Return To Tatooine

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Throughout the saga, the Star Wars films frequently bring us back to the first major planet we encountered a long, long time ago: Tatooine. In Episode II, Anakin travels to Tatooine after being haunted by disturbing nightmares of his mother. While he’s there, Anakin will not only find his mother but learn some more about his family, leaving him a changed man. The anger, fear, and aggression that leads to his eventual downfall will take root here, setting the scene for the tragic events of Episode III.

 

FAMILY REUNION

Owen Lars knew he had a stepbrother out there somewhere and that this mysterious stepbrother might one day return Tatooine in search of his mother. Owen probably thought this little family reunion would occur under better circumstances.

There’s plenty of photo evidence of some deleted footage involving the Lars homestead that we first saw in Episode IV. In some of the photos, Owen is standing during the scene where Anakin learns of Shmi’s situation. In the finished film, Owen never gets up from his chair.

While I can’t say for sure, I believe the photo of Padmé shot against bluescreen is from the same scene. In the book Mythmaking, this photo is found in the chapter dealing with pick-up shooting, long after principal photography wrapped. My educated guess is that someone decided another shot of Padmé in the Lars dining area was required; probably the part where she sits in the chair, since there’s a blue chair under her.

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BERU WHITESUN

For those keeping score, Beru Whitesun ended up with only one line of dialogue spoken on screen: “Hello.” She didn’t have many lines to begin with, even in the finished script, but it seems that most of them were edited out for whatever reason. In one of these deleted scenes, Beru has a short conversation with Padmé while helping her out in the kitchen. It’s nothing more than small talk with a little female bonding thrown in, but fun to read. Here’s the excerpt from an early draft of Episode II:

INT TATOOINE MOISTURE FARM, KITCHEN – MORNING
Padmé prepares some food for Anakin. Beru helps her.

BERU
What’s it like there?

PADMÉ
I’m sorry?

BERU
On Naboo… What’s it like?

Padmé is completely preoccupied with her concern for Anakin, but she does her best to reply.

PADMÉ
Oh – it’s… very green. With lots of water. And trees.
Not like here at all.

She takes out a tray and starts to put the food on it.

BERU
I think I like it here better.

PADMÉ
Maybe you’ll come and see it one day.

BERU
I don’t think so. I don’t like to travel.

They finish preparing the tray.

PADMÉ
(smiles)
Thanks, Beru.

She goes out.

There are two other small shots that involve Beru mentioned in the second draft. They act as bookends to yet another deleted scene where C-3PO is given his “coverings” and  is released into Padmé’s care. The scene starts with Beru heading outside to draw water from one of the moisture vaporators. Then, the scene with Padmé, C-3PO, and Owen Lars takes place, ending with the voice-over of Beru from outside. She has apparently spotted Anakin returning to the homestead after the search for his mother.

The scene starts with:

EXT. TATOOINE, DESERT, HOMESTEAD MOISTURE FARM – DAY
All is quiet. BERU comes out of the house. She goes to a moisture line and starts to draw water.

Then the C-3PO scene plays out and ends wtih:

Then suddenly, from outside:

BERU
(V.O.)
Come topside, everybody!
He’s back! He’s back!

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ANAKIN’S SEARCH

When Anakin learns that his mother was taken away by sandpeople, he takes Owen’s speeder bike and heads off into the dunes to try and find her. He doesn’t even ask permission. Quite rude for a would-be Jedi Knight, but not for a would-be Sith, I suppose. The originally scripted truth is, however, that Owen Lars originally offered his speeder to Anakin. We just never saw it on screen. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the 2nd draft of Episode II:

EXT. TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD, MOISTURE FARM – LATE DAY
ANAKIN stands looking across the desert. PADMÉ comes running out of the homestead after him, followed by OWEN. ANAKIN turns to PADMÉ.

ANAKIN
You are going to have to stay here.
These are good people, Padmé. You’ll be safe.

OWEN
Take my speeder bike.

PADMÉ
Anakin…

PADMÉ hugs him. ANAKIN walks over to Owen’s speeder bike, which is standing close by.

ANAKIN
I trust you’ll watch over her, Owen.

OWEN
Don’t worry.

You’ll notice that in the finished film, Owen is peculiarly missing from this scene altogether. My good friend Greg Rossiter once attended a seminar where a short clip of the originally filmed scene was shown. He told me that the scene was indeed shot with Owen there but they digitally removed him during editing. Here’s what Greg had to say:

The shot of Padmé watching as Anakin speeds off originally had Owen in it too, but he was split-screened out of the image. When I saw it, it was silent and it was a master shot without close-ups, so I couldn’t tell if Owen was saying anything at that point. It was without effects too – kind of funny at the end to see Anakin get on the bike and just sit there going nowhere.

That could explain the presence of a long “shadow” in this scene that everyone thought was just a crafty addition. Was it just to cover up some of the editing?

According to the finished script, after Anakin left the homestead, he stopped at a Jawa campground to ask for directions or information about the Tusken Raiders. Then while following the trail, he was supposed to come across a gruesome scene where he sees some dead farmers, obviously mauled by the vile Sandpeople.

