Empire Strikes Back Treat with Daniel

Usually when we want to watch our favourite film, we’ll have it on DVD so we can watch it at our leisure. But when they appear on TV, I can’t help resist watching, and yesterday was no exception. Saturday afternoon with no football, and STV go and put on one of mine (and Daniel’s) favourite movies, The Empire Strikes Back. Even with the ad breaks, it was impossible to not watch it. Its on when someone else wants us to watch, not when we feel like it, but the draw of Star Wars for Daniel & I was irresistible.

Somehow, the movie being on TV made us pay even more attention to it than usual. We had a little discussion about C3PO being shot at Cloud City. We knew that when Chewbacca re-assembled 3PO, his first words were, “Stormtroopers? Here?” Daniel concluded that it was a Stormtrooper that did it, but its also possible that it was Boba Fett that did it. After all, Fett did go to shoot Chewwie (and 3PO) when Han was being put into carbon freeze. Maybe he wanted to make sure, although why he would be so keen to destroy 3PO, I’m not sure. We did think it was interesting that Vader restrained Fett from shooting Chewbacca. Did part of him as Anakin recognise his construction from Tatooine and he acted to save him? Seems unlikely that from the time that had passed, and considering all that had happened to Anakin/Vader, its probably unlikely that he recognised 3PO.

It was definitely worth waiting through the ad breaks for the scene with Luke and Vader. In many ways, Luke was very much like Anakin was before his crossing over to the dark side, and his eventual transformation into Darth Vader. Luke had ignored Yoda’s warning and had rushed to try and help Han and Leia. Turned out they didn’t need his help. As Daniel said while we were watching, Leia, Chewwie, 3PO and R2 managed their own escape, although Solo was lost. It could have been a huge disaster for the rebels had Luke been taken by Vader. Luke was driven somewhat by fear and was too impulsive. Yoda tried to teach him that, but wasn’t entirely successful. Luke was vulnerable to the dark side of the force, something Yoda knew – and feared.

But the climactic scene where Vader told Luke who his father was, was – and still is – mind-blowing. Back in 1981 in days before the internet and spoilers making the rounds before you saw the movies, it was absolutely sensational. For me, still one of the great scenes in movies. But ultimately, it was a turning point in the galactic civil war when Luke rejected Vader’s hand. Despite being vulnerable he rejected the dark side which started the ball rolling fatally against the Emperor. It was a scene of family rejection immediately followed by a bonding scene between brother and sister, Luke and Leia. It finally revealed Leia’s force sensitivity when she sensed Luke in distress. After the devastating blow Vader dealt Luke, it was a moment that healed his spirit.

Daniel and I had a long chat about it all, and it turned into a great afternoon. One of our shared passions was unexpectedly put upon us, and we enjoyed the opportunity. We’ll be keeping our eyes on the TV schedules the next few weeks in the hope Return of the Jedi makes an appearance. But thanks to STV for giving Daniel and I a lovely surprise Saturday afternoon.

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