Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Corrected entry: When Han is evading the Empire and is parked on Veers' star destroyer, the apparent reason they cannot be detected is because the Imperial sensors have a minimum range. However, when we see the point of view from inside the Falcon, there are several more star destroyers hovering around the vicinity. Certainly one of them could have detected the Falcon, or at least seen it blatantly sitting on another star destroyer. (01:14:25)

Correction: That depends entirely on how the Imperial sensors work. Since Han was able to use this tactic, it is most likely that the sensors were searching for a smaller ship and that when attached, the Falcon registers as simply a part of the destroyer. And there is no specific reason why the personnel on the other destroyers would fix their eyes on the bridge of another destroyer, as they have complete confidence in their technology, and because the Falcon did appear to be jumping into hyperspace. Furthermore, the destroyer is not commanded by General Veers (who, as an Army officer would not command a star ship anyway), but by Captain Needa.


Corrected entry: When the Stormtroopers are carrying Han into a room, they drop him. As he falls, his hand hits one of the Stormtroopers' helmets and about knocks it off. If you look as they are walking out, it looks as though the Stormtrooper is looking down. However, you can still see the back of the guy's head.

Correction: It's not a mistake, it's just that his helmet was dragged off. It happens, and gives Star Wars some realism.

Corrected entry: When Luke is knocked off his tauntaun, there is a clear shot of blood on his face. In the next shot (after his tauntaun is knocked down) it is gone. In the next shot is there again.


Correction: When the wampa knocks him to the ground, there's blood on his face. Then the tauntaun is knocked down, and there's still blood on his face. Then the wampa drags him off, and there's still blood on his face.

K.C. Sierra

Corrected entry: When Luke is sucked into the pipe, there are four big red pentagons around it in the wideshot. In the close-up, there are four smaller ones and eight triangles. (01:47:45)

Correction: The pentagons and triangles are so close together that in the wide shot they blend, forming the large pentagons.


Corrected entry: When Luke falls in the beginning of the duel with Vader, he's holding his lightsaber with one hand. In the previous shot, he was holding it with both hands. (01:37:15)

Correction: That's because Vader pushed Luke to the ground, causing him to lose his full grip on the lightsaber.

Corrected entry: While the Millennium Falcon is evading Tie Fighters, before they enter the asteroid field, Han and Chewie are in the back working on emergency repairs. Who is flying the Falcon? It wouldn't be on autopilot as they are trying to evade laser blasts. Leia or C-3PO certainly do not have the experience to fly the ship that well. It is also doubtful that the Tie Fighters are taking a break from pursuing them.

Correction: Leia is flying it. It does appear that she has some experience with ships, as she flew it during the Tie Fighter fight after they escaped the Death Star in the first movie.


Corrected entry: In the final scene of the movie, Chewbacca and Lando have already left and the camera is panning away from the observation window Luke and Leia are standing at. There are some Y-wings and X-wings patrolling for the fleet and the last two X-wings in the shot pass in front of one of the starships and disappear.

Correction: the fighters were probably going into hyperspace. From the perspective on the bridge, it would simply look like disappearing.

Corrected entry: The Snowspeeders, used to rescue Luke and Han and for fighting the AT-AT's, have a serious design flaw. If you watch as the aircraft turns left and right, the ailerons (the flaps used to control the air flow over the wings), lift up and down facing the wrong direction. They lift towards the front of the aircraft, instead of behind. This would seriously disrupt airflow over the wings and create a considerable amount of drag, therefor causing the speeder to slow down every time it makes a turn. Not exactly what you want to happen when fighting AT-AT's.

Correction: The flaps are correct. The Snowspeeders don't use air for lift. They use a repulsor engine that reacts with the planet's gravity. An example is the X-wings hovering in the hanger before take off at the end of A New Hope.

Corrected entry: When the Millineum Falcon is flying to pick up the injured Luke Skywalker who is hanging from Cloud City, Lando is opening the top hatch and the sky is blue, yet the external shots of the same scene have the sky as being red.

Correction: This has been corrected in the Special Edition.

Corrected entry: During the AT-AT attack scene, Luke says "Rogue 3, Wedge, I've lost my gunner". Then seconds later when he flies through the walker's legs, he calls him Rogue 2.

Correction: Luke is talking to two seperate people, Rogue 3, and Wedge, who is Rogue 2.

Corrected entry: During some shootouts, you can se the empty cartridges, (blanks I presume), fly away from handguns. These are probably used to create a muzzle flash for realism, and for the special effects people to identify where and when to put the red laser coming from the guns. I've never seen a laser creating muzzle flash. This can be seen best when Leia, Chewbacca and Lando are fleeing the mining colony, and Lando is siting next to the the Millennium Falcon's loading ramp, firing at Stormtroopers.

