When Rogue One came out last year, fans were surprised to see the original actors who played Red Leader (Drewe Henley) and Gold Leader (Angus MacInnes) in A New Hope briefly turn up to attack Scarif’s Shield Gate near the end of the film. Unlike the movie’s “Peter Cushing,” the pilots didn’t look like CGI ghouls: director Gareth Edwards had found footage of Henley and MacInnes that Lucas left on the cutting room floor, digitized and altered it, and fit the shots seamlessly into his film.
However, it’s now clear there was a bit of old footage Edwards left tragically unused:
Revealed by Industrial Light & Magic’s John Knoll at the Star Wars Celebration Orlando last week, the clip catches MacInnes doing what countless actors do when they screw up a line. But to anyone who’s seen A New Hope one or two hundred times, the build-up to the Battle of Yavin has a bone-deep familiarity, and it’s unusually delightful to hear the expected script punctured by a sudden “fuck!” One can only imagine the impact this outtake might have had on elementary schoolers of the past, whose regular debates over whether Lucas was a Satanist for putting a Devaronian in the cantina scene would be shattered by the mind-blowing confirmation that someone really said “fuck” on the set of Star Wars.
Regardless of how cool it would’ve been to stick a scene where Gold Leader says “ah fuck, I’m sorry” into Rogue One, we can all still enjoy the moment in its unretouched form. And for true Star Wars completionists, Knoll also screened a different and slightly worse version of Tarkin and Leia’s “you are far too trusting” conversation: