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Saturday, 16 April 2016

BEHIND THE SCENES: NEGOTIATIONS AT DOCKING BAY 94!

Han and Jabba the Hutt (Declan Mulholland) discuss the future. All colour images: Ann Skinner/BFI.

Prior to 1997 the most famous deleted scene of the original STAR WARS, Han Solo corners then confers with the grubby and greedy humanoid Jabba the Hutt (Declan Mulholland) and his thugs within Docking Bay 94 on Tatooine. One of the earliest scenes filmed at London's Elstree in April 1976, it was also one that had lots of problems and helped put the film off schedule- some of the footage was damaged, as was as an unforeseen camera glitch. The original plan had been to stop- motion a creature over the human Jabba in post production (of which a storyboard example was specially created to show audiences in 1985's FROM STAR WARS TO JEDI: THE MAKING OF A SAGA documentary), but it soon became apparent to George Lucas, and we assume Gary Kurtz, that there wasn't going to be any time or money to do that- important dialogue from this scene would instead be held over for use in re-edited/1977 re-shot footage linked to Han's confrontation with the alien Greedo (played by Paul Blake, and, in the US, Maria De Aragon), set for earlier in the film. Interestingly, though, Lucas's Fourth Draft Revised Script doesn't really pin down whether Jabba is a creature or humanoid, but says this of him/it amongst his band at the Docking Bay: "Jabba is the grossest of the salivering hulks and his scarred face is a grim testimonial to his prowess as a vicious killer."

Jabba's thugs beneath the Falcon, including Ron Tarr (far right).

With time running out with the filming, a planned scene with Han and Chewbacca confronting the villainous security boss Montross in the bay was cut, despite an actor being cast, costumed and readied for the actual day of filming:

STAR WARS AFICIONADO WEBSITE: AFICIONADO EXCLUSIVE! DELETED SCENE: HAN vs MONTROSS!

Costume continuity shots for Harrison Ford and Peter Mayhew.

As well as the images shown here, Script Supervisor Ann Skinner also took a so far unseen colour Polaroid full-length of one of the gun-holding Rodians (two of whom were played by female actors (including Diana Sadley Way), alongside Paul Blake) by one of the Falcon's struts. Miss Skinner's costume continuity description for Declan's Jabba: "Long fur = shirt sleeved cover over full sleeved brown shirt (elasticated at wrists), leather and tabard overguard (shirt open at neck), leather belt under fur and over tabard with bullets in front = blue topped centre (box to the right of the 2 silver topped ones). No gun".

Lucas watches the rehearsal as Script Supervisor Ann Skinner makes checks.
Filming the scene.
Kay Freeborn and colleague Robin Grantham assist Paul Blake on the set.
Script pages for the Jabba scene from Peter Mayhew's Twitter.

STAR WARS AFICIONADO was instrumental in helping SW film historian Jambe Davdar restore a key part of this once incomplete sequence for fans to enjoy in his STAR WARS BEGINS documentary from 2007- footage which has so far not been properly released in its entirety on either DVD or Blu-ray.

A publicity image shot on the Death Star hangar bay set, but with an interesting caption reference to Jabba.

Jabba Scene Original Cut - YouTube
Jabba The Hutt - A New Hope (1997 Special Edition) - YouTube
Episode Nothing: Star Wars in the 1970s: Star Wars: The Deleted Scenes #6: The original Jabba the Hutt

With thanks to Ann Skinner and the BFI

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