Big news out of Orlando, where George Lucas told the crowd at Star Wars Celebration V that all six live-action “Star Wars” films will be released next year on Blu-ray for the first time. In a press release that followed, Lucasfilm revealed that it would be a hefty boxed set “utilizing the highest possible picture and audio presentation, along with extensive special features – including documentaries, vintage behind-the-scenes moments, interviews, retrospectives and never-before-seen footage from the Lucasfilm archives.”
The scene at the Florida convention, where Lucas was joined onstage at one point by Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, was described at StarWars.com, here’s an excerpt:
“Star Wars” fans were treated to a glimpse of bonus material, in the form of a long-lost deleted scene from “Return of the Jedi.” The scene has long been talked about online — a sequence that depicts Luke Skywalker assembling his new, green-bladed lightsaber prior to infiltrating Jabba the Hutt’s palace. After completing the Jedi weapon, Luke stashes it in R2-D2′s dome. What makes the “Jedi” deleted clip so remarkable is that it made it all the way to postproduction before it was cut, so it is a rare example of a cut scene with completed visual effects and music.
Actor Mark Hamill came out to describe the scene, remarking that once again his original introduction in a “Star Wars” film was cut out (his Anchorhead introduction was, of course, cut from A New Hope). Luke’s intro is purposely played as ominous, with his face cowled in shadows and his intentions unclear.”I had the black cloak, the glove, and I thought, wow, this time around I get to be the antagonist. Little did I know I was predicting the path of the prequels,” said Hamill, noting the similarities to Luke in this scene and Anakin Skywalker’s appearance.
That deleted scene is posted on You Tube — the audience reaction is priceless — but I suspect it won’t be there for very long considering that Lucasfilm attorneys move at light speed.
– Geoff Boucher
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VINTAGE VIDEO: Ford and Hamill on “Today” show in 1980