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?
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."
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.
Characters And Film: Harry Potter, Petunia and Dudley Dursley; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Deleted Scene: Before the Dursleys leave Privet Drive, Harry has a moment with each of the family members.
How It Changes The Main Character (And His Family): Arguably, these scenes are more important for Petunia and Dudley than Harry. For book readers, the final moments with the Dursleys will be familiar. But moviegoers merely got a glimpse of Harry's tormentors before they left the series forever.
In the two scenes, we hear Petunia speak fondly of her sister for the first time, proving that she was affected by the loss. We then have Vernon prove he hasn't changed at all before Dudley says a good-bye to Harry and gives him the closest thing to a compliment Harry has ever received from a Dursley. These moments provide Harry with a little closure, but they also prove that two out of the three Dursleys are at least a little human.