Though women fighter pilots were witnessed amongst the heroic crowd within the Rebel Cruiser briefing room earlier in RETURN OF THE JEDI, it was believed that none were seen in the actual final battle above Endor...until now, with the Blu-ray revealing that one of the brave A-wing pilots was indeed female (as seen in the above image, played by UK actress Poppy Hands) but, for reasons unknown (probably an accident made during the Post Production dialogue re-dubbing phase in the US) replaced with a male actors voice instead (with one line: "Got it"). Her character was seemingly killed mere seconds later by a TIE fighter.
The full undubbed footage of Miss Hands pilot, and a previously unseen older A-wing colleague (pictured above), both speaking classic STAR WARS combat and technical dialogue, can be found on the new Blu-ray release. Hopefully, someone like fan entrepreneur Jason Joiner will eventually find these actresses for his lucrative signings, with more behind the scenes filming info to follow.
In further unknown reasoning, the footage of the two lady X-wing pilots (including actress Vivienne Chandler (pictured below)), filmed at Elstree Studios during March/April 1982, were not made available for this release. Perhaps they'll show up in the future, too...
|Continuity Polaroid of Vivienne Chandler as an X-wing pilot at Elstree- filming her scenes with other separate X-wing pilots (including Denis Lawson) on Tuesday March 9th, 1982.|
With thanks to Chris Baker and Adywan for selected images.
UPDATE: 8/2014 Scenes of Vivienne Chandler as the X-wing pilot would be included on the e-book version of J.W. Rinzler's MAKING OF RETURN OF THE JEDI. The footage shows her character about to die in the Endor space battle, after heavy damage and stabiliser failure to her craft.
|Lynn Hazelden's Rebel X-wing pilot, front right seated, confers with her colleagues.|
|A female X-wing pilot (Lynn Hazelden) joins in with the Ewok celebrations on Endor.|
▶ Rare Return of the Jedi unedited scene | Star Wars Celebration Europe 2 - YouTube
Return of the Jedi: Battle of Endor: The Lost Rebels - YouTube
|B/W deleted footage of Miss Chandler from ROTJ. With thanks to ADYWAN for the image.|
Get hold of the e-book here: The Making of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Enhanced Edition) eBook: J. W. Rinzler, Brad Bird: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
I read somewhere that the footage of the female pilots frying in their cockpits was too disturbing and was cut. This probably explains the missing female x-wing pilot cutscene on the blu-ray as well as the male voice change. I've also watched war psychology programs that explained male soldiers watching female soldiers die really screws with their heads. Even though this makes sense, Lucasfilm should have included the footage.
the fact that such scenes exists...and there are images online...incredible...cheers from Brunei!
"For reasons unknown"? They cut out all the female parts. That's pretty obvious sexism, especially when compounded with it somehow being too disturbing to show female pilots frying, but just fine to show male pilots in the same situation.
Ben Diaz: Wait, wait: you say they removed women from the movie because looking at them die in combat might disturb male viewers? In what way isn't this exactly the same thing as forcing women to wear burkas?
Disappointing it was cut, but glad to see it come to light.
Jen, while it's patriarchy at work that implies a female death is more disturbing than a male one (making females out to be more fragile, and other gross things), Ben didn't say that the test footage was run by an all male panel. Perhaps all viewers were disturbed? Also, not every Muslim woman is forced to wear a burka. What a sexist implication.
Did Jen say, "Every Muslim woman is forced to wear a Burka?" I don't see that part. Where's the 'Muslim' part?
What a racist implication.
I think we should draw a line in the sand now. It's just a movie and some behind the scenes info!
Just a movie, repeat, just a movie. As long as film makers use marketing psychology to create their films and design them for the lowest common denominator, there will always be someone unhappy with the results.
It's not 'just' a movie - to myself, and to a great number of people, this movie was a part of growing up. Knowing that there were female pilots who never made it into the movie is quite disappointing. Makes the Blu-ray worth watching, though, so there's that.
Um, folks, that was the 70s. It was a different time. Lincoln freed the slaves, but he was still a racist. Different time.
The good thing is that we at least got some female pilots by the time of EPISODE I.
Not to mention the multi-million dollar 1997 Special Edition facelift. Maybe these scenes will be included in the 3D version.
You all got to remember when this movie was released. It may have been disturbing to test audiences at the time due to differing sensibilities than we have now.
Ahh yes the dreaded patriarchy is the reason why men don't like seeing women get brutally murdered. Couldn't be the fact that (many) men have a chivalrous nature, which is part of the backbone of our turrrrible Western Civilization? Like it or not, Jessika, but women generally ARE less physically strong than men. Who performs most of the most difficult physical labor in this country? Not wanting to see women physically harmed is a good thing. Would you prefer we live in a society where the majority of males get their jollies from seeing females get dismembered or raped? Spare me the 'patriarchy' leftwing womens studies nonsense. Our society isn't perfect but it's a hell of a lot better than the alternatives. End rant! Lol
With this last post, unless any relevant behind the scenes info comes up linked to the feature, I'm now closing this hot debate. Thanks for all your contributions.
I bet the reason they dubbed in a man's voice is because it was cheaper. They probably already had someone in the studio doing something else and figured for just two syllables, it wasn't worth it to bring in the actress.
Consider that there's now a much greater chance of having female pilots in episode 7, and the rest of its trilogy.
I just came across a rather recent YouTube video (almost 10 minutes long!) which not only shows the female fighter pilots from JEDI but also a Sullustian and Mon Calamarian fighter pilots:
I really love the obvious original idea that the Rebellion against the Galactic Empire is neither limited to a certain gender or species. Apparently both the Sullustian and Mon Calamarian were flying a B-wing fighter, but presumably when the decision was made to drop most B-Wing footage, there was sadly no more use for the cockpit footage, either.
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