Saturday, December 12, 2015

Star Wars Original Trilogy Full Commentary Part 2: The Empire Strikes Back

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting theaters in just six days, it's Star Wars themed fun all this week. As part of the celebration, I'll be doing a full commentary on all three movies in the original trilogy, ending with my overall thoughts on the films. Today, I'll be taking a look at the second installment, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

A couple things before we begin:

1. I’m watching the DVDs of this trilogy, which are the infamous Han-DIDN’T-shoot-first versions. So it’s not my fault if it’s blasphemy.

2. This is only the second time I’ve seen these movies since I was tiny and too young to understand or remember them. I am not in any way a Star Wars expert. I don’t know the names of everything, and Star Wars aficionados may notice me get facts or terminology wrong, but that's okay. We're just here to have a good time.

Quick glossary of some MBTI terms, since I mention them in the commentary:

Fe = the desire to help, protect, or please other people. 
Fi = devotion to ideals. 
Ti = devotion to logic. 
Ni = a deep, subconscious connection to the universe around us. 
Si = devotion to tradition. 
SJs = people with very high Si.

Let’s go.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

So, this is a whole movie. Which is weird because it feels more like a collection of deleted scenes from the other two movies edited together? It is basically about Han and Leia being attacked by leech dragons inside a giant axolotl while Luke blows up metal dinosaurs, makes rocks float in a swamp while doing handstands, and faints in the snow. 


Also, Luke has a different nose suddenly. I actually like it better? He actually LOOKS like Mark Hamill now. I had trouble seeing Mark Hamill in Luke’s face before.

(Don’t tell me about the car crash because I already KNOW)

Not even five minutes in and Luke is already unconscious.

No one can find Luke and they are worried. Honestly, what kind of team sets up a mission without factoring in the possibility of Luke being knocked unconscious? Don’t they know anything about him? I mean, last movie he was knocked unconscious without anything hitting him at all. 

I love how Han views Luke as a friend now. To the point that he basically goes on a suicide mission to rescue him

I love the sound the tauntaun makes. It sounds so stupid

I saw an interview with Mark Hamill where he said he HATED the fact that Luke hurt the snow beast. He thought it was out of character because, even though it was in self-defense, it’s so unlike Luke to ever willingly hurt another living thing.

Luke flailing around in the snow, trying to get…somewhere

Now he’s unconscious again

“R2 has been known to make mistakes…from time to time…” SO COMFORTING

That awkward moment when you get woken up by your dead mentor

That awkward moment when you are a dead mentor, and you appear as a ghost only to see your student unconscious AGAIN

LOL Obi-Wan doesn’t even react to the fact that Luke is unconscious/dying in the snow. He just gives him some friendly instructions like always, like nothing’s wrong. Like he’s used to it. 

This must be why he was okay with dying

Luke is unconscious AGAIN as soon as Obi-Wan disappears.

That’s the third time in 15 minutes. So Luke has an average of becoming unconscious every 5 minutes

Tbh I think the tauntaun is just making fun of Luke

It would be very frightening to wake up in water.

See this?

^^ Everyone always says that the scars Luke has on his face in this scene are the actor’s real scars from the car crash. But they can’t be because the scars are on the wrong side. Hamill’s real ones, I’ve heard, are on the left side on his face, between his eyes and nose. Exactly like Zuko’s, basically. Like father, like son.

It annoys me so much that Han just assumes Leia is in love with him. What annoys me more is that he’s right. He’s done nothing to deserve it nOTHING WHY

Heads up for any guys reading this. If I treat you the way Leia treats Han, that is not a sign I secretly like you and am just pretending to hate you. If I act like I hate you, that’s a not-so-secret sign that I do actually hate you. See how easy it is in real life?

“Laugh it up fuzzball… :O ”  he’s so easily and genuinely annoyed though

It gives me life knowing that one of the relationships between the MCs in one of the world’s most famous franchises is accidental incest. Although, you have to admit… the incest isn’t REAL. Leia only kissed Luke to annoy Han. And all the other times she kissed him were just on the cheek after he’d saved her, which is perfectly acceptable for siblings.

