Saga Darth-Son Love or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Empire Strikes Back (Again)

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Mystery Roach, Nov 23, 2012.

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  1. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Her death would be the most prominent indication, under that theory.
  2. darthbarracuda Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    Agreed. ESB was the best Star Wars movie. IMO, Return of the Jedi was the worst of the OT. I loved the Ewoks when I was a little kiddie but now I'm like "what the heck?!?!" So a slugthrower (real-world rifle) can't penatrate stormtrooper armor, but little Ewok tribal spears can?!?! And why would the Empire send in troops that are completely white in a forest moon?!

    One thing I didn't like about ESB are the AT-AT's and the Battle of Hoth. I mean really?
    1.) Why do they move so slow?
    2.) Why did the Empire put legs on them, leading to:
    3.) Why were the AT-AT's so high off the ground?
    4.) Why do they only have turbolasers on the front? They evolved from the AT-TE, which were droid killing machines with guns all around them.
    5.) Why couldn't they penatrate the AT-AT armor before, but then suddenly when it crashes down, a single hit from a snowspeeder blows it up?
    6.) Why did they land the AT-AT's and troops so far away from Echo Base?! Why not just land it right on it? This goes for the Invasion of Naboo in TPM.
    7.) Why didn't the Rebels use the ion cannon on the AT-AT's?

    And then there's the Exogorth in space....
  3. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    I think you should ask this question that Tactics thread.
  4. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9

    I'll attempt to answer these-I'm in the army and trust me, these have occupied me for quite awhile.

    1.) Why do they move so slow?
    Speed isn't necessarily better in land warfare. It allows you to move more quickly, obviously, but it also limits your situational awareness. When I deployed to iraq and Afghanistan it was rare for us to drive much over 30-40mph.


    2.) Why did the Empire put legs on them, leading to:
    3.) Why were the AT-AT's so high off the ground?

    Range. Listen to Veers and the AT-AT driver: "Distance to power generator?" "17.28" Whether that's in miles, kilometers, or some other measurement system, that's a very lengthy shot. In today's militaries, that sort of range is only accomplished by howitzers firing indirectly. The relatively flat terrain of Hoth maximizes the effective range the AT-ATs can fire from.

    4.) Why do they only have turbolasers on the front? They evolved from the AT-TE, which were droid killing machines with guns all around them.
    Tactics. If you'll watch AOTC, the AT-TEs aren't terribly well-protected-a single hit from a Hailfire droid destroys one. If you put the AT-ATs in the correct formation with AT-STs as escorts, you get interlocking fields of fire from all angles.

    5.) Why couldn't they penatrate the AT-AT armor before, but then suddenly when it crashes down, a single hit from a snowspeeder blows it up?
    The snowspeeder hits it in the neck. Different material, and (since it has to be flexible) a weaker one, probably.

    6.) Why did they land the AT-AT's and troops so far away from Echo Base?! Why not just land it right on it? This goes for the Invasion of Naboo in TPM.
    You don't necessarily want to land close by. It takes time to get ground forces organized; having Rebels shooting at you right in the landing zone isn't an ideal situation. By landing some distance away, the AT-AT force was able to arrive well-organized and able to defeat the Rebels with ease.


    7.) Why didn't the Rebels use the ion cannon on the AT-AT's?

    The Rebels aren't trying to hold Echo Base; they're only trying to keep the Empire at bay long enough to get everyone evacuated. Using the ion cannon against the AT-ATs would have meant likely not having it available to protect largely defenseless cargo carriers against Star Destroyers; in the EU (TESB novel) something like seventeen out of thirty ships were destroyed, and without the ion cannon that probably would have been all of them.
  5. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

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    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    Also, the shield prevented ships from launching and so seems like it would have prevented ships from getting in, too. So they had to land outside its range.

    Also also, we don't know where the ion cannon was located. It might have been in an area far from Echo Base, or might have been pointing in the wrong direction. If it was far enough away, the curvature of the planet surface itself might have presented a problem with trying to hit ground-based targets.
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  6. darthbarracuda Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    Wow! Thanks a bunch for those answers! It makes a lot more sense now...and I wasn't familiar with the EU part saying the 17 rebel transports were destroyed. Thanks!

    Also, I was thinking about the Ion Cannon...I can't remember where I saw it (I think it was a cross-section pic of Echo Base...) but the Ion cannon was located on the other side of the base, where it couldn't hit the AT-AT's. But don't quote me on that...
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  7. The-Eternal-Hero Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    I knew I wasn't alone!

