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Impressions on Star Wars: The Special Edition

Quick! Take me the to the details about the Biggs Darklighter scene. . .

On Friday the 31st of January 1997, my wife and I went to the 11:30am showing of Star Wars the Special Edition at the Galaxy Theater. This was the earliest showing at the Galaxy and just about the earliest showing in town that day. A couple of places had 11:15am showings, but these were all the way downtown.

Here is my ticket stub. Also, just for fun, I worked up a little ID badge for both my wife and me. No one asked either of us about them. Photo of the early crowd coming soon . . . .

ticket stub crew pass

There were lots of audio differences. Overall it was great to see on the big screen. It really makes me want to get the last change to own set in letterboxed.

There used to be an incredible collection of images from the Special Edition, at the Red 5 The Ultimate Special Edition Page. It rocked! Unfortunately, it is gone. I saw something in rec.arts.sf.starwars.misc about this. If someone has more details, please drop me a line. Thanks.

Here is a list of the differences and other things I noticed along with my thoughts on them. These are arranged in order of their appearence.


  • Dialog - The Jawas make no sounds until R2 is right upon them - None of the lines that sound like "it's a bald man", "it tooka bald man"
  • Visual - It's really dark when they put R2 in the sandcrawler. You can see stars up above.
  • CGI - Dewbacks look good
  • Visual - Nice sandcrawler - is the music looped? The scene seemed longer.
  • CGI - Ben's house was different and I liked it. However, a friend pointed out that there is smoke coming from the chimney and wondered about old Ben having the furnace on when the suns are out. Perhaps he and Luke were having lunch?
  • Visual - Looks like extra cross cuts to R2 when Luke and Ben lift up C-3P0 after he looses the arm. The scene seemed longer.

Mos Eisley

  • CGI - Nice to see a "bug" transport (Like those used by the Rebels in Empire and Jedi)
  • CGI - I've got mixed feeling about the small seeker teasing the labor droid. Sort of a "na-na-na-na, na-na". But, Chewie still growls at the "RC car" droid on the Death Star, and that was funny.
  • CGI - Mos Eisley looked good. I always thought that the group encountered the troops on the out-skirts of town anyway and that would allow for it being "sparce" originally.
  • CGI - I didn't see Dash Rendar's Outrider. Did anyone catch it? It shows in the Dark Horse comic. See page 78 of Star Wars Insider Issue 32.
  • CGI - The different alien in the cantina that replaces the wolfman is cool.
  • CGI - Greedo shoots first. Don't know how well I like this. I've not read much on the original version of him shooting first.
  • Dialog - "All right, check this side of the street. The door's locked. Move on to the next one." is in.

Docking Bay 94

  • Visual - The Jabba scene adds to continuity to the end of the film. "I've got some old debts to pay off with this stuff."

Jabba: Solo!  Come out of there Solo!  Solo!

Han: I'm right here Jabba.  I've been waiting for you.

Jabba: Have you now?

Han: You didn't think I was going to run did you?

Jabba: Han, my boy, there are times when you surprise me.  Why haven't you 
paid me?  And why did you have to fry poor Greedo like that, after all we're 
been throught together?  (The Huttese word for fry is something like "crisp")

Han: Look Jabba, next time you want to talk to me, come and see me yourself.  
Don't send one of these twerps.

Jabba: Han, Han understand, I just can't afford to make exceptions. (More 
here.  I hear the Huttese word "podu" which was used in the "Now you're 
bantha fodder.")

Han: Look Jabba, even I get boarded sometimes.  (Steps on tail) Do you think 
I had a choice?  I got a nice easy charter now.  I'll pay you back plus a 
little extra.  I just need a little more time.

Jabba: Han, my boy, you're the best.  So for an extra twenty percent - -

Han: Fifteen Jabba, don't push it.

Jabba: Okay, fifteen percent.  But if you fail me again, I'll put a price on 
your head so big you won't be able to go near a civilized system.

Han: Jabba, you're a wonderful human being.

Jabba: Let's go.

  • New - Fett looks at the audience almost too long.
  • It seems that when this scene was filmed was also when the publicity pic with Chewie holding the bowcaster with the vacuums (large yellow power units) behind him was taken.
  • CGI - Falcon rising out of Docking Bay 94 was sweet.
  • CGI - Different Alderaan explosion - ring of debris
  • Audio - Alderaan debris making whizing sounds - hokey
  • Widescreen - I could see Gonk (power droid) in the Death Star hanger when the scanner techs board the Millennium Falcon.

