The clock’s ticking. We’re at just about T-minus eight months until the December 18th release of “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.” Anticipation is already brimming for the seventh live-action installment of George Lucas’ epic (and epically lucrative) inter-galactic franchise.
‘The Force Awakens’ of course marks the first time “Star Wars” has hit the big screen (barring re-releases and the 2008 animated “The Clone Wars”) since 2005’s ‘Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.’ More so, it offers a reunion of the original “Star Wars” trio — Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher — 32 years in the making. In short, expectations are high. The film is in the trusted hands of contemporary sci-fi king J.J. Abrams, and fanboys and girls across the world wait with bated breath to see what he does with the material.
As we wait, it remains fun — imperative, even? — to revisit the six previous episodes in all their glory, soaking in as much Star Wars history and geekdom (said proudly) as possible. Naturally, this extends even to scenes not in the original cuts of the preceding half dozen films. Thankfully, YouTuber Marcelo Zuniga, whose succinct and truthful modus operandi is “I just post Star Wars clips,” has uploaded deleted scenes from the Blu-rays of Episodes I through VI to share with his fellow fans. He’s also helpfully broken them down, pinpointing which scenes are included in each, and where in the clip they come in.
‘Episode IV – A New Hope‘ – 8 and a half minutes containing six deleted scenes (including an alternate reunion between Luke and Biggs).
Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back‘ – 12 and a half minutes of this one, with 9 scenes, among them a number of Wampa scenes and 75 seconds of Yoda testing Luke.
Episode VI – Return of the Jedi‘ – a cool 9 and a half minutes for this one, this time containing only four longer sequences, among them an extended rebel raid and a sand storm on Tatooine.
Episode I – The Phantom Menace‘ – the biggie of the group, with nine scenes and nearly 17 minutes of deleted footage. Zuniga warns that “some scenes from the blu-ray that had no post production (i.e. bluscreens and unfinished effects) were edited (poorly) to try and feel more complete.”
Episode II – Attack of the Clones‘ – 10 scenes in this one, which runs slightly over 15 minutes long. Zuniga offers some interesting editorial opinion for this video. “I’ll be completely honest. Almost every single scene is people talking. I cannot believe that there were over 15 minutes cut from the film of even MORE flat-camera dialogue. How on earth could George make such a dull film? Just my opinion, but the scenes are all indeed walking and talking. Enjoy, I guess.” Even die-hard fans find it hard to deny how talky some of the later films were. Hopefully, Abrams takes a lesson from them and comes up with a better dialogue to action ratio.
Episode III – Revenge of the Sith‘ – also an even ten scenes filling not quite 15-minutes. Zuniga prefaces this one with the following: “Deleted scenes taken from both the Revenge of the Sith DVD and Blu-ray (which’ll explain some aspect ratio inconsistencies). Some scenes were edited with spliced shots from the film to be more comprehensive. I didn’t include some from the Blu-ray that were purely animatics or slight alterations of existing scenes, unfortunately. I kept what was interesting, which should say a lot since most of these are political meetings.”
Thanks for your hard work, Marcelo. May the force be with you!