Written by Richie Pepio
During the 124 days before the release of The Last Jedi, I’m reviewing all 124 minutes of the theatrical version of The Empire Strikes Back. Join me and together we will watch Star Wars.
Only 100 days left....
In Minute 24:00, Darth Vader joins a long list of horrible bosses who challenge their subordinates via satellite.
The Empire has a lot of upward mobility, but if you want to survive and you’re not stationed on an “invulnerable” battle station, stick with the entry level gig.
So Vader permanently fires Admiral Ozzel for leading the Imperial Fleet out of hyperspace too close Hoth’s atmosphere. Although he intended it to serve as a surprise attack, it alerted the Rebels and gave their evacuation a head start.
Using the Force, Vader gives Ozzel the anti-Heimlich maneuver and all Ozzel can do is clutch his throat with his black gloves. Although those black gloves are B.A. and make him look like a regular Ozzel Osbourne, his sputtering is pathetic. SAD!
And when I first saw this movie as a child, I didn’t understand exactly how the Force worked. At the time, it seemed synonymous with magic. In my mind, when Vader chokes you, his glove appears on your hand and you just start choking yourself. Maybe that’s because Ozzel actor Michael Sheard really sells the fact there’s an invisible hand choking his neck and he keeps grabbing his own neck in spite of himself. Either way, it’s effective and now Piett is in charge.
Meanwhile, Leia shows her own version of effective leadership by briefing the Rebel pilots. We haven’t really seen her fly much herself (not yet, anyway) but it gives her something to do. She wants to brief? Let her brief.
Best Performance by a Human: Admiral Ozzel’s choking death.
Best Performance by a Non-human: Vader’s revolving home theater/egg.
Best Line: Vader’s I’m-getting-too-old-for-this-sh*t takedown of Ozzel – “He is as clumsy as he is stupid.”
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 times that Michael Sheard played Hitler.