Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Question: When Han goes out searching for Luke at the beginning of the movie, why does Han's tauntaun (which is native to Hoth) freeze to death, but Han remains largely unaffected by the cold?

Answer: Anything can freeze to death, regardless of whether it's endemic to the area or not if it is exposed long enough to the elements. The tauntaun had adapted, yes, but it still had a limit to how long it could survive in a particularly bad blizzard before it succumbed. Left to its own devices, the tauntaun surely would have stayed in the cave to preserve its body heat and not take unnecessary risks. Unfortunately, it didn't have much choice in the matter. Han, on the other hand, adapted to the cold the human way, which was to add layers and take extra precautions afforded us by our intelligence and ability to plan ahead. He was still affected, but he (unlike the tauntaun) knew exactly what he was getting into and was able to put on enough layers to survive the frigid conditions.

Question: What happened to Dack to take him out of commission during the assault on Hoth? He was rendered unconscious or dead before being able to fire the tow cable.

Answer: The back of their ship was struck by a laser-blast, which killed Dak. You hear the sound of a laser blast, see it for a split-second through the window, and then Dak's console explodes and he slumps over. (It's slightly unclear what exactly killed him, but it appears that either some of the energy from the blast hit him and/or he was killed by his equipment shorting out).


Question: Why is Han still wanted by Jabba in this movie? I'd got the impression that at the end of the first movie he'd been paid adequately by the Rebel Alliance for delivering Princess Leia and the Death Star plans and that he was going to use it to pay Jabba back. Why didn't Han pay Jabba back after the destruction of the Death Star?

Answer: He may have got his reward, but he never went back to pay off Jabba. If you recall everyone referred to him as General Solo, which means he stayed with them, especially for Princess Leia. Being gone for so long, Jabba put the bounty on him. If you recall, in Return of the Jedi, after he was thawed, Solo said, "I was on my way to pay you Jabba, but got sidetracked."

Answer: It could just be that he was irresponsible. I know people who will owe a debt or bill, but when they somehow get money that could pay it off, they spend the money on other things instead. Maybe he felt more secure by being with the Rebels, and became careless.

Answer: Han was paid by the Rebel Alliance, so he had the money. Why he never paid off Jabba is never explained in the movie. There's much Internet discussion about this, such as he became dedicated to the rebellion, didn't want to leave Leia, somehow lost the money, and so on, but it's mere speculation. This is a plot hole.


Question: The Emperor informs Vader that Luke is Anakin's son. How did the Emperor find out? And is Vader actually surprised during their conversation, or did he secretly know this already?

Answer: In the original release of Empire, the Emperor actually says, "we have a new enemy, Luke Skywalker." In the re-release the lines are changed to, "the young rebel who destroyed the Death Star, I have no doubt he is the son of Anakin Skywalker." Hope that helps.

Adding on to this comment, the Emperor has spies, agents, lackeys. Someone could have found out the name of the "young Rebel." If a young man's last name is Skywalker and he is Force-strong, it's enough for the Emperor to guess.

Question: Is it really possible to keep a person warm by putting him inside the body of a large animal? That's what Han does with Luke in the movie.

Answer: There are real life stories of people using horse carcasses for warmth and shelter. There were even old stories of shepherds using their camels in the exact manner as Han does for Luke, although I can't attest to their validity. (DiCaprio does a similar thing in "The Revenant" with a horse). There is residual heat in these animals. Most large animals have an normal temperature over 100°F (a camel's temperature can rise to 104°F during the day). However, what is most likely keeping them relatively warm is using the carcass as a heavy blanket while at the same time blocking the cold winds (creating a small tent) and not using the guts to warm themselves up.


Answer: In the Mythbusters' Star Wars episode #208, Adam and Jamie created a tauntaun and an analog Luke and simulated the same frigid conditions to test whether this was possible. They concluded it was "plausible."

