Every great movie franchise – from James Bond to Harry Potter – has its fair share of amazing deleted scenes, and Star Wars is no different. Ever since the first film was released way back in 1977, awesome footage of our favorite galaxy far, far away has ended up on the cutting room floor!
Of course, the filmmakers almost always had very good reasons for trimming these moments from their respective Star Wars episodes. More often than not, the rationale behind these cuts was two-fold – to improve the plot’s pacing, as well as to streamline the narrative.
Whilst we can all agree that a briskly-paced, tightly-focused Star Wars movie is ideal, there’s a few instances where it seems that the editor’s scissors were used a bit too judiciously. The end result is scenes being omitted that should arguably have been left in the final cut.
Over the years, Lucasfilm has shared a hefty chunk of these rejected sequences, leading fans to speculate over whether or not they deserved to wind up on the trash heap.
With this in mind, we’ve sifted through all the available unused Star Wars footage, in order to pull together this list of 15 Star Wars Deleted Scenes That Should Have Been Included in the finished films!
15. Luke Unveils His New Lightsaber
Of all the deleted scenes in Star Wars history, perhaps the most legendary is the introduction originally planned for Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi.
There are several reasons why this scene should have made the final cut. For starters, it fills in the gaps regarding Luke’s replacement lightsaber, and shows us it being built.
It also re-establishes a direct connection between Luke and Vader far earlier than in the finished film. While young Skywalker tinkers away, his old man reaches out to him telepathically, in yet another attempt to recruit the young Jedi into the family business.
Lastly – and admittedly, most superficially – the scene is just plain nice to look at. The lighting of the cave setting is striking, particularly the contrast between the dramatic shadows cast upon Luke’s cloaked visage and the glow of his brilliant green blade.
14. The Death Of Shaak Ti
Poor Shaak Ti! It’s not enough that this background character had to die once – the Jedi Master was actually murdered in two different deleted scenes!
Of these, the version that makes the strongest argument for inclusion in Revenge of the Sith is the first that was shot, which takes place during the opening space battle.
It’s a brutal scene, and one that establishes Grievous as a more credible threat to our heroes – something that was lost as part of a conscious effort to soften his characterization in the theatrical release.
13. Jerjerrod Baulks At The Emperor’s Orders
With the exception of First Order deserter Finn, we’re not generally privy to an overly nuanced view of Star Wars bad guys. Outside of Vader, the series’ antagonists lean pretty heavily towards one-dimensional villainy (on the big screen, at least).
Interestingly, this wasn’t always intended to be the case. Indeed, Return of the Jedi was to include at least one moment where high-ranking Imperial officer Moff Jerjerrod questions the orders of Emperor Palpatine himself!
During the climactic battle, Jerjerrod receives commands from the Emperor, instructing him to turn the Death Star’s superlaser on Endor should the Rebel’s mission their succeed. The Moff reasonably points out to his boss that this would involve wiping out their own troops as well.
This rare moment of decency by an agent of the Empire goes over about as well as you would expect, and the Emperor reiterates his position.
After being railroaded by the Dark Lord of the Sith, Jerjerrod ultimately – albeit reluctantly – attempts to follow through on his orders.
12. Unkar Plutt’s Arm Is Yanked Out By Chewbacca
Like much of The Force Awakens, this deleted scene is a callback to the original entry in the franchise, Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope. Specifically, it references a line by Han Solo, where he intimates that his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca has a penchant for ripping arms out of sockets when displeased.
Fast forward to The Force Awakens, and a scene between Rey, Chewie, and junk boss Unkar Plutt that was supposed to feature at Maz Kanata’s castle. When Plutt accosts our young heroine, everyone’s favourite walking carpet comes to her aid, yanking off the odious creep’s arm and tossing it aside.
Sure, it’s a bit too violent for a Star Wars movie – even considering this is a series where a main character is shown being burnt alive! – and it’s also fan service of the very worst kind. But at the end of the day, it’s Chewie yanking someone’s arm out, and that would have been pretty amazing to see on the big screen!
11. Padmé And The Senators Discuss Moving Against Palpatine
This is one of two sequences on this list that set the wheels in motion for the birth of the Rebel Alliance, which is very much glossed over in the final cut of Revenge of the Sith.
