As arguably the most popular film in history, Star Wars has been dissected, analyzed, examined, broken down and put back together so many times that, though the magic will never fade, it’s hard to imagine the film has any secrets left to discover.
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But that didn’t stop one documentary filmmaker from doggedly investigating one of the more famous myths surrounding A New Hope: the lost scene featuring Luke Skywalker’s Tatooine compadre, Biggs Darklighter. And it turns out there’s still plenty to learn about the movie that started it all.
In his short video “Blast it, Biggs: Where Are You?”, filmmaker Jamie Benning pieces together the scattered remnants and records detailing a scene from Episode IV that ended up on the cutting room floor. He ties the entire 16-minute video together with narration from an interview he conducted with the actor who portrayed Biggs, Garrick Hagon.
Even putting aside Benning’s skilled, subtle editing, the short is still worth watching just to listen to Hagon talk about his time on set and what it was like working with Mark Hamill. The actor is clearly very grateful he was a part of the Star Wars phenomenon, but you can’t miss the note of regret in his voice that his shining moment in the film was snipped out.
That audio itself would be gold, but Benning also mixes in a copious amount of supplementary material, including set photos, behind-the-scenes footage, and even a clip from an audience Q&A that George Lucas gave in the 1980s. Even for a 16-minute short, you can tell Benning put a lot of time into crafting this piece.
As for the scene itself, Benning includes that as well. In the short video, Luke visits a group of friends when he witnesses a space battle overhead (I believe it’s the confrontation between Vader’s Star Destroyer and the Tantive IV). He finds that his old pal Biggs has returned, but Biggs reveals to him that he’s actually looking into joining the Rebel Alliance.
While it brings an extra dimension to Luke’s home life on Tatooine, it’s a bit goofy and kind of an information dump on the audience, although the exposition isn’t actually necessary. The scene certainly would’ve added a bit more of an emotional punch when Biggs dies during the Death Star attack, but overall, the film isn’t hurt by its absence.
This isn’t Benning’s first doc, though, nor even his first foray into the Star Wars universe. He’s made feature-length movies (which he dubs “filmumentaries”) about the making of all three films, and he also has another short about the crew who operated the Jabba the Hutt puppet in Return of the Jedi. You should definitely check them out when you get a chance.
Below is the video in full. Also, here’s a link to Benning’s Patreon page if you want to show your support by throwing him some compensation.