ROTJ Deleted Scene May Be A Fake, Is George Lucas A Fraud?
This past weekend we all got pretty excited over this. A never before seen deleted scene from Star Wars which George Lucas unveiled at Celebration and promises will be one of many pieces of polished up archival footage he’s including on his upcoming Star Wars Blu-ray box set.
The video was actually leaked online for awhile and though it’s gone now, if you caught it, you saw what appeared to be Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, constructing his first lightsaber. Hamill was actually on stage with Lucas when they announced the Blu-ray set and seemed to let everyone thing it was a real scene he filmed. He even related some amusing anecdote about his costume. Unfortunately, like everything George Lucas does, it’s probably all just a big lie.
The thing is, the whole scene probably isn’t real. It’s not a deleted scene, we know that, because back in 2009 Mark Hamill told everyone that the scene in question was never filmed. In fact, here’s the interview:
Pretty clear. He’s very certain he never shot the scene. At least he was back in 2009 before Lucas showed up at his house with a bunch of money. Now suddenly he remembers? Well sort of. Hamill was very clever when he discussed the clip. When introducing it he did say “This is my original entrance into Return of the Jedi.” But later when discussing the clip he claimed he remembered the whole thing and refers to the chin sticking out from under the hood as “the” chin rather than actually saying it’s his. Still though, he was there and he seems complicit in all of this. Lucas hasn’t just ruined Star Wars, now he’s ruined Mark Hamill too. Well done Darth Sidious.
Here’s Hamill introducing the scene and talking about it afterward, while it lasts:
Adding even more confusion to this whole mess is an interview with Anthony Daniels picked up by StarWarz.com in which he says he remembers shooting the scene. Daniels say, “I filmed the background to this in Death Valley just before the road to Jabba (the last scene filmed in ROTJ). It was a tiny crew and George and me. It was the best time I had in all four movies.”
If you saw the scene before it was taken down, you know it contains elements. In the foreground Luke and R2D2 sit in a cave, in the background, outside the cave off in the distance C3PO wanders around in the sand. The fact that Daniels says “I filmed the background” to me suggested they shot the stuff outside the cave but didn’t shoot any of the stuff inside it. But I’m just speculating. The person in the now vanished footage was partially obscured beneath a cloak and while it looked like Hamill with a little digital wizardry Lucas could have easily faked it. It seems likely to me that if the scene really was filmed, Mark Hamill wasn’t in it.