Oh, gosh. That cocky look though, Luke.

Still. Han deserved that. Purposely taunting Luke by talking about how much Leia loves him in front of him when he KNOWS Luke likes her. This isn’t like the good-natured teasing he did to Luke in the last movie. Now he’s just being a straight up jerk to him. 

Darth Vader’s voice sounds deeper…?

Also he’s killing all his people which is wasteful

“Imperial Walkers”? Is this going to be a Star Wars/The Walking Dead crossover? Because I am so there girlfriend

I don’t care what anyone says. They ARE dinosaurs.

Wait these ships though. They’re sitting back to back? So are they like push-me-pull-you ships? Can they both serve as “fronts”? Can they both equally pilot and fire at the enemy? Why am I so fascinated by these ships?


Is that the same guy who helped them blow up the Deathstar in A New Hope?

C-3PO being a wife again

The dinosaur walkers are so wonderful I am almost angry at the good guys for destroying them. I want them to be set free into the wild where they can mechanically walk among the fields of flowers or something

That song plays EVERY time Darth Vader is on screen. /every/ time

“Would it help if I got out and pushed? :P ” “It might! :( ”

What is this screen doing? Translating what R2D2 is saying? WHAT LANGUAGE IS THIS I’M SO INTERESTED

These tortilla ships look strangely delicious

“You don’t have to do this to impress me.” Yeah… that’s totally why he’s doing it… /sarcasm

It must be a Skywalker family tradition to criticize Han whenever he pilots his ship

R2D2 is a surprisingly developed character for someone who just sits and rolls and beeps

Oh he can fly too

Luke: “Maybe I’m just going crazy.” R2D2: *vomits mud* Luke: …

C3PO: *casually asks if Han is going to kill him*

Mark Hamill carries this scene surprisingly well considering all he has to act against is a beeping droid and a shriveled swamp puppet

Also I could watch Yoda and R2D2 fight forever

Okay. You see this scene? 

The scene where Leia insists she doesn’t like Han, but Han holds her in place and kisses her because he assumes she does secretly like him? Luckily he’s right. But here’s a fun game you kids can play at home. Next time you watch this scene, imagine you are Leia, imagine Han is WRONG about you secretly liking him, and imagine you are telling the truth. Imagine. The scene looks very interesting now

C-3PO the Oblivious


He talks to Vader about Anakin Skywalker in the third person. what even are these people

Yoda’s cute little house with R2D2 eavesdropping

Jedis don’t desire adventure? What kind of goal is that?

“I think it might be better if I stay behind and guard the ship” I think so too stay behind please

I want to learn more about these leech dragons

Why is C-3PO afraid of them? He’s /inside/ the ship

See. I have seen real live axolotls in person. And this is definitely a space axolotl –

If you know what an axolotl is, you definitely agree with me. And if you don’t know what an axolotl is, I’m not going to tell you. You’ll have to google it. But this is definitely a space axolotl. 

Is that another leech dragon in the swamp where Luke is?

Yoda piggyback riding on Luke

Why is Luke hallucinating Darth Vader in the swamp? Who’s creating this vision? Yoda? The swamp itself?

“Bounty hunters? We don’t need that scum” Why do these people love the word “scum” so much?

Finally someone tells C-3PO to shut up. Of course, Leia had to be the one to do it.

While HP showed me how much I want to be a wizard and LOTR showed me how much I want to be a Hobbit, Star Wars really just showed me how much I DON’T want to be a Jedi. The force, or whatever you want to call the belief in it, is an awful religion. Not only is the whole set-up of it completely meaningless if you don’t have Ni, its philosophies are not appealing or even consistent. “Don’t feel love, don’t feel hate, don’t feel afraid, but always trust your feelings.” And don’t even get me started on Yoda’s “Do or do not, there is no try” stuff. I prefer the words of a certain Star Trek captain when he said:

(Please don't kill me for putting a Star Trek reference in a Star Wars article. :D )

