Reflections

Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Lucas Book Finds

I was flipping through the Empire Strikes Back Lucas Book a few minutes ago to admire the artwork. First thing to catch my eye, Yoda with half a robe.

The lines were spot on for the most part, I wondered if the book was made with a screenplay released before1 the final cut.

Next up, the blaster scene at Lando and Vader’s dinner party.

It mentioned the blast being deflected and then exploding. Lasers at least conventionally don’t explode, at least that I know of. Most readers or viewers don’t give it a second thought and just tuck that kind of thing away with their suspension of disbelief. I tossed this back and forth a bit and reread the scene a few more times. First, what is Han using? A blaster. Second, what happens? Vader deflects the BOLT. In our current understanding, what is one weapon that uses a bolt? A crossbow. Ok, so that means one possibility2 is this weapon fires bolts, solid projectiles, which are designed to explode on impact and are surrounded in a beam of energy during discharge. So now I have a reason to believe the blaster3 shots explode for a sound reason. I feel better now. Moving on.

In this scene Han is tortured. I remember Han saying in the movie, he was never asked any questions. At the time, and until today I wrote that comment off as extraneous dialogue meant to provoke comedy. The narrator in the book mentioned Vader appeared to be disinterested in the procedure. If that’s the case, then why do it? Vader of that era does not waste moves. The next page Luke says he can’t let Han and Leia be sacrificed. I thought of the scene in the movie where he felt them in trouble. Vader meant Hans torture to trigger a moment in the force that Luke could feel. It may be that I’m incredibly dense that I did not pick this up until now. But at least at this point it is satisfying to know this now.

… and one of the most famous lines of Empire Strikes Back4.

  1. It turns out this explains Yoda’s interesting features. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Marvel_Comics_Illustrated_Version_of_The_Empire_Strikes_Back
  2. Another analysis based on visual inspection of blaster fire. https://www.wired.com/2012/05/star-wars-blaster-speed/
  3. Closer to an official explanation. http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Blaster
  4. Well it turns out that this book WAS based on the screenplay, not the film. How cool is that? https://www.yahoo.com/news/the-empire-strikes-back-i-love-you-i-know-119550611107.html

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