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“Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” Rundown

BY JADEN MOUNT

Despite destroying the dreaded Death Star, Rebel forces have been pursued across the galaxy by Imperial forces. Luke Skywalker has set up a secret base on the snow planet of Hoth while Darth Vader obsessively searches the galaxy for the destroyer of the Death Star.

With search probes dispatched in all directions, one such probe smashes into the snow mounds of Hoth, seemingly undetected by the Rebellion. Commander Skywalker notices the crash but believes it is a meteorite, telling Captain Han Solo via communica he will check it out. A Wampa, an indigenous predator on the planet, ambushes the young commander.

Solo returns to Echo base, reporting that he will be departing due to a deadly bounty placed on his head. Princess Leia Organa attempts to convince Solo to remain but is taunted by the captain about her love for him. A deadly blizzard begins to roll in with no sign of Skywalker’s return. Solo retrieves his Taunton, Hoth’s transportation creature, and searches for his friend.

Skywalker awakes inside of the Wampa’s cave, hung upside down in the ice. Using the force, he retrieves his lightsaber and escapes the creature. Skywalker tries to make his way to Echo Base on foot through the blizzard. Close to death, the force ghost of Ben Kenobi reveals himself to Skywalker, telling him to go to Dagobah and find Jedi Master Yoda. Solo finds the commander after the ghost disappears, keeping him warm inside a recently dead Taunton before Rebel forces return the pair to base.

Meanwhile, the Imperial probe locates sign of the Rebel base, reporting back to the Vader and the fleet. Vader sees the evidence, ordering the fleet to set course for Hoth. Solo and Chewbacca destroy the probe before any more transmissions can be made, but the damage is already done.

The Imperial fleet exits hyperspace too close to the planet, angering Vader enough to kill Admiral Kendal Ozzel for his failure. Preventing the fleet from bombarding the base is an energy shield. Vader orders General Maximilian Veers to attack the base on the ground and destroy the shield generator. Rebel General Carlist Rieekan orders the evacuation of Echo Base.

Imperial ground forces, armed with AT-ATs and AT-STs, easily overrun the Rebel defenses as transport ships escape through the blockade. Organa and C3-PO escape with Solo and Chewbacca aboard the Millennium Falcon. Skywalker pilots an X-Wing with R2-D2, but alternates course to the swamp planet of Dagobah.

 

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The Falcon is pursued by Imperial forces as the hyperdrive fails to function. Surrounded and outgunned, the party is forced to enter an asteroid field and take shelter in one of the larger specimens. Skywalker also lands upon Dagobah and encounters a strange green creature who offers to take him to Yoda. The creature later reveals through conversation with Ben Kenobi that he is Jedi Master Yoda.

Vader continues to search the asteroid field for the Falcon as casualties begin to mount, effectively losing multiple fighters and a single Star Destroyer. Emperor Sheev Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious, contacts Vader, informing him that Skywalker is one who could destroy the empire. Vader believes the boy can be turned, making him a powerful ally.

Realizing they are harboring inside a space slug, the crew of the Falcon escape from the asteroid and again attacked by Imperial forces. Solo decides to make way for Cloud City on Bespin for assistance from an old friend, Lando Calrissian. Skywalker begins his training with Yoda, even fighting a spectral version of Darth Vader whom he defeats and sees his own face behind the Sith Lord’s helmet.

Arriving at Cloud City, Organa and Solo are greeted with the kindness and smile of Calrissian. Later on, he is forced to turn both and the Falcon over to Vader. Solo is placed in a frozen carbon chamber for easy transportation to Jabba the Hutt, who placed the bounty on the captain’s head. Organa, Chewbacca, and C3-PO are ordered to the Star Destroyer, as Skywalker departs from Dagobah and arrives at the gas mining colony.

Skywalker and Vader duel in the underbelly of the city while Calrissian uses Cloud City Security to rescue Solo’s friends. The party attempts to rescue Solo from the bounty hunter, Boba Fett but is too late. Vader is too powerful for Skywalker, cutting off the boy’s hand. He also reveals he was Anakin Skywalker, father to Luke. Skywalker refuses this and the offer to rule the galaxy as father and son, letting go of the ledge to the very bottom of the colony.

Calrissian, Chewbacca, Organa, C3-PO, and R2-D2 manage to recover the Falcon and rescue Skywalker, securing him and his injury. The party escapes Bespin and rejoins the Rebel Fleet. Skywalker receives a robotic hand as Calrissian and Chewbacca depart in the Falcon to begin the plans to rescue Solo from Jabba’s Palace on Tatooine.

 

Stay tuned for a rundown of the next Star Wars movie, “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.”

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