    ESB is the least interesting episode for me too.
  8. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    I think ROTJ is the hardest for me to watch in one sitting, but at least Luke kicks some ass and the ending is satisfying.
  9. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    I guess. Sometimes I feel like Luke just shows up, kicks an old man in the shin, and trusts his injured father to save the galaxy for him.
  10. Mystery Roach Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2004
    star 4
    Luke's most heroic action in ROTJ is doing what the Jedi of old could never do, which is in some way what led to their destruction, and that's throwing down his lightsaber and refusing to fight.
  11. ezekiel22x Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 4
    In some ways it's the opposite of ANH for me. In that film the Death Star hijinks are the only time I'm taken out of the narrative a bit and feel like I'm watching a slightly dated 70s action movie more so than a timeless space fantasy. In ESB, though, it's pretty much everything that happens on and around Cloud City that delivers the classic Star Wars style. Outside of that the Hoth section strikes me as pretty mundane for Star Wars, and honestly I couldn't care less about Han and Leia and their bicker flirting. Leia desperately trying to alert Luke about the trap is the first time I feel like it's the same Leia from ANH, as opposed to a love interest for a Harrison Ford character. The Dagobah training sections are good, but it's a bit of a blink and miss it situation, while the simple swamp and lizard set dressing can be kind of hard to swallow if one is still pondering the alien vistas of Tatooine from the first film.

    It's still a good film and perhaps as good as you could realistically hope for as a followup to the original, but it's not my favorite Star Wars film, and it's definitely not something I view as a transcendent film experience.
  12. Mystery Roach Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2004
    star 4
    I agree with a lot of this, especially about the Death Star hijinks in ANH. That part of the movie is by far one of the least interesting parts of any Star Wars movie to me, with the exception of the Obi-Wan/Vader rematch (which is really only interesting because of the history behind it, rather than the quality of the fight itself).
  13. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    I mean it's the first time we see Luke as being a legitimate Jedi Knight as opposed to just a pilot with some Jedi skills.
    As for Vader, although he seems somewhat defeated, he's far from a defenseless puppy. Taunting Luke wasn't really a nice thing to do.
  14. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    To be more precise, he refuses to kill a defenseless man, even if he's evil, which is right in line with the Jedi code. Even Anakin knows that killing Dooku was wrong. Obi-Wan couldn't bring himself to kill Anakin on Mustafar even though it would have been wiser (and more merciful). He must have regretted this decision and therefore was pushing Luke to be more ruthless.

    What Yoda or Obi-Wan or any of the old Jedi don't understand (due to their upbringing) is the power of attachments. They've only seen the bad, selfish side (i.e. Anakin's betrayal) but they don't believe that love can also make him selfless enough to sacrifice his own life and finally reject the dark side.
  15. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    Anakin knew killing Palpatine was wrong, and against the Jedi Code, even if he was evil...
  16. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    Which time, ROTS or ROTJ?
  17. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    ROTS
  18. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    I think it's just an excuse. He wants him alive so that he could save his wife. It's all about him this time. And even if Mace is doing a wrong thing (which is debatable, given that Palpatine had just killed three Jedi), attacking one of you own (resulting in his death) is clearly a worse offense.
  19. StampidHD280pro Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2005
    star 4
    That's true, he was a martyr in the end. Like his son.
  20. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Yes, Vader specifically says they have to land beyond the shield.
  21. Mystery Roach Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 10, 2004
    star 4
    I guess I was speaking more in a larger thematic sense. We see throughout the PT how dependent the Jedi are on their weapons. In the beginning of AOTC, Mace says, "We are keepers of the peace, not soldiers", yet by the end of the movie, soldiers are exactly what the Jedi have become. Being able to be manipulated into this position is precisely what leads to their downfall, both literally as well as spiritually. One could make the argument that once they have taken on this role of aggressors, the Jedi Order has been corrupted and needs to be wiped out, and that if they are to return, it must be without the hypocrisy between their philosophy and their actions that led to their destruction (as well as the destruction of the Republic) in the first place. The Jedi's failure is where Luke succeeds, because it is only in laying down his weapon and choosing the path of peace, even in the face of certain doom, that he is able to resurrect his father's goodness and thus also resurrect the Jedi Order and the Republic as they should have been, because thematically they are all tied together.
  22. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    Mystery Roach: Try watching Revenge of the Sith and The Empire Strikes Back concurrently. It made for the most unique SW experience imaginable, refashioning the narrative into a family tragedy that would make the Corleones balk.
  23. -NaTaLie- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    I usually do TESB, ROTS, ROTJ (just Vader and Luke scenes, not the other fluff). I like the happy ending ;)
  24. drg4 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2005
    star 4
    What can I say? My preference in fantasy film coheres to Momma Skywalker's description: "Beautiful, but sad."
  25. Count Yubnub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 4
    Speaking of a comparison between ESB and ROTS, I have my own problems with ESB, and I couldn't point my finger at what exactly it was that bothered me about it (except for the space slug that I mentioned above) until I realized that, just like ROTS, it follows a 5-point dramatic structure, except that while ROTS succeeds spectacularly, ESB doesn't quite succeed as well.