The scene in question depicts Senator Padmé Amidala and her colleagues – including Princess Leia’s future adopted father, Bail Organa – discussing their concerns about Chancellor Palpatine’s appointment of regional governors.
The group fears that this constitutional change could in turn lead to the dissolution of the Senate and the end of democracy in the galaxy.
Not only does this deleted scene introduce important supporting player Mon Mothma – who would go on to play a key role in Star Wars: Rogue One – it’s also imbued with a genuine sense of political paranoia.
10. Luke And Biggs Catch Up On Tatooine
A New Hope famously featured a lot more scenes set on desert world Tatooine, which served to establish Luke Skywalker’s world and relationships more fully.
Whilst whittling away most of this footage was a good call – seriously, how much angsty Luke does one need? – his brief catch up with buddy Biggs Darklighter maybe should have made the grade.
First and foremost, this scene allows us to actually get to know Biggs properly, making his death during the Death Star dogfight actually mean something.
It also provides a nice, “grunt-level” view of what it means to throw one’s lot in with the Rebel Alliance, as Biggs confesses his (well-founded) fears for his future.
Additionally, these moments hint at just how bad conditions under the Empire are becoming, and further reinforce Luke’s conflict between his desire to join the good fight and his obligation to his uncle’s moisture farm.
9. Yoda Enters His Exile On Dagobah
Following the criticism of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King’s multiple endings a few years earlier, it’s not all that surprising that Revenge of the Sith pares its conclusion down to the bare essentials.
And whilst it’s always a sensible decision to taper a film’s story as the end credits approach, it seems a shame that Yoda’s arrival on Dagobah was excised from the closing montage.
Not only is this a nicely shot scene, but it fills in a decent-sized gap in the narrative, explaining how our little green friend came to call the swamp planet home.
8. Kyle Ren Snoops Around The Millennium Falcon
If there’s one thing you can say about dark side warrior Kylo Ren, it’s that the dude has got issues. At the heart of these is his yearning to live up to his grandpa Darth Vader’s evil legacy versus his love for his family and continual temptation to return to the light side.
Admittedly, The Force Awakens does a pretty decent job of getting this emotional torment across to audiences. Even so, there’s still a case to be made for including the scene where the former Ben Solo searches the empty Millennium Falcon aboard Starkiller Base.
Right off the bat, this scene subtly underscores Ren’s complex relationship with the ship’s owner and his estranged dad, Han Solo; note the reverence with which he enters the cockpit.
7. Bye Bye Jira, Hello Probe Droid
Admittedly, a large portion of this deleted scene from The Phantom Menace – where Anakin says goodbye to a market stall vendor and slips her some cash – could easily remain on the cutting room floor.
It doesn’t add all that much, other than to remind us of something we already know: prior to become the second most evil guy in the galaxy, Anakin was a good kid.
However, it’s what follows this exchange – when Qui-Gon destroys a Sith probe droid spying on him and young Skywalker – that would have made a welcome addition to proceedings.
Above all, this moment ratchets up the tension leading into Qui-Gon’s lightsaber duel with Sith Lord (and disgruntled droid owner) Darth Maul, thanks to the Jedi Master’s obvious concern over the droid’s origins.
But as an added bonus, it also resolves a slight continuity blip just prior to the desert dust-up, giving us the reason why Qui-Gon and Anakin are suddenly sprinting towards the Queen’s ship when next we see them.
6. Han Solo Tries (And Fails) To Talk Himself Out Of Trouble
It’s already been said, but it bears repeating: The Force Awakens owes a pretty big debt to the first Star Wars film.
This time around, it’s another deleted scene set in Maz Kanata’s castle, where Han Solo humorously tries to bluff his way out of a showdown with some First Order troops.
The obvious reference point here is a similar series of events in A New Hope, where Han’s attempt at gabbing his way out of a firefight aboard the Death Star ends equally poorly.
Taken on these grounds alone, this wouldn’t be enough to merit inclusion in The Force Awaken’s final cut. That said, what does is the reference Solo makes to Finn wearing Stormtrooper boots – which neatly explains just how the old smuggler was wise to Finn being a deserter.
5. Bail Organa Votes In The Senate
Senator Bail Organa makes his first appearance in Attack of the Clones, but did you know he was originally set to cameo one film earlier, in The Phantom Menace?
As shot and filmed, Leia’s adopted father would have been seen casting his vote during the no-confidence motion against outgoing chancellor, Valorum.
