|Biggs Darklighter confides in Luke in one of Star Wars' deleted scenes|
Our look at Star Wars' deleted scenes focuses on Biggs Darklighter – at least the second coolest man in the galaxy.
The early scenes in Star Wars involving Luke Skywalker's pal Biggs Darklighter (and his less impressive peers discussed in the last post) were never seen on the big screen.
But somehow these scenes seemed to be part of the Star Wars story anyway if you were a fan in the 1970s, because we saw them in numerous other versions of the story: the Marvel comic, the novelization, the Star Wars Storybook and, later, the published script and the radio series. So although actor Garrick Hagon saw most of his performance left on the cutting room floor, Biggs remained in legend.
|Biggs as he appeared in Marvel's Star Wars comic book|
|The Star Wars Storybook provided fans with a |
tantalizing glimpse of the Luke-Biggs scenes
Here's how this section of Star Wars would have played out, had George Lucas stuck to the script when he was editing the movie: After the scene in which See Threepio is walking through the desert alone and signals a distant transport vehicle for help, the action would have shifted back to the Tatooine settlement of Anchorhead. There, Luke and Biggs are walking among the people and droids. Biggs confides to Luke that he intends to desert his star ship and join the Rebel alliance. Luke feels he can't leave Tatooine while his uncle needs him on the farm. They part, seemingly uncertain whether they will ever meet again.
Incidentally, had the scene remained in the film, it would also have contained the only use of the term “Tusken raiders”. Otherwise, they are only called sandpeople.
Biggs Darklighter – a hero for the 1970s
|Another look at the Biggs of Marvel's Star Wars|
Look at the man. He wears a cape – the one garment that every child and most adults secretly want. Under the cape is a light-coloured leather jacket – again the kind of thing a boy of the 1970s would want. He has brown leather trousers with a white belt. And to top this ensemble, he sports a moustache. Years later, moustaches would be derided as ridiculous, but in the 1970s they were worn proudly as a badge of manhood. Burt Reynolds, the top box office star of his day, wore won just like it.
|Fireball in the UK's Bullet comic. |
He could have been the
prototype for Biggs
All this may not make Biggs quite the coolest man in the galaxy – but he certainly ran Han Solo a close second.
What we missed from the Biggs scenes
In the novel, where author Alan Dean Foster could tell the story at greater length, it's an effective sub-plot. The same applies in the 1981 radio series, where writer Brian Daley expands on the Tatooine scenes. In Daley's version, Biggs tells his friend that the reason Luke's contemporaries won't accept him is because Luke will one day travel beyond this planet and they won't.
I've mentioned before that first generation Star Wars fans got to know the Biggs materal through the various adaptations of the script (and some will even swear that they saw these scenes at the cinema). The sub-plot became part of Star Wars lore to such an extent that when I see this deleted scene, I'm always surprised to note exactly how it plays out on screen and which elements were exclusive to the novel, the comic book or the radio drama. The radio series, for example, has Luke and Biggs getting into more of an argument about Luke having to cancel his application to the Space Academy. The novel, meanwhile, ends their meeting with a line that stayed with me for years: “There was no need for a handshake. These two had long since passed beyond that.”
Viewed on the Blu-ray, this deleted scene does seem somewhat redundant. But in fairness, it might have seemed more impressive when finished. It was removed before the film was scored, and who knows how it might have played if John Williams had got to work on it. The penultimate shot is a lengthy, wide view of Biggs walking away from his friend, perhaps for the last time. If the London Symphony Orchestra had accompanied it, it might have become one of the film's most memorable moments.
At this point in the film, we would have cut to the scene in which Artoo is captured by the Jawas. But it would be the last we saw of Biggs – as we'll discuss in a future post.