A little over a week ago, we reported on some lost footage from Return of the Jedi. At the time, it just looked like some alternate takes, and the poster, who found footage from an old promo Laserdisc, was simply posting the footage piecemeal. But after posting 22 minutes and 49 seconds, “rotjeditdroid” uncovered something that would have profoundly changed the relationship between Luke, Obi-wan, and Yoda. It’s a single line, but in the context of the revelation regarding what Luke was told his father, it turns “a certain point of view” into a conspiracy. The line is “Obi-Wan would have told you long ago had I let him…”
Hit the jump for more.
Here’s the footage thus far (rotjeditdroid says there’s still seven minutes that haven’t been posted yet):
In an article from earlier this year, The Playlist noted five ways that Return of the Jedi could have been more interesting (such as Han dying) and emotionally ambiguous (like Luke walking alone off into the sunset), but instead the soft-serve, toy-driven movie turned out to be a warning sign for the prequels. I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s an awful film, but it’s certainly disappointing. After the escape from Jabba’s skiff, the film falls to pieces and the only part that’s interesting is the dramatic standoff between Luke, Vader, and the Emperor. What’s happening on Endor and the attack on the second Death Star are painfully bland and even slightly confusing (Lando’s going to co-pilot the Millennium Falcon with an odd little alien you’ve never met and don’t care about! Let’s go!).
The “Obi-wan would have told you long ago had I let him…” line adds another way Return of the Jedi could have been more interesting. If Yoda asked Obi-wan to cover up the truth about Vader, then it makes Luke a pawn. As THR [via The Playlist] points out, “They lied to Luke Skywalker to manipulate him into considering Darth Vader an enemy to be beaten, rather than the former ally — and Luke’s father — that he really was. Clearly, whoever taught the ethics class at the Jedi Academy needed a refresher course of their own.”
Yes, there’s an ends-justify-the-means mentality here, and all rules are off when you’re the last two Jedi left in the galaxy. Nevertheless, it creates a more fascinating dynamic between all three characters, and now there’s a sixth way Return of the Jedi could have been better.