Yeah, so, “The Empire Strikes Back” is one of my all-time favorite movies.
Why? Because Han Solo that’s why.
Also, it’s exciting, fun, dramatic and romantic. It’s the best “Star Wars” movie. I’m not sure I can even write about it in a thoughtful way. I just love it. I don’t need to explain it. GAWD!
I remember seeing it in the theater in 1980 and thinking Han Solo was the dreamiest man ever. I was 9 years old, and he was my first real celebrity crush. I liked him in “Star Wars,” but I LOVED him in “The Empire Strikes Back.” I wanted a scruffy-looking nerf herder of my own, even if I didn’t really know what that meant.
Like all kids my age, I was obsessed with “Star Wars” at the time. We had HBO (or maybe Showtime, I can’t remember exactly), and it aired “Star Wars” every day, multiple times a day. I had the movie memorized. I had the toys. I couldn’t wait to see “The Empire Strikes Back,” and it didn’t disappoint. I thought it was amazing.
So anyway, here’s my random thoughts while watching “The Empire Strikes Back” this time around.
- Han: “Afraid I was going to leave without giving you a goodbye kiss?” Leia: “I’d just as soon kiss a wookie.” Han: “I can arrange that. You could use a good kiss.” I think we can all agree that kiss = fuck, right?
- Random guy: “Sir, your tauntaun will freeze before you hit the first marker.” Han: “Then I’ll see you in hell.” RUDE! That’s not a nice way to respond to some rando that’s just trying to help you find Luke.
- “Why, you , stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder.” OH SNAP! Sick burn, Leia.
- Leia kisses Luke. Eww. I’ve made some bad romantic decisions in my day, but at least I never made out with my brother to make another guy jealous. George Lucas knew that Luke and Leia were brother and sister all along, right? I’m a little surprised that the movie would have them kiss or have any romantic tension between them at all considering where it was headed.
- The battle on the ice planet (the sixth planet in the Hoth system) is still awesome. The introduction of the AT-ATs is so cool.
- “I feel like I could take on the entire Empire by myself.” Oh, Dak. You might as well have talked about how you only had two days to retirement and you were going to sail around on your boat “Live-4-Eva.”
- Yoda the puppet > Yoda the digital effect
- “You like me because I’m a scoundrel.” He is not wrong. Am I right, ladies?
- Yoda sends Luke into the spooky cave that is strong with the dark side. I think we all have a cave that is strong with the dark side, and in it we can explore and work out our daddy issues. Wow. That sounded dirtier than I intended. I don’t want you guys thinking about my cave. Stop thinking about my cave, you guys!
- Working for Darth Vader would be the worst. If you make a mistake he uses The Force to choke you out. I would settle for a bad performance review, but I assume the Empire doesn’t have a HR department.
- Han Solo is always translating for Chewbacca. Doesn’t anyone a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away want to learn a new language? If a wookie is going to be hanging out with you all the time maybe you try to learn a few key phrases. Or better yet, maybe Chewbacca needs to try Rosetta Stone or something.
- Yoda: “Size matters not.” Luke: “That’s what she said.”
- Damn, Lando is smooth. They should have known that they couldn’t trust him, though. The guy wears a cape. I wouldn’t trust a man who wears a cape (other than a superhero, of course).
- Boba Fett is so cool in this movie that they rewarded him with an unfortunate origin story in the prequels.
- When Lando opens the door and Darth Vader is sitting at the table, I was absolutely terrified the first time I saw this movie. I was so scared of Darth Vader. Now I imagine the awkward meal they shared.
- Once again, Darth Vader is standing right next to Leia and he doesn’t seem to realize that she is his daughter. WTF! He knows that Luke is his son, and he knows that Padme had twins. Does Darth Vader’s Force not acknowledge women? Sexist!
- “I know.” [swoons]
- I cried in the theater when they froze Han. I cried really hard.
- Funny story: When I first saw “The Empire Strikes Back” and Darth Vader tells Luke that he is his father, I thought he was lying. I totally didn’t believe it. People would say, “I can’t believe Darth Vader is Luke’s father,” and I would say, “That’s because he isn’t Luke’s father. He’s lying. He’s a bad guy, and bad guys lie. He is trying to trick Luke.” I truly believed this, even though Luke searched his feelings and knew it to be true. It wasn’t until my repeated viewings of “Empire” on cable that I searched my feelings and knew it to be true, so I was on board by the time “Return of the Jedi” came out in theaters.
- Why is Lando dressed like Han Solo at the end of the movie? Does flying the Millennium Falcon require a uniform?
- The Empire Strikes Back” is the first movie I saw as a kid in which the good guys didn’t win at the end. With Han Solo still frozen in carbonite and on his way to Jabba the Hutt, I couldn’t believe it when the movie was over. “BUT WHAT ABOUT HAN?” The fact that the movie was over with unresolved stories seemed unfathomable to me, but it’s part of what made me love it even more than “Star Wars.”
I’ve got one more “Star Wars” movie to go! You can read my random thoughts about “Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith” and “Star Wars.” I will get to “Return of the Jedi” very soon.