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The ONE thing Lucas really should have left alone in The Empire Strikes Back

Ok ladies and gents, I will say it.  I may be one of the few people who nearly have a care either which way the Original trilogy goes as far as George Lucas’ CGI tampering.   I get what he was trying to do and love it or hate it, they exist.  Out of the three however, I think that the redo on The Empire Strikes Back was one of the best in some respect .I loved that we got a chance to see the Wampa, and the open aired look for Cloud City.

In my mind, everything about it was fine until near the end.

What drove me mad was the scene in which Luke reaches out to Leia in the Force for help and as the Millennium Falcon turns to rescue Luke, there is the cut scene in which Vader is departing Cloud City to orchestrate the Falcon’s capture from the Executor.

In the original, Vader gave a single line, “Bring my shuttle.”  You don’t see Vader again until he is on-board and the Falcon is being chased by TIE Fighters.   In the redone version, Vader says, “Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival.”  Then you see several cuts in between Luke being rescued where the shuttle has left,  then docked (re-using the scene from Return of the Jedi no less, so I guess the Empire uses the same contractors for their space stations and Super Star Destroyers…kind of handy actually), then Vader exits with an honor guard no less (Really?  Who has time for that?) takes a dump,  and has lunch all before making it to the bridge.

In the above video start about the 12 min mark.

Well, those last two things never really happened but for the way it was done, Lucas may as well have included that as well.  For the longest time, at the age of 10 when it first came out, I understood what Vader was doing.  That scene never really needed to be spelled out to me.  When I re-watched a few days ago, I really thought about how much this scene ruined the pace of the movie this close to the end.

For one, there was no need to drag this out.   Even with showing the shuttle flying to the destroyer should have been sufficient but to keep cutting back and forth between the shuttle and the Millennium Falcon threw everything off track. If you can also note the voice pitch difference from James Earl Jones. Worst of all, the musical cues that Lucas used were jarring.  Don’t recognize it?  Sure you do because you just heard it a few minutes before.  It’s from the scene right when Vader told Luke he was his father.   I mean really, how dumb did Lucas think that people have to be to not understand that Vader was leaving?

Watching this again made me wish that there was a way that I could edit those precious few moments in the movie.  Sure many of us thinks that Lucas should have left these alone but this scene was definitely one of those times where the saying,  “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” comes to mind.

So my question to you is, how do you feel about the scene?  Should it have been changed or were you fine with it as is?

About Armand (1270 Articles)
Armand is a husband, father, and life long comics fan. A devoted fan of Batman and the Valiant Universe he loves writing for PCU, when he's not running his mouth on the PCU podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @armandmhill

2 Comments on The ONE thing Lucas really should have left alone in The Empire Strikes Back

  1. I agree. But this was a new sho but this was a new shot of Vader arriving, not a reused ROTJ scene.


    • they reused some of teh scenery from ROTJ….and ya know we aren’t going to debate it…bottom line is…it wasn’t necessary!! LOL


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