We here at Hero Complex noticed that the Rancor — that snarling potato-colored beastie from “Return of the Jedi” — is mentioned in one of DK Publishing‘s adaptations of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” but never showed up in the film. We dialed up LucasFilm spokesman John Singh who told us that, yes, it’s true, a scene with the giant carnivore was cut from the film. We reached the Rancor by phone and found out that this is not the first time he’s been burned by Hollywood.
HC: “Hello there! I’s really great to talk to you today, I must admit I’m a big fan of your work.”
RANCOR: “Oh, thanks very much, you’re very kind. It’s nice to talk to a fan, you know, ’cause it’s been kind of a rough month.”
HC: “Yes, let’s talk about that. What exactly happened to your scene in ‘The Clone Wars’?”
RANCOR: “I’m not really the right one to ask, frankly. Maybe you should ask George Lucas or [the film’s director Dave] Filoni. I didn’t even know I was out until I went to see it in the theater. Very embarrassing. I went with my wife, the in-laws and some friends. I choked on my popcorn. A phone call would have been nice. I mean, I started working with these people in the Reagan administration. I feel betrayed.”
HC: “There have been other disappointments through the years, right? Things haven’t gone as you hoped in Hollywood.”
RANCOR: (Short pause and some snarling) “Yes. I suppose that’s accurate. Things dried up after ‘Jedi.’ I had the lead role locked in for ‘Godzilla’ back in the late ’90s. I had this great — and I mean great — reading with Matthew Broderick. We had a thing going, y’know? Chemistry. There was a handshake deal. That used to mean something. I fired my agent after all of that and went to CAA. They got me a reading for ‘Cloverfield’ but the studio said I just wasn’t ‘turtle-ly’ enough for the role. Whatever that means. So I do the convention circuit now. I just got back from an autograph show in Milwaukee with Lou Ferrigno and George Takei.”
HC: “What about the rumors in Hollwyood that you’re hard to work with? And that you secretly devour humans?”
RANCOR: “That’s just a lie. You know how this town is. They say the same stuff about Russell Crowe.”
HC: “Are you eating right now? I hear a crunching sound. And is someone, uh, screaming there?”
RANCOR: (Muffled noises then a long pause) “Sorry. Anyway, so this ‘Clone Wars’ thing was a big letdown. But did you see ‘Pineapple Express’? They gave me a shout-out! You know about this? That guy from ‘Spider-Man,’ James Franco, he plays a stoner who gets kidnapped and they’re shoving him down in that hole, he says, ‘What do you got down in there? A Rancor?’ Just like that! Hah! You know the Ewoks were jealous.”
HC: “So, what’s next for the Rancor?”
RANCOR: “I’ve been talking to Will Ferrell — he’s a good friend, we play hoops, go way back — so I been talking to him about a cameo in ‘Land of the Lost.’ That looks real good. And then I’d really like to work on the stage. I saw ‘Equus’ in London last year and thought, ‘Why not me? Why not take a chance?’ I need a change, too. Hollywood just makes you feel so ugly.”
— Geoff Boucher
Image of the Rancor from “Return of the Jedi,” courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.