I’m pleased to announce the completion of a project that I’ve been working on for some time, which began with a desire to have all of the deleted scenes from the first STAR WARS film in one place. After beginning this endeavor, I realized that I couldn’t leave out the outtakes…and behind-the-scenes footage…and bloopers…and it just grew from there.
I went through a long list of documentaries, fan-projects, behind-the-scenes TV specials, DVD extras, and more, and edited out over 300 separate elements (ranging from 1 second to ten minutes). Then, I assembled them in an order that follows the shooting script of the original “THE STAR WARS” film (before it became the revised 4th draft during filming). There are certain bits that required guess-work, and were open to interpretation, so I made the best determination I could as to where each piece should go. Sometimes, the pieces were montages from one of the sources (which are all listed in the credits), that could be left as montages, but sometimes, the montages had to be painstakingly chopped up to be correctly placed.
There are few actual, genuine “deleted scenes” from STAR WARS, but documentaries such as “Empire of Dreams” have given us scores of outtakes and alternate takes, and with original, on-set audio. All of these were spliced out for inclusion, as well. Blooper reels were also divided.
Lucas, amazingly, had the foresight to have an additional cameraman document the making of his film, showing us that a “Making of” TV special had been planned all along. Although many of these shots even have sound, most do not. In most of those clips, foley (faked sound effects done after the fact) was supplied, as it was for lots of clips in the “Making of Star Wars” TV special (otherwise, William Conrad was talking over the action, anyway). Almost anything that wasn’t genuine was removed. Occasionally, you will hear some voice-over or narration, because removing it proved impossible or unnecessary.
To supplement the silent parts, I resorted to supplying music from the original soundtrack, to save the viewer from long silent passages. I attempted to use the “correct” tracks as much as possible, but this is not a precise science, as the viewer will see.
I divided the film into twenty “chapters,” and made a spreadsheet of every clip that was used, noting its source. (Readers of this blog know that I am always concerned with “credit where credit is due,” and if a clip came from DELETED MAGIC, I notate that it did.) The spreadsheet is included, as well as a chopped-up version of it that can be printed as a booklet to store with the DVD. The custom artwork shown here is also included in the download.
A note on the quality. As owners of the 2011 Blu-Ray edition of the Trilogy know from watching the deleted scenes, discarded bits of 40+ year-old film will not look pristine. In most, if not all of these cases, this is the best that we will probably ever have. I did compare sources to each other, so if something looked markedly better in one documentary than another, it became the clip that was kept. Every source seemed to have different aspect ratios, as well, so care was taken to bring nearly everything to 16:9 for modern televisions and monitors. There is no “bigger” or “lesser” version of this project; purists may become distraught, but the mp4 is all that exists.
The “film” itself is 92 minutes, but along the way, some clips refused to fit into the narrative of the story, or would have bogged it down (such as the first lightsaber test footage, which was a bonus video with the e-book version of Rinzler’s “Making of Star Wars” in 2013, for example), but were still relevant. These leftover clips form a 22-minute Bonus Feature that concludes the DVD. This will be a separate video on YouTube, but included in this download.
Projects like DELETED MAGIC and, later, STAR WARS BEGINS were life-changing gifts bestowed upon the fan community, and I wanted to give back by sharing something that’s never quite been done before, and something that can sit, with those projects, beside the original Trilogy on your DVD shelf, as a supplement. I hope that it is thoroughly enjoyed, in the “fair use” spirit in which it is intended…and I also hope that somebody takes it upon themselves to make “the cutting room floor” for both EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI…because I just don’t think I have it in me.
To download, please visit my blog at: https://snakeandboris.blogspot.com/2018/07/star-wars-cutting-room-floor-leaping.html
I am using Google Drive at the moment for storage of the project, and I apologize if there are bandwidth “caps,” and will work to find another hosting site. If you do encounter any problems, the “film” and Bonus Material are on YouTube as separate videos.