The best part of any Star Wars movie or television show isn’t the lightsaber fights or space travel or overly complicated plans — it’s the aliens. The droids are fun, too, but in terms of weirdness and trying to figure out what everyone’s deal is, no robot or human can compete with this guy. Or this one. Or get a load of this weirdo.
Every Star Wars alien is its own particular kind of goofy, but there was one that was deemed too ridiculous looking. “Lightman,” as the creature is known, was supposed to be in Return of the Jedi as “some kind of guide to Threepio somewhere deep inside the darkness of Jabba’s Palace, as well as being seen in some other creature establishing shots in and out of the Throne Room,” according to Star Wars Aficionado. Lightman was out there doing his best, living paycheck to paycheck just like the rest of us, but because he was literally a man covered in lights, no one could take him seriously.
“The mysterious ‘Lightman’ was filmed forty years ago today for Return of the Jedi and pretty much immediately abandoned,” film historian Jamie Benning tweeted, along with a brief clip of the alien. He also asked Phil Tippett, the visual effects whiz behind the original Star Wars trilogy, Jurassic Park, and RoboCop, for any memories of Lightman.
Tippett replied, “Looked just like that. Everyone laughed. Never got shot.”
Looked just like that.
Never got shot. https://t.co/4LkxvbWCDO
— Phil Tippett (@PhilTippett) January 25, 2022
Poor Lightman. I still love you. Then again, my favorite Star Wars character is Watto, so maybe that’s not as much of a compliment as it sounds.