CT What's so "dark" about ESB?

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

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  1. Team Padme Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    The whole ending to ESB seems pretty dark. The bad guys do loose and Luke finds out the most shocking thing he will ever here. Han in carbonite. The Bounty Hunters are all after them.
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  2. PMT99 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2000
    star 4
    Weren't that bad??? Obi-wan tried to trick Luke into killing his own father without him knowing it until its too late. How would you feel if someone told you that your father was killed by an evil dictator and when you meet that dictator, he tells you he's your father? Would you be mad at that person for lying to you and making you murder your own father?
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  3. Reveen Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2012
    star 3
    Also, ESB is the movie where we learn that the badass hotshot Han Solo is kind of a loser compared to dudes like Lando Calrissian. That's kinda dark in a "I identified with Han all this time even though he's a wastrel" kind of way.
    Last edited by Reveen, Jun 2, 2013
  4. SweetZombieJesus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2013
    star 2
    +1. The great and noble Jedi are training Luke to be an assassin, no more. What do they tell him his goal is? Kill Vader. His father. Which they don't tell him. They lie to the boy to get him to do their bidding. The very pretext under which they entice him into being a Jedi is a lie. He has been played.
    Last edited by SweetZombieJesus, Jun 2, 2013
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  5. bluesaber70 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2007
    star 2
    Fear of the unknown. That was what made Empire dark.
  6. Garrett Atkins Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2013
    star 4
    After all Obi-Wan has been through, I would have done the same thing. Did you honestly think that Darth Vader could be redeemed? If I were Luke I would have done what I did on the Dagobah cave to Vader even if I knew he was my father. Luke had lots of courage to redeem his father, but the Vader Obi-Wan and Yoda knew couldn't be redeemed.
  7. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    His goal is to "conquer Vader and his Emperor" - not just Vader alone.
  8. SweetZombieJesus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2013
    star 2
    It's never said (by Obi Wan or Yoda) that Luke even can kill the Emperor, but he is told he must kill Vader.
  9. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    "Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor" - ESB

    "Luke- do not underestimate the power of the Emperor" RoTJ.

    At no point onscreen do they say "You must kill Darth Vader".
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  10. SweetZombieJesus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2013
    star 2
    Yet they were wrong.

    In fact if Luke had done what they wanted he would have either turned or been killed.

    This is more of the idiocy we see from the Jedi in the prequels.

    And lying to Luke to achieve their goals puts them well on the dark path. In fact they are lucky Luke is so forgiving.
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  11. SweetZombieJesus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2013
    star 2
    Obi-Wan: He's more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil.
    Luke: I can't do it, Ben.
    Obi-Wan: You cannot escape your destiny. You must face Darth Vader again.
    Luke: I can't kill my own father.
    Obi-Wan: Then the Emperor has already won. You were our only hope.

    I'm on an iPad now so it's hard to exhaustively search dialog, but it's at very least implied killing is the only option.
    Last edited by SweetZombieJesus, Jun 2, 2013
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  12. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    It's more that if Luke rules out the possibility of killing, he will lose.

    The Emperor does however, say of Luke "He could destroy us."
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  13. HevyDevy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2011
    star 4
    There is...
    - Luke getting Mauled by the Wampa almost straight after the movie begins. Stuff like that easily sets the tone of the movie as darker compared to the lead in to this film ANH.
    - Luke being dismembered by Vader who then reveals to him the monster who did it is his father. Luke's whole confrontation with Vader (who easily overpowers him) would be kind of traumatising.
    - The good guys struggle throughout the whole movie and then get betrayed when they think they are safe. Han is tortured and put in carbonite.
    - Luke's training. The cave and Luke's vision of his close friends' demise. Everything Luke experiences on Dagobah can be seen as a trial.
    - The Rebels are constantly defeated and on the run. The film perfectly re-enforces and links to what happens in ROTS, and adds a new layer that is only resolved when we get to ROTJ.
    etc.
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  14. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4
    The rightness or wrongness of the lies that Luke was told isn't really the point in this context though is it? Luke's mentor was Obiwan, his inspiration was his father and his nemesis was Vader. In one fell swoop our protagonist has basically his whole reason for living and motivation for doing what he's doing ripped out from under him. The emptiness, confusion and anger that would ensue is pretty dark I'd say.
  15. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    What are you referring to?
  16. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    A movie's overall tone can't simply be judged by what happens in the story. I'd argue there are many areas of ROTJ that are actually darker than ESB. Overall, ROTJ and AOTC are probably the two films in the saga that best balance somewhere in-between the opposite extremes we got in ANH/TPM and ESB/ROTS.

