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I saw Star Wars the weekend it was released in L.A. I distinctly remember Luke trying to rope the scaffolding and missing when crossing the chasm with Leia. Leia gives him a kiss and says, "For Luck" while he reels in the rope and then he makes the second attempt and succeeds.

My confusion on this topic concerns the "Original Theatrical Release" DVDs which do not show this scene. Was this scene then edited out before the widescreen release or was it edited out later and then omitted from the "theatrical release" DVD set?

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No, I am old enough that I will not refuse to call it "A New Hope." –  Andrei Freeman Jan 30 '12 at 2:12
Just so I understand what you're asking; you're asking about a scene where Luke fails to grab something with a rope on the first try and it was edited to make it look like he did get it on the first try? As it stands this question is like minuscule trivia, which is against the FAQ (Banal trivia that does not add to the understanding or appreciation of the title.) of this site. If you can clean this up in some way, you can petition to have it re-opened. –  TylerShads Jan 30 '12 at 2:49
I've tried to re-edit this to point more at the question as the information I'm trying to understand and not make it out to be banal trivia. How does one petition to reopen? –  Andrei Freeman Jan 30 '12 at 4:03
@TylerShads: I would say this is a special case as far as whether or not it's banal trivia. Most of the time when a movie comes out, it's done. You watch it and it won't change. What you see when it first comes out is what you see on the DVD and blu-ray and even VHS (if it was out that early). But George Lucas is an exception: He changes things, almost as if by whim. For many of us, we have childhood memories of Star Wars and have trouble fitting together the pieces of what we think we saw with the remastered and altered products. (Continued) –  Tango Jan 30 '12 at 4:24
@TylerShads: Since LucasFilm no longer makes original prints available, it is confusing. While it sounds trivial if you haven't experienced it, seeing movies that were an important part of your childhood edited and altered plays games with your memory. Without clarification, it makes the movie harder to appreciate and can taint one's appreciation or enjoyment of the entire movie. In truth, it sounds trivial, but unless you've seen a movie you saw 15 times in the theater (before VHS) changed so it's not as you remember, the need for clarification is not trivial. –  Tango Jan 30 '12 at 4:28

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

I just re-watched the scene on the "Widescreen Limited Edition" version of A New Hope. This is the one that contained not only the re-mastered and Lucas-ized update done in 2006, but also a copy of the earlier print that was not restored. (And you can see a lot of clarity and picture stability issues in it.)

In that print, Luke throws the line and hook, it hooks, and he pulls on it, and Leia kisses him before they swing across. That's how I remember it from 1977 onwards, at least the kiss. (That she gives him a kiss before they swing across.)

However, this is the version that had the echo added to the dialogue between Luke and Leia, so it had already been altered from the original 1977 version of Star Wars. I know this echo was added for an early re-release that was before 1981. (I won't go into the landmarks of my life, but let's just say I know it was out before 1981, and likely before 1980, when The Empire Strikes Back came out.) That means, with this print, which is the earliest available (remastering was done later, after the echo was added), we can only go back to around 1980 at the earliest.

For what it's worth, I have always been puzzled by that, as well. I thought I remembered Luke throwing the line once, it not catching, and having to throw it again, but it's not in this print. (I am positive, though, that the kiss was always just before they swung across the line -- trust me, you see a movie like this as a teen on a date with a girl you've been drooling over for a few months, you remember every kissing scene in the movie!)

So if it did exist, it was cut before 1980 or 1981 and it's going to be almost impossible to find any version of the film to back up that it was once there.

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May I request you assist me in the petitioning to not have this question closed as minuscule trivia? Thanks. –  Andrei Freeman Jan 30 '12 at 4:04
@AndreiFreeman: It could always be moved to SF&F -- we get into "banal trivia" over there! –  Tango Jan 30 '12 at 4:20
@AndreiFreeman: Also see the two comments I added above. Having a beloved childhood movie edited so it plays games with your memory is something that can't be understood unless it's happened to you and a movie you remember from 20-30 years ago is not what you know you saw. –  Tango Jan 30 '12 at 4:29
Or, rather, SF&F has a slightly different definition of trivia - stuff that is easily googlable and sourced from opbvious (IMDB/Wiki) source unchanged –  DVK Feb 1 '12 at 16:02

The missed grappling hook throw (in the film version) seems to be a myth. Google "Luke misses grappling hook" and peruse the results.

For instance, here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

It seems that people remember this sequence from non-movie materials - novelizations, radio plays, story books, etc., but attribute it to the movie itself. Despite the "memories" of many people like yourself, there is no evidence whatsoever that the missed throw was ever filmed. The best answer is that your mind is playing tricks on you. This kind of thing happens - it is why eyewitness testimony is unreliable.

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