View Full Version : Empire Strikes Back the Odd Man Out???

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
22 May 2002, 09:59 AM
In every Star Wars movie there has been a Battle of (place planet name here). Now in every movie except ESB this major battle has always been at the end of the movie.

List of the battles (with type of conflicts involved)

The Phantom Menace - Battle of Naboo (LS, GRD, SP)
Attack of the Clones - Battle of Genosis (LS, GRD)
A New Hope - Battle of Yavin (SP)
The Empire Strikes Back - Battle of Hoth (GRD)
Return of the Jedi - Battle of Endor (LS, GRD, SP)

Weird huh? Any explanations?

22 May 2002, 10:07 AM
Battle of Bespin: LS

Personaly I would number the Luke/Vader battle on Bespin as a major battle.

Frobi-Wan Kenobi
22 May 2002, 10:15 AM
I think that it was a duel between two people not a conflict between opposing armies and/or navies.

I mean no kid that studies history in the SW Galaxy is going to read about the duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader as a major battle of the Civil War. That would be under Jedi/Sith history.

Nerpine the Verpine
23 May 2002, 06:42 AM
The Jedi/Sith history would also include the Battle on the Death Star in ANH (LS) between Obi Wan and Vader. That would have been noteworthy also. But it probably would not fit into the other category of major battles:(

But that's an interesting obsevation Frobi!B) I can't think of any explanation... yet.

Ash DuQuennes
3 June 2002, 06:15 PM
I would disagree. The duel between Vader and Luke is pure Star Wars, and a major turning point in the plot.

Both Luke and Vader are the distilled essence of the two sides of the conflict; they are the Avatars of Good and Evil, and the fate of the galaxy is hinged upon, and in a way resolved by the outcome of that duel.

The seeds of doubt are (probably) planted in Vader's mind, while Luke's faith in his cause is shaken, as he questions the nature of his very being.

It is the collision of two possible destinies, two fates, for the galaxy, and while no decision is made, the stage is set for round two.

Just my two centicredits.

3 June 2002, 07:07 PM
As a History Major I would also say that the AVERAGE student wouldn't learn about all the little lightsaber clashes of Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader ... but, the AVERAGE student doesn't learn crap these days ... so, I would say that anyone who WAS studying the Galactic Civil War would be interested in Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader (or any other major player in the Galactic Civil War). So they would know about the lightsaber battles.

Just like most school kids learn about Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin rubbed eachother the wrong way at Allied meetings at the end of WWII and the next thing you know we got 50 odd years of Cold War.

Ash DuQuennes
3 June 2002, 08:13 PM
But Vixen, we are the all-knowing, all-seeing audience. :)

Gray Area
9 June 2002, 04:58 PM
The battle in Empire is at the start because we are supposed to feel that the Imperial forces are on the move rooting out pockets of resistence. Here is the might of the Empire, tremble before us. There is no big battle at the end, so we feel the desperation the rebel forces must be feeling. Their forces are strung out, with no definate target in sight, what will they do now? The party of heros dashed and spread to the winds, Luke injured mentally and physically, Han lost to the bounty hunter on his way to Jabba. We are left hanging, there is no huge ending here, only dark portents of what will unfold. How will the rebellion regroup, what is their strategic move, will Han be rescued, and is Vader really Luke's father?
The fate of the Universe is not always decided by movements of huge armies, we left to ponder the revelations offered up in the Empire Strikes back, clear in our minds. There is victory here, all is yet to be decided!!

9 June 2002, 05:18 PM
I think that it was a duel between two people not a conflict between opposing armies and/or navies.

If so, how can you include the lightsaber battle at the end of The Phantom Menace, or in Return of the Jedi, in your list of battles? The lightsaber aspect of those conflicts are duels between two or three people. The only lightsaber combat we see on a large scale is in Attack of the Clones.

