Star Wars: What two deleted scenes reveal about the Empire

Posted on September 10, 2022


The universe of Star Wars is relevant again with the series the Boba Fett book on Disney+. If it highlights the famous bounty hunter from George Lucas’ original trilogy, it’s worth coming back and looking at the movies. Specifically, the two deleted scenes from the original trilogy tell us more about the regime of the Galactic Empire, the antagonist of the Saga.

Indeed, beyond the entertainment aspect and the technical prowess, Georges Lucas had approached a certain number of themes in his films. But these cut scenes give interesting and unknown elements to the general public that complement and give depth to the universe.

The Galactic Empire: A Collectivist Economic Policy

The films never touched on the internal politics of the Galactic Empire. Only the military dimension and the manipulations of Emperor Palpatine are highlighted. However, a deleted scene from episode 4, a new Hope (and therefore the first film released) tells us more.

In this scene we see Luke Skywalker on Tatooine chatting with his friend Biggs. The latter wishes to join the Rebel Alliance against the Empire. Luke, on the other hand, prefers to stay working on his uncle’s farm.

Biggs informs him that the Empire is nationalizing businesses in several planetary systems. He warns her that the Skywalker farm could soon be in the same situation and that Luke’s uncle will be enslaved by the Empire.

This scene is very revealing. The Empire has often been presented as a reference to fascist regimes. But this deleted scene shows that the Empire’s economic policy (at least in Lucas’s mind at the time) is Stalinist. Indeed, it is difficult not to think of Soviet collectivization.

This isn’t the only time Palpatine’s economically interventionist leanings are mentioned, either. Episode 1 opened with the future emperor (then a senator) wanting to tax the trade routes of the merchant guilds, with this policy intended to wreak havoc in the Republic, with Palpatine controlling the merchant guilds as Darth Sidious .

This deleted scene thus shows us that alongside the militarist dimension, Georges Lucas wanted to give L’Empire a real totalitarian internal policy.

Imperial officers more human than you think

Whether it’s Grand Moff Tarkin in Episode 4, Darth Vader, or Emperor Palpatine, it can’t be said that Imperial leaders are portrayed as brimming with compassion.

Yet another deleted scene reveals that Imperial officers can be more humane.

In Episode 6, Emperor Palpatine asks Moff Jerjerrod, the commander of the second Death Star, to destroy the Forest Moon of Endor if the Battle Station’s shield is destroyed. The uneasy Moff points out to the Emperor that Imperial forces are present on the planet. Another deleted scene takes place just after the shield is destroyed and shows the Moff and the men under him hesitating widely before ordering the destruction.

These scenes testify to the moral choices that imperial officers must make: to be faithful to the emperor or to avoid abuses (against their own troops). Dilemmas to which the military forces of a despotic regime must respond. This passage made it possible to humanize the imperials, too often reduced to the evil duo Vader / Palpatine.

These various cut scenes, which should have been kept in the films, give depth to the antagonists of the original trilogy. One can regret that Disney did not seek to follow this path in the films of the postology (7-8-9).

Article originally published on January 23, 2022

Star Wars: What two deleted scenes reveal about the Empire