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I'd like to know why so many Star Wars fans are so sure that the famously deleted scene on Tatooine in which Luke watches the space battle through his binoculars never made it into a theatrical print in 1977.

My brother and I saw it together and discussed it afterward, then when we saw the movie in rerelease a year or two later, we were mystified as to why this scene had been cut, not realizing that the print we saw in '77 was not the official release print. Years later, when the film was released on VHS, we were disappointed that the scene hadn't been restored. And now, after finding a clip on YouTube featuring the binoculars scene and watching for the first time in thirty-eight years, we learn that the fact of the scene ever showing theatrically is suddenly in dispute. The explanation offered by fans (though not by George Lucas, as far as I know) is that we are misremembering, and that we must have seen some comic book or novelization containing the scene, so our brains created a false memory. The problem with this theory is that in my case--and no doubt in the case of many others in my age group who also remember the scene--I was strictly a fan of the Star Wars cinematic experience, and I had no interest in any Star Wars related comic books or other material that might have contained references to the deleted scene. With no other frame of reference to the scene other than actually seeing it in 1977, it is impossible for me to have formed a false memory of it (and then there's the additional memories, shared by my brother, of discussing the scene afterward). At this point, it is likely impossible that we'll ever find hard evidence to corroborate my recollection, such as a surviving print containing the scene. but it should be remembered that absence of proof is not proof of absence. My question is simply whether anyone knows the ultimate source of the resistance to the notion that such a print could have circulated.

marked as duplicate by Wad Cheber, ThePopMachine, Often Right, Null, alexwlchan Dec 12 '15 at 7:51

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    Welcome to SFF.SE. This is a good question, but I suspect some people would take umbrage with the way you phrased it. I've edited to make it a bit less confrontational, but you're welcome to roll back my edit, or make further edits of your own, if you feel I missed anything, or if I'm misrepresenting your question in any way – Jason Baker Dec 6 '15 at 18:57
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    This question would be even if you explained what scene exactly you're talking about. I think I know, but an explanation or even better, a short clip, would go a long way. – SQB Dec 6 '15 at 18:58
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    The nature of this question would be subject to opinion and conjecture since it would be difficult if not impossible to find records to corroborate one way or the other. Since this question is already tending toward closure by the community, if it is not closed by the end of the day, I will likely deem it outside of the group parameters due to being "opinion-based" and close it myself unless the community says otherwise. – Thaddeus Howze Dec 6 '15 at 19:32
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    I think that this phrase, which has been edited out, is important: "[...] and on what authoritative source, if any, is the resistance [to the idea that the binoculars scene was released in theaters] based?" This would seem to take it out of "primarily opinion-based" territory IMO. The question is basically asking where this idea got started - perhaps with the SW Encyclopedia, a Lucas quote, or something else? It's a self-perpetuating myth by this point, but was it originally based on an otherwise authoritative source? – Wolfie Inu Dec 7 '15 at 4:55

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