In their bid to takeover the entertainment world, Disney have now entered the battlefield of streaming services, with Disney+ having been launched on November 12th. Along with a lot of exclusive materials, as well as their vast back catalogue of classics, Disney+ will feature 4k versions of the original Star Wars trilogy, along with a few rare, unseen deleted scenes for each film. While there have been bootleg versions tucked away on the internet for years, this will be the first time audiences have seen them in high quality. As if that were not enough, each scene is accompanied by an explanation as to why it was left on the cutting room floor.

Beginning with two deleted scenes from 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, the first gives us a combination of smaller, isolated moments involving Luke Skywalker and his antics on Tatooine before he met Obi-Wan Kenobi and was pulled into the wider story. Audiences will finally have their dreams come true, as we are shown the much-ballyhooed Tosche Station, a place that Luke was very anxious to visit so that he could purchase some power converters. The scene also gives us a further insight into Luke's friendship with fellow Rebellion pilot Biggs Darklighter.

The second scene is more of a rough cut of the beloved Star Wars Cantina segment, and features scruffy looking nerf-herder Han Solo hanging out with a lady friend before Luke and Obi-Wan approach and cramp his style. The scene is clearly unfinished and has also not yet been dubbed, so you can hear the actors speaking English rather than alien languages.

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The scene also rectifies one of George Lucas' most controversial changes - Han shooting Greedo. Rather than continue the 1997 special edition retcon and having Greedo shoot first, this new addition takes the scenario back to where it should be, with Han shooting Greedo in cold blood before the bounty hunter can pull the trigger. The actual movie availble for streaming has an entirely new scene added, with Greedo saying the infamous word 'Maclunkey' before firing off his blaster and being killed by Han. Though George Lucas himself made this change years ago, it is only now being shown on Disney+. As is to be expected, this news has had fans buzzing on social media since its discovery. And #Maclunkey has been trending hard this week.

Moving into the 1980's with The Empire Strikes Back, we get a romantic scene between Luke and Princess Leia on Hoth following Luke's violent run-in with the Wampa. During his recovery, he is about to tell Leia that he has feelings for her, before droid duo R2D2 and C-3PO interrupt and cramp his style. No one can catch a break in these deleted scenes.

Of course, at the time this scene made sense, no one knew that Luke and Leia were siblings. But it is quite uncomfortable to watch now. The two do kiss in the actual cut of the movie, but this is intended to be funny with Leia's ultimate goal to be to make Han jealous, whereas this deleted scene is more emotional, and therefore, all kinds of wrong. There is an alternative cut of Han and Leia's kiss on the Millennium Falcon that is ultimatley cut short by C-3PO.

Finally, there is a scene from 1983's Return of the Jedi in which Commander JerJerrod is shown having doubts about following the questionable orders from Emperor Palpatine to blow up Endor moon despite their still being several battalions down there. We also are shown Luke building his green lightsaber before he goes to Jabba's palace, which neatly answers just where on Tatooine that lightsaber came from.

All in all, it sounds like a fascinating exploration of the original trilogy for Star Wars fans, and surely just a tease of things to come with Disney+. This comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge