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 the Battle of Hoth winds down, the Rebels are in pieces. Appropriately, here's a rendering of the Battle of Hoth made entirely of Lego pieces (from Zioltouch).
At the start of Empire's 35th minute, the wall to the Rebel command center explodes and Imperial Snowtroopers pour in. The now-classic brassy sound of the "Imperial March" booms as Vader follows the troopers. It's similar to the Sith Lord's introduction in A New Hope and we can see Vader is made more menacing by the sum total of his entourage - flanked by troops and with a John Williams' theme song underscoring each step. That said, nothing is less menacing than Vader being forced to walk through a metal detector.
Just down the hallway, Han and Leia are getting frantic. The fast-paced editing and the rush of their escape doesn't give us enough time to enjoy their physical comedy, but their grabbing and yanking of each other in the opposite directions is entertaining in and of itself - at least, if you're painstakingly watching Empire minute-by-minute.
Also, Threepio, whose relationship with R2-D2 had been applauded in the original Star Wars as throwback/Vaudevillian comic relief, literally does an old-fashioned take to the audience. Han and Leia rush into the docking bay and the door closes behind them. Stuck on the other side of the door, C-3P0 faces the camera to say, "how typical."
Vader leads the pack into the docking bay after Han, Leia and Co. have entered the Falcon and locked its doors. The "March" continues and, as Vader walks into a shadow, his belt-lights stay lit. If he ever wants to sneak up on anyone, he needs to hold his breath and turn off portable life support. It's impossible to be the Prince of Darkness if you glow in the dark.
Once our heroes are inside the Falcon, the ship fails to start - which is fitting of Han's persona - he's more talk than action. While it ticks Leia off, it endears him to us as an imperfect and flawed antihero. After Leia's ultimate takedown - "would it help if I got out and pushed?" - Harrison Ford gives us his signature point. He's contractually obligated to point at least once per movie, and in Empire, he gives us our Galactic Credits' worth.
Best Performance by a Human: David Prowse as the physical manifestation of Vader, giving a quick jerk of a head-turn while sniffing out the location of remaining Rebels.
Best Performance by a Non-human: C-3P0 giving himself a Rodney Dangerfield "I get no respect" moment with his "how typical" line.
Best Line: Leia's "would it help if I got out and pushed?"
Rating: 92 out of 100 metric tons worth of cargo weight that Leia would need to move if she actually got out and pushed.
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com