No major plot points are given away in the newest Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer, but one of our best longtime series friends does take a hit. In the trailer, spotted by an intrepid Reddit user by the name of Ishasemo, we see the equivalent of C-3PO losing his golden arm and picking up a red one. This massacre of a piece loss happens to one of the best friends of the most major character loss in the previous most recent Star Wars film in this Skywalker series trilogy – and it’s sort of funny, as it turns out.
The Trailer Source
What you’re about to witness is the full World Series Trailer – it’s a real doozy. This trainer is full of spoilers if you’re a purist. Things that haven’t been shown before – other places. The past, the future, old friends long gone – and so forth. See if you can spot the tragedy as it happens in the blink of an eye.
— Star Wars (@starwars) November 2, 2017
Did you spot it? It happens to none other than the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon. This ship last lost its satellite dish in Return of the Jedi, thanks to the near-impossibly-small passageways from the surface of the Death Star II to its core. Fun fact: An urban legend born just after the release of RotJ back in 1983 suggested that the Falcon never made it out of the Death Star at all.
The Falcon’s Previous Death Scene
The legend goes like this: The original script for Return of the Jedi (Revenge of the Jedi) called for Nien Numb and Lando to die in the Death Star II before their just-in-time exit. The legend also suggests that a second version of Return of the Jedi was released in theaters for a short period of time, complete with Lando and Nien Numb’s deaths.
One very interesting example of an early mention of an alternate ending for Return of the Jedi comes from an old BBS (bulletin board system). The BBS system was a pre-cursor to the internet run on phone lines, the first of which started taking shape in the late 1970s. Google Groups hosts a copy of a group with posts from the early 1980s called net.movies.sw – specifically for Star Wars.
In this BBS, a message pops up with the following paragraph, describing the alternate version – the supposed alternate version – of Return of the Jedi where Lando and “co-pilot” die.
“Now a friend who’s seen an unreleased version of RotJ tells me that in that version, the Falcon was consumed at the last moment as it was escaping from the exploding Death Star, presumably killing Lando and co-pilot. This seems like a much more dramatic (though perhaps less mass-appealing) ending. My friend says that there are other differences from the released version, as well.”
That bit of history was dug up by Greg Rossiter, provided here VIA StarWarz dot com. At Rossiters a bunch of early versions of the script for Return of the Jedi (and Revenge, as it were) can be found. Lando seems to have survived (with the whole Falcon intact) in every version.
All the images we’ve seen before now seem to suggest the Falcon has the same rectangular antenna dish as popped up in The Force Awakens. That dish appeared in TFA after the previous circle-shaped antenna was destroyed in RotJ. It would appear that the director is breaking from the very obvious mirroring of each episode of the original trilogy for details such as this – but we still fully expect someone to be frozen in carbonite by the time the movie’s done.
ALSO fun fact: As spotted by Reddit user PiR8_Rob, the antenna dish on the TFA Falcon is a repurposed part. The part seems very much to have been taken from the Tantive IV (from A New Hope).
While the size ratios might not match up in “real life”, that ship and the Falcon are both meant to have been designed on Corellia. That’s Han Solo’s home planet, and it’s very clear here that the Falcon likes to use “stock” parts wherever possible – or, you know, not.