Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Answer: The vision Luke sees in the cave on Dagobah is a clue to this. Luke is realizing he has a lot more in common with Darth Vader than the idealized father he'd always imagined. When Vader tells him he's his father, Luke doesn't want to believe it, but he simply can't deny that it feels much more true that his father would be someone passionate and reckless like himself rather than someone who exemplifies a noble Jedi, which feels like an obvious myth in hindsight.

TonyPH Premium member

Chosen answer: He "searched his feelings" as Vader instructed; he reached out with the Force and felt the truth of the statement.

Phixius Premium member

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

Question: Why does Han irritate Leia so much?

Answer: Star Wars being for the young and the young at heart, Han and Leia's relationship unfolds in a deliberately childish manner that kids can relate to and adults will find comedic. Leia is irritated at herself for her attraction to Han, and certainly unamused that Han teases her over it, while at the same time he is not brave enough to admit his own feelings, either.

TonyPH Premium member

Answer: Because Leia is trying to bring down an evil empire while Han keeps trying to charm her. Also she sees potential in him as a leader and fighter instead of just a mercenary smuggler.

Question: General Veers was a badass and did not screw up at all on the assault on Hoth. Why promote Piett to Admiral and not Veers?

Answer: General Veers was part of the Imperial Army, hence his command of the ground troops. Piett and Ozzel were members of the Imperial Navy, hence their command of the ships.

Greg Dwyer

Question: During the Battle of Hoth, why is the AT-AT walker suddenly easy to blow up after it has crashed? I thought their "armor was too strong for blasters."

taylordan90

Chosen answer: The weak point of an AT-AT is its neck, which is the point the snowspeeder fires upon when the AT-AT explodes.

Darius Angel

Question: Was there any reason why Vader had Han "tortured" with a machine? Han later tells Leia and Chewbacca that he wasn't even asked any questions. I know that Vader is scary, but would he want to waste time by just toying with Han and not even questioning him?

Answer: Vader is not interested in extracting information from Han Solo, nor is he wasting time; he is using Han as bait to lure Luke Skywalker into his trap. Vader knows that Luke will sense Han's agony through the Force and will try to rescue Han and the others.

raywest Premium member

Question: On Dagobah, when Luke goes into the cave he finds Darth Vader and kills him, his helmet explodes and turns out Darth Vader is Luke. How does this make any sense?

Chosen answer: Luke is seeing visions relating to possible futures. In this case, it's effectively a warning that, if he embraces the path of violence, which he has at this point by keeping his weapons with him when Yoda told him to leave them behind, then he risks falling to the Dark Side and becoming just as bad as Vader.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: What happened to Luke's hand after Vader cut it off?

Answer: It fell into the reactor shaft alongside his lightsaber, unrecoverable. It probably fell outside like Luke did and dropped into the clouds of the gas giant Bespin.

lionhead

Well, what about the thing that fell after Luke landed on the satellite dish outside? Was that Luke's hand?

For what it's worth, the descriptive audio identifies the falling object as a piece of the antennae that Luke is hanging from.

TonyPH Premium member

No, nothing as macabre as that. Probably a piece of cloth or something that fell out of his pocket. Or, possibly, his lightsaber. But I doubt they would have him watch his own hand fall.

lionhead

Answer: In the books before Disney, the hand was recovered by an Ugnaught (the pig-like people in Cloud City) and was taken with his lightsaber to the Emperor's secret storehouse on the planet Wayland. It was later used (in the Thrawn trilogy) to create a clone of Luke.

LorgSkyegon

Question: Why does Darth Vader stop Boba Fett from shooting Chewbacca when he's attacking stormtroopers when Hans been put into carbon freeze? Vader kill his own people at will, so why save the enemy?

Answer: Vader's goal is to lure Luke to Bespin by capturing his friends. With Boba Fett taking Han away, that leaves Vader with two hostages. Killing Chewbacca means losing half of his bait. He also thinks he can convince Luke to join the Dark Side and rule the galaxy with him, an easier proposition to pitch if he hasn't killed two of Luke's friends. (Sure, he gave one to a bounty hunter, but then he's got "We can get Han back" as a backup bargaining chip).

Captain Defenestrator

Question: If the rebels have an ion cannon that can disable a Star Destroyer in orbit, why not use it on the AT-ATs instead of sending pilots to their death? I know it wouldn't be as cool without the ground combat with the snowspeeders, but it is a good question, I think.

Charles Fraser

Chosen answer: The ion cannon is designed for taking out large capital ships in orbit. It's not precise enough for use in ground combat situations. It's also highly likely that the Imperial forces would have detected the ion cannon from orbit, and would send in their ground troops from a direction where the ion cannon couldn't target them, just in case the Rebels were nuts enough to try it anyway.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Why does Yoda seem so "childish" when Luke first meets him in the swamp? I mean in comparison to Episode III when he seemed much wiser. Is there any reason for this?

James Ollier

Chosen answer: Yoda was testing Luke. Luke was looking for a great Jedi warrior and expected to find this great man or creature, not a short, little, funny, "weak", creature. Yoda knew Luke must get past preconcieved ideas and conceptions of what it takes to be and become a Jedi. Luke failed this initial test.

