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 tartar 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.