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Deleted Scenes That Would’ve Totally Changed A Movie's Main Character

Updated March 25, 2020 20.7k votes 4.5k voters 324.3k views15 items

List RulesVote up the scenes that put the movie's protagonist in a new light.

Plenty goes into the making of a movie, especially if it's a blockbuster. While we like to believe our favorite films are the result of a singular vision, there are numerous people involved in deciding what moments make it to the final cut. Sometimes, the jettisoned scenes completely change the plot of a film or reshape a character's arc. Fortunately, deleted scenes and director's cuts have given fans a glimpse of these lost moments from cinema's biggest hits.

Often, the scenes are cut to reduce a film's running time. Other times, a creative clash is the reason behind the alteration. Regardless, these choices can fundamentally change a film - or simply reduce a character's growth. Whether it's a kind gesture or the reveal of a major plot point, these deleted scenes offer a very different read on some of our favorite movies and the characters in them.

  • Character And Film: David Levinson, Independence Day

    Deleted Scene: David explains he can decode the alien's language and use tech from Roswell to make his Macintosh computer capable of uploading a virus to the mothership.

    How It Changes The Main Character: This scene shows how much of a genius David is, but more importantly, it fills a major plot hole that viewers have wondered about since the film's 1996 release: How the heck can the humans give a virus to an alien operating system?

    Does this change the character?
  • Character And Film: Ellen Ripley, Aliens

    Deleted Scene: After learning she's been in stasis for decades, Ripley asks Burke for news of her daughter. It turns out she passed two years ago - at the age of 67.

    How It Changes The Main Character: This piece of information affects Ripley as a character across the franchise, but for Aliens, it explains why she's so protective of Newt, the orphaned girl she discovers on LV-426. This is likely why Newt was included in the narrative in the first place.

    This information also completely changes Ripley's motivations and makes her trip aboard the Nostromo in Alien even more tragic. As Ripley tells Burke, "I promised her I'd be home for her birthday. Her 11th birthday."

    Does this change the character?
  • Video: YouTube

    Character And Film: Aragorn II, son of Arathorn; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    Deleted Scene: Aragorn shares soup with Éowyn and it's revealed he's actually 87 years old.

    How It Changes The Main Character: The scene not only reveals Aragorn has access to the greatest skincare routine in all of Middle Earth, but that he's pretty spry for an octogenarian.

    In all seriousness, the age reveal is an important aspect of Aragorn's character that is largely missing in the theatrical Lord of the Rings trilogy. As a member of the Dúnedain, Aragorn is a descendant of ancient Numenor - Tolkien's version of Atlantis - and possesses greater fortitude and a much longer lifespan than ordinary mortals. By noting that he's actually 87, Aragorn is no longer "wiser than his years" but a veteran of some serious conflicts. 

    Does this change the character?
  • Video: YouTube

    Characters And Film: Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Yoda; Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

    Deleted Scene: Yoda explains to Luke that Obi-Wan wanted to tell him Darth Vader is his father, but Yoda wouldn't let him.

    How It Changes The Main Character (And His Friends): This small moment changes the relationship between Luke, Yoda, and Obi-Wan. For Luke, he now realizes that Obi-Wan didn't want to keep things from him, but Yoda did. For Obi-Wan, it proves he disagreed with Yoda and wanted to reveal the truth to young Luke.

    The whole thing switches around a number of relationships and personalities while also teasing tension between Yoda and Obi-Wan.

    Does this change the character?