Luke in the Desert
About this scene:
This particular scene happens right after the Imperial Star Destroyer has overtaken the Rebel Blockade Runner and the Imperial troops begin boarding the ship, and right before Darth Vader first makes his appearance on the rebel ship. Luke, out in the desert working on a vaporator with the help of a Treadwell droid, looks up and happens to notice the two ships firing on each other in the sky. He then jumps in his landspeeder and races off to tell his friends.
Why it was cut:
George Lucas used this scene originally to introduce Luke Skywalker earlier in the film than he eventually appeared. However, the scene ended up being removed along with the scenes with Luke's friends that followed it, since it went off on a tangent of sorts and tended to slow down the pace of the film.
Where it shows up:
Though this scene was never shown publicly, it still showed up in the novel, the comic book, and still photos published in various places. The scene was finally made available in 1998 on the Behind The Magic CD ROM, much to the delight of fans. The version included was from the legendary Lost Cut of Star Wars, which is in black and white with no sound or special effects. After all the years in storage the film became very scratchy, washed-out and faded, but it is still a treat to watch. The color stills shown below may be some of the only clear shots left of this footage.
To download and watch this scene, click here.
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(DivX AVI movie file, 7.7 MB, B&W, no dialogue - courtesy ofGuruKenn & Garrett)
EXT. TATOOINE - DESERT WASTELAND - DAY
A death-white wasteland stretches from horizon to horizon.
The tremendous heat of two huge twin suns settle on a lone figure, Luke Skywalker, a farm boy with heroic aspirations who looks much younger than his eighteen years.
His shaggy hair and baggy tunic give him the air of a simple but lovable lad with a prize-winning smile.
A light wind whips at him as he adjusts several valves on a large battered moisture vaporator which sticks out of the desert floor much like an oil pipe with valves.
He is aided by a beatup tread-robot with six claw arms.
The little robot appears to be barely functioning and moves with jerky motions.
A bright sparkle in the morning sky catches Luke's eye and he instinctively grabs a pair of electrobinoculars from his utility belt.
He stands transfixed for a few moments studying the heavens, then dashed toward his dented, crudely repaired Landspeeder (an auto-like transport that travels a few feet above the ground on a magnetic-field). He motions for the tiny robot to follow him.
The robot scoots around in a tight circle, stops short, and smoke begins to pour out of every joint.
Luke throws his arms up in disgust.
Exasperated, the young farm boy jumps into his Landspeeder leaving the smoldering robot to hum madly.