And the Jedis themselves are just so gross. Obi-Wan gets points for being a sweet old elf-like man and for being played by Sir Alec Guinness, but you can’t get around the fact that he LIED to Luke about his father (I’m so not buying the “Well, he was dead in a /WAY/” crap) and then purposely got himself killed PURPOSELY WHILE LUKE WAS WATCHING??? Seriously, what was up with that? I know I talked about it before but I’m still not over it. At first I thought maybe he did it to motivate Luke into hating Vader even more. But that’s the exact opposite of what he wants Luke to do. He’s not really helping with the whole “Don’t feel hate! Don’t feel bitterness! They lead to the dark side!” thing. 

Also, Yoda is kind of a jerk and an all-around sucky teacher. He calls Luke impatient. But whether that’s true or not, Luke’s a heck of a lot more patient with Yoda than I would be. Yoda finds EVERY EXCUSE HE CAN to not have faith in Luke and to find something bad to complain about whenever Luke does ANYTHING. I mean, Luke might not be the perfect student or anything, but he is completely new to this, wants to learn, tries, and is actually connecting to the force way faster than most people would. So fast that even Han was a bit bothered by his “beginner's luck.” And then, when all the complaining and insults gets Luke down and Luke seems discouraged, Yoda looks at him disapprovingly and says, “Always with you it cannot be done.” ALWAYS WITH /YOU/ IT CANNOT BE DONE??? I mean, for heaven’s sakes, Yoda judges him when can’t lift a WHOLE FREAKING SPACESHIP out of the water when just a FEW SECONDS AGO Luke was only learning how to lift SMALL ROCKS. And for the record, it took even the great Yoda himself awhile to get that ship out of the water.

Do not be unnecessarily cruel to my smol son

This is why I can be so ride or die with Luke. It doesn’t matter what side of the force he’s on. On one hand, I love him for always trying his hardest to stay on the side of the Jedis. But on the other hand, the Jedis really don’t deserve him on their side, and I almost want him to rise as a dark lord and journey out to slay them all. 

“The force…life creates it…makes it grow.” So life creates a force that, to use it properly, you can’t love, can’t hate, can’t feel fear, or desire adventure? 'Cuz that sounds like the exact opposite of something life would create.

Only someone as annoying as Yoda would view human bodies as mere “crude matter”. Don’t look at him like that. So rude.

Why is Yoda’s lifting the ship out of the water using the force supposed to surprise Luke? Yoda’s had hundreds of years of experience in the force. Of course he can lift it eventually. Luke has next to no experience. It’s not really a fair comparison

Stop killing people, Vader. That’s no way to accept someone’s apology. 

I’d lift R2D2 in the air too if I had the force.


friends in pain oh no. Fe engaged

Everyone ignores C-3PO. XD


Luke has too much Fe to finish his training. He’s getting the heck out of there and is going to rescue his friends. Ain't no one going to tell him to sit there levitating rocks while people are suffering.

Yoda says “If you end your training now, if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil.” But Luke isn’t ending his training early because he wants “the quick and easy path”. He’s leaving TEMPORARILY to go save his friends, who are being unfairly targeted and tortured just because of their association with Luke. Yoda keeps yelling “Don’t give in to hate!” But just because Luke is choosing to stand up for *people* rather than the *ideals* those people are fighting for – just because he’s choosing his Fe over Yoda’s Fi – that doesn’t exactly make him “hateful”. 

The rules of this whole force thing are really dumb tbh. I can tell why people go to the dark side so easily. It does look a lot better than the light side, as long as I don’t have to kill anyone I’m fond of.


Was it REALLY worth saving C-3PO though?

C-3PO is in pieces. Lando: “Having trouble with your droid?” Han: “No. Why?”

“I’ve just made a deal that will keep the empire out of here forever.” Ha. Haha. Ha.

C-3PO almost comes back to life and he immediately apologizes and screams. At least his shining personality has been preserved

Keep him backwards.

I can’t hate Lando. I just…can’t?

