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…
Empire’s 97th Minute is the beginning of the fallout. If Solo's carbon-freezing was the climax of Han and Leia's story, what follows is an extended wrap-up (featuring a shootout chase that keeps the story flowing while Luke confronts Vader). Also, when that cold slab of Solo falls to the ground with a metallic thud, he looks less like he's trapped in a personal space-prison and more like he's trapped in a memorial statue on the D.C. mall. But there's still something creepy and alien about the visual.
Let's be real, though. When he's unfrozen in Return of the Jedi, what happens to his arm-shackles? Han Solo's carbon-freeze was an inside job!
Speaking of job: according to Kershner, this was the hardest of all scenes to shoot. In an interview with Vanity Fair's Mike Ryan, just before the director's death in 2010, he revealed:
"The toughest shoot was the Carbon Freeze scene. The set was painted black. It was a round set but we couldn’t build the full circle because it would have been very hard to manipulate with the camera. So we built half of it, and it was a challenge because it was very hot and we were using lots of steam shooting out of the floor. Some of the little people fainted because they were closer to the steam. The staging was very difficult. The actors were about 30 feet off the ground and we had to be careful that they didn’t fall."
Yet, all that steam, smoke, waiting around, fainting and statue spritzing paid off.
It's interesting to note that while all these horrible things are happening, C-3P0 is the least phased. While the score is crescendo’ing and Solo’s getting frozen, Threepio’s complaining to Chewie about not being able to see the action. Maybe the droid would be more sensitive if they didn’t slap him around, shut him up and turn him off all the time.
Threepio’s so excited you’d think he was watching the freezing of this guy...
Best Performance by a Human: Lando - awkwardly stuck in the middle between a wookiee and a dark lord.
Best Performance by a Non-human: Threepio - perfectly fine with Han Solo being in carbonite.
Best Line: Vader's "he's all yours, bounty hunter."
Rating: 1986 out of 1988, the year Irvin Kershner would have been considered for directing one of Star Wars prequels (according to Lucas' original timeline)
This was originally posted on Mindctrlaltdel.tumblr.com