Updated: Monday, March 5, 2018, 8:12 PM
Over the weekend, NBA Hall of Famer and Turner Sports NBA analyst Charles Barkley hosted Saturday Night Live for the fourth time. Apart from a timely monologue about sports and politics and a couple truly weird sketches (one involving a puppet vigorously rubbing his leg), the former Sixers star’s episode was largely forgettable.
Which makes NBC’s decision to cut a Star Wars-themed sketch featuring Barkley as a confused Jedi so head-scratching.
Introduced by “Star Wars” director J.J. Abrams, the pre-filmed sketch is meant to be trailer for a fictitious new standalone film called “The Mos Eisley Five.” As Abrams describes it, the film is the story “of a group of smugglers hired by the rebellion who were instrumental in establishing a rebel base on Hoth.”
Joining Barkley’s bumbling Jedi are SNL cast members Mikey Day, Kate McKinnon, Pete Davidson and Kenan Thompson, who plays an odd Jabba-like gang lord named Goba. The entire premise of the skit is simple: Barkley’s Jedi is the only character who can’t understand the various alien languages or droid beeps being offered around him, including a shaggy “dog guy” named Dogtada.
“Wait, the dog guy talks to?” Barkley’s Jedi asks. “I thought he was just making dog noises. Man, I’ve said a lot of stuff in front of him. Private stuff.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time SNL has been forced to cut an otherwise-entertaining sketch for time. Earlier this season, a 1990s inspired rap song by cast members Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett, featuring Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, ended up on the cutting room floor. In 2015, a parody of Blues Clues staring a creepy, furniture-loving host played by Michael Keaton, never made it to air.
Possibly the most famous sketch cut from the show was Will Ferrell’s turn as Gus Chiggins, an old prospector embedded with a Army squad headed to Afghanistan. The skit became a cult favorite after it was included on a “Best of Will Ferrell” SNL DVD, and there’s never really been an explanation why it was cut in the first place.