This scene would have been a positive addition to the prequel trilogy as a whole, establishing a rather crucial supporting player in a more gradual fashion, rather than springing him on us full-blown later on.
Of course, given that the role was eventually re-cast with more well-known actor Jimmy Smits – meaning Bail’s portrayal by Adrian Dunbar here would have constituted a continuity headache – perhaps it’s for the best this moment was cut, after all!
4. Padmé And The Senators Confront Palpatine
As alluded to earlier, this is the second Revenge of the Sith deleted scene on this list to sow the seeds for formation of the Rebellion.
Following on from the previous scene, Padmé and her fellow Loyalist Committee members openly voice their concerns to Chancellor Palpatine, only to be dismissed by the future despot.
Now, obviously, any scene that lays the groundwork for the Rebellion warrants a potential reprieve from the editor’s scissors, but this sequence actually has even more going for it than that.
Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about it is that is helps to make Padmé a less passive protagonist, in contrast to the largely reactive role she takes on in the final cut.
It also further foreshadows Anakin’s future position as Palpatine’s bodyguard and enforcer, looming as he does over the Chancellor’s shoulder.
This has the knock-on effect of deepening the discontent between Anakin and Padmé, by placing them quite literally on opposite sides of the growing conflict.
3. Dooku And The Lost Twenty
As a supporting villain in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Count Dooku always felt a little thinly-drawn. By and large, it was left to the expanded universe of novels, TV shows and comics to provide greater insight into this Jedi turned Sith Lord.
That wasn’t always how things were supposed to go down, however. Indeed, when Obi-Wan visits the Jedi Archive in Attack of the Clones, Jedi librarian Jocasta Nu was to provide a brief rundown of Dooku’s background and possible motivations.
It’s really quite unfortunate this dialogue exchange got the chop, as it not only serves to make Dooku a more rounded character, but makes it a little clearer why the Jedi don’t suspect him earlier.
As an added bonus, in a fuller – and as yet unreleased – version of the scene, Nu makes a reference to the Count numbering among the “Lost Twenty”. Supposedly the only Jedi to have ever renounced the Jedi Order, this is an intriguing piece of Jedi lore that deserved a wider audience!
2. Anakin Brawls With Greedo
Anakin in The Phantom Menace is almost too good to be true. He’s such a golden child, it’s almost impossible to see how he could ever have transformed into the monstrous Darth Vader.
Whilst there’s a certain logic in portraying the future Sith Lord in this way – as it highlights his eventual tragic downfall – the initial cut of the film depicted him as far less perfect!
The crux of this comes in the deleted scene that finds Anakin in a scrap with a young Rodian child named Greedo, after he objects to being called a cheat.
What this scene does brilliantly is introduce the notion that not only does Anakin possess a pretty impressive temper, but that he can be prone to violence, too. He might be a good kid, but when his emotions get the better of him? Look out!
Now, the inclusion of Greedo is admittedly a bit too cute. But when you take into account how much heavy-lifting it does in terms of Anakin’s overall character arc, it definitely looks like this scene should have been kept in!
1. Qui-Gon Communicates With Yoda From The Great Beyond
More casual Star Wars fans might not have noticed, but one of the many subplots in the prequel trilogy revolved around the concept of “Force Ghosts” – the shimmering blue spirits of deceased Jedi.
The reason why this narrative thread tends to fly under most viewers’ radars is because, to be honest, it’s pretty half-baked (to put it kindly).
Basically, what it boils down to is that our previous assumption regarding Jedi who have died – that they automatically vanished and return as ghosts – is wrong.
Instead, this is apparently a skill that can only be learned, and it represents the pathway to spiritual immortality – in contrast to the unnatural efforts of the Sith to prolong their physical selves.
That’s all fine, but in practice, this notion ends up largely lost thanks to inadequate exposition.
What would have made things somewhat clearer is the final deleted scene on this list, where the spirit of Qui-Gon speaks to Yoda during the dénouement of Revenge of the Sith.
Not only does the dead Jedi explain the whole “Force Ghost” sub-plot mess more fully, but the short sequence also makes Yoda’s remarks to Obi-Wan later regarding Qui-Gon seem less tacked on!
What other Star Wars deleted scenes would you have liked to see included in the finished films? Let us know in the comments!
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