Before there were Special Editions of the STAR WARS films, the Max Rebo band was merely a power trio consisting of the blue Max Rebo, pig-faced Droopy McCool and sexy Sy Snootles on vocals.
George Lucas always said he wanted a big musical number in the film but time and money kept him from doing what he wanted. In 1997, he finally got what he wanted and the Max Rebo band was expanded in a big way. A whole new song ("Jedi Rocks") was created and unfortunately one of my favorite little tunes from the film ("Lapti Nek") was removed. How I miss that song...
Below are some pictures of the Max Rebo Band and accompanying dancers that you don't see in the RETURN OF THE JEDI Special Edition. In fact, I don't even think the shots of Droopy McCool were in the original version. I did take a look and only caught one straight-on shot of him and it wasn't any of the ones included here. Most of these were found in the Starwars.com databank and are just alternate angles and/or promo shots, because we all know the scene itself is intact.
Speaking of the Special Editions, here's a little piece of cut scene related trivia provided by Starwars.com dealing with our favorite green dancer, Oola:
The filmmakers had originally intended an extended sequence of Oola tumbling into the rancor pit, which was cut for time and budgetary reasons. When the Special Edition RETURN OF THE JEDI was in pre-production, the musical number featuring Oola was one of the scenes to be revisited.
Special Edition Producer Rick McCallum had also produced THE YOUNG INDIANA JONES CHRONICLES. An episode set in 1917 Austria starred actor Benedict Taylor, the brother of dancer Femi Taylor, who played Oola in Jedi. Learning of the Special Edition, Taylor told McCallum that his sister was in the same physical shape -- if not better -- she was years ago during the original early-80s shoot. Learning of this, the Special Edition scenes were restructured to take advantage of the original actor returning to the part.
Finally, how could we forget the biggest dancer of them all, Yarna D'al Gargan. She was also known as the "Fat Dancer" in the credits. Not very PC, eh? Well, it was only 1983. Anyhow, this still of Yarna below from Starwars.com was never used in the film so I'm including it here. Hey, is that Tony Soprano in the background there? Nah... Fuhgeddaboudit. Sadly, Claire Davenport, the actress who played Yarna D'al Gargan in the film, passed away in March of 2002.
Now, let's get back to Lapti Nek for a minute here. When the Original Trilogy came out on Laserdisc, it was loaded with lots of little goodies, one of them being a music video of this song. It was edited together using actual film footage and B-roll - much of it never seen in RETURN OF THE JEDI. Therefore, it's of interest to us. You can download it below.
Description: Video clip of Lapti Nek from the laserdisc, reworked by MMXP Arts and Crafts.