As we approach its 40th Anniversary, Max reflects on his feelings towards The Empire Strikes Back
It’s been 40 years since The Empire Strikes Back premiered in theaters and many of its biggest fans were people who weren’t even alive at that time. Empire welcomed the 80’s with a sequel to a movie that many regarded as even better than the previous one. Empire has always been in the center of fan’s love for the Saga and is regarded as the best one. But is it?
Many fans say Return of the Jedi was a major step down from Empire but for me; growing up, it was my favorite one! Empire gets high recognition for the training with Yoda on Dagobah, Han and Leia’s budding romance, the futuristic surrealism of Cloud City, and of course that dramatic revelation. While all these things are awesome, I remember rewatching Return of the Jedi more often as I loved the escape from Jabba’s Palace, Luke confronting the Emperor and Vader’s redemption. It was the Star Wars movie I chose to show my grandparents as well. I don’t have any ill feelings towards Empire. I just don’t see it as the center of gravity in Star Wars.
As an adult, I’ve decided that A New Hope is my favorite movie, mainly because I love the plot and the beginning of the tale. Also, Empire is no doubt a very good movie; but it has a major plot point that always bugged me. When the Millennium Falcon was being pursued by the Empire, Han uses a strange trick to hide right on top of the Star Destroyer and Captain Needa declares that they vanished. He even speculated the Falcon may be cloaked before remembering that “no ship that small has a cloaking device”. Han was hiding in plain sight and it seems cool; however, it’s very lazy to have the ship go unnoticed when the Star Destroyer’s sensors should be able to pick it up. It’s right on top of the ship!
Han later detached into the space garbage the Destroyer ejects before leaving and the Falcon limps to Bespin with its backup Class 10 hyperdrive. However, unknown to them, bounty hunter Boba Fett is right on their tail. Boba obviously arrives at their destination long before them; but how long? That’s right. There is absolutely NO indication of how long it took the Falcon to reach Bespin. Some say that without FTL; it would take months and that seems like it matches Luke on Dagobah. He had a few months to train with Yoda. Or was it a few days? The time-lapse in this movie is very inconsistent and fans have no idea how this works.
I once believed time flowed differently across vast distances but my science buddies on Physicsforum debunked that for me. I know I’m being enormously nitpicky with this beloved movie and if you feel offended; I apologize. I love Empire and I love celebrating its birthday. However, I don’t agree with the belief that it is the best of the Original Trilogy. I have spoken.
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Max Nocerino is a new addition to the Future of the Force roster. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter @MaxN2100 where he channels his passion frequently!
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