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….
In Minute 32:00, Luke crashes and burns thanks to his own crummy flying tactics as we see our first outright black lines. In the shot up top, the AT-AT obviously looks like it's been matted onto the frame. The take is still impressive for its day but this is the first image to really make the theatrical cut look dated. When the Walker gets closer, there's an obvious switch from superimposed stop-motion model to full-sized foot. With the AT-AT trudging just feet away from Luke's grounded cockpit, the tension builds as Skywalker forces his way out of the ship. He grabs his lightsaber and his grappling hook and manages to jump off before the Walker crushes his vehicle. Too bad he didn't bother to recover Dak's body. The lightsaber fight at the end of the movie could've used a moment like this, and then Luke would have to explain to Dak's ghost that he cared more about a grappling hook than his gunner's still-warm corpse.
In a film that physically stretches Mark Hamill to his limits, this is the first stunt he's had to undertake in several minutes. But it's worth it, even for the Mondo poster alone...
Meanwhile, Han finally leaves the Falcon to see some action. He was so busy trying to isolate the reverse power couplings on his ship that he was too late in realizing the other half of his real life coupling is in trouble. When Solo arrives in the command center, it's full of dead droids and destroyed equipment. But where is General Rieekan? Doesn't the captain have to go down with this ship?
While the stakes are high, it seems as if this moment might have been directed for laughs but ultimately edited to emphasize the urgency of the situation. When Han goes over to escort Leia out, she dodges him and heads for one of the technicians to keep issuing orders. If she could, she'd do all their jobs herself.
When the roof collapses in the biggest hit yet sustained, Anthony Daniels' C-3P0 does a trustfall onto Solo. It's not entirely noticeable at first because it's in shadow and just one of many events going on in the same shot - but it's just awkward enough to make the keen-eyed viewer laugh.
Even with their antagonistic interactions, there's still a spark between Han and Leia - which is a testament to the actors, writers and director. They've been at each other's throats for nearly all of the 32 minutes we've been watching and it hasn't gotten old just yet.
Meanwhile, Anthony Daniels' Threepio gets to hop around as sparks surround him - showing off some of his physical and miming skills. He's not as agile here as his Muppet Show appearance, but he's still on his game.
Best Performance by a Human: Luke jumping out from under the walker's foot.
Best Performance by a Non-human: Threepio landing on anyone within falling distance.
Best Line: the intercom's "Imperial troops have entered the base! Imperial troops have entered the--"
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 seasons of The Muppet Show.
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com