Star Wars (partially found "lost cut" of space opera film; 1977)

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Star wars a new hope poster.jpeg

The final film's theatrical poster.

Status: Partially Found

The movie Star Wars (retroactively titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) is renowned for its many groundbreaking feats in cinema, among them its quick and engaging editing style. There was a version of the film, however, that had much different pacing to it. This version, known as "The Lost Cut", was an early workprint of the film edited by a British editor named John Jympson.


In early 1977, after all the Star Wars footage had been recorded, George Lucas asked editor John Jympson to design a "rough cut" of the film so that he could have an idea of the final product. This version was completed in only a few days of work. The workprint was stored on 13 black-and-white 35mm reels and contained 30-40% different scenes than the final version of the film. It also lacked music, sound effects, and special effects, as they were not finished.[1]

After watching the film, George Lucas decided he didn't like the direction that the editor had taken the film. He soon after scrapped his version and fired him, to later edit the film with his own crew. The tapes, with the label of "The Star Wars", are still stored in the LucasArts archive. Only a few people, among them Dr. David West Reynolds (a Star Wars author and archaeologist), have seen this version of the film. He wrote an article in issue 41 of Star Wars Insider in which he described it as "documentary-like" and "missing scenes". He also mentioned it had longer takes and some different scenes than the final version. It's unlikely this version will ever see a public release due to its unfinished form.


On the Star Wars Behind the Magic CD-ROM, some of the footage of the movie was found in bonus features. These snippets, along with some images, have been uploaded to the Star Wars Holiday Special website.[2]



Early cantina scene.

Early Mos Eisley scene.

A YouTube documentary that reconstructs some scenes.

A comprehensive video on Star Wars: The Lost Cut.


See Also

External Links