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 30:00, the Rebels win their first small victory in this battle by tripping a walker. Well, in the last film, they blew up the Death Star and A New Hope's opening scroll stated they "won their first victory against the evil GALACTIC EMPIRE" - making that three victories so far.
This particular victory ends with Rebel snowspeeders blowing the fallen walker to bits. It's probably the second largest onscreen explosion in all of Empire. The largest overall is still to come in, give or take, 2 minutes. Since this entire fall was done using stop-motion photography, the work needed to bring this shot to life was probably more painstaking than all the other AT-AT walking shots combined. But don't take it from me - check out this vintage 1980 TV special going into more detail about the walkers themselves and featuring a thumbnail image of 50's housewife twins for some reason...
Using elephants as visual reference points to depict accurate movements for the walkers onscreen, did ILM trip elephants all over California parking lots just to get this shot? Probably.
Following the explosion - Wedge gives a "Hooah, that got him," that would make Pacino weep.
Cutting back to the base, the walls are shaking and those giant "Battleship" boards are wobbling as the Imperial troops get closer. Which is a play on the age old statement - if the base is a rockin' don't bother knocking... because you're the Empire and we're not on the same side as you.
Leia gives the order for two transports to leave at a time while General Rieekan urges her to consider how dangerous it is for them to try to defend two cruisers at a time. He's probably merely playing devil's advocate here. They need to get out and fast. So they begin the overall evacuation.
Then we see Han is still working on his ship. Production probably shot most of Han's Hoth interiors in a couple days - what other actor is lucky enough to spend most of their time fiddling with nonsense tools on top of a fake starship? People are dying outside while Han's lugwrenching to the oldies - you're telling me there's not one passing mechanic or Good Samaritan-R2 unit who can help diagnose the ship's issue? It seems like it's time to find a Correllian dealer and trade this one in.
We're then treated to a short and heartfelt exchange between Artoo and Threepio. It's reminiscent of the moment before Artoo flies off with Luke in the last Episode IV and it's just one of several short updates on the supporting characters before we head back to the main action featuring Luke and Rogue Squadron.
Like an early-season episode of Game of Thrones, Minute 30:00 opens with a punch but ends up spending the rest of its time setting the table for things to come.
Best Performance by a Human: Han Solo speed-turkey-walking over to Chewie to tell him he's fixing the ship wrong, with "this one goes there, that one goes here!"
Best Performance by a Non-human: Chewie not understanding how to fix the Falcon (so of course he shouldn't inherit it at the end of The Force Awakens. But still, in A New Hope, why didn't Chewie get a medal?)
Best Line: "This one goes there, that one goes here!"
Rating: 1.7 out of 2 transports at a time.
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com