Life on Tatooine

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Tatooine was home to Luke Skywalker. His friends lived there. He grew up and was educated there. He worked there. The only family he knew about lived there. It seemed that he was content but as with most teenagers, all he thought about was leaving. Until Obi-Wan came calling, it didn’t seem like that would be happening any time soon.

LUKE’S ORIGINAL INTRODUCTION

125In the original shooting script for Episode IV, Luke was introduced to the audience much earlier than when first we saw him on Uncle Owen’s moisture farm in the finished film.

Somewhere around the time of C-3PO and R2-D2’s escape pod launching (most likely after), we were to see Luke at work out on the desert flats of Tatooine. This was supposed to be our first glimpse of the boy who would develop into the “new hope” for the galaxy. He is dressed in his typical farmboy outfit he wears throughout most of the film with addition of a floppy hat and goggles.

While out on the flats, a glimmer in the sky catches Luke’s eye and he takes out his macrobinoculars to investigate. What he sees nearly knocks him off his feet with excitement. He’s witnessing the battle overhead between the Star Destroyer and the Blockade Runner containing Leia and the Death Star plans.

All this time, Luke’s helper (a Treadwell droid named WED-15-77) has been going about his business doing whatever it is he’s programmed to do. Luke, upon seeing the battle overhead, leaps into action and starts running towards his parked landspeeder to go tell his friends. He yells at the droid telling it to “get in gear” but the droid picks up a slight flutter and breaks down. Luke then decides it’s best to just leave him there and takes off, anxious to make his friends aware of the ongoing battle in the stars overhead.

Here’s the relevant script passage from The Art of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope:

EXTERIOR: TATOOINE – DESERT WASTELAND – DAY
A death-white wasteland stretches from horizon to horizon. The tremendous heat of two huge twin suns settles on a lone figure, Luke Skywalker, a farm boy with heroic aspirations who looks much younger than his eighteen years. His shaggy hair and baggy tunic give him the air of a simple but lovable lad with a prize-winning smile.

A light wind whips at him as he adjusts several valves on a large battered moisture vaporator which sticks out of the desert floor much like an oil pipe with valves. He is aided by a beatup tread-robot with six claw arms. The little robot appears to be barely functioning and moves with jerky motions. A bright sparkle in the morning sky catches Luke’s eye and he instinctively grabs a pair of electrobinoculars from his utility belt. He stands transfixed for a few moments studying the heavens, then dashes toward his dented, crudely repaired Landspeeder (auto-like transport that travels a few feet above the ground on a magnetic field). He motions for the tiny robot to follow him.

LUKE
Hurry up! Come with me!
What are you waiting for?!
Get it in gear!

The robot scoots around in a tight circle, stops short, and smoke begins to pour out of every joint. Luke throws his arms up in disgust. Exasperated, the young farm boy jumps into his landspeeder leaving the smoldering robot to hum madly.

On a related note, the Treadwell droid makes a comeback in Episode II. Here are some bits of info from Starwars.com on that:

The Lars family has had a stubborn dim-witted treadwell droid in their possession for over 20 years. It suffered a final meltdown in the days preceding Luke Skywalker’s departure from Tatooine.

WED-15-77 was a recalcitrant yet hardworking droid that belonged to the Lars Homestead for over 20 years. It assisted young Luke Skywalker on a variety of chores, but preferred working for Beru Lars since she always had it do the same predictable jobs.

For ATTACK OF THE CLONES, the treadwell design has been resurrected and once again inhabits the Lars homestead, showing that the droids may be simple but are long-lasting even under the harshest of conditions.

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Click to download Luke’s original introduction (From the BEHIND THE MAGIC CD-ROM)
Click to download Fan made re-creation of the Luke/Treadwell scene by JediSluggo

 

THE LARS HOMESTEAD

105When combing through old magazines, books, trading cards and other memorabilia, you come across photos that you don’t remember seeing in the films. That’s actually what prompted me to create this section of the site. I had so many images lying around that I knew weren’t in the film or were promo stills/alternate angles that I wanted to share and talk about them.

Notice the image of everyone at the table. There’s a peculiar seating arrangement. Look who’s sitting at the head of the table. It’s Luke, as opposed to Owen who sits there in the finished film. It’s a popular photo that’s been around for quite some time and can be found in many official publications.

In the photo of Luke from  the scene where he finds his Aunt and Uncle killed by the Empire, check out what he’s wearing…a stylin’ poncho! This take did not make it into the film, obviously, as he’s not wearing it in the final shot. I have always loved this photo, though. He looks much more tragic and vulnerable.

