.
HAN: Look, Jabba, next time you want to talk to me, come see me yourself. Don’t send one of those twerps.
JABBA: Han, I can’t make exceptions. What if everyone who smuggled for me dropped their cargo at the first sign of an Imperial starship? It’s not good for business.
HAN: Look, Jabba, even I get boarded sometimes.
Han walks around behind Jabba, stepping on his tail – which causes Jabba s eyes to bug out momentarily.
HAN: You think I had a choice? I got a nice easy charter now. Pay you back plus a little extra. I just need a little more time.
JABBA: Han, my boy, you’re the best. So, for an extra twenty percent…
HAN: Fifteen, Jabba. Don t push it.
JABBA: Okay, fifteen percent. But if you fail me again, I’ll put a price on your head so large you won’t be able to go near a civilized system.
Han turns and walks away from Jabba toward the Falcon’s boarding ramp. He stops for a moment at the foot of the ramp and turns back toward Jabba.
HAN: Jabba, you’re a wonderful human being.
As Chewbacca follows Han up the boarding ramp, Boba Fett walks into view, casing the area. Jabba yells out as he and his thugs depart.
JABBA: Come on!