    As I'm sure a lot of people here know, most modern movies and stories follow a 3-act structure. In contrast, classic tragedies (Greek, Shakespearian) tend to follow a 5-point structure:

    1. Exposition: the setting, characters, and their motivation is introduced.

    2. Rising action: following an inciting incident (or complication), the conflict for the protagonist is introduced and develops.

    3. Climax or turning point: following anagnorisis (paraphrasing from Wikipedia: recognition, not only of a person but also of what that person stood for; the hero's sudden awareness of a real situation, the realisation of things as they stood, and finally, the hero's insight into a relationship with an often antagonistic character), the protagonist makes a decision that defines the rest of the story. In a tragedy, this decision is a bad one.
    (Note that the use of the word "climax" in the context of dramatic structure is different from that in a typical movie, where it just refers to "all the action stuff at the end".)

    4. Falling action: Conflicts unravel, with the effects of the protagonist's decision playing out.

    5. Dénouement, in a tragedy as called catastrophe: following the resolution, which is where the main conflict is resolved (in a tragedy, in a bad way), and we see how the characters deal with the conflict and its resolution.


    So, the exposition in ROTS is Anakin and Obi-Wan in the the space battle, fighting with Dooku, rescuing the chancellor, landing the ship, and Anakin being reunited with his wife. The inciting incident is Anakin's dream of Padme dying in childbirth; the rising action is Anakin exploring his possibilities (talking to Yoda and Palpatine) and feeling isolated and mistrusted by the Jedi council. Anagnorisis is the realization that Palpatine is a Sith lord who can teach him how to save people from dying; the climax is Anakin decising to become a Sith lord. Then the falling action plays out; the resolution is Padme dying of a broken heart because of what Anakin's done (thus rendering Anakin's vision a self-fulfilling prophesy), and Anakin getting burnt to a crisp on Mustafar. The dénouement or catastrophe then consists of Padme's burial, Anakin becoming the cyborg, and their children being hidden. (All of the other stuff that happens in the movie is subplot.) Note that this is a perfect Greek or Shakespearean tragedy, complete with the self-fulfilling prophesy and death-by-heartbreak motifs that were so popular in those plays.


    IMO, ESB attempts to do this as well, but the story structure is far less mature than that of ROTS, and here is where the whole thing kind of falls flat, for me anyway. The exposition is the Hoth setting, Luke getting mauled by the wampa snow monster, Luke and Chewie blowing up the probe droid, the Hoth ground battle with the Imperial walkers, and everyone escaping into separate directions. The inciting incident is Luke seeing Obi-Wan's ghost who tells him to go to Dagobah, and rising action starts with Luke going to Dagobah and further develops with Vader chasing Han and Leia, while Luke is being trained by Yoda. There's no real anagnorisis (I think...), but Luke has a vision of Han and Leia in pain, and he decides to go to Cloud City to rescue them. Falling action: Vader captures Hand&Leia, tortures and freezes Han, and fights Luke. The resolution is where Vader chops off Luke's hand and tells him he's his father, and Luke escapes; the denouement is Boba Fett getting away with frozen Han, while Luke gets an artificial hand and is conflicted about Vader and Ben.

    When looking at it like that, I think my issues with ESB become clearer; its structure is a bit of a mess; the three main points (inciting incident, decision, resolution) just don't seem to cohere very well. I'm guessing I would have been much more enthusiastic about it if for instance Luke's desire to follow in his father's footsteps and become a Jedi knight, and the conflict that poses with his friends, had been much better developed in the exposition or rising action. Then there'd actually an at least somewhat satisfying relationship between inciting incident and resolution. Rather than hastily thrown in as one line in the rising action and wasting time on useless subplots with a snow monster and a giant space slug. The asteroid field/space slug thing in particular does nothing to the plot and can be cut out without missing anything, and that time could've been spent on conflicts in a way that actually mattered to the characters. Furthermore, is Luke's decision really that bad? If he hadn't gone, Vader wouldn't just continued to torture the crap out of Han and Leia; the only reason they managed to escape was because Vader shifted his attention to Luke and started "altering the deal" with Lando.

    Oh well. Sorry for rambling. Feel free to disagree (or, preferably, show me that I'm wrong). I do agree that Vader's character arc is excellent.
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