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…
As our heroes turn the ship around and head back to Cloud City, Lando protests, saying, "what about those fighters?" Yet, we don't see any Imperials pursuing them whatsoever. Considering the fact they just left a city that was so densely packed with Imperial troops that we only saw one hallway of panicking civilians, you'd think they'd be caught in a web of tractor beams by now. They're able to fly back to Cloud City, however, without any issue. And in our field of vision, there aren't any enemy ships to point a laser at.
Back on Cloud City, Vader heads to his ship embittered, commanding his subordinates to "bring my shuttle." As someone who took out his frustrations on his own staff throughout this movie, he's internalizing a lot of his anger in this moment. It his fault, though. I'm sure he's kicking himself for playing so much of his hand with the big reveal. Maybe that's why he's too distracted to sense that his son's still alive and the "Most Wanted" ship in the galaxy is about to catch him from the bottom of the city. Seriously, Vader can sense Luke from lightyears away (as attested by this deleted scene from Return of the Jedi), but he can't sense that Luke survived his fall and still somewhere on the planet?
It's here that Lucas made a minor change for the 1997 Special Edition. In all later versions of Empire, Vader says, "alert my star destroyer to prepare for my arrival." It sounds less terse and its's accompanied a shot of the dark lord's shuttle. Is it necessary? NO. In a way, it undermines the character because if you listen really closely, the delivery of the new dialogue has the swagger of an ad exec saying "I love my job." Not the baddest Sith on the gas planet. Regardless, the fun fact here is that this is not new dialogue that James Earl Jones recorded for the '97 re-release - this is an unused line from the original Star Wars, and the team finally found a place for it here.
But will all this effort save Luke? Will they get off the planet alive? Will James Earl Jones say any other lines?
There's only a couple more 60 seconds left in order to find out.
Best Performance by a Human: Leia commanding the rescue operation.
Best Performance by a Non-human: Chewie barking at Lando.
Best Line: Vader's flippant delivery of "alert my star destroyer to prepare for my arrival" (not from the theatrical cut).
Rating: 11:45 out of the 13:15 minutes of screen-time Vader has in Empire.
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com