I wonder if you’re thinking of a trailer for the movie? Sometimes they put things in trailers but not the movie. For example when a Tie Fighter rises up to confront Jyn and has her in its sights as she’s on the parapet outside of a tower on Scarif.
Or maybe you’re thinking of the fact that it takes Luke a (seemingly) long time to uncoil the rope?
I’m quite sure the answer to the first item is no. All of the (known) trailers are available and none contain this. I certainly agree that trailers often contain additional footage or alternate takes. I’m also quite sure I never saw a trailer for Star Wars before seeing it the first time. I had never been to that theater or any other where Star Wars was first shown, and had only ever been to the movies 2 or 3 times before that. I heard about it by word of mouth, and was invited to go with neighbors to see it.
Again, watch the specific shots I pointed out at 1:49 and 1:55 very carefully. They give the clues to what should be between them. Then listen to the music very carefully. I believe the music very clearly tells the story as well. I believe the changes (inserts) were frame for frame replacements (141 replacing 141), so there was no change to the music or timing necessary.
I have carefully listened and compared the audio recording of the 70mm presentation at New Jersey’s Triplex Paramus during its initial run (link below). I’m quite sure that the frames with Luke’s missed attempt were not present here. The audio well matches the blaster shots in the inserts that replaced it, with no sound that would match a missed grappling attempt (or reeling the line back into the belt). This is why I think if anything, the alteration was made before the eight first-run 70mm prints were struck, leaving only the thirty-five first-run 35mm prints as possibly containing the full missed attempt shot.
http://www.wideanglecloseup.com/starwarsaudio.html (The chasm scene is near the end of Part2.)
Again, I certainly consider it possible that the combination of the music for the scene combined with what is seen around these 5 7/8 seconds is so suggestive that it has lead many of us to believe that Luke missed, even though we never saw it that way. However, I think it is more likely that some of us actually saw it, and even more likely it was that way when Williams scored it.
One problem with this is that the one and only time I recall ever seeing the missed attempt was day 1 at the Paramus theater 70mm. From what I’ve heard they replaced their original print soon and I think that guy who recorded the audio recorded their replacement print which would almost surely have been from the redone batches for the ‘wide’ 70mm release.
FWIW, way back in 1977 as a little kid I wrote a note about what happened to the Luke miss when I saw the movie (a zillion) more times later that year. So it was a fresh memory back then, not something remembered years or decades later. I could swear I didn’t read the novelization until later on, probably later that year or something. I had actually only learned to read less than a year earlier than the movie. I’m not sure when I got the Star Wars Storybook but I’d think likely after my first non-70mm showing. The whole scene seemed more dramatic and tense with the Stormtroopers taking a few more seconds to prop up the door and Leia more worried. If it wasn’t real, somehow I would’ve had to have and read the book earlier and then had some sort of crazy dream where I visualized what I read and then that replaced my original memory right before we then saw it in 35mm when that came out a few weeks later or whatever it was. I thought in the earliet days of Usenet that I saw some who saw the initial 70mm print shown at Paramus also recall the missed attempt. I need to see if I can dig up old Amiga files and see what my version different notes that I posted were back then and what I captured of what others said back then.
For me it’s more that I remember the distinct impression that something had changed the first time I saw it in general release in 1978. I remember at that time questioning whether I really remembered Luke missing the previous 6 or 7 times I saw the movie (first run)? Of course at that time I was under the impression that movies were carved in stone and never changed once they were released. As I previously described I don’t believe there was any difference in the length of the scene. A change in the length would require alteration to the music. I simply believe that 141 frames that may have originally shown Luke missing in the 35 first run 35mm prints, were replaced with a different 141 frames that don’t show Luke missing in all other prints. No change in time or music.
Although look at how messed up the music is in the ESB SE when they redid the whole “Bring my shuttle!” scene. It’s kinda all chopped and ruined up in the SE. I don’t know. I have to see the scene again, but could they also maybe have kept the music the same though and sliced a bit out before the throws or after and had it still work at all?