George Lucas cut female X-wing pilots out of Return of the Jedi at the last minuteS

The original Star Wars trilogy isn't really known for having a lot of roles for women — but it turns out that the third film, Return of the Jedi, featured some female pilots in the Battle of Endor. Two of these fighter pilots are featured among the deleted scenes and extras on the recent Blu-ray release, but not the two female X-Wing pilots.

George Lucas cut female X-wing pilots out of Return of the Jedi at the last minuteS

And curiously, we still haven't seen the deleted scene featuring Vivienne Chandler (left) as a X-Wing pilot, who had a full page and a half of dialogue in a cockpit set. Apparently, Chandler actually went to a screening of the film that included her scenes, and then when it was actually released, they were gone.

You can glimpse the female pilots in the briefing scene before the battle. One of them was actually included for a split second, but her one line of dialogue, "Got it," was replaced by a male voice in post-production.

Did George Lucas decide that showing female pilots getting blown up was too intense? Or was there some other reason why he wanted an all-male fighter squad? We'll probably never know — but it's weird that Chandler's footage has never turned up, in any form, after being in an early cut of the film. More details at the link. [Star Wars Afficionado and Star Wars Afficionado via BuzzFeed]