    ESB is a film not rich in landscape or colour - our prime locations are a deserted, permanently cloudy swamp-land / a bland, unforgiving, seemingly endless ice desert / and the soulless reaches of outer space. Cloud City is hardly a representation of clarity and optimism in it's aesthetic either. Add to that a story that is also menaced with threat and mystery and the fact there are no sought after outcomes for our heroes, and you have a pretty pessimistic movie. That said, it doesn't top ROTS when it comes to determining which is the darkest and most disturbing of the six films.
  17. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    The destruction of Alderaan should be the darkest moment in all of Star Wars imo.
  18. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    On paper, yes. It could easily have been that way in the movie if Lucas had wanted it to be. But it would have been totally out of place in that film.
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  19. darklordoftech Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2012
    star 5
    This 100%.
  20. Ganger Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 9, 1999
    star 3
    It is dark in the Star Wars context. Other sci fi films from around that time like Alien or Blade Runner are much darker.

    Certainly there are dark moments in A New Hope and Return of the Jedi but they don't serve the story that much. Let me explain, for example the destruction of Alderaan, the death of Ben, the bloody cut off arm in the cantina, the force choke, etc. Those are all moments that complement the story of a couple of heroes and robots that rescue a princess and defeat the bad guys, all this with the help of an old wizzard. This evokes the message that anyone can be a hero and as humans we're capable of overcoming adversity. In Jedi we have ewoks dying on screen, Leia chocking one of the bad guys, Luke almost killed by force lightning, the emperor, etc. But these elements also serve a story with a very powerful message of effort, freewill and courage defeating greed and abuse of power.

    Now, on Empire we have dark elements, but these alone don't really explain the movie's darkness. In the same manner as I named a few dark moments, Empire has its share like the wampa, defeated rebels prosecuted across the galaxy, main character frozen, crude revelations, hands cut off, etc. These moments are dark but darker than a whole planet being destroyed? On screen deaths? Not really.

    But please ask yourselves, what is the message here? Symbols and particular scenes or moments aside, what's Empire really about?

    For me, and like every good 2nd act, it's about the darkest hour, the toughest moment possible, the ultimate challenge. AND IT DOESN'T GET RESOLVED IN THE MOVIE. Our main character has to escape from battle with the rest of his surviving mates, has to endure an extremely hard training, all this while his friends are caught by the bad guys and then his best friend gets frozen and stolen (right after falling in love), then the bad guy cuts his hand and tells him that he is his f****ing father. The only thing he can manage to do is escape . . and that's it! Our heroes, who were awarded medals in a ceremony the last time we saw them (sorry Chewie) are now either frozen or on the run, BOOM! END CREDITS!

    Is that dark or what??

    (It's also the best Star Wars movie)
  21. Athiest_knight Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Empire is dark but the Sith is the Darkest.
    Sith- Dooku's head is slice off.
    Padame is choked by her husband then dies after birthing two childern
    Jedi are dying
    Wookies

    And the darkest moment is Star Wars is younglings being slaughtered...even though not shown.
  22. tulwinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2011
    Trouble is. Apart from youngling dying which we don't see anyway I didn't have a real emotional connection to most of those characters. I agree it's dark compared to the others though.

    Empire 'feels' darker to me because I care about the character's and share their suffering.
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  23. d_arblay Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 4
    Personally, and I think I speak for many in saying that I care just as much about Anakin, Padme and Obi-Wan in ROTS as I do Han, Luke and Leia in ESB.
    Last edited by d_arblay, Jun 23, 2013
  24. MOC Yak Face Moderator, Classic Trilogy

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2004
    star 4
    I think what sets TESB apart is that at the time it was released, the revelations that it contained were so unexpected and confounding that they really left the viewer, let alone the characters, emotionally stripped. In ROTS, you pretty much know what's going to happen, so it's not quite so shocking. Also, graphic =/= dark. The Jedi characters who die are so underdeveloped that they are basically extras. The younglings? I had about as much emotional connection to them as I did Luke's tauntaun. Maybe less. Padme's strangulation was dark, I agree. But her death of a broken heart I found to be more pathetic than tragic. Anakin's near demise on Mustafar was pretty grim, but the comic effect of the lava surfing kind of robbed it of much of its impact for me.
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  25. ezekiel22x Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 9, 2002
    star 4
    Luke getting his butt kicked both physically and emotionally definitely brings things to a more dour level. When Han is frozen, though, I'm just relieved the screwball "romance" antics are put on hold.

    In some ways I'd say the sheer desolation of 3PO wandering alone in the desert is more unsettling to me than anything in ESB, as the former somehow speaks of a weird realism compared to the more obvious cinematic shine of ESB's happenings.
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