Mark English

Answer: It's a trope popular with many of the Asian films (and some fantasy books) that inspired Lucas' original trilogy. The powerful master is often encountered first as a seemingly harmless (or meaningless) person only to unveil themselves later to the protagonist's surprise. In many respects, it's like Obi-wan's first appearance in A New Hope.

Question: I used to have a VHS version of this movie - I don't remember if it was the original or restored version. On the VHS, when Vader mentally speaks to Luke after the fight on Bespin, Luke calls him "Father" (before trying to talk to Obi-wan). Am I just remembering wrong, or did he really say that? If so, does anyone know why it was removed on the DVD?

Answer: Yes. When he "hears" Vader's voice, he responds, "Father." As I recall it, Vader says, "Son" and Luke responds, "Father," before saying, "Ben, why didn't you tell me."

raywest Premium member

Answer: This moment is still there and I don't believe has ever been removed.

TonyPH Premium member

Question: After one of the Imperial officers told Vader that the Millenium Falcon's hyperdrive had been deactivated, and then Luke and the others escaped anyway, why didn't Vader get angry? He killed a couple of officers earlier for losing track of the Falcon.

Answer: Well, he killed *one* officer (Captain Needa) for losing track of the Falcon. But all we can do is speculate... Perhaps it was the final failure, since his plan to turn Luke to the dark side didn't work. Perhaps he had second thoughts after meeting his son face to face. Perhaps Vader was concerned that if he was too aggressive, he might tip his hand that he had tempted Luke by suggesting the murder of the Emperor. Whatever the reason, Admiral Piett seems just as surprised as the audience that he wasn't executed.

JC Fernandez

Question: When Han and Lando meet for the first time after a while in the Cloud City, Han gets a rude welcome from Lando. Was Lando's rudeness a veiled warning to Han to leave, since Darth and the troopers were waiting for him?

Allister Cooper, 2011

Chosen answer: The rude welcome was just a way for Lando to "mess" with his old friend. It would have been suicide for Lando to get Han to leave knowing Vader and Company were waiting for all of them.

dablues7

Question: Han wants to leave the Rebel base on Hoth so he can pay Jabba and not have to worry anymore about all the bounty hunters that are after him. Seems like a reasonable thing to want to do. But why does everyone act like he's quitting the rebellion all together? What's to keep him from coming back after he gives Jabba the money? Even if they have to leave Hoth before he could make it back they could have told him where he could find them.

Answer: The Rebellion was in a pretty shaky situation at the time. They needed Han to be there full time, which is why he stayed with them so long even with bounty hunters coming after him. When he decides to leave, it's assumed they all feel they may never see him again, because the Rebellion may be wiped out, or Han could be meet some terrible fate at the hands of Jabba the Hutt, or even the Empire without the Rebellion to look after him.

RJR99SS

Answer: The Falcon had a damaged hyperdrive (hence why it needed to go to Cloud City). As they fled the Star Destroyer, Boba Fett managed to determine the trajectory and deduce the destination. The Star Destroyer and Slave I were then able to set a course for Cloud City and arrive there first.

Question: Is there supposed to be some kind of trivia when C3P0 says the odds of surviving are 725 to 1, 3720 to 1?

Mister Ed

Chosen answer: It's a galaxy. Given the distance that the fleet would have to be away from it in order to see the whole thing like that, it seem unlikely that it's intended to be the galaxy that the saga takes place in, but another one that's relatively close to it.

Tailkinker Premium member

Answer: It is the Star Wars galaxy. Haven was the codename of the Rebel Alliance's predetermined rendezvous point far beyond the Galactic Rim, where the Alliance Fleet regrouped after the Rebellion's defeat at the Battle of Hoth in 3 ABY. The rendezvous point lay near the coordinates 2.427 by 3.886 by 673.52 above the galactic plane.

Question: Darth Vader doesn't know he has a daughter (until the end of ROTJ). How did he know that he had a son? One may think that when Obi Wan hid Luke with his uncle, they'd have changed his last name from "Skywalker" to something else so that Anakin couldn't find him. Or did Vader just realize it when he was chasing him in SW (when he says "the force is strong with this one..."). This has always confused me.

Answer: Vader initially became interested in Luke after seeing him both in the Death Star after Vader killed Obi-Wan, and during the Death Star's destruction. After discovering him to be a powerful force user, he went to great lengths and used many Imperial Intelligence resources to identify him, eventually learning his surname of Skywalker, and realising that Luke was his son. He later learned the name Luke, but at that point it was redundant.

Question: So after the Falcon floats off with the garbage they look for a place to go and find Cloud City. They take off and Boba Fett follows. Later Lando says that the Empire arrived before them. How did they get there before the Falcon if Boba Fett was following the Falcon and it appears he told the Empire where they went?

swamphawk

Answer: The Falcons hyper drive wasn't working, after Boba Fett worked out where they were going he notified Vader who could beat them there as they had the use of hyper drive.

Chosen answer: The Empire guessed where the Falcon would be headed next, and so Vader and his forces arrived at Bespin before them. Boba Fett would have had time to meet Vader in that dining room before Han and the others walked in on them.

Answer: When Lando said, they arrived just before you did, he didn't mean Vader personally, he meant Imperial soldiers. The ones that were sent out looking for the escaping rebel fleet. When Bobo Fett saw where the Falcon was heading, he informed Vader.

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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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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