Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back critique
Empire Strikes Back is generally accepted to be the best of the original trilogy, and as such my list of critiques here is somewhat shorter than the others. Here's what has happened the three times I've tried to write comments about the movie: 1)I watch and comment up through the Battle of Hoth. 2) I get hooked and start just watching the movie. 3) Sometime around when Lando shows up, I start to remember I'm supposed to be critiquing the movie. I don't mean that as a slight against Lando; I like Lando, I think he's a cool character. It's just when they arrive at Bespin things start getting a little, well, problematic. Anyway, so there's a huge gap of movie between critiques six and seven. I'm sure someone less enamoured with the film could probably find some critiques, but this movie, as a whole, just feels like a well put together space opera, like Star Wars SHOULD be. Yes, some of the action is far fetched, but that's why it's science fiction. It's meant to be somewhat fantastic.
And so, without further ado, twelve or so critiques of Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
- 1) Luke and Han are out scanning for life forms, and they report to each other that they've found nothing. Mere seconds later, Luke is attacked by a Wampa, which, as far as I can tell, is a living creature! Apparently these "life form" sensors don't detect life, but sentient beings!
- 2) I'm sure there's some sort of logic behind it, but I can't get past the fact that the logo on the Alliance officers' uniforms on Hoth are virtually identical to the Purina logo (of Wheat Chex cereal and cat food fame). The Rebel Alliance: Fighters for Freedom and Manufacturers of Crunchy Foods.
- 3) "Then I'll see you in hell!" This is the worst line of dialogue in the original trilogy (and there's some bad dialogue). I mentioned in the introduction that these movies are supposed to be fictional and fantastical, but this line has the poor side effect of really reminding you that these guys are just actors, reading lines written by some real guy. It's just such an Earth line that it doesn't fit; not to mention it makes you wonder...a galaxy far, far away, and they have a similar concept of heaven and hell?
- 4) This one is really a minor nitpick, but a critique nonetheless. In the Wampa cave, there are skeletons scattered about. The problem is that these are complete skeletons, still in the correct form, shape, and order for human(oid) bodies. Apparently when the Wampa eats a person, he uses a fork and a knife to cut all the meat carefully from the bone, making sure not to deform the skeleton in any way.
- 5) "That code is not used by the alliance". So apparently, C-3P0 is not just a translator of languages, he also knows military and other encoding techniques! What a master of skills! However, he's only fluent in Rebellion codes, as he can't identify it certainly as Imperial. Considering how jabbery he is, that seems like a big security risk, hooking him up with all those rebel codes, especially considering how he got captured by Jawas and all in the last movie.
- 6) So AT-ATs are apparently too armored for blasters while standing, but as soon as they've been tripped up by tow cables, they must become so unstable that a few well placed blaster shots cause them to explode into tiny bits! Sounds like yet more Imperial engineers that need to be force choked (right after the guys who designed the last Death Star, assuming they weren't on board to feel the consequences of their mistakes).
- 7) Uh, so we're on Bespin now. Boba stupid Fett has Han in carbonite, and he's taking him to his ship. Luke starts walking by, and, apparently, Boba Fett recognizes that this guy in a white jump suit (of which there are probably many on Bespin!) is an enemy. He must be an enemy of him, personally, too, because Boba Fett isn't actually an Imperial employee, right? He's a bounty hunter. He looks out for number one. It doesn't make any sense for him to just start shooting at Luke.
- 8) The remote controlled guy is absurd. Not only does he look absurd, but the idea that you would have a guy that you control remotely doesn't make much sense, when you could probably have a droid to be a lot cheaper. On second thought, if all protocol droids are like 3P0, maybe a silent, remote controlled human assistant is a much better alternative.
- 9) Lando's boys show up to rescue Leia and Chewie, and the stormtroopers just put up their hands and surrender. What the hell?! These are STORMTROOPERS. Supposedly a feared force in the galaxy! They don't just surrender without a fight to a bunch of unarmored scrubs with hand blasters. Not a single shot was fired! Of course, as we've come to realize, any shots fired would miss anyway. Maybe they were just being efficient.
- 10) C-3P0 tells R2 to quickly plug into a wall socket to hook up to the computer. R2 blithely obeys, only to find out that it is not a computer terminal at all, but a power socket! Considering R2 is the one that does the interfacing, don't you think he would have known exactly what he was plugging his arm into? Ridiculous.
- 11) The Falcon is skirting so close to the Super Star Destroyer that Lando could climb out the airlock and slap a bumper sticker on there that says "Need Tibana Gas? Buy Bespin!", but apparently they are NOT in range of the tractor beams. Seems to me that that would be a critical design flaw...too close to be shot, too close to be tractored. Where did the Empire hire their engineers, Coney Island University? (that's a Futurama reference)
- 12) The movie ends with Lando and Chewie going off to look for Jabba. Uh, excuse me? It seems to me that Chewie would know damn well where Jabba is, seeing as he and Han were working off of Tatooine in the last movie. Also, the end of this movie and the beginning of the next movie don't quite gel together in this same way, but I put that as a fault to Return of the Jedi rather than to this movie. This is otherwise a really great ending of a "dark" second chapter.