Answer: Out of his fear of possible danger and facing the unknown. He didn't yet fully trust everything Yoda told him.


Chosen answer: It's not known how or in what way Obi Wan is powerful or if that power can be physically extended to the living world. Also, for various reasons, Luke, to fulfill his destiny to be a Jedi, must be the one to confront and defeat Vader, though Obi Wan can still guide him.


Question: Why did Vader cut off Luke's hand? It seems like a strange thing to do right before you request that someone join you.

Answer: The intent was to disarm Luke and end the fight and prevent Luke from gaining the upper hand (no pun intended). As seen at the end of the film, Luke received a new prosthetic hand that was nearly as proficient as his real one. There is also a bit of symbolism here. Vader had been severely mutilated by Obi Wan many years before, resulting him becoming more machine than man. As Palpatine later attempts to sway Luke to the Dark Side, Luke's lost hand serves to remind him that he could easily become a monster like his father.


Question: This question also applies to a similar scene from Episode I. When the Rebel Forces are fleeing Hoth, why do they have to fly right in the path of the blockade? There didn't appear to be any resistance on the planet's northern and southern poles, and the lack of gravity in space shouldn't preclude them from flying their planes at a ninety degree angle once they escape the planet's gravitational pull, instead of having to fly in a path parallel to the blockade's position.


Chosen answer: The Empire's ships are faster and more maneuverable and don't suffer speed restrictions from the atmosphere of the planet. They could easily outrun/pick off the Rebel ships as they left the protection of the planetary shield. By going directly at the Star Destroyers, they give themselves the best chance in two ways. First, they present a smaller target coming head-on. Second, by going between the ships, the Imperials risk hitting their own ships if they fire. It would also take more time to set the courses for hyperspace because of all the maneuvering.

Question: As far as I know, there were no plans for another trilogy after the first one released over 30 years ago. My question is, did Episode V always appear during the opening credits or was that added later in the special addition? If it was always apart of the credits, didn't people wonder why it was called episode V when it was the second movie? Would seem confusing.

Carl Missouri

Chosen answer: "Episode V" was in place right from the beginning, and the "Episode IV" tag was added to Star Wars in a re-release the following year. By this point, Lucas was already talking about doing a prequel trilogy covering the rise of the Empire at some future point, with allusions to a possible sequel trilogy consisting of Episodes VII though IX to follow.


Question: Could someone please explain to me exactly how the Millennium Falcon is being flown. It appears to swoop in such a way like someone is steering it, but no one on board seems to be doing much more than pressing the odd button here or there. And it can't be autopilot because it seems to be doing exactly what those on board want. So does anyone know?

Gavin Jackson

Chosen answer: Han has the control board in front of him - he has everything he needs to fly the ship to hand. We never get a particularly good look at the console, so we don't know precisely what format the controls are presented in, but that's what he's using.


Question: In the battle of Hoth, when Han and Leia are at the command center, we hear a voice saying "Imperial troops have entered the base" but this happens before General Veers has destroyed the power generator. How is it possible for them to enter when the shield is still up?


Chosen answer: The shield prevents ship from landing close to the base and stops any orbital bombardment; it's not designed to prevent actual entry to the base. As such, the Imperial Walkers were landed a long way out, then they simply walked in under the shield, much as the probe droid did earlier. The ground troops simply came in with the walkers, disembarked and entered the base - the shield wasn't in their way.


It got corrected on the 4K release.

Question: Since its mentioned in most of the other Star Wars films, where is the number 1138 mentioned in this one?

Answer: When the snowspeeders are searching for Han and Luke, the leader says for Rogues 10 and 11 to search sector 38. A bit of a stretch, but there it is. Also, during the duel between Luke and Vader the fight sequence begins with one exchange of strikes, then one more, then three, then eight.


