Puggo--Just watched and agreed. That did not play well. Stands in stark contrast to the NPR radio drama. The uncut nature of the radio script (no back and forth with the battle overhead) and the music behind the dialogue were fantastic. But yes--this plays like crap. It's a shame, because from a story arc standpoint it's so integral. Just very poorly executed.
As a fan who remembers seeing the original theatrical cut of Star Wars multiple times on the big screen, let me toss in two cents. We never got the puritanical cut of Star Wars we desired even back then.
My friends and I had all the related stuff--trading cards, comic books, picture story book, novelization, ad infinitum... and ALL of them contained the storyline and still images of Luke observing the battle overhead through macrobinoculars, then his subsequent interactions with Biggs, Fixer, Camie, et al on Tatooine.
We never understood as kids why this storyline wasn't in the film when it was featured prominently in everything else Star Wars. Looking back, it's an incredibly important part of the hero's journey: The friends who are going nowhere; Biggs, the big guy who is going places and who Luke idolizes; their interactions at the end of the film that make his death a poignant moment.
Lucas cut the whole thread because his first screening to his friends resulted in comparisons to American Graffiti. Perhaps an understandable decision at the time, but tragic in the greater context of "From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker."
I would argue that restoring this footage to a "despecialized" version would satisfy those who are puritanical in their pursuit of the original film. Thank you to any and all who are considering integrating this footage into a version of the film I have longed to see for 37 years...