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Star Wars “The Force Looks Back” Pt. V: ‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980)

Suffering a heavy attack to the Death Star, the empire has lost its secret weapon. Now the empire is back. The empire strikes back!

Written by: J. Johnson

The Empire has been dealt a heavy blow as their secret weapon is destroyed from the Rebels’ attack. With a new hope trying to bring balance to the galaxy, it seems the last of the Empire is far from being dismantled. The Rebel Alliance has been forced to flee due to the attacks from the Galactic Empire in search of Luke Skywalker. Now with the search of Luke being a priority of the Empire and the rebel forces pushed back on planet Hoth the battle is on for the last of the Jedis to be taken out once in for all. The Empire strikes back!

Luke tries to make his way to Echo Base on foot, but he finds himself lost in the blizzard and collapses in the snow. Suddenly, he sees the Force spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi appear before him. Ben tells Luke to go to Dagobah to undergo training under Yoda, a Jedi Grand Master. After the spirit disappears, Han arrives to find an almost unconscious Luke, who is mumbling indistinctly about Ben, Yoda and Dagobah. At this point, the tauntaun that Han was riding on collapses in the extreme cold. To keep Luke warm during the blizzard, Han uses Luke’s lightsaber to cut open the dead tauntaun and places Luke in it. Han then sets about erecting a shelter that he and Luke will stay in during the night. Feelings between Solo and Leia steam up a little bit as a backstory for them. Solo mistakens Leia’s suggestion to stay with the rebels as a sign of having feelings for him. It didn’t end with them kissing, Leia would be berate Solo for a the mistake.

The Rogue Squadron snowspeeder group led by Luke commences the attack. Luke quickly realizes the AT-AT’s armor is far too strong for blasters and decides to use attached harpoons and tow cables to tangle the walker’s legs. Luke’s gunner Dak Ralter is hit and killed during the first approach. This leaves Wedge Antilles and his gunner Wes Janson to make the first pass. They manage to topple one of the AT-ATs, which is destroyed as Rebel troops storm it. The main AT-AT, commanded by General Veers, prepares to take their aim at the Rebel base’s main power generator. Suddenly, Luke’s speeder is shot down by the Imperials, and crash-lands in the snow. Luke escapes before an AT-AT can step on and crush his ship.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) & Yoda; Star Wars: Episode V ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980) | Credit: Lucasfilms

In ‘Empire Strikes Back’ Luke undergoes intense training to learn how to battle back against the dark side of the force. He arrives on the Dagobah planet to search for a wise Jedi that can teach him everything he needs to learn. Even Luke in search of the wise old master, Vader has his Death Squadron sweeps the asteroid field looking for the Rebels, but those in the asteroid meet a greusome end as Vader’s squadron is killed off. Like before stating if Obi-Wan & Darth Vader facing off is the first or second time seeing each other is the same notion you can give to Lord Sidious, but this is the fourth time in the series his influence has burden on Vader’s influence. Sidious states that a “new enemy who could destroy” the Empire, but suggest that Luke can be a great “asset” followed by Vader stating Luke will join the Empire “or die”.

Meanwhile, Luke begins a rigorous training regime from Yoda which includes moral lessons about the dangers of the dark side of the Force. That particular lesson is driven home when he is told to enter a cave that is strong with the Dark Side’s power. Ignoring Yoda’s counsel to leave his weapons, Luke enters the cavern armed. Once inside, he has a vision of himself angrily confronting Darth Vader and beheading him. However, the severed head’s mask bursts apart and reveals Luke’s face underneath; it is a warning that if Luke battles Vader with no emotional control, he will become Vader himself, seduced by the Dark Side.

Back on the Star Destroyer, Vader enlists the bounty hunters, Boba Fett, Dengar, IG-88, Bossk, 4-LOM and Zuckuss to find the Millennium Falcon for a “substantial reward”. Luke would further his training with Yoda, but then become a little distracted by the thoughts of not controlling his emotions. Han Solo and the others head over to the Cloud City they meet Lando an old friend of Solo. Not soon after arriving they become suspicious of something going on. Not the least being C-P30 being deactivated, dismembered, and almost recycled. Luke & R2 would prepare to leave only to be warned that if he faced off against the Dark Lord, he would be on his own. Luke acknowledges the warning and prepares to leave.  Yoda would become frustrated with Luke later into the training and call him reckless.

(Next page: The betrayal, The Fallen of Han, & Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader)

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