Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Visible crew/equipment: When C-3PO is on the conveyor belt, if you look in the reflection in his head you can see the camera crew.

Revealing mistake: When Captain Needa is killed by Darth Vader because they lost track of the Millennium Falcon, in the background, two guards come to take him away. You can clearly see the dead captain get up almost by himself. (01:10:50)

Other mistake: When the Falcon gets hit by an asteroid, Leia falls and is caught by Han. She tells him that "being held by you isn't quite enough to get me excited". As she is saying this you can clearly see Harrison Ford mouthing her exact words. (00:44:05)

Audio problem: After Luke frees himself from the cave in the beginning, he stumbles towards the exit. You can hear his lightsaber go off, but it stays firmly on. Cut to him emerging, and now his lightsaber's off. (00:09:30)

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When one of the stormtroopers unties Han Solo before he is put into the carbonite, watch his wardrobe - he has a disappearing / reappearing jacket on. This is fixed to an extent on the DVD - the jacket is now lightened to almost match his shirt, but it's still shiny like leather. (01:32:05)

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back mistake picture

Continuity mistake: After Luke says to Yoda, "You want the impossible," Yoda's position jumps from the ground to a rocky boulder, where he then lifts Luke's X-Wing fighter from the swamp. (01:11:30 - 01:13:05)

Cubs Fan

Visible crew/equipment: This can only be seen in the widescreen version. When Han, Leia and Chewie venture out of the Falcon to investigate the cave they're hiding in on the asteroid, as they walk towards the left of the screen you can see the edge of the tarpaulin sheet they're standing on as well as the faint outline of a crew member trying to get out of the camera shot.

Continuity mistake: After Boba Fett's ship, Slave 1, takes off, there's a close-up of Leia's face. In the background, Lando can be seen standing erect, putting his hands on his waist. In the next shot, he's crouching, with his hands in front of him. (01:39:25)

Revealing mistake: During the attack on the rebel base, after the headless AT-AT falls on the ground, another one shoots at the rebels. You can see the pyrotechnic charges where the impacts are.

Dr Wilson

Revealing mistake: When Leia and the crew return to cloud city to rescue Luke from the scaffolding, watch very closely as Lando ascends up the lift, just after the top hatch opens from the overhead angle, you will see that Lando has been replaced with a G.I. Joe look-alike figurine. (01:55:10)

Continuity mistake: When Han, Leia and Lando are walking down the corridor to the room with 'refreshments' (aka Darth Vader), Han and Lando keep switching sides.

Continuity mistake: Near the end of the film, when the Millennium Falcon is trying to get away from Vader, there's the scene in which Vader asks the admiral if he disabled the hyperdrive on the Falcon. This scene is backwards, as you can tell by the insignia on the admiral's chest. Normally it should be on the left side of the chest, but in this scene, it is on the right side of his chest.

Continuity mistake: When the AT-AT that Luke destroyed with a thermal detonator falls over, Luke is nowhere to be seen, even though he should be visible, judging from his position in the previous shot. (As noted in another mistake, the AT-AT is suddenly further away from him after he falls to the ground, but he is still to close to be out of shot when it falls over.). (00:31:45)

Continuity mistake: When Leia and Lando are holding off the stormtroopers while Chewbacca and the droids escape into the Millennium Falcon, a stormtrooper comes running through the doorway. You can see the burn mark on his armour before Lando shoots him. When the trooper is shot, another trooper comes running through the door, also with a burn mark on his armour. Then Leia shoots another (or perhaps the same) trooper, and the burn mark is once again there before the trooper is hit. (01:44:20)

Continuity mistake: After Luke crashes during the battle on Hoth , the AT-AT is far away from him and is moving rather slowly. A few shots later, the AT-AT stomps on his snowspeeder, but it was too far away from him in the previous shots to reach it that quickly. (00:29:55)

Revealing mistake: When Luke and Leia are watching the Millennium Falcon leave at the end of the movie, its light goes through Luke's arm. (01:56:25)

Continuity mistake: At the end of the movie when the Millennium Falcon is escaping from the TIE fighters we see some going after the Falcon then we see a shot of Vader looking at it - there are now no TIE fighters. They had no time to escape away.

han_solo_321

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back mistake picture

Visible crew/equipment: Chewbacca enters the "junk" room to collect the remains of Threepio, and in the close-up scene of Threepio's head on the conveyor belt, you can see a reflection of the camera and several of the crew. (01:23:10)

Revealing mistake: Right before Luke nicks Vader in the shoulder with his lightsaber, Vader cuts through a railing. There's a hole in the railing exactly where Vader apparently cuts it. Also Vader's lightsaber never comes into contact with the railing, yet it sparks.

