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….
Minute 41:00 has Han finding a nice quiet hiding place. Too quiet...
Threepio's still got his circuits in a bunch but the rest of the crew's calmed down now that Captain Solo seems to be in control. The THX sound, which blares with the exhaust of ships zooming over and under our field of vision, places us right on the asteroid's surface. The camera, sound, and model-work is much more dynamic here than in '77. Just compare the spinning TIE Fighters from A New Hope to those in Empire Strikes Back...
Yes. Everything spun better in the 80's.
What's that, Little Orphan Annie? You wanna get in on the fun?
On second thought, it no, not really, no. No. Spinning is not a great trick for you. Why don't you sit this one out...
...Because we'd much rather watch the Falcon do all the spinning that it couldn't do in the film released three years earlier. With a smaller, more maneuverable model for wider shots, we wanted the impossible. They COULD do it. And that is why they DIDN'T fail.
But how did they do it? Let's let ILM do the talking...
ILM worked so much magic on the optical effects, they're a regular SPACE-HOUDINI. But they couldn't be bothered to remove that lens flare in that shot of the Falcon entering the asteroid-cave (asteroid-throat?). So many bloggers and message board fanatics are complaining about the return of J.J. Abrams (aka Cap'n Lens Flare) to direct Star Wars: Episode 9. But Lucasfilm was using unnecessary lens flares 35 years before Mr. Regarding Henry showed up!
From there, we cut to Luke's X-Wing reaching Dagobah. And how did he get there so fast?
Well, Aramis, a resident hyperspace expert and member of the SciFi.StackExchange.com message boards, attempts to answer this question for us. Skywalker was able to make a long (1150 light year trip) in a couple hours, if you believe his commute is happening at the same time as Han and Leia's escape from the Imperial fleet. With a week's-worth of supplies and fuel according to the X-Wing entry on Wookieepedia, Luke conveniently is able to go from Hoth to Dagobah to Bespin in less than 10 days. If there's no such thing as luck and no Waze app, then Luke can thank the Force for giving him the shortest, no-toll route to the Galaxy's version of a civilization-free Bayou.
While it's foggy once inside the atmosphere, you can commend Ralph McQuarrie - concept artist, matte painter, and planet/satellite extraordinaire - for the detailed view of Dagobah-from-space. As hyper-realistic as the planet appears from space, this was all hand-painted by McQuarrie himself. He helped Lucas envision much of the galaxy as the story was just fomenting in the Lucas' brain. His work from the mid-1970's throughout the production of the Original Trilogy typified the style of the Star Wars universe.
McQuarrie's physical form is also immortalized on film. You can see him crossing the frame in the background of Hoth's Echo Base - with sketch book in hand.
Best Performance by a Human: Han playing the chilled-out pilot now that the immediate threat's taken care of.
Best Performance by a Non-human: Planets & Satellites by Ralph McQuarrie.
Best Line: Threepio's "Oh, this is suicide!" even after the Imperials are shaken off their tails.
Rating: 0.9 out 1 Oscar won by Ralph McQuarrie for Cocoon!
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com