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….
The most heartfelt scenes in Star Wars happen when Luke is pouting.
With Luke, sitting dejected under a gnarltree, Yoda takes it upon himself to raise the kid's X-Wing. The swamp bubbles like a hot tub in a sewer as the vehicle's wing appears, then the body, and then the full ship. Luke thought it was too big to lift with his mind, but he just wasn't thinking enough happy thoughts. If only Tinkerbell Roberts was available...
John Williams' "Yoda and the Force" swells underneath, and we're reminded of the moment from A New Hope when Luke looked off into the twin sunset dreaming of adventure and action and power converters. The music here is slightly less iconic, but no less majestic. While A New Hope's "Binary Sunset" scene is a standout of that film, Yoda's raising of the X-Wing might be the best moment of the series. But decide for yourself!
With this act, Yoda proves that, even if he may not have the biggest midi-chlorian count around, he still has the biggest cojones. And maybe you're one of those people who doesn't believe in midi-chlorians, the tiny organisms living inside every cell and manipulating the Force, like you're some kind of intergalactic antivaxxer. I'm here to tell you that they're real and they're spectacular.
So Yoda wins in this midi-chlorian measuring contest but the lesson here isn't that Yoda is all powerful (even though he is). He's illustrating to Luke that this cosmic energy field is available to anyone, if they open up their mind to it. Now, you might be thinking - "anyone? But I thought only those born special could be trained in the ways of the Buddhism... I mean, the Force."
When Lucas first brought up midi-chlorians in The Phantom Menace, it certainly seemed that way. While I still think midi-chlorians are a less effective, weirdly scientific explanation for Force-aptitude that taints the magic and mystery of the Original Trilogy, Star Wars historian J.W. Rinzler at least offers a well-rounded perspective on it. In his self-help article, "So What The Heck Are Midi-Chlorians," he makes the case that the ideas behind midi-chlorians were floating around Lucas' brain as early as the mid-1970's. Correcting his co-writers' assumptions, Lucas argued that the Force could be available to anyone who set their mind to it. And not just wizards. This isn't Harry Potter, you filthy stinkin' mudbloods!
Here's an excerpt from a Return of the Jedi story conference where Lucas explains his perspective:
Kasdan: The Force was available to anyone who could hook into it?
Lucas: Yes, everybody can do it.
Kasdan: Not just the Jedi?
Lucas: It’s just the Jedi who take the time to do it.
Marquand: They use it as a technique.
Lucas: Like Yoga. If you want to take the time to do it, you can do it; but the ones that really want to do it are the ones who are into that kind of thing. Also like karate.
Yes, just like Yoga. To get good at your Downward-Facing Dog, you need to either practice stretching or be born with microscopic Yoga-inducing organisms in all of your cells.
Midi-chlorians or not, this scene has excited and inspired me. I'm practicing my Warrior I and Warrior II poses so I can finally raise my Nissan Versa out of that swamp.
Best Performance by a Human: Sulking Luke.
Best Performance by a Non-human: Concentrating Yoda.
Best Line: There are no lines. No words can communicate feelings better than John Williams' score.
Rating: 2 out of 2 suns.
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com