Revealing mistake: When Luke and Vader are fighting in Cloud City, there is something looking like tape wherever they hit something with their lightsabers. Maybe it's pyrotechnic charges?

Dr Wilson

Yoda: Told you, I did. Reckless is he. Now, matters are worse.
Obi-Wan: That boy is our last hope.
Yoda: No. There is another.

More quotes from Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Trivia: The Special Edition covers of Return of the Jedi and Empire Strikes Back are wrong. The picture of the Emperor on ESB cover is from 'ROTJ', and the lightsaber duel between Luke and Vader on the cover of ROTJ is taken from 'ESB' (notice Luke is in his fighter pilot suit, and Vader is fighting him one-handed)

More trivia for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Answer: The short, short answer to this is "Yes... from a certain point of view." The long answer is complicated and depends completely on what timeframe you mean by "always." If you're going back all the way to the early rough drafts of the early-mid 70s (which actually resemble Episode I more than they do the Star Wars of 1977), you'll find there's a cyborg father figure protagonist that makes a heroic sacrifice, and then another character that is a "black knight" villain that eventually turns to the side of good near the end. Just to make things more complicated, there is yet another character, a villain by the name of "Darth Vader" that is a human Imperial officer like Grand Moff Tarkin. It may be a stretch to count all that as "Darth Vader was always the father" but the pieces were all there, at least.

TonyPH Premium member

(1) Now the earliest explicit mention on any documented material that Darth Vader is Luke's father comes from notes Lucas made outlining the general story of the trilogy and its place in the larger Star Wars saga. These were found in the archives for The Empire Strikes Back, but they are undated and we don't know if they were written before Star Wars (1977) and carried forward, or if they were written afterward. These were found fairly recently (made public in 2010) and as far as I know Lucas has never commented publicly about them.

TonyPH Premium member

(3) One thing we know, at least, is that Lucas had come up with the idea of Darth Vader the father before starting work on The Empire Strikes Back. Something incredibly odd, though, is that the first draft written by Leigh Brackett does not feature the twist (and in fact introduces Anakin himself as a ghost); for a long time many fans took this as proof that Lucas hadn't thought of the idea at all by then, but after the series outline was discovered it was made apparent that Lucas simply hadn't told Brackett for some reason. Perhaps he wasn't sure yet that he wanted to go through with it, or maybe at that point he was thinking of revealing it in the third film. Either way, Lucas would write the second draft himself, and that's where the twist first appears in script form.

TonyPH Premium member

(2) Something that must be understood about Star Wars (1977) is that it was an ALTERNATIVE to his original plans of a saga. By then he didn't think it was realistic that he would be able to make a long series of many movies, so he came up with a "Plan B": he crammed the general story of the trilogy into one movie. So we know that when Star Wars (1977) was filming, Darth Vader was NOT Luke's father, because this one movie was IT, that was the whole story. But what we DON'T know, is whether that means Lucas had abandoned the idea of Vader being the father in order to simplify the story, or if Lucas simply hadn't thought of that at all just yet.

TonyPH Premium member

(2, cont.) On a side note, you can tell by watching Star Wars (1977) how it has condensed the story of the trilogy. The middle portion has the characters trying to escape capture from the Empire while one of them loses a duel with Darth Vader (like The Empire Strikes Back) and the third act is a final battle against the Death Star above a forest moon (like Return of the Jedi). The first act features a member of royalty on the run while a couple of protagonists find the main hero on a desert planet, resembling the original drafts and by extension Star Wars: Episode I. Because of this we've arguably never actually had a "pure" first chapter to the original trilogy, even though Lucas eventually had the film serve this purpose anyway.

TonyPH Premium member

Answer: Yes, however, he didn't want anyone to KNOW about it. In fact, the original script said "'Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father.' 'He told me enough... he told me YOU killed him!' 'No, Obi-Wan killed your father'" Even Hamill was only told the real line just before shooting, so his reaction is somewhat natural.

SexyIrishLeprechaun

More questions & answers from Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.