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BERU’S VOICE

The actress who played Beru Lars (Shelagh Fraser) of course spoke her lines on the set but they were eventually overdubbed by another actress later on.

In the mono mix of the film, much of the original dialogue was left intact, including Beru’s original voice and the voices of a few other background characters.

The first two clips included here were edited by Jedi Sluggo and use the mono mix Beru dialogue on top of the regular video to give you an idea of how the scenes would have played out had Fraser’s vocal track been used. The other clip originated on newsgroups but was later re-edited together by Dylan McDermond and sent in for the fans to check out.

Click to download Click to download Click to download

 

SEARCHING FOR R2-D2

173In the original shooting script and novelization there was a scene involving C-3PO and Luke which took place during the search for R2-D2. The fun part is that C-3PO gets to pilot the landspeeder for a little while. While looking for the rogue astromech droid, something makes a noise in the back of the speeder and Luke leans back to fix it while he and C-3PO talk about how they are going to explain their whereabouts when they get back. Most of these shots were filmed against a live projection of desert footage, much like you’d see on older TV shows when people were driving in cars.

After Luke and C-3PO find R2-D2 in the Jundland Wastes, they go have a look for some Tusken Raiders. They find Obi-Wan Kenobi in the process, as we know. Later, when Luke goes back to “collect” C-3PO, we see Luke and Obi-Wan help the droid up but as they rise, a wipe takes us to the next scene. We never get to see the group making their way back to the landspeeder. Some of the pictures included here imply that there was a little more to this scene than we saw.

Oh, and let’s not forget that stylin’ poncho. Take note that in some photos Luke is wearing it. It looks like they shot some takes with it and some without it. In the finished film, we rarely saw the poncho in the Tatooine scenes. You can catch it in a few shots, but for the most part he was poncho-less throughout the film.

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Click to downloadClip of Luke and C-3PO in the landspeeder from the Star Wars Trilogy DVD Bonus Disc documentary, EMPIRE OF DREAMS

 

BEN’S HUT

1644In the years following the events of Episode III, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi lived as a hermit on Tatooine in a small hut out beyond the Dune Sea, near the Jundland Wastes.

In the original film, the establishing shot of Ben’s hut was at such an angle that we saw Luke’s landspeeder from the back with the hut on the left.

In the  Lost Cut of Star Wars (an early rough assembly of the film), the hut is in the background and the Landspeeder (side view) is in the foreground.

In the Special Edition, the shot was altered quite a bit and doesn’t resemble the original shot at all. The old hut was completely abandoned in favor of a nicer home framed in a wider shot showing smoke coming from a chimney of sorts, a moisture vaporator and a creature flying overhead.

Now let’s talk a bit about what happens inside the hut. As you know from watching the film, this is a very important scene, full of exposition. It’s where Luke and Ben discuss Anakin, Vader, Leia’s message, and how Luke will (or won’t) help out poor, old Ben.

In the Lost Cut, there’s a quick scene that involves Luke and C-3PO that we should mention. While inside Ben’s hut, Luke makes a certain choice about C-3PO involving his restraining bolt. Luke is about to replace the bolt but suddenly stops to think to himself for a second. He then decides not to replace it. The way it is described in Star Wars Insider magazine makes it seem that there is no dialogue involved and that 3PO just sort of looks away nervously when Luke picks it up. Luke’s decision not to replace the bolt probably means he trusts 3PO now and there’s no need for it anymore.

It’s important to note that the heart of this entire scene in Ben’s hut was the victim of some fancy editing. The story, as I understand it, goes like this: At first the “Leia hologram” sequence came before the discussion of the Force and Anakin Skywalker.

One of the editors, Paul Hirsch, suggested that the order of the shots should be changed to make the scene seem more important and urgent. So he went ahead and inserted the hologram shots between the other shots, dropped a few other small bits (like the 3PO part mentioned above) and it worked just fine.

Pablo Hidalgo of Starwars.com revealed that there’s an alternate angle of Obi-Wan Kenobi used in the first teaser trailer for Episode III which starts with a voice-over from Obi-Wan. Here’s what he had to say in one of his Q&A sessions on the Starwars.com forums:

That is, there’s a shot of old Obi-Wan in the [EPISODE III] trailer that’s not in Episode IV. The trailer has a close-up shot of Obi-Wan saying “… the Jedi Knights were the guardians of …”. Watch the movie. In the final take, he’s in a medium three-shot, talking while Luke practices with his lightsaber. The film archives pulled up the daily of Sir Alec saying that dialogue in his closeup for use in the trailer.

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Click to download Fan re-edited Obi-Wan/Luke scene by Elvis Jones designed to match the flow of the Lost Cut

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