Here’s the excerpt from The Art of Attack of the Clones:

106 EXT. TATOOINE, DUNE SEA, CAMPFIRE – TWILIGHT

Anakin rides over a large dune toward a small flickering light in the distance.

He rides up and stops the bike in front of a campfire. There are bodies of three dead farmers lying beside the campfire. Two Eopies are tethered nearby, along with a burned and smoking speeder.

There’s photographic evidence of these shots in other media like the comics and other images posted online, like ones of the as-then-unseen female and child Tuskens.

 


 

C-3PO AND HIS COVERINGS

The story of how C-3PO finally got his outer coverings would have been quite a tale to tell, had it actually been told. In Episode I, the quirky protocol droid was very “naked” (and embarrassed) the whole film. For Episode II, it was originally decided that the droid would remain that way for part of the film. In the script, when Anakin and Padmé arrive on Tatooine, C-3PO is described as “still lacking an outer covering.”  In some of the Episode II documentary footage, Anthony Daniels can be seen operating the cumbersome C-3PO puppet, proving that the scenes were indeed filmed this way. Later on, it was decided that Shmi Skywalker took it upon herself to complete C-3PO during the ten years that Anakin was away. Therefore, in the finished film when Anakin and Padmé show up, they find a completely covered C-3PO greeting them in the desert.

According to the second draft of the script, when Anakin took off to find his mother, he left Padmé behind with the Lars family without much to do. During that time, Padmé got re-acquainted with C-3PO in the garage and, after spotting a box of old coverings, decided to dress him up. Owen then shows up and “releases” C-3PO into Padmé’s care, claiming Shmi would have wanted it that way. This subplot consisted of two scenes.

In the published script, the subplot (combined into one scene) was rewritten without mention Owen or the coverings (since he’d be already dressed in this version), but the scene still ended up being deleted, despite the re-write. This seemed a bit strange to me because C-3PO leaves Tatooine without any real explanation. One could assume that the droid was always Anakin’s to begin with, but in the end it was deemed not necessary to explain all this on screen.

Here’s the first excerpt from the 2nd draft of Episode II:

EXT. TATOOINE, DESERT, HOMESTEAD (FULL MOON) – NIGHT
The lights of the vaporators blink in the night sky. Somewhere close by, a night animal HOWLS.

EXT. TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD, COURTYARD (FULL MOON) – NIGHT
PADMÉ is pacing the courtyard restlessly. She stops, listening to the animal HOWLING nearby. She shivers slightly, then turns and goes into the garage at the side of the courtyard.

INT. TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD – GARAGE (FULL MOON) – NIGHT
PADMÉ stands looking at a speeder parked in the garage. Short silence. Then:

C-3PO
Please don’t leave us, Miss Padmé.
These people need your help.

THREEPIO is parked in a corner.

PADMÉ
I’m not leaving, Threepio. I just can’t sleep.

C-3PO
That’s something I cannot relate to.
As a Protocol Droid, I’m either active or inactive.
There’s no in-between.

PADMÉ
I guess you’re lucky.

C-3PO
Do you really think so..? I suppose I shouldn’t expect…

PADMÉ
You’re not happy here?

C-3PO
Oh, I’m not unhappy… and my masters here are so kind
I wouldn’t wish to trouble them, it’s just… being like this…
well, it’s embarrassing.

PADMÉ
Being like what?

C-3PO
Naked. If you pardon the expression. You see, when Master Annie
made me, he never quite found the time to give me any outer covering.
It’s so humiliating. How would you like it if you had to go around
with all your circuits showing?

PADMÉ
I guess I wouldn’t like it at all.

C-3PO
Of course you wouldn’t. Nobody would. It’s simply not protocol.

PADMÉ looks thoughtfully at a pile of spare parts and bits of metal and tools.

PADMÉ
Maybe we can do something about it.

C-3PO
I don’t think so. Only Master Annie…

PADMÉ
Why not? They seem to have a box of old coverings here.

C-3PO
Oh? How observant of you, Miss Padmé. Of course,
I’m just not mechanically minded… if you see what I mean.

PADMÉ picks up a piece of metal and holds it against him.

PADMÉ
Let’s see, if we put this… here…

C-3PO
Ooooh! That tickles.

PADMÉ
You’ll have to be quiet,
Threepio. Hold still, please.

 

Here’s the second excerpt from the 2nd draft of Episode II:

INT. TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD, GARAGE – DAY
PADMÉ fixes the last piece of covering onto THREEPIO.

PADMÉ
There!

PADMÉ stands back. OWEN is with her. They look at THREEPIO. He isn’t the golden figure we know because PADMÉ has had to use whatever stuff she could find in the garage. He is multi-colored in several textures, but he is complete.

C-3PO
Um. How do I look?

OWEN
Great! You look perfect.

C-3PO
Perfect? Oh, Miss Padmé, I’m so happy!
(extending his hand to shake hers)
Oh, pardon me.

THREEPIO drops his hand and bows formally.

C-3PO
(continuing)
Thank you.

He forgets formality and hugs her. PADMÉ hugs him back, laughing.

