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CT "The Empire Strikes Back" Timeline

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by AEHoward33, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. AEHoward33

    AEHoward33 Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 11, 2019
    How long did it take for the Millennium Falcon to reach Bespin? How long were Luke and R2-D2 on Dagobah?
     
  2. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Force Ghost star 5

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    Mar 13, 2014
    From what we see on screen it’s impossible to tell how much time passes in each Star Wars film.
     
  3. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

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    Oct 4, 1998
    Estimates range from a few days to several months.
     
  4. Doompup

    Doompup Jedi Knight star 1

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    Jan 22, 2017
    Luke on Dagobah: in the documentary interview, Mark said he thought it was 6 weeks. In the new story collection ESB: From a Certain Point of View, I believe they state it is a month that Luke trains with Yoda, but I have not read it yet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
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  5. AEHoward33

    AEHoward33 Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 11, 2019
    Gee, that's a bit of a stretch.
     
  6. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 9

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    May 18, 2017
    There was a thread devoted to this. It got pretty heated in there. [face_laugh]
     
  7. Darth Chuck Norris

    Darth Chuck Norris Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 13, 2014
    The timeline is ambiguous, at best. Hoth is roughly 3-4 days. Bespin is roughly 2-3 days, maybe a 4th day in getting to rendezvous with the Rebel fleet, but the trip to Bespin and Luke's time on Dagobah is a guess. While on Dagobah, we don't really get to see much to indicate any measurable time change. In the rest of the movies, we can make educated estimations on time lapse, but sadly ESB doesn't give us that luxury.
     
  8. sith_rhino

    sith_rhino Jedi Master star 2

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    Jul 9, 2007
    I had always suspected it was 2-3 months, but that is based on nothing except that it must have taken some time for Luke to have been even somewhat competently trained as a semi-Jedi, plus Han says "It's far but I think we can make it" to Bespin, implying that it's not a short trip. I guess I will go with Mark Hammill's guess of 6 weeks, since I prefer this to be a somewhat longer period, so saying something like a week or so just doesn't cut it for me, personally.
     
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  9. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Force Ghost star 5

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    Mar 13, 2014
    I think the movie is showing us one day passes on Bespin. Literally sunrise to sunset.

    The Falcon arrives just before sunrise in cloud city. It’s morning when Lando takes Han, Leia, and Chewie to Darth Vader. They were going to breakfast or brunch In the walk to Vader we see a group of school children and people headed to work. Luke arrives a few hours later at some point in the afternoon when the sky is complete blue. That means Vader torturing Han, Chewie putting C-3PO together, and the Carbon Freezing all happens that afternoon.

    By the time Lando switches sides and Luke and Vader’s duel ends, it’s sunset. Lando issues his warning for everyone to evacuate when the sky has turned orange and pink. Same when Vader gets his shuttle and the Falcon picks up Luke.

    Assuming Earth length days we’re looking at roughly 14 hours on Bespin.
     
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  10. Darth Chuck Norris

    Darth Chuck Norris Jedi Master star 4

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    Sep 13, 2014
    Fair enough. But I was more making the point that while we can get a time frame for Bespin and Hoth, we have nothing to give us a frame of reference for the trip to Bespin, or Luke's time on Dagobah
     
  11. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

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    Oct 4, 1998
    IIRC, the WEG SW RPG sourcebooks said Bespin had a 12 hour rotation cycle, which makes for short days, lots of sunsets and sunrises, and presumably an active big city nightlife which would suit Lando to a T.
     
  12. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Force Ghost star 5

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    Mar 13, 2014
    Agreed. It’s just wild to me how hard it is to figure out the passage of time in these movies. And good from what we see on screen, cloud city takes place from dawn to dusk.


    That’s very interesting and cool. Every one of our days would be two days on Bespin.

    Still we never see night time in any exterior shot on Cloud City. The carbon freezing chamber is inside. Luke’s duel with Vader is also all inside. Even when Luke is getting pulled out of windows and fighting on catwalks, we never see sky. Best I can tell is they are in an impossibly huge hollow space enclosed within Cloud City.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
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  13. oierem

    oierem Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Yeah, but how long does it take to make a normal-lenght trip? For example: how long did it take to go from Tatooine to Alderaan? (Because, once again, the movie seems to imply that the trip lasted a few minutes).
    Considering that every other lightspeed trip seems to take no more than a few hours, a 2-3moth trip seems incredibly long, definitely something that would've deserved a more meaningful observation from Han "it's going to be an incredibly long trip, but I don't think we have any other choice").


    Anyway, in every SW film I just go with the "movie time" = it's not important, and it's not presented realistically (of course, nobody ever seems to change clothes, eat, shave or any other human need).
    It's a filmic experience, and that requires a certain tightness in the narrative. At the same time, the nature of the story, being an epic adventure, would realistically require a longer time span. So, there's a contradiction between what is presented on screen and what is implied.
     
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  14. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

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    Oct 4, 1998
    But the hyperdrive was broken, so this was not like every other lightspeed trip. The implication is that the Falcon has to fly the whole way at sublight speed (which makes little sense from a real world science/astronomy POV, but, hey, SW is too busy being cool to waste time on scientific accuracy).
     
  15. oierem

    oierem Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Yeah, but still , the line doesn't sound like they're talking about a huge trip compared to a regular trip (2-3hours vs. 2-3 months).
    But yeah, anyway it doesn't make much sense from a real world scienece POV.
    It's fun to imagine that, if Empire came out today, everyone would be trashing the movie for being inconsistent with that. I can imagine the headlines "Huge plothole ruins SW sequel", "Lucas kinda forgot about how spacetravel works", "Fan outrage at nonsensical plot" and so on.
     
