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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

DELETED SCENE: SHADOWED BY A DARK LORD...

In one of the vast Death Star corridors, Vader stalks an old foe...

'STAR WARS' FOURTH REVISED DRAFT: 19th April, 1976

Scene 111: INT. DEATH STAR- NARROW PASSAGEWAY

Ben hides in the shadows of a narrow passageway as twenty or thirty stormtroopers * rush past him in the main hallway. He checks to make sure they're gone, then runs down the hallway in the opposite direction. Darth Vader appears at the far end of the hallway and starts after the old Jedi.

* Denotes change to six Stormtroopers- this is confirmed in Ann Skinner's continuity script and a scene marked colour Polaroid of the Stormtroopers on-set, within the BFI SPECIAL COLLECTIONS.

FROM 'THE ART OF 'STAR WARS'' BOOK 1978 MOVIE SCRIPT/TRANSCRIPT

INTERIOR: DEATH STAR NARROW PASSAGEWAY

Ben hides in the shadows of a narrow passageway as several stormtroopers rush past him in the main hallway. He checks to make sure they're gone, then runs down the hall in the opposite direction. Darth Vader appears at the far end of the hallway and starts after the old Jedi.

Stormtroopers on their way through an arched shield door corridor. This image corresponds to a continuity Polaroid for Scene 111, with the same studio/set lighting.
On the same set, a stealthy Obi-Wan watches them disappear.
Again on that set, a droid (actor unknown) walks past before Vader appears in shot. Image: via STARWARZ.COM. 
Still in the corridor, a shot not in the film, likely linked to Vader catching a glimpse of Kenobi.

Looking at Ann Skinner's Continuity Script from the original 1976 filming, the moment of Vader silently shadowing Kenobi, following on from Ben's evading the Stormtroopers (and still part of Scene 111), was likely filmed, though it never made the finished cut. In STAR WARS post-production editing, several separately filmed sequences/retakes of Kenobi and Vader filmed in the same corridor were changed (a reaction shot of Kenobi was flipped to a different direction), cut, or shifted around across the Death Star interior sequences of the finished movie.

Unless improvised whilst shooting and not listed (unlikely), Vader's sensing the nearby Kenobi (with lightsaber in hand), and the Dark Lord's heavy breathing rate altering as he feels the presence of his old master in the Force, were a clever addition by the film editors and Ben Burtt in post. This scene isn't in the Revised Fourth Draft Script of 19th April 1976, or in the later published script/transcript hybrid version of THE ART OF STAR WARS book. This second sensing by Vader of Kenobi, after the Falcon's tractor beam capture, would cleverly heighten his soon after exchange with Tarkin about the return of his old foe.

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI SPECIAL COLLECTIONS for their help and assistance.

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