C-3PO
(continuing)
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

OWEN
(grinning) Well, Padmé, I think he should be yours from now on…
I know that is what my Mom would want.

C-3PO
Oh, my!

Then suddenly, from outside:

BERU (V.O.)
Come topside, everybody!
He’s back! He’s back!

 

Here’s the excerpt from the published script in The Art of Attack of the Clones:

107 EXT. TATOOINE, DESERT, HOMESTEAD (FULL MOON) – NIGHT
The lights of the vaporators blink in the night sky. Somewhere close by, a night animal howls.

108 EXT. TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD, COURTYARD (FULL MOON) – NIGHT
Padmé is pacing the courtyard restlessly. She stops, listening to the animal howling nearby. She shivers slightly, then turns and goes into the garage at the side of the courtyard.

109 INT. TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD, GARAGE (FULL MOON) – NIGHT
Padmé enters the garage where C-3PO sits working.

C-3PO
Hello, Miss Padmé.

PADMÉ
Hello, Threepio.

C-3PO
You can’t sleep?

PADMÉ
No. I have too many things on my mind, I guess.

C-3PO
Are you worried about your work in the Senate?

PADMÉ
No. I’m just concerned about Anakin.
I said things… I’m afraid I may have hurt him.
I don’t know. Maybe I only hurt myself.
For the first time in my life, I’m confused?

C-3PO
I’m not sure it will make you feel any
better Miss Padmé, but I don’t think
there’s been a time in my life when I
haven’t been confused.

PADMÉ
I want him to know I care about him.
I do care about him?

C-3PO
Don’t worry about Master Annie.
He can take care of himself.
Even in this awful place.

 

My friend Greg Rossiter got the chance to ask editor Ben Burtt about why this scene was dropped from the film. Here’s what he had to say:

I got to see some of the footage of Owen and Padmé with C-3PO as he looks with enthusiasm over his new coverings in the garage. I talked to Ben Burtt personally and he said that this scene was changed because the new coverings stuff was basically comedic material happening during Anakin’s tense search for his mom and it didn’t seem right.

 

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“WHY DO I HATE THEM?”

If you compare the (non-digital) theatrical version of Episode II with the DVD version  you’ll notice a few differences. This is because when Episode  II was released there were two versions in theaters (not counting the IMAX version). There was the regular print that most people saw but there was also a fully digital print  made available to theaters with digital projection systems. This digital print was used as the master for the DVD version so most of the changes remained intact. They did, however, make a few additional changes just for the DVD.

One of those minor changes happens during Anakin’s “meltdown” scene on Tatooine after he slaughtered the Sandpeople who took his mother. He breaks down and confesses what he did to a sympathetic (but slightly freaked out) Padmé . The DVD (but not the digital version used in theaters) includes a couple of extra lines of dialogue. The published version of the script located in The Art of Attack of the Clones reveals a few more. Here’s the excerpt:

ANAKIN
(continuing)
Not just the men…the women and children too.
They’re like animals, and I slaughtered them like animals…
I hate them!

There is a silence for a moment, then Anakin breaks down, sobbing. Padmé takes him into her arms.

ANAKIN
(continuing)
Why do I hate them?
I didn’t… I couldn’t… I couldn’t control myself.
I… I don’t want to hate them… but I just can’t forgive them.

PADMÉ
To be angry is to be human.

ANAKIN
To control your anger is to be a Jedi.

PADMÉ
Ssshhh… you’re human.

ANAKIN
No, I’m a Jedi. I know I’m better than this.
I’m sorry, I’m so sorry!

PADMÉ
You’re like everyone else…

Padmé rocks him, and Anakin weeps.

AUDIO (from the DVD Version):

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LEAVING TATOOINE

While on Tatooine, Anakin receives a troubling hologram message from Obi-Wan which prompts his decision to leave and head to Geonosis. In the finished film, Anakin and Padmé view this hologram while sitting in the cockpit of the starship. According to the second draft of the script, however, this hologram was viewed inside the Lars garage and projected by R2-D2. After viewing the projected message, everyone went to the Naboo starship to talk to Mace Windu via hologram before departing. As the ship takes off, the Lars family waves goodbye from a safe distance.

Here’s the excerpt from the second draft of Episode II:

INT. TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD, GARAGE – DAY
A rough hologram of OBI-WAN is projected onto the garage by ARTOO. ANAKIN, PADMÉ and THREEPIO watch the flickering image.

OBI-WAN
…Alliance have pledged their armies to Count Dooku and are forming an…
Wait!… ah… attack… I don’t… make it… aaaggghhh!

The hologram cuts off. ANAKIN jumps up, agitated.

ANAKIN
I’m going after him!

PADMÉ
I thought the first thing he said was to
retransmit his message to Coruscant.

ANAKIN
Yeah, you’re right, you’re right.

EXT. TATOOINE, HOMESTEAD, MOISTURE FARM – LATE DAY
ANAKIN, PADMÉ, ARTOO and THREEPIO leave the homestead, waving to CLIEGG, OWEN and BERU as they go into the desert.

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