Correction: Blasters in the Star Wars films are not literally 'lasers'. Obviously their bolts travel well below the speed of light and act entirely differently than true laser beams. Use of the term 'laser' is slang, and the actual function of the weapons obiously produces muzzle flash.

Corrected entry: When the Millenium Falcon escapes from the giant space worm, the mouth is almost completely closed but when they are outside, the mouth is opened.

Dr Wilson

Correction: In the scene immediatly following the Falcon leaving the giant worm's mouth from the inside, the worm appears to be chasing the ship, trying to catch it. It easily could have opened its mouth to attempt to bite the ship again.

Corrected entry: After Luke has been shot down during the Hoth battle and is hanging underneath an AT-AT walker he cuts a hole in the underbelly with his lightsaber causing a massive shower of sparks. As the sparks clear you can see a hand sliding back and removing the section of the walker that Luke supposedly just cut through.

Correction: I was not able to watch this scene frame by frame, but I saw no hand, and I believe Luke cut the controls for a sliding panel so it would open. I don't think luke was actually supposed to have cut a hole in the walker. Frame by frame, there is something that looks like a hand, or not even that. Fingers more or less, grabbing the edge and pulling. However, it is so undiscernable it is impossible to say for sure.

Corrected entry: When Han Solo is frozen in carbonite, his hands are at his sides. The freezing takes about a second, but Han manages to lift up his arms into that position. Even if he was tied then untied, he still seems to have overly fast reactions....

Correction: We don't see the freezing process, we only hear a jet of gas, so we don't know EXACTLY when he gets frozen in place. There must have been time for him to move his arms up.


Corrected entry: So the rebels have no rockets or missiles (they have a photon-gun that can reach space and drop Star Cruisers though) to defend their base and main reactor against those AT-AT's?


Correction: Missles and rockets are non-reuseable. Supplies are not easy to come by for the Rebellion, so why would they base their defense on a resourse that could quickly be depleted? Also, with technology to guide photon torpedos and concussion missiles, you think they would be able to make an anti-rocket laser to pick off incoming projectiles, considering standard rockets or missiles move in straight lines.

Corrected entry: Why do those fighters attack AT-AT's head-on, in the middle of a crossfire? Why not from the sides? And who forgot in the engineering department to add some rockets and missiles to their weaponry?


Correction: Perhaps the AT-AT's are more vulnerable head on, they are very thickly armor plated on the sides. And who's to say that snow speeders are equipped to carry missiles?

Sol Parker

Corrected entry: In the scene where Luke and Vader are fighting by the shattered window, the wind is so strong that even Vader has to hold on to avoid being sucked out. But immediately after Luke is sucked out, he casually walks over to the window without holding on to anything.

Correction: The vaccum that sucked Luke out was there because the pressure wasn't equal, over time the pressure stabilized, enabling Vader to walk 'casually' over to the window.

Corrected entry: Throughout the films only C3PO can understand R2D2 and has to translate for the other characters on many occasions. During the flight from Hoth to Dagoba Luke read a little screen with the translations of what R2D2 is saying. Then when they reach the planet and are both stood on the edge of the swamp Luke can miraculously understand what he is saying.

Correction: The screen isn't translating, it's just a way for R2-D2 to communicate with Luke - he's outside the cockpit, after all.

Corrected entry: After Vader kills Captain Needa there are two guards which he orders to him drag out. Look at the Admiral when he is pulled out - his neck is up. That's impossible, he's dead, so his head should be lying to the side.

Correction: His head would not necessarily lie on its side if his neck was broken. The position his head maitains is the position his bones set after broken.

Corrected entry: Why does Darth Vader keep getting more authority? He defers to Grand Moff Tarkin in the first movie, suggesting he ranks between Moff and Admiral. In the subsequent movies, he is second only to the Emperor. Why? He never catches the rebel leadership and loses major battles he is placed in command of. He suggests treason against the emperor by suggesting Luke help him overthrow him. He keeps letting incompetents run the show and warn the rebels through their stupidity rather than run the operation from the bridge himself.

Correction: Vader always has the authority; he's "Lord" Vader, after all. The only reason he looks as though he's deferring to Tarkin is because Tarkin was the original creator of the Death Star; it's basically his to do whatever he wants with. This is obvious since the Emporer let Tarkin destroy Alderaan without his consent. Vader actually wins quite a few battles, including one mentioned in the opening monologue of this movie and the Hoth takeover. The fact that Han, Leia, Luke, etc. get away from him time after time is a testament to their heroics.

Other mistake: When in the cave, 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 see Harrison Ford mouthing her exact words. (00:44:05)

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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)

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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.


(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.


(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.


(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.


(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.


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.


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