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.