If you ever find yourself in the Star Wars universe, the two most salient pieces of advice to keep in mind are “let the Wookiee win” and “keep your hands to yourself.” You see, a lot of characters get their hands or arms cut off over the course of the films, and a newly released deleted scene from The Last Jedi adds to the amputation count and introduces a possible new twist to the series’ longstanding dismemberment trend.
In the deleted scene, which premiered on The Star Wars Show on Wednesday, we see an alternate version of Captain Phasma’s demise. She has Finn on the ropes, but then Finn tells the stormtroopers who serve under Phasma what really happened at Starkiller Base. Sensing a mutiny, Phasma shoots all the stormtroopers before they can turn on her in revenge for her cowardice, but Finn rushes up and slices off Phasma’s blaster hand before she can take him out.
What’s curious about Phasma’s dismemberment is that it’s the second deleted scene from the new trilogy to feature an amputation. In a deleted scene from The Force Awakens, Chewbacca rips off Unkar Plutt’s arm after the junk boss tracks down Finn and Rey for “stealing” the Millennium Falcon.
This deleted scene is notable because without it The Force Awakens is the only movie in the main series of films without any dismemberment. In The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul’s legs get cut off; Anakin Skywalker and the shape-shifter Zam Wesell both lose an arm in Attack of the Clones; and, jeez, Count Dooku, General Grievous, Mace Windu, and Anakin all lose limbs in Revenge of the Sith. In the original trilogy, Obi-Wan slices off Ponda Baba’s arm in A New Hope; Luke and a wampa both lose limbs in The Empire Strikes Back; and Darth Vader gets his hand cut off again in Return of the Jedi. C-3PO loses some parts now and then, but he’s a droid.
This leaves The Force Awakens as the only movie in the main series to break from this gruesome tradition, save for this deleted scene. (Rogue One, the first anthology movie, does not explicitly show anybody lose a limb, but we see evidence of both Vader and Saw Gerrera’s amputations.) Technically, Supreme Leader Snoke does lose an arm when Kylo Ren slices him in half, but that’s more of a killing blow than the maimings Star Wars is known for.
Clearly, Star Wars isn’t as interested in cutting hands and legs off of its characters as it was in the original and prequel trilogies, but these deleted scenes could be the start of a new trend. Don’t assume that everybody made it out in one piece at the end of Episode IX. Chances are Lucasfilm will release a “cut” scene in more ways than one.