The battle above Endor would not have been possible without the brave actions of the Rebels down on the surface of the forest moon (and those pesky Ewoks).
OUTSIDE THE BUNKER
In the film, Han fools a scout trooper into chasing him around the bunker entrance and into the arms of the Rebels in waiting. If you watch the final frames of this shot closely, you can see one of the commandos put his gun down before the film cuts away to the next scene. He does this because he is about to don the captured trooper’s uniform.
After the “rebel scum” are captured and escorted outside to the waiting Imperial troops, look in the crowd as the camera pans across the forest. If you look closely you will once again see the (now helmetless) rebel right there in plain daylight – hands on head and in scout trooper armor.
Here’s the passage from the novelization:
Back at the bunker, the last scout was undone. Subdued by Chewbacca, bound, stripped of his suit, he was being carried into the woods now by two other members of the strike team. The rest of the squad silently crouched, forming a perimeter around the entrance.
Han stood at the door, checking the stolen code against the digits on the bunker’s control panel. With natural speed, he punched a series of buttons on the panel. Silently, the door opened.
Leia peeked inside. No sign of life. She motioned the others, and entered the bunker. Han and Chewie followed close on her heels. Soon the entire team was huddled inside the otherwise empty steel corridor, leaving one lookout outside, dressed in the unconscious scout’s uniform. Han pushed a series of buttons on the inner panel, closing the door behind them.
INSIDE THE BUNKER
There’s a scene in the novelization where Han, Leia, Chewie and the rebel commandos encounter some stormtroopers on their way from the bunker’s back door to the control room. They have to zig-zag through some corridors to get where they need to go and, of course, they’re all guarded. Here’s the excerpt from the novel:
Han, Chewie, Leia, and a dozen commandos made their way down the labyrinthine corridors toward the area where the shield generator room was marked on the stolen map. Yellow lights illuminated the low rafters, casting long shadows at each intersection. At the first three turnings, all remained quiet; they saw no guard or worker.
At the fourth cross-corridor, six Imperial stormtroopers stood a wary watch.
There was no way around; the section had to be traversed.
Han and Leia looked at each other and shrugged; there was nothing for it but to fight.
With pistols drawn, they barged into the entryway. Almost as if they’d been expecting an attack, the guards instantly crouched and began firing their own weapons. A barrage of laserbolts followed, ricocheting from girder to floor. Two stormtroopers were hit immediately. A third lost his gun; pinned behind a refrigerator console, he was unable to do much but stay low.
Two more stood behind a fire door, though, and blasted each commando who tried to get through. Four went down. The guards were virtually impregnable behind their vulcanized shield – but virtually didn’t account for wookies.
Chewbacca rushed the door, physically dislodging it on top of the two stormtroopers. They were crushed.
Leia shot the sixth guard as he stood to draw a bead on Chewie. The trooper who’d been crouching beneath the refrigeration unit suddenly bolted, to go for help. Han raced after him a few long strides and brought him down with a flying tackle. He was out cold.
They checked themselves over, accounted for casualties. Not too bad – but it had been noisy. They’d have to hurry now, before a general alarm was set. The power center that controlled the shield generator was very near. And there would be no second chances.
Starwars.com once posted a photo of Han Solo sizing up the damage from the bunker infiltration. The caption on the photo read: “Infiltrating an Imperial bunker, General Han Solo leads his commando team past the bodies of their fallen enemies.”
MORE FROM ENDOR
Here we have some random images, clips and facts that don’t fall into any particular category.
The story C-3PO tells to the Ewoks was originally a little bit longer. I don’t have details on what exactly was cut out but these quotes from a 1985 interview with Anthony Daniels in Star Warriors magazine give us an idea:
Q: Do you like the reaction with the fans?
DANIELS: Oh yes! Because when you do a film, you can feel very lonely. You have the script and you work alone in your sitting room at home at night. Then, you get to the studio and all the things you worked out… Like, there’s a piece in JEDI where they said to me the night before, “Tony, when you come in tomorrow, we want you to mime the whole STAR WARS, the whole of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and as far as we’ve got on the script of JEDI. So, see if you can work out what you’re going to do…”
So I went to my sitting room and I moved the furniture – I nearly said the scenery, you can tell I’m an actor, can’t you? – and I kind of wrote out the sort of things I would like to do. Then I tried to do them. I tried to mime being a Walker, I tried to mime the Death Star, a light sabre. Then I got into the studio, and, of course, the costume restricted me so much in what I could actually do. But, homework is one of the things one has to do. It can get pretty lonely sometimes.
Q: I’m glad you brought that scene up. Did you do all of the choreography for that yourself?
DANIELS: Yes, I did. Originally it was longer, but obviously in a film that’s already two hours thirty minutes, you’re way on the edge of losing people’s interest. So, bits of it were cut out. We kept the main pieces of it, however.