I'm not trying to create a glut of topics, but I imagine there's gonna be a lot of DVD discussion, so maybe it should be spread out a bit.
I'm just curious, first of all, what everyone thinks of the cut scenes. Here's my take:
Podrace grid/lap two:
I'll take these two together, since they're the same thing. As edited back into the film, the bits and pieces worked quite well. Ani's confrontations with Gasgano and Teemto were great, as was the slightly extended intros and the Xexto vendor. The longer versions, well, they sucked. Ratts Tyrell was funny in the original cut, but here he comes across as more unfunny than Fode and Beed ever imagined. The Jawas looked rather fakey. Sebulba's flamethrower was overused in a short period of time. And I much preferred the cleanup droid sequence on the Insider's Guide CD-ROM, where we see Gasgano standing beside the wreckage of his pod, looking disappointed.
Farewell to Jira:
This is one I wanted to see and was disappointed by. It was okay, except that it included Jira. That and that no one seems able to notice those Sith droids. If it came any closer to Jira, it would've needed a marriage license!
Dawn before the race:
Another one that works well in the book, but is just a bit dull. Kitster's eopies looked kinda fake at the beginning, but not enough to detract. It would've slowed the story down considerably.
I liked this, though it was gratuitous. But since it was worked into the new cut of the film, it shouldn't have been in the deleted scenes. Anyone know what kind of alien the driver is? He looks very much like a wizened old Bothan.
The cream of the crop. I always thought Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon had to forcibly rescue Jar Jar, but this is better since it isn't as corny.
Anakin's scuffle with Greedo:
Bad! Bad! Bad! In the commentary, everyone says it was deleted for reasons other than the obvious. If Greedo is Ani's age and this is to forecast his eventual violent death in ANH, it doesn't work. Period. If Greedo was as stupid as he's portrayed in ANH, he'd never be old enough to survive to that film. And it's nice to have a couple of characters who don't personally know young Vader. This is the only one I wouldn't count as canon now--I think I'll henceforth refer to it as "Greedo punched first."