Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back


The saga continues three years after the events of A New Hope, and a crawl catches the audience up- the Death Star’s been destroyed, but the Imperials have pulled off several victories in the fight against the Rebels.  Luke and the others have set up a new base on the planet Hoth, but Vader is hot on his heels. The action begins as Luke rides up onto a hill on a tauntan…

He’s setting up sensors for the Rebels. He is attacked and dragged off by a wampa. Han goes searching for his friends and comes across Leia to say goodbye before Jabba’s goons come after him. Leia yells at him not to go, but he refuses. The argument grows heated, but all the same, it seems to be the official spark to the start of their romance. Han finds out Luke is still outside the base when they plan to close down, so he goes after Luke. Luke comes to and finds himself separated from his lightsaber and uses the force to get to it, harm the wampa and escape. The base shuts down, leaving the pair stranded. Han eventually finds Luke unconscious and takes care of him til morning. Rebels find them and take them back to the base and the three friends reunite. An Imperial probe droid scans the area and transmits the Rebels’ location just before Han manages to blow it up. Vader orders to scramble his troops and send them after the Rebels. Han heads out to pay Jabba and the Rebels head out as well to counter the Imperial attack. As the Rebels take loses, a newly-grounded Han and Leia start up orders to evacuate the base.  They leave just in time for Vader to arrive and make their escape just as he enters the hanger. Imperials pursue the Falcon.

The chase continues, and the Falcon starts giving them troubles, and they head right for an asteroid field. Back with Luke and R2, Luke attempts to find Dagobah in search of Yoda, who Obi-Wan told him to find early on through the force. He crash lands on the planet. After a creature hidden in the fog almost kills R2 and Luke comes to the rescue, the man sets off to explore. Meanwhile, Han, Leia, Chewie and the others get to work repairing the ship, and the former two grow closer- though they wouldn’t admit it to themselves. On Dagobah, Yoda is the one that finds Luke, though keeps his identities hidden. Han and Leia continue with repairs, share banter and eventually a kiss. With Vader, Vader contacts the Emperor and bargains with him to gain permission to try and turn Luke to their side.  On Dagobah, Yoda houses and feeds Luke and eventually admits his identity. Yoda tells Luke about his father, and Luke puts together he is speaking to Yoda himself. Meanwhile, Han, Leia, Chewie and Threepio find themselves in danger as creatures attack a Falcoln after its landed in part of a crater to stop. It turns out the crater isn’t a crater at all, but a slug-type creature. They escape right before the creature’s jaws are about to close around them. Back with Luke, he begins his training with Yoda. Luke enters a cave per Yoda’s request and fights an illusion of Vader, believing it to be the real thing. He beheads the illusion, but in place of what should be Vader’s face is his own. The training continues, and eventually Yoda gets Luke’s X-Wing out of the swamp when Luke gets fed up after his own attempts fail. Out in space, as the Falcon was discovered, Han parks it on one of the Imperial ships to hide. Han offers to go find an old friend Lando Calrissian on Cloud City- he doesn’t trust him, but he’s their best bet. They land and Lando gives the group a cold welcome that turns warm within seconds and he invites them into his home.  Back on Dagobah, Luke and Obi-Wan’s spectre argue over Luke going to save Han and Leia or stay and train. Luke eventually wins and goes to rescue them.  On Cloud City, after Han and Leia argue about how much they can trust Lando, the latter shows up to invite them to dinner. The accept, only to be lead into a trap- Vader and the bounty hunter Boba Fett are waiting for them in the room.  They’re forced to comply and listen to what Vader has to say.

Shortly after, Han is prepared to be tortured to try and draw Luke to their location. Imperials prepare to carbon-freeze Han. Lando comes in to take in Leia and Chewie for their own protection, claiming he had no choice in betraying them. They agree and lead to the chamber where they’re going to freeze Han. Luke arrives on Cloud City. After a short-lived fight, Han stops Chewie from attacking Vader and his men and orders him to take care of Leia. In turn, he turns to Leia and kisses her. She admits to loving him, to which he replies, “I know”- a favorite line of many Star Wars fans, including myself. Han is strapped into the chamber and frozen. Boba takes Han away, and Vader takes Leia and Chewie into custody, despite his and Lando’s agreement. Luke infiltrates the building and goes in search of his friends, but he’s spotted and a firefight breaks out. After it stops, Vader tracks down Luke and the pair start a lighsaber duel.  Back with the others, Lando and his men stage a betrayal of their own and take back Leia and Chewie. Chewie attemps to kill Lando, but stops when Lando reports there’s a way to save Han and they could try to get to the platform before they leave. Another firefight breaks out and they make their escape. They attempt to get to Boba’s ship in time, but fail.  Meanwhile, Luke and Vader’s fight continue. Vader gets the upper hand and eventually cuts Luke hand’s off. Luke retreats and Vader claims to back off and help him if Luke joins his side. Luke refuses, responding that he killed his father. And then comes what most consider the biggest plot twist in modern movie history- Vader replies, “No, Luke- I am your father.” Luke screams in protest, and despite Vader still trying to gain his allegiance with the new fact revealed, Luke throws himself down through the hole that has opened up beneath them. He manages to grab hold of an antennae at the bottom of the ship. He calls out to Leia, and back on the Falcon, Leia senses it and tells Lando to go back to find him. They return and spot Luke and make a quick rescue, just as Imperial ships arrive to stop it. They attempt to escape, and after some difficulty are finally able to use hyperspeed in order to escape. Lando brings them to a Rebel base for safety and goes off on his own. Leia tends to Luke as a medical droid fits him with a robotic hand. They watch on as Lando flies off.

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