March 2, 2024

Wampas are one of the most terrifying species in the Star Wars Universe. When Luke got captured by a wampa in The Empire Strikes Back, fans were worried the hero might not survive the attack. A deleted scene from The Empire Strikes Back proves just how dangerous the wampas can be when they break into the Rebel’s Hoth Base.

The deleted scene, “Wampa Attacks,” depicts a collection of different scenes in which wampas infest the Rebels’ Hoth Base. Han and Leia are in an argument over Han’s decision to leave the base to repay his debt to Jabba the Hutt. The two are so entangled in their fight, they do not realize a wampa is breaking through the ice a short way away from them and by R2-D2. After gaining entry, the wampas — which look like giant Ewoks covered in dirty sherpa fur — march through the base causing destruction and chaos throughout.

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The rebels are able to fend off the wampa attack and even appear to kill one, though it’s unclear if this is just a tauntaun that one of the beasts maimed instead. The remainder of the wampas somehow get locked up in one area of the base. Han, Leia and C-3PO run past the room the wampas are trapped in when the Empire begins their assault on the Rebel Base. C-3PO pauses before ripping off the warning sign on the door. Later, three snowtroopers approach the door and open it, and one gets grabbed by a wampa and pulled into the room. Vader watches his troops before walking away unimpressed.

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While the scenes were inevitably cut due to the poor creature effects, the wampa invasion still proves an interesting subplot to the other events happening on Hoth. It would have shown what the rebels were dealing with when Luke was engaged in his own wampa encounter. It also could have highlighted just how unlucky the rebels were while on Hoth. First, Luke went missing on a routine scouting mission, then the wampa invasion followed by the Empire’s attacks.

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The wampa attacks on the Rebel base were mentioned and seen in a few different instances. In another deleted scene, “Luke and Leia: Medical Center,” Luke is waking up after his own wampa encounter. After some very unsettling sexual tension, Luke tells Leia he has to leave for Dagobah. Leia gets upset and claims she could get more loyalty from the “ice creatures” locked down the hall. The mere mention of the wampas sends Luke into a panic, but C-3PO assures him that they have been trapped.

c-3po by wampa enclosure
The wampas can also be seen inside the Hoth base in LucasArts’ Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire for the Nintendo 64. The first part of this game takes place in the Rebels’ Hoth base. While the game’s graphics have not necessarily held up over the years, the mission on Hoth was truly terrifying for its time. The Empire is attacking and main character Dash Rendar must navigate Echo Base to get to his ship. Wampas are laced throughout the base, including in the room the rebels trapped the beasts in during The Empire Strikes Back deleted scene. The room has the same warning sign C-3PO ripped off the door, and inside are three wampas locked in cages.

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