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Star Wars: Without this scene added at the last minute, The Empire Strikes Back’s ending would have been much darker

Star Wars: Without this scene added at the last minute, The Empire Strikes Back’s ending would have been much darker

The Empire Strikes Back, the ending of the second Star Wars movie in the history of the saga, could have been very different… and quite depressing! Initially, George Lucas filmed the ending, which was very difficult for the audience, especially the youngest, to whom the screenwriter always dedicated the franchise.

defeated heroes

Remember that at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, the characters are all in a very sorry state:

Chewie, Lando and Leia

  • Han Solo was frozen in carbonite and delivered to Jabba and Boba Fett.
  • Leia and Chewbacca escape in the Millennium Falcon with Lando, whose loyalty is still unclear as he betrayed Han before freeing the princess.
  • Luke manages to escape Darth Vader when he learns who his father is.

Luke is injured and Leia is on the run

In the version originally planned by George Lucas, the film ended with Darth Vader seeing the Millennium Falcon disappear and fleeing from it, and the heroes weakened and separated.

  • The Phantom Menace: 25 years later, these never-before-seen images of Darth Maul have resurfaced

“To reassure the public”

A very bittersweet ending that prompted Lucas and his director Irwin Kershner to reshoot the scene so that the film ends on a lighter note, as Mark Hamill, Lucas’ translator, confirmed to fans. Xand quoted Collider :

Taken four months after principal photography. It wasn’t a shoot, it was an extra scene. Worried about the pessimistic ending and the complete defeat of the protagonists, they wanted to add an inspiring, hopeful and lively moment to reassure the audience.

In this scene, Lando goes with Chewbacca in search of Jabba (and therefore Han Solo), Wookiee’s cry causes Leia to smile, Luke sees a transplanted mechanical hand, and together they contemplate the departure of the Millennium Falcon. Generic.

Our heroes are still in bad shape, but are united and the quest to save Han from his dramatic situation begins… In this intention, the audience is no longer depressed until the end, a (new) hope is reborn and they are now impatient. To see the sequel that will be the apotheosis of… RETURN OF THE JEDI!

Source: Allocine

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