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The Return Of The Jedi Deleted Scene That Should Have Been In The Movie

1983's "Return of the Jedi" remains one of the more popular installments in the "Star Wars" franchise decades after its release. The third film released in the still-growing series joins young Jedi Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and his sister, Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), in a dark time for the Rebellion. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is a carbonite brick on Jabba the Hutt's wall, and the Alliance is regrouping after being driven from their base on Hoth by the Imperial attack in "The Empire Strikes Back."

"Return of the Jedi" follows our rebel heroes back to Tatooine to rescue Han, and then to Endor for another Death Star-destroying mission. By the time the credits roll, Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and Darth Vader (David Prowse/voiced by James Earl Jones) are dead, the Death Star has been vaporized, and the Empire is reeling from the spiritual and material losses.

The original cut of the movie was more than two hours long, and another 10 minutes of deleted scenes are available on YouTube. But of those bits that were left on the cutting room floor, which one most belongs in the film?

A touching exchange between Han Solo and Luke Skywalker was cut

In a scene that likely would have come immediately after their escape from Jabba's barges and the Sarlacc pit, Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), R2D2 (Kenny Baker), and C3P0 (Anthony Daniels) return to their ships in the middle of a violent sandstorm. Most of the group boards the Millenium Falcon to rejoin the Rebel fleet, but Luke tells Han and Leia he has "a promise to keep to an old friend." As he heads for his X-wing to return to Dagobah and complete his Jedi training with a dying Yoda, Han calls him back with a "Hey, kid!"

In a rare tender moment between the vastly different but very close friends, Han thanks Luke "for coming after me" and tells him "I owe you one" before the two shake hands and part ways. This kind of open expression of emotion isn't something that comes easily to either of the still relatively immature men; Han even waits for Leia to go up the ramp into the Falcon before allowing even this one small instant of vulnerability with his closest human friend — a man he had literally been trapped alongside in a collapsing garbage pit.

Some points of exposition and familiar lines from this scene found their way to the theater cut, but had this scene been included in its entirety, we would have been left with a more complete picture of Han Solo and his vulnerability — something that unfortunately did not happen until later films.