I’m reading Anthony Daniels’ book I Am C-3PO, and I’ve just found a slightly different take on the story of one of the first film’s audio differences.
IIRC, the received wisdom is that his whole “tractor beam” line was recorded in a broom cupboard in the UK, and flown over during the mixing process; this is why it was in the mono mix, but not the 1977 stereo/surround one.
Daniels’ version of the story is slightly different.
At some point during editing, they phoned me. […] Would I please go to a studio in London and record an extra line? Of course. What was it?
“That’s holding the ship here.”
“Is that it?”
“Yes. We forgot to say what a tractor beam is actually for.”
“The tractor beam, that is holding the ship here, is coupled to the main reactor is seven locations.”
It was one of the quickest jobs ever but it worked, once they plopped in the new words. The audience would never know the line was compiled over five thousand miles, and many weeks, apart.
I don’t believe I’ve heard any mix which includes “that is holding the ship here”, though I only have the various 1977 mixes to hand this week. Is it in any other mix, or is there an equivalent in any of the foreign language dubs?
I’m not saying the usual version of the story is wrong. Indeed, it seems to fit the facts better than this new one; Mr. Daniels can be forgiven for mis-remembering something which happened over 40 years ago. I just thought another side of an oft-recounted tale may be of interest to some of you.