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  16. sith_rhino

    sith_rhino Jedi Master star 2

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    Jul 9, 2007
    Exactly. There could/should be a HUGE different in travel time between a lightspeed trip and a sublight trip. Not that SW gets too much into hard science, of course.
     
  17. Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid

    Jedi_Sith_Smuggler_Droid Force Ghost star 5

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    Mar 13, 2014
    Agreed. A trip to cloud city is suddenly a long journey at sublight speeds just in range for the Falcon, while at light speed it’s a short jaunt. Fuel could also be an issue without traveling through hyperspace. Like hyperspace is not only faster but also considerably more efficient with fuel consumption.

    For the story, the function of the hyperdrive being disabled is the Falcon can’t get away. Boba Fett can follow them and it limits where the Falcon can go. Han can’t go to the safety of the Rebel Fleet. It forces Han to visit Lando, who he wouldn’t have asked for help if there were other options.

    The extra amount of time needed for sublight travel isn’t really used in the story. The story focuses on the limited destinations available without a hyperdrive.
     
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  18. Django Fett

    Django Fett Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 7, 2012
    Questions...

    Does the Falcon "piggy back" on the Avenger for any distance?

    How long was the Falcon travelling through the asteroid field?

    How long was the Falcon situated in the "cave"?

    Without a functioning hyperdrive engine, what were the distances that the Falcon travelled from Hoth to the asteroid field then from the asteroid field to the Avenger, finally was the greatest distance travelled by the Falcon actually from the Avenger to Cloud City?

    It took Luke far less time to travel from Hoth to Dagobah and then from Dagobah to Cloud City and it is never shown whether he used a hyperdrive engine. In fact Luke travels from Dagobah to Cloud City in the time it took for Han to be frozen in carbonite, though artistic licence has a lot to answer for in all these cases.
     
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  19. Bel505

    Bel505 Jedi Master star 2

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    Jul 4, 2006
    The EU attempted to redress this by saying the Falcon has two hyperdrives; the main hyperdrive and a backup hyperdrive which is muuuuuch slower.
     
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  20. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

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    Oct 30, 2015
    I don't think so. The Falcon was attached to the Avenger only a sort time. The Imperial fleet didn't seem to be moving much. Only after the Falcon detached did the Avenger go into hyperspace.
    Couldn't have been long, as it was chased and shot at all the way. Maybe only a few minutes or an hour?
    I'd say a few days at the most. Just my impression though.
    We know X-Wings have hyperdrives, so it's safe to assume Luke used his as well. But again, the movies give no clear answers.
     
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  21. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Sep 4, 2012
    Hyperspace travel moves at the speed of plot, what ever the plot needs it provides.

    Lucas did not work out in detail how it works and when he tried to put out numbers, they made little sense.
    In ANH Han says that the MF makes .5 past lightspeed. So 1,5 times the speed of light. Quite fast but it would still take years to go anywhere.
    And Han also says that he made the Kessell run in less than 12 parsecs. Which sounds like a measure of time but is a measure of distance.
    I know the EU has tried to "correct" this but I think it clear that Lucas used the term thinking it was time.
    IT is sort of like saying "I ran the NY marathon in less than 500 meters."

    I don't really fault Lucas here as he wasn't trying to do "Hard" SF but space fantasy or space opera. The nitty gritty details was not a high priority nor was he trying to be accurate to real science.
    Star Trek at times does try that but often makes less sense when they do. Like having temperatures of below absolute zero.

    Also X-wings and other one man craft have the ability to travel between systems and in hyperspace. This must make hyperspace really fast as there are no toilets or means to sleep on these ships. So any journey would be a matter of hours at most.

    Bye for now.
    The Guarding Dark
     
  22. Iron_lord

    Iron_lord Hangman Host/ 19X Wacky Wednesday Winner star 10 VIP - Game Winner VIP - Game Host

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    Sep 2, 2012
    Real-life fighter aircraft have "relief tubes" and similar things. The "no toilet" thing is not a big issue. Sleeping would be uncomfortable, but again doable if the pilot is tired enough.
     
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  23. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Sep 4, 2012
    But if a pilot has to fly for three days to get to the target and had to "sleep" inside the fighter craft, how good would that pilot be in a battle?
    Little to no sleep for 2-3 days and then a battle.
    Not thinking this would be a good idea.

    Bye for now.
    Old Stoneface
     
  24. Sarge

    Sarge Chosen One star 7

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    Oct 4, 1998
    @Samuel Vimes , do you remember the USAF raid on Libya in 1986? The F-111 crews were in their planes for 13 hours straight while they flew from UK to Benghazi and back. It was a tough mission and I heard that most of them needed help getting out of the cockpits after they landed. A normal F-111 mission is about 2 hours. But, they got in, hit the target, and got out, with only 1 plane out of 18 lost to anti-aircraft fire. El Dorado Canyon (archive.org)
     
  25. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Sep 4, 2012
    13 hours is still much less than a day and I asked if 2-3 days to GET to a battle would be a good idea.
    So how do you think this battle had gone if those pilots had been in their planes for 48 hours before even arriving at the battle?

    So again, hyperspace travel is super fast.
    In ANH, they jump from Tatooine, we have Alderaan getting blown up, Luke training with the remote, Han coming in to say that they have lost the "imperial slugs", Obi-wan telling Luke to not trust his eyes and Luke doing that and then they come up on Alderaan.
    And between Leia giving up Dantooine and before the MF jumps out of hyperspace at where Alderaan used to be, the empire had time to send ships to Dantooine to look for the rebel base.
    So again, really super fast.

    Bye for now.
    Blackboard Monitor
     
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