10 Alternative Opening Movie Scenes You Never Saw

These movies almost kicked off quite differently.

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First impressions count for a lot, and so the way in which a movie opens is arguably more important than any other part. Get it right and you've got the audience hooked from minute one, but screw it up and you've lost them forever.

And so, it's little surprise that movies often workshop the hell out of their opening scenes, revising them countless times during not only the scripting stage but also potentially once principal photography has already wrapped.

These 10 movies all ditched their original planned opening scenes in favour of something different for a multitude of reasons, often to get the audience into the story quicker and hit the ground running.

But many of these scrapped openings actually sound significantly better - or more interesting, at least - than the more modest, pared-down sequences we ended up with.

From ambitious and envelope-pushing prologues to scenes that simply might've proved more engaging from the jump, these 10 openings were all thrown in the bin, whether for better or worse.

While a few of the alternate scenes live on through proof-of-concept animatics released to the public, most will sadly only exist in our imaginations...

10. Luke Skywalker's Lightsaber Lands On Jakku - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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The final filmed version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens with an action-packed sequence set on Jakku, which introduces us to a number of the new trilogy's focal players, namely Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

But an earlier draft of the script, details of which were actually leaked online 18 months before The Force Awakens' release, envisioned an entirely different opening scene focused instead on Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) himself.

Or rather, his lightsaber-holding hand, at least.

In an interview several months after the film's release, Mark Hamill confirmed that the rumoured opening featuring Luke's severed hand floating through space, lightsaber in tow, and landing on Jakku was indeed legitimate:

"I can tell you now that in the original opening shot of [The Force Awakens], the first thing that came into frame was a hand with a lightsaber, a severed hand that enters the atmosphere, and then the hand and bone burns away and goes sticking into the surface of Jakku...and this alien hand comes in. Don't know if it was Maz, but it was an alien hand who takes the lightsaber away, and then the movie proceeds as you see it."

It's certainly an evocative image, though not very PG-friendly, nor is it particularly clear how Luke's hand would be able to travel from Bespin to Jakku, while still gripping the Skywalker lightsaber no less.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.