Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Even though they were able to destroy the Death Star, the empire now knows where their base was on the 3rd moon of Yavin. So, the rebels reassemble on the ice planet Hoth. While Luke is helping to erect a sensor grid there, he gets disabled by an ice creature, and hung upside down in his cave with his light saber out of reach. He uses the force to summon his lightsaber, cut himself down and kill the creature. But he can't ride his tauntaun back to camp because it has been killed.

Han Solo was preparing to leave the rebel base after his ship is repaired, but instead stays to rescue Luke. He brings survival gear out to Luke, and gets him warm by stuffing him into the tartar's body.

The next morning, imperial probes locate the rebel base. Imperial troops launch a ground attack with large walkers. During the fierce battle, Luke discovers how to disable the walkers by tying their feet. But it is a losing battle. The base is destroyed and the rebels evacuate. Leia, Han, Chewbacca, and C3PO escape in the Millennium Falcon and head for the rebel rendezvous point, while Luke and R2D2 go to the planet Dagobah. Luke has had a vision from a ghostly Obi-Wan Kenobi telling him to seek Jedi Master Yoda there to complete his training.

Imperial ships chase the Falcon, but to Darth Vader’s anger, Han eludes capture. The Falcon’s hyperdrive is broken, however, and Han diverts to Bespin, a floating city and mining colony. His old friend (and fellow scoundrel) Lando Calrissian is the administrator there. Unknown to Han, bounty hunter Boba Fett follows him. Lando welcomes Han, Leia, and Chewbacca. Leia is suspicious, but Han’s convinced they’re safe. The group quickly encounters Imperial trouble—Lando has been coerced into a deal by Darth Vader to turn over Leia and the others in exchange for the Empire ignoring his illegal mining operation. Vader apprehends them and tortures Han.

On Dagobah, Luke has dark visions that Leia and the others are suffering and sees a city in the clouds. Yoda tells him it is the future he sees, but it is unclear. Against Yoda and Obi Wan’s advice to stay and complete his training, Luke decides to leave to help his friends but promises to return. Obi Wan laments that Luke was their last hope, but Yoda says no, “there is another.” In Bespin, Vader sets a trap for Luke using Han and Leia as bait. He awaits Luke’s arrival.

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)

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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.

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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.

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

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