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….
For all the complaints the fans give about Luke's whining in A New Hope, he certainly still complains a lot in the 49th minute of Empire Strikes Back. He gripes that Yoda's making a mess and he calls the Jedi Master's homeworld a slimy mud-hole. Mr. Skywalker, demerit!
After Yoda's ransacked Luke's stuff, still under the guise of a random Dagobah inhabitant, Luke allows the old intruder to keep his lamp. But Artoo won't let him get away with it that easily. A robo-arm extends from Artoo's metal body and the two of them get into a tug of war. It's a funny physical piece of stage business and it's a testament to the operators of R2-D2 (including Kenny Baker inside the droid) and Yoda's puppeteers.
Frank Oz was the chief puppeteer, moving the head, the left arm and providing the voice. Several others assisted-- Kathryn Mullen, who controlled Yoda's right hand, also appeared in Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and developed a informational film for the charity, "No Strings," which used puppets to instruct children in war zones how to avoid landmines. Wendy Midener Froud, an accomplished doll sculptor with credits on Labyrinth and Dark Crystal, managed Yoda's wiggling ears. Dave Barclay was in charge of Yoda's eyes and, while he was the only puppeteer who worked under Stuart Freeborn at Lucasfilm, he went on to join several Henson projects including Labyrinth and Dark Crystal as well as Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Little Shop of Horrors. He returned to Star Wars as part of the team behind Jabba for Return of the Jedi. Like all those unknown artists working in Michelangelo's Renaissance-era workshop, it's hard to get your name on the finished product so remember these people. Never forget their sacrifices. Tell their stories.
Best Performance by a Human: Luke. Based on where this story's going, it's going to be Luke for a while.
Best Performance by a Non-Human: Yoda; this 800 year old still has some fight left in him.
Best Line: Yoda's mocking "aww, cannot get your ship out."
Rating: 19,400 out of the 20,000 Jedi Knights that Master Yoda trained in his lifetime.
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com