Why were Biggs Darklighter’s scenes cut from Star Wars?

Why were Biggs Darklighter's scenes cut from Star Wars? 

Who is Biggs Darklighter, what's his deal?

  • Biggs Darklighter grew up on Tatooine with Luke Skywalker as great friends sharing a love for things mechanical and flying.  They both shared dreams of escaping the dull desert world.
  • After graduating from the Imperial Academy, Biggs defected from the Empire's service to join the Rebellion.
  • He and Luke were reunited at Yavin 4's Rebel base and flew together against the Death Star. While two the men entered the trench run together, only Luke survived.

Who played Biggs Darklighter?

  • Biggs Darklighter was played by Garrick Hagon in the 1977 release of Star Wars. Hagon was a well established British actor by the time the role of Biggs came around. 
  • Appearances in the Doctor Who television series was arguably his biggest role prior to Star Wars. Eagle eyed fans may have noticed his appearance as a CNN reporter in Tom Cruise's Mission Impossible or as a CIA director in Rob Redford's Spygame.

Biggs' quote to Luke in one of the deleted scenes as Luke tries to observe a space battle in the skyline above:
“I tell ya Luke, the Rebellion is a long way from here. This planet? Big hunk of nothing…” 

Bigg's Character Development

  • Biggs first appeared in the various script drafts of Star Wars as King Kayos's son and the brother of the princess who would become Leia Organa.
  • He was Luke Skywalker's younger brother and the brother of Windy Marstrap in the second draft. He was changed to Skywalker's friend in the third draft.
  • Although Darklighter only appears briefly in the ANH, the movie originally included filmed several scenes with himself and Luke. Left on the cutting room floor, they left his role as a bit part.
  • The scene in which Darklighter and Skywalker are reunited on Yavin 4 was reintroduced in the 1997 re-release of the film. It was heavily edited due to the discussion featuring reference to Luke’s father and would have made no sense in 1997 given the way Empire's revelation went. 

Luke mutters to himself in the middle of a space battle…

“Blast it Biggs, where are you?” 

How did Biggs die in Star Wars?

While they thought it would be like Beggar’s Canyon back home, Luke and Biggs ran the trench run on the Death Star in ANH. Biggs guarded Luke’s flank until he was shot from behind.

How did Garrick Hagon react to having most of his scenes cut from A New Hope?

Hagon admitted in an interview of his disappointment when he first saw the film and realized that most of his scenes were taken out.

“It was admiration and a thrill mixed with disappointment because I realised what a chunk [of my scenes] had gone.”

We don't think he would have been too worried though, he's had a long acting career since his days as a lad from Tatooine!

Hagon's thoughts on Star Wars as from this short documentary:

  • Knew nothing about Star Wars but ‘trooped' into his audition where it was mentioned he had been Tunisia which helped get the part!
  • There was skepticism from members of the film production crew as to what the movie would look like.
  • He wasn't familiar with science fiction himself so the role was very different from his classical background of acting. 
  • Felt he had a great on set relationship with Mark Hamill.
  • The exposure would have been nice!
  • The four minute scene that was cut from the beginning of the movie would have been too hard to cut into a smaller segment, so that's why the scene was cut!
  • “We're gonna jump ship and join the Alliance” – A quote from the cut scene.

Editor in Chief at Wealth of Geeks | + posts

Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for InfuzeMag and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.