Death Star

  • Dialog - C-3P0's line about the tractor beam is back in: "The tractor beam is coupled to the main reactor in seven locations. A power loss at one of the terminals will allow the ship to leave."
  • Audio - Chewie's rifle makes same sound as the AT-ST guns from ROTJ
  • Audio - Chewie's pounding on the trash compacter walls is different and better.
  • Audio - more metal crunching sounds in the garbage compacter
  • CGI - Room full of troopers was cool - don't know how I feel about that TIE fighter there.
  • Dialog - The "I think we took a wrong turn." echo in the chasm should be less pronounced and die out more.
  • Audio - Leia's single shots sound like a large pistol - Bang!
  • Dialog - "Close the blast doors!" is back in.
  • Fix - They still show Obi-Wan holding a crystal rod during the saber duel.
  • Audio - Power-up hum in the Falcon was a nice touch.
  • Audio - Video game sounds with the TIE fighters/Falcon are sort of hokey

Yavin IV

  • Fix - Still have all that reversed footage of the arrival at Massassi. (I didn't look for it during the Battle of Yavin, but it is probably there.)
  • I thought they might change the Death Star buleprints to show the main dish above the equator.
  • Widescreen - I noticed C-3P0 talking and gesturing to Chewbacca while Luke admonishes Han. I wonder what he's saying?

Biggs Darklighter

It is common knowledge that this scene was only being included because of Red Leader mentioning meeting Luke's father. As you will read below, Red Leader does not mention Luke's father at all. He only asks if Luke can handle the X-Wing.

I have no idea why this line was changed. The very reason for including the clip is apparently absent. Did everyone else hear the scene this way? Or did I see a botched print? Please let me know.

What does this all mean? Well, I don't know. I now feel that the addition of all the Tosche Station scenes would help the continuity of this scene. All of Red Leader's dialog should also be put back in as well.

Below are three transcripts of the scene.

From the sound clip in the Cut Footage Compendium:

Red Leader: He was a great pilot.

Luke: Thank you sir, I'll try.

Biggs: I gotta get aboard.  We'll hear all your stories when we get back alright?

Luke: Alright.
This is originally from The Making of Star Wars.

From The Making of Star Wars:

I recently rented a copy of The Making of Star Wars. The sound clip from the Compendium is cut-off in the beginning. This is what I could hear:
Red Leader: . . . just a boy.  He was a great pilot.

Luke: Thank you sir, I'll try.

Biggs: I gotta get aboard.  We'll hear all your stories when we get back alright?

Luke: Alright.
I'll get around to making an audio clip of this soon.

From Star Wars the Special Edition:

Biggs: Hey Luke!

Luke: Biggs!

Biggs: I don't believe it!

Luke: Hey!

Biggs: How are you?

Luke: Great!

Biggs: Hey, are you going up with us?

Luke: I'll be right up there with you and have I got stories to tell you.

Red Leader: Skywalker.  You sure you can handle this ship?

Biggs: Sir, Luke is the best bush pilot in the outer rim-territories.

Red Leader: You'll do alright.

Luke: Thank you sir, I'll try.

Biggs: I gotta get aboard.  We'll hear all your stories when we get back alright?

Luke: Hey Biggs, I told you I'd make it some day.

Biggs: It'll be like old times Luke.  They'll never stop us.
  • Red Leader seems very abrupt. He sounded down-right mean!
  • Luke's "Thank you sir, I'll try." is not as jovial as the Compendium sound clip.
  • Lastly, the crawl under the X-Wing was a nice transition.
Read what Mark Hamill and Garrick Hagon have to say about all the Luke and Biggs scenes.

Battle of Yavin

  • CGI - X-Wings rise up out of the jungle - nice but I like the original scene too.
  • It still sounds chopped off on the front when Luke calls out "Biggs you've picked one up - Watch it!" I will check and see if this line is even on my Story of Star Wars album.
  • Widescreen - When Luke shots a TIE on Biggs' tail, you can see all sorts of buttons on Luke's control panel to the left and right of targeter view screen.
  • Dialog - "Blast it, Biggs, where are you?" is in.
  • Widescreen - indicators on left and right of torpedo targeter - different for Y and X wings.
  • Audio - New line to Red Leader "He's on your tail!" just before Luke offers to give him cover.
  • CGI - Different Death Star explosion - ring of debris


  • Dialog - Luke shouting "Carrie!"? I didn't hear it. Did anyone else?
  • Widescreen - Guards to the left and right of the temple doors.
  • Credits - James Earl Jones is now listed as the voice of Darth Vader. His name is on the splash right after the throne room scene and in the roll of cast.

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Copyright © 1997, Michael A. & Tammy G. Hendershot