As for an explanation, it seems to me like it's just cinematic effect. Large conflicts are decisive elements in a plot, and are thus often placed at the end. In ESB, the conflict is not at the end to signify that it is of a continual nature. The Rebel Alliance is always running from the might of the Empire, and putting the conflict in the middle dilutes the sense of closure. Arguably, Attack of the Clones should be this way as well, because the same impression is there. Some people I know have griped about how inconclusive the ending is. I think that, just like ESB, it is ambivalent, but the timing of the plot dictated that the major battle should be at the end.

9 June 2002, 08:20 PM
I agree that the fight between Luke and Vader wouldn't be considered a major battle by the average person in the galaxy. The outcome didn't really affect anyone BUT Luke and Vader. I'm sure people studying the history of the Jedi, or reading a biography of Luke or Vader would learn about it, but it would probably be, at best, a footnote in a history text about the Civil War.

10 June 2002, 03:20 AM
Originally posted by FrobiWanKenobi
In every Star Wars movie there has been a Battle of (place planet name here). Now in every movie except ESB this major battle has always been at the end of the movie.

Your question got me thinking. I'd say that it's because the movie falls into a different genre (or I guess that'd really be a sub-genre). I think that most of us would agree that Star Wars is Space Fantasy (or Space Opera or Sci-Fi or Fantasy, etc, etc). But if we look at the individual movies themselves, then we have something a bit different.

(Saving ESB and AotC for last)

ANH - clearly it seems to me to be an Action-Adventure, a classic epic
TPM - Action-Adventure
RotJ - Action-Adventure

Then I would say this about the last two:

AotC - Romance. But it's not a cookie-cutter Romantic Comedy, or even a Romantic Drama. It's much more of a Romantic Adventure movie, if I have to further classify it.

ESB - Drama. It's not nearly as much Action Adventure. It kept audiences alert, because it threw curve balls left and right. There were very few climactic battles, and it was designed, as others have mentioned, to leave you feeling worried about the Rebels.

So, I'd say the difference is the type of movie. :)

FlipDog 2000
11 June 2002, 08:47 AM
So, what if I took time to study, (in depth) the Galactic Civil War??? Huh??? Does that make me wierd or somethin??? Why can't get a college credit for that,huh???

11 June 2002, 10:38 PM
Actually Flip ... when you and I find a few rich HoloNetters who are willing to fund our venture, you and I will found NSWU - Northwest Star Wars University, and you can be our campus historian ...

13 June 2002, 02:59 PM
The way I see it ESB had the big battle at the beginning to set the tone of the movie -- the Empire is breathing down our heroes' necks the whole time. By putting it at the end it wouldn't have set the same desperate tone that we see throughout the movie, and the cliffhanger ending wouldn't have been so... what's the word I'm looking for? Poignant.

18 June 2002, 07:48 AM
here's something to think about...

how many of us really really liked Empire Strikes Back?

is it becuase the big battle was at the beginning or because it left us hanging?

For myself, Empire is my favorite. I wonder if it is because it breaks the 'mold' that frobi is asking about.

Lord Byss
18 June 2002, 08:30 AM
I love the film most out of the lot of them. I think it is because it broke the mold, but in a different way. The goodies didn't win...

27 June 2002, 03:44 AM
Empire's screenplay was written by not only Larry Kasdan, but the late, great Leigh Brackett who'd had the experience writing since the 1940s. Sadly, she passed away of cancer before able to complete ESB's script.

Wedge in Red2
8 July 2002, 05:15 PM
Here was little old me tuning in to this thread thinking it was going to be about something else. I thought someone was going to say Empire was the odd movie out because it's the only one without Tatooine in it...

As an aside, what does LS, GRD and SP stand for? I'm guessing Lightsaber, Ground, and Space. Am I right?


obi-wan joshobi
8 July 2002, 07:08 PM
The outcome didn't really affect anyone BUT Luke and Vader.
Oh, but it did. If vader didn't cut off luke's hand in cloud city then luke would have outright hacked vader to pieces instead of thinking them equal in the DS2 and stopped. The emperor would have killed him and in turn be blown up by the explosion of the death star. thus having no one to start the new jedi order...yeah...i'll stop there

9 July 2002, 06:50 PM
Yeah, ESB doesn't follow the typical formula. A weird side effect is the other movies suck in comparison.