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….
At the start of Minute 79:00, we're given a familiar visual - our heroes' point of view from the Millennium Falcon's cockpit. One could argue that they had a ton of nearly identical cockpit shots to choose from and who's to say this wasn't some recycled footage from an earlier shot in the movie (since the actors are just looking at blue screen). Yet, the lighting is an orangish sunset brightness. So, as repetitive as the Falcon interiors may seem, this was probably an original shot. This isn't Star Trek, recycling footage from every movie that came before it! No! This movie is so lean, they even cut pauses out of the following rough cut footage...
While we spend the majority of this minute approaching Cloud City, the real star here is Ralph McQuarrie's artwork, used during both the conceptual phase and onscreen. As stated during past minutes, McQuarrie is the man most responsible for the look of Lucas' universe. He visualized the vehicles, architecture and people populating the galaxy. Just check out that cityscape and twin-pod cloud car below...
The shot of the Falcon on the bottom left was superimposed over the matte painting of the city in the bottom right, and the sunset sky was then placed behind it.
The look of the Falcon's landing on platform 327 was also close to the finished shot, with the skyline of the final footage matching the buildings in the original paintings.
The design for Cloud City was reused from concepts abandoned during A New Hope. Originally, the main characters in A New Hope were supposed to see action on a floating sky-prison rather than the Death Star's detention area. Although the sequence aboard the floating Imperial base was scrapped, the shape and location of this structure was recycled for Empire.
We associate cold grays, navy blues and black tones with the Empire, so the use of deep reds and oranges for Cloud City give it a different feel than any of the locations we've seen so far. And Cloud City can be yours, for only $70 Billion New Republic Credits (as listed on Skyhome.com).
Best Performance by a Human: Han Solo wrangling a landing permit with the same amount of charm as he had in that Death Star detention area during A New Hope.
Best Performance by a Non-human: McQuarrie's artwork.
Best Line: Leia's response to Han's "there's nothing to worry about. We go back a long way, Lando and me" - "Who's worried?"
Rating: 15.8 km out of the 16.2 km length of Cloud City's disc.
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com