A Deleted 'Star Wars' Scene Comes Alive in Rare Behind-the-Scenes Footage

The latest addition to the trove of rare and little-seen material from the first Star Wars film — including on-set photos and rough-cut footage — is this interesting bit of behind-the-scenes action. Posted by YouTuber Eyes on Cinema, the six-minute (and, sadly, silent) clip captures the Star Wars crew on one of its Tatooine locations in the North African desert. And for Star Wars fans, it’s a pretty Biggs deal.

The first half of the clip shows a 30-something George Lucas conferring with cinematographer Gilbert Taylor before discussing a scene — cut from the final film — in which Mark Hamill (Luke Sykwalker), Garrick Hagon (Biggs Darklighter) and Koo Stark traipse around the Tatooine settlement of Anchorhead.

Though Biggs is glimpsed briefly in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope — he’s one of the X-Wing pilots killed in duty during the attack on the first Death Star — his original role was noticeably bigger: A scene cut from early in the film portrayed him and Luke as best pals, with Biggs serving as a kind of surrogate big-brother to the young Jedi-to-be (you can watch some of the deleted Biggs footage — part of from the 1998 Star Wars: Behind the Magic CD-ROM — by clicking here.)

Star Wars A New Hope - behind the scenes
Star Wars A New Hope - behind the scenes

Technicians with the remote-control repair droid. Note the lush greenery in the background.

The second half of the clip shows crew members operating the WED-15 repair droid — a much fancier version of the WED-15-77 that Luke and his Uncle Owen used on their moisture farm. The arid air of Tunisia played havoc with radio controls, particularly the remote-control R2-D2: it was a problem on the set on the first movies, and even plagued the 2002 shoot of Attack of the Clones. Hopefully, our good buddy Ball Droid (aka BB-8) fared better in the desert when J.J. Abrams filmed the forthcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.