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Star Wars The Lost Cut: Everything We Know About It

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Hi. I’ve done a few Star Wars comparison videos on YouTube that a few people on here have enjoyed. Here is the most recent: https://youtu.be/FDftt6hqzg0. I’m really still trying to get a grasp on putting together these videos (and doing VO, which I can’t stand), but I want to turn my attention next to the (in)famous Lost Cut of Star Wars.

I know there have been some valiant attempts at recreating The Lost Cut over the years but I’m more interested in creating a demonstration of what was different about it than recreating the entire thing. This might also be a good place to compile everything we know about it into one place.

To kick things off, here are the notes I have so far. Please feel free to add or correct any information as necessary.

The Lost Cut Overall:
-Put together by John Jympson with little help from Lucas.
-Black and White 35mm.
-13 reels.
-Maybe silent? There is debate on this but, if it were true, I would choose to ignore that.
-Onset audio, including David Prowse’s voice as Vader and Anthony Daniels’ pre-ADR performance.
-30-40% different footage (alternate/longer takes and deleted scenes).
-More of a documentary feel.
-Used more primitive effects shots where applicable (i.e. rear-projected landspeeder).
-A much longer opening crawl.
-Distinct from the infamous cut shown to Spielberg, De Palma, Coppola and others, I think? I get the impression that that was closer to the final version that we all know but with some less dynamic editing, the Tosche Station scenes still in tact, slates and/or WWII footage in place of special effects shots and temp audio featuring Holst’s The Planets. I could be wrong about that.

Specific Editing Changes (not deleted or alternate takes):
-The Tusken Raider that knocks Luke down did not rock his staff up and down.
-C-3PO’s “I think I’m melting” beat takes place aboard the Tantive IV.
-Some shots of R2 in the Death Star set were repurposed for the above scene, and during his game with Chewbacca.
-The conversation in Ben’s hut was reordered.
-Shot of Falcon leaving the trench run was originally for their escape from the DS (probably not relevant here -as it is a special effect shot).
-The Death Star was originally not preparing to destroy the Rebel base during the climax.
-Much of the dialogue during the Battle of Yavin was likely written and dubbed in at a late stage.

Sources of deleted/alternate material:
-Blu-Ray Bonus Disc.
-Rinzler ‘Making of’ e-book.
-Empire of Dreams has a few dailies and alternate takes (some overlap with the Rinzler stuff).
-Fanmade recreation of Declan Mulholland’s Jabba scene in less-than-ideal quality.
-An extended bit of dialogue in the Death Star conference room shown at Star Wars Celebration 2017. Only available on YouTube? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Erf6s_wYJk&list=PLCbkx7pMKGDj54sompJCYeA11t87_ekC9&index=4&t=0s)
-Ponda Baba’s decapitated head shown at Star Wars Celebration 2019 that I recorded on my iPhone!

My goal here is to put together the most comprehensive look at The Lost Cut possible using footage available to the public, so I’m asking for your help to make sure I’m not missing anything! Like I said, this won’t be a full recreation that you could watch as a film, but merely a collection of moments that are different along with explanations. But, hey, anyone is free to use the work done here for their own projects.

Thanks in advance. You guys rock.

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that sounds cool.
but there would be more sources out there that could help…

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 (Edited)

These Fan Edit project threads may be of some interest / contain some useful info mate?:-

TM2YC’s The Star Wars: The Lost Workprint (Version 4 in Production) (2013 thread)

Obi Benuubi’s Star Wars: The Lost Cut Reconstruction Project (2014 thread)

darth_ender’s Star Wars: The Lost Cut (2018 thread)

RIJIR’s Virtual Lost Cut - Fan Edit (2012 thread) : Is anyone doing a “Virtual” Lost Cut? (2007 thread)

Kennerado’s The “Lost Cut” Of ANH Discussion of ‘The Lost Cut’ thread (2004 thread)
 

and for some further info…

Heilemann’s Star Wars Insider #41 as PDF? (2009 thread)

Ronster’s Star Wars - The Lost Cut is not exactly what you think it is… (2018 thread)
 

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

I find that answer vague and unconvincing. Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves?
Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?