After The Last Jedi which picks up immediately after the last movie in it's trilogy, it got me thinking again about the transition from ANH to Empire. As a kid I was always kinda...if not confused but annoyed that Empire jumps ahead so far. I wondered what happened on Yavin and wanted to see the story of the Rebels evacuating the base and looking for a new one and how Darth Vader got back to the Empire etc. It felt a bit jarring and it definitely inspired me to get into the EU to fill in the pieces. Now as an adult who has watched and studied Star Wars for decades I understand it's the style of George Lucas's Star Wars to jump around as if it's a documentary and we are getting pieces of the story and not everything is minutely explained. Still though, I wonder... What was the reasoning when writing Empire back in the late 70's to have it start on Hoth? Why not start Empire immediately after ANH with the Battle of Hoth being the battle of Yavin instead? Did they want to explain why Mark, Harrison and Carrie look older? Was it because of budget? Did they just not want to have a familiar location and instead a new planet with a different environment? What does the movie gain artistically and story-wise from setting the story three years later and needing the crawl to explain the Rebels fled Yavin and went to Hoth?If I dare critique, it does make the story feel redundant. The rebels flee their secret base....find another base...only to eventually flee that too. You could make the argument that it would have been more succinct, movie-making wise, to just depict the Rebels leaving Yavin instead of establishing a new base only to flee that too. Don't get me wrong, I love Empire exactly as it is and it still is my very favorite Star Wars movie. I'm just playing devil's advocate here. I suppose the notion is the opening of The Last Jedi is what Empire Strikes Back could have been more like and it has me reflecting on why they chose to jump ahead..