Question: Yoda always makes a huge deal about Anakin's age in Episode 2, being too old to start training as a Jedi. Yet in Episode 5, he barely hesitates before training Luke, a full grown man. We are made to think that even a young boy is a lost cause, so wouldn't a man be impossible to train? Unlike Anakin, Luke had never displayed any Force characteristics (except for piloting in the Battle of Yavin).

Answer: In Episode 1, he's clearly reluctant to train Anakin at all, obviously sensing something that troubles him. The age issue may have been something of a smokescreen, but it is clear that Jedi training starts at a very early age - Anakin is well past that age already. With training Luke in Episode 5, what other choice does Yoda have? If the Emperor and Vader are to be brought down, it's pretty much Luke, Leia (who obviously has the same age issues) or nobody.


Question: In the 2004 DVD of Empire Strikes Back, they re-dubbed Boba Fett's voice. Does anyone know why and who they replaced his old voice with?

Answer: Jeremy Bulloch's voice was dubbed over by Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett (Boba's father) in Attack of the Clones. This was probably done because, as revealed in Episode II, Boba is actually a clone of Jango, rather than a biological son.

Question: I've always been a little confused by Luke's "failure in the cave." What exactly should Luke have done to actually pass this test? And why did his face appear inside the mask of the image of Darth Vader?

Matty Blast

Chosen answer: Luke failed the test before he even entered the cave - Yoda tells him to leave his weapons behind, but Luke takes them anyway. Seeing his face within Vader's mask is a warning that, if he embraces the path of violence (as he has by taking his weapons into the cave with him) then he could end up falling to the Dark Side as Vader did.


Question: What would have been the correct thing for Luke to do in the cave?

Answer: I'm sure there will be many interpretations about this, and I can't wait to read them. My take was, Luke's mistake was ignoring Yoda's instructions to leave his weapons behind before entering the cave. Rather than using calm reason and logic, he confronted his fears with force and attacked an enemy that turned out to be something else entirely.


Answer: I wonder if Luke was supposed to allow the illusion of Darth Vader to "kill" him, similar to how Obi-Wan allowed himself to be killed. A lesson about how you can still lose in the long run, even if you win a fight with weapons. Obi-Wan trusted the Force and did not need to win the last duel with Vader. Vader won, but was still trapped by his choices and his obligations to the Emperor.

Question: About 20 minutes into the movie Darth Vader says "I am sure Skywalker is with them" but later the emperor says to him "I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker" and then Vader says "How is that possible" so I am just wondering 2 things: 1) is that part of Vader's plan to overthrow the Emperor? and 2) if the emperor is more powerful than him and Luke, how does he expect Luke to help him overthrow the Emperor? Surely the Emperor could destroy him since the Emperor is more powerful than both Luke and Vader.


Chosen answer: For the special editions George Lucas changed the scene to feature the same actor (Ian McDiarmid) as played the emperor in RotJ and the prequels. He also changed the dialog. In the original version, there is no comment from the emperor about Luke being Anakin's offspring. Instead it is left more vague and he is simply referred to as "the son of Skywalker", as at this point it is not known that Vader is in fact Anakin Skywalker. The change was made to tie the original film to the prequels, but as you point out, it only served to create a plot hole.

Answer: At the time Vader knew Luke was his son but did not tell the Emperor this. He was faking his reaction to make the Emperor feel like he was one step ahead of him.

Question: Chewbacca says something to Han about Lando, and Han says, "That was a long time ago. I'm sure he's forgotten about that." Has it ever been revealed what Chewbacca mentioned?

Answer: At the time of the film, it was suggested that Lando was upset because he lost the Falcon to Han in a game of Sabaac. Later (now) non-canon materials offer up other reasons Lando would hold a grudge (Such as the time Han set Lando up with the Tonnika Sisters, twin siblings that conned Lando into thinking they were a single person).


Answer: The movies never say. According to Wookieepedia, cybernetics or prosthetic limbs can be powered by batteries, with no further explanation.

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. (01:26:40)

More mistakes in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

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

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