Okay. So they’re freezing Han in the carbonite to see if it’s lethal. And they want to see if it’s lethal so they can freeze Luke in it without killing him. And they want to freeze Luke in it…why? Earlier they said all they want is for him to either turn to the dark side or die. Freezing in carbonite is neither of those things. What do you mean “for his journey to the emperor”? Why would anyone need to be frozen to be taken to the emperor? No one else in all of history has been frozen before being taken to the emperor. I know because they’ve clearly never done it before, since they don’t know if it’s lethal or not. 

Leia makes such a POINT of looking at Luke when she sees him hiding there, I’m really surprised she didn’t blow his cover. Good thing everyone’s so dumb.

What IS this? An android man?

I get why Leia doesn’t want to trust Lando, but it’s kind of dumb not to since things really can’t get much worse and it’s pretty clear he regrets what he did.

“You’ll find I’m full of surprises.” YEs

He really does know how to get out of the tightest situations. So much capability in such a tiny child

Kind of dumb to have a big glass, asking-to-be-broken window in a city with vacuum-like wind. Just sayin

I have a theory that R2 gets hurt more than anyone else even though he deserves it least

“I never doubted you for a SECOND” yeah…

Good heavens. He’s just got his hand cut off, he’s right on the edge of this platform with an unimaginably long drop below him and Darth Vader above him, and he STILL HAS NOT STOPPED FORMULATING A PLAN

Darth Vader is so keen on destroying the Emperor. Why doesn’t he just do it? Why does he try to convince Luke to do it when he also seems convinced he’s a stronger fighter than Luke anyway?

Darth Vader being his father is such a big deal though. Not just because it’s a ~shocking twist~ but because honoring his father’s memory by fighting Darth Vader was basically all Luke had left in the universe. Now that’s been taken away too. AND he’s got his hand cut off too, to add insult to injury. Er…to add injury to insult? Whatever.

It’s weird how obvious it is that Darth Vader already loves his son on some level. I love how, when he’s trying to get Luke to join the dark side, it starts out as this ~villainous tempting~ type thing and slowly morphs into like a proud father trying to get his son to join the family business. 

That helpless look he has when Luke jumps

When Luke hits the bar that stops him from falling all the way down, there’s this one VERY brief moment where he doesn’t yet realize he’s hanging in midair, and he just has this look of casual annoyance like “Oh great, now where am I?” And THEN he sees where he is and he’s like O__________O

…I live for that moment.

He just has the worst luck though. I mean, he also has the best luck because he’s actually still alive through all of this despite the fact he has no idea what he’s doing. But he also has the worst luck. He found the charred skeletons of his legal guardians in an exploded igloo, his wizard mentor suicided in front of him, he’s in love with a woman he doesn’t know is his sister, he got his hand cut off and is dangling from the sky with his other hand, and Darth Vader is his dad he found out. Everything he lived for thus far has been erased. 


Psychic rescue~

I find it really funny that, if this movie was set in modern times, all of the advertisement and fan arguments would probably be like “Han or Luke: Which one will Leia choose?” I mean, I’m sure that happened when it came out, but I feel like it would be funnier if it happened today considering Luke is her brother. Imagine if Edward or Jacob turned out to secretly be Bella’s brother. Or if Peeta or Gale turned out to be Katniss’s brother. All of Tumblr would break, the internet would shut down

Oh and now Luke is supposed to recover in a ship that’s under attack

“IT’S NOT MY FAULT” I love how they purposely make Lando act like Han here. Watching dishonest rogues having temper tantrums at ship malfunctions gives me life.

“You know better than to trust a strange computer.”

FINALLY LUKE IS MAD AT SOMEONE FOR LYING TO HIM. About time, son. You know, everyone has done this to you always

Why DIDN’T they tell him though. It really was, honest to God, DUMB of them not to tell him

^^ This is what people look like when they really need tea

Luke just mispronounced the name of his own home planet. 

At least he has a new hand though.


Still. Cute twins are cute.


Join us tomorrow when I'll provide commentary for the third movie in the original trilogy, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, and give my overall thoughts on the original trilogy!


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