The Star Wars Insider on Episode 6 is just awesome!
In the years I've subcribed, this magazine keeps impressing me just when I think they've done all they can!
But let's get back to Endor!
What cool stuff in the article about changes, lost scenes, different takes, etc.
1) Luke hanging from the upper grates in the pit, and then dropping off into a kick in the Rancor's eye would have been awesome!
They have the footage, they can still add this in if they redo the Rancor in CGI, which I wouldn't mind.
2) Vader choking out Royal Guards that try to block his way to Palpatine when he's told to remain on the command ship is just awesome! At least we'd get to see the guards do something, but they're nothing next to a rebellious Sith Lord!
3) Had Abbadon: the old idea for the captial of the Empire and Palpatine's lair being deep in the planet's molten lava core. I think this strongly points to Anakin finding Palpatine there (on Coruscant, in it's molten lava core, and fighting Obi-Wan Kenobi there). This has been a concept since probably 1980 or earlier!
4) Wedge flying a TIE Fighter to cover the Tyderium as it tricked it's way past Piett and the shield? It could have been cool, but you had to figure out a way to then get him back to be Red Leader, and it just doesn't work. I like Wedge where he's at!
5) Han trying to open the shield doors by chaining them to Chewie's AT-ST and instead, ripping the legs off the AT-ST?! That would have been hilarious!!! - and so "Solo" of him. I guess when that doesn't work, he tries calling them on the commlink like he does in the final film.
6) Moff Jerjerrod ordering the Death Star II to fire on Endor, destroying the planet, but scuttling both the Rebel Fleet with the Empire's in his final selfish attempt to defeat Admiral Ackbar! That would have been cool! (of course Jerjerrod blows himself up like Tarkin did, because Calrissian and Antilles had already laid the golden eggs in the Death Star's reactor core!)
7) Luke throwing his lightsaber away, only for Vader to get it, have both lightsabers when he taunts Luke about his sister, and then having Luke Force-rip his saber back from Vader while he shouts "NO!" defiantly and ignites it for his attack. So even his Force ability is shown to be getting more powerful than his father's! That'd been so cool!
8) Having more shots of Leia modeling in her slave bikini! I wouldn't have minded a half-hour of this extra footage being left in the film!
9) The Insider's report on why Return of the Jedi is cool including Admiral Piett's, Oola's, Lando's, Wedge's, and Ian McDiarmid's playing the part of Palpatine (then and now) as being the great contributions that they were! The supporting cast of heroes and villains was so good!
10) Interviews with all the Ewoks! And finally the respect they deserve is paid to them! Yub-nub!
11) The notation that The Battle of Endor is still about the largest space battle ever filmed! - especially with real models! And it still rocks!
I still want them to just add footage of the B-wings fighting. That's all I ask. I wished Hobbie and Janson were still young enough to be in the picture in that final battle. A tribute to Rogue Squadron, but oh well.
12) Seeing General Madine fight would have been cool, too - to see another Corellian in action, as well as make him half-as-cool as General Riekeen. Dadonna and Riekeen should both have returned for Jedi anyway. With them, plus Madine, and Ackbar in command with Antilles and Calrissian leading the fighters, it really would have felt like a Rebel Alliance. (Riekeen was Alderaanian and Dodanna was Coruscanti I think).
Anyway, Return of the Jedi is an under-appreciated movie in the Star Wars pantheon, and I truly remember now how much I thought it rocked!
Luke Skywalker became a Jedi Knight in that movie! What is cooler than that?