“Return of the Jedi”—Luke's Plan to Rescue Han Solo

The scene at the start of Star Wars “Episode VI”, Return of the Jedi, where Luke Skywalker and his forceful companions rescue Han Solo from the carbonite slab in which he has been imprisoned in Jabba the Hutt’s palace is, if you step back from the action and think about it, rather odd. What was Luke’s plan, how did all of the moving parts come together, and what were the alternatives if things didn’t go as expected?

Fortunately, Frank J. Fleming has discovered and published on his Substack site “The Missing Scene from Return of the Jedi”, which explains everything.


LUKE: “I used the force to go forward in time, to view alternate futures… to see all the possibilities of the coming conflict.”

LEIA: “How many did you see?”

LUKE: “14,000,605.”

LANDO: “How many did we win?”

LUKE: “One.”

LEIA: “Wait, I thought Jabba was just some gangster.”

LUKE: “No, he is the smartest, most dangerous being in the galaxy.”

LEIA: “But he’s like a slug criminal.”

LUKE: “He is even more dangerous than the Emperor. And that’s why the way to defeat him – the only way – is an extremely convoluted plan.”

LANDO: “Well, Luke, we’ve seen your great prowess with the force in adventures that occurred after the last episode but the audience has never seen, so we’ll go along with your plan no matter how insane it seems.”