CT What's so "dark" about ESB?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by darklordoftech, May 27, 2013.

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  1. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    Sep 30, 2012
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    I'm not sure if this deserves it's own thread, but I guess I'll find out now. Anyway, how is ESB "dark"?
  2. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    Jan 1, 2011
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    --The Rebels suffer a defeat at the hands of the Empire
    --The Cave
    --Han, Leia, Chewbacca are tortured
    --Luke loses a hand and the duel
    --Han is still captured by the end of the film
    --The bad guys essentially lose nothing by the time the credits role -- it's the heroes who have suffered all the losses and are in a worse position
  3. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    Sep 30, 2012
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    Same in the beginning of ANH
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  4. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 5, 2012
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    As the middle entry of the series, there's no happy ending. The heroes are recovering from their loss, and only hold on to the hope to correct the wrongs that have been made.
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  5. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    Because things which were thought to be foundation truths of the first film were thrown into disarray and left unresolved.
  6. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

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    -Han being betrayed by his friend
    -Han being frozen and capture, possibly "killing" him off due to uncertainty about Ford's return
    -The Rebellion getting their asses kicked
    -Luke finding out his father is a war criminal and losing a hand

    Of course, this was during the 80's before fiction decided that the best way to be dark is graphic violence, swearing and sketchy gender politics. Back then they used that stuff for escapism!
  7. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    Sep 30, 2012
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    I wonder if ESB would still be considered "dark" today.
  8. VanishingReality Jedi Grand Master

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    Apr 21, 2013
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    In terms of storytelling format, it's the middle of the story that introduces the heroes to their biggest problems with no resolution in sight. Revealing Vader is Luke's father, Han getting sealed in Carbonite. I don't think it's the outright 'darkest' SW movie though- I think that's ROTS.
  9. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    Sep 30, 2012
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    I now realize that ESB is "darker" before seeing ROTJ.
    Last edited by darklordoftech, May 27, 2013
  10. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    However, for all its "darkness", no one dies in ESB.
  11. PiettsHat Force Ghost

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    I don't know that I would count that as a pure defeat though. Yes, Princess Leia and some of the other rebels are taken prisoner, but the droids with the plans get away and the material loss for the Rebellion is almost negligible. Leia is tortured, true, but we don't really see or hear anything of her torture -- it's more suggested than anything. With ESB it's made explicit.

    You do have a point, though, in noting that no one dies in ESB. Well, at least no one major. Some Imperial officers die and Luke's gunner does as well.
  12. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    'Dark'=/=people dying. Nobody dies in Requiem For A Dream and that's not exactly a fun-filled family adventure with bunnies and stuff.

    Empire is dark for Star Wars because even the basic truth Luke believes-that Darth Vader killed his father-is an outright lie. Put on top of that the Rebellion getting its butt kicked hard, Han being frozen in carbonite, and Cloud City being occupied by the Empire, and there's nothing all that cheery going on. The heroes manage to escape with their lives solely because R2 is there....yay?
  13. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    R2-D2 is the hero, I guess
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  14. Jarren_Lee-Saber Force Ghost

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    R2-D2 is either the secret hero of the whole Saga, or the secret villain! :D
  15. Darth Eddie Force Ghost

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    May 14, 2013
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    It's not like SW movies are ever really *THAT* dark... at least not the same way a problem novel would be. As far as Star Wars is concerned, the so-called "darkness" level is measured by the revelations, dismemberments and deaths, counterbalanced by comic relief, hero victories, and people shouting things like yeahoo.
  16. Jedi General Gelderd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2004
    star 5
    I feel this is dark simpy because the villains get the upper-hand most of the time, and push the "light" heroes back and to dispair. They spend time apart, bicker amongst each other and struggle to cope with their destinies and what they face.

    The "dark" villains, as you say, cause great harm, worry and destruction for them and they win this film. There are glimmers of hope, but it starts with a loss for the Rebellion, continues with conflicitng losses for the Rebellion and individuals, and ends with a loss for the Rebellion all at the hands of the "dark" villains causing this.

    I think the "dark" notion is simply the tone of the villains triumphing more than the heroes.
  17. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

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    TESB was not the happy go lucky heroes have an adventure and everything turns out fine like ANH, which is probably the least dark film in the trilogy. TPM has the same feel but the happiness is essentially tainted by Qui-Gon's death and the feeling that Palpatine has actually won a huge victory.
  18. Placeholder Force Ghost

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    Jan 30, 2013
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    The bad guys win. The only real win for the good guys in Empire is that they escape and survive.
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  19. MOC Yak Face Classic Trilogy and Saga Co-Mod.

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    Many films these days are supposedy 'dark' because they're stylistically dark and/ or they contain lots or R rated material. To me, that does not really equate to darkness. In fact, it quite often equates to boredom. TESB is dark because when it ends, the foundational truths that 1.9 movies were based on are ripped out from under us, leaving a state of emotional turmoil and uncertainty. The hero is the son of his nemesis, the man who supposedly killed his father, the man who has inspired him for his whole life. The wisest, most trustworthy character in the story is a complete liar. The ultimate evil in the universe is really just an errand boy for the real evil force. Han Solo can't even return an 'I love you' to Princess Leia! Now that's dark...
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  20. Grievousdude Jedi Grand Master

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    Jan 27, 2013
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    Well not that much compared to ROTS but still the darkest of the Original Trilogy.
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  21. Garrett Atkins Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 11, 2013
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    I honestly don't get why people get so worked up over Obi-Wan's lies to Luke, they weren't even that bad. It's not like he told Luke that he should go into the right door instead of the left door, knowing Darth Vader is in the right one waiting to dispatch him.
  22. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    Honesty is something that many people value.
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  23. Darth Dnej Jedi Master

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    Apr 27, 2013
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    That is something that Attack of the Clones kind of failed at. Okay, I get that the heroes are closer to their doom, but they won the Battle of Geonosis, and Padme and Anakin get married (though that's probably not happy, seeing as Anakin is a prick).
  24. darklordoftech Chosen One

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    I don't think AOTC was trying to achieve "that".
  25. Legolas Skywalker Force Ghost

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    Sep 3, 2012
    star 6
    Which ROTS did [face_laugh]
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