My rewatch of the Star Wars series is nearing an end. This past weekend I sat down and rewatched Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. The tale continues as we learned more of Luke and the situation that the rebels were in. Most importantly was how much I absolutely did not remember this movie. Honestly, I aside from the fight between Darth Vader and Luke, it was like watching it for the very first time. So I was able to sit back and enjoy the movie as if it was brand new. I found myself laughing in this one more than I have in any of the others.
In Episode IV, Darth Vader had been reduced to little more than a shallow villain. It was jarring for me when I had just watched the entire prequal trilogy which focused on him. This movie upped his role to being a proper antagonist. He was after Luke. He had information. More than anything, he wanted his son to come to the darkside (they have cookies). He had grandiose plans. Somehow he was warped enough to not realize that tricking and attacking Luke’s friends was probably a bad idea when it comes to recruiting someone. Still, I was glad to see Vader more fleshed out.
Somehow through all the years I came to a point where I saw Yoda as a wise man. That didn’t mean he couldn’t make jokes. I just saw Yoda as a very different character. Maybe this is because of when I grew up and my memory of Star Wars. I’ll be honest, of the original trilogy I only remembered bits and pieces and that was largely from the first movie. So my impression of Yoda was likely skewed from a stronger memory of him in Episodes 1-3. After watching The Empire Strikes back, I’m left with the feeling that Yoda is a damn fool. I found myself laughing not only at his odd mannerisms, but just the way he acted as a whole. Within moments of is introduction we see that he’s acting like a bumbling idiot. A scavenger. A beast. Slowly he reveals himself to be more than that, but all throughout he’s still a highly comical character. Although, I will admit I wasn’t just laughing with him, but at him during more than one occasion.
I get that being a Jedi in a world where Jedi have become legend, but Luke is a hot mess. He’s constantly getting slapped around and almost getting stomped on. Not only that but he’s constantly doing things that make no sense. The one that had me laughing the most was when he was handing for his life and rather than pull himself up into a sitting position and hug the pole (since you know he had only one hand), instead he struggled, hanging by his legs with one hand like a spastic sloth. Needless to say, I don’t really understand Luke and I’m not sure that I want to. All I do know is that if I was picking teams in gym, I would skip over him. Maybe if he wasn’t so foolish, I would like him more, but I just find him funny at this point. My boyfriend keeps telling me that Luke eventually gets his act together and I am really hoping he does because other than Yoda, he’s the one character I’ve laughed the most at.
Han and Leia
Considering that I felt like Luke was such a moron and possibly the worst, I was glad that I really enjoyed the other characters. In particular, Lando, Chewie, and C3PO stood out in this one. Each of them brough a special element to the film that made me love them more. Chewie really stood out for me as I pondered his life as a Wookie. Not only that, but he had some really great moments with C3PO that had me laughing quite a bit. However, it was Han and Leia who really stood out. Han was such a prick that it was completely entertaining to see him taunting Leia about how much she liked him. Time and time again he came off as this smarmy conceited jerk, but it made it all the more satisfying that he was right. On the Leia end, I like that she was clearly interested in him, but had no interest in feeding his ego. It added an interesting dyanmic to the pair. Thus when we got to the classic delivery of their love it felt all so fitting.
Fun to Watch
I don’t know that it was all intentional, but I had a lot of fun watching this movie. Sure, I was probably laughing more than I should have at things that weren’t meant to be funny, but I just couldn’t help myself. At the end of the day that is what matters most, that I enjoyed the movie. Sure, it was at times ludicrous. At times it was hammy, but it was undeniably fun.
Like I mentioned previously, I’m nearing the end. Episode VII is on it’s way. I can almost reach it. Until then, I have one more movie to watch and I can’t wait.