One of the things which most lovers of the Wars of Star agree upon is that The Empire Strikes Back is the best of all of the films.
That’s despite containing some of the worst lines (“A death mark’s not an easy thing to live with”, “You look strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark”), containing the scene where Han Solo forces himself on Leia despite her clear and unambiguous non-consent, and that imperial officer putting a weirdly unnatural emphasis on “Good, our first CATCH of the day”.
Yeah, great read John. Anyway: despite loving the film more than I do certain family members there’s been one thing which has bothered the hell out of me from a very young age. And it is this:
For how long does Yoda train Luke, exactly?
See, there are two things going at the same time after all the rebels get the hell off Hoth.
Luke and Artoo head off to Dagobah to find Yoda, and Han, Leia, Chewbacca and C-3PO get stuck without a working hyperdrive in the Millennium Falcon and thus have to putter their way to Bespin to find Lando Calrissian using only their non-light speed engines.
If you haven’t seen the film then that sentence is going to be very confusing. Then again, you chose to click on the story so really, it’s down to you.
So: Luke crashes on Dagobah, finds Yoda, gets training, has vision of his friends in peril and goes to help them.
At the same time the Falcon travels to Bespin, Lando welcomes them, Threepio gets blasted to bits, Leia finds a nice frock, Darth Vader imprisons and tortures them, and they’re used as bait for Luke.
Are we talking days, weeks or months?
The distance between star systems in the real universe is staggering – the closest star to Earth, Promixa Centauri, is about 4.24 light years – as in, at the speed of light it’ll take you over four years to get there.
The fastest thing Earth’s ever launched is the Voyager 1 probe, which travels at a bit over 61,198 kmph – and it left Earth in 1977 and isn’t even properly out of the solar system yet. So clearly physics isn’t any help to us – even without a hyperdrive the Falcon is clearly using some sort of weird science-magic to cover vast distances in real time.
On the face of it you’d think that Luke must have been training for at least a few months, but then the Falcon turns up on Cloud City with Han and Leia wearing the same outfits they left Hoth in.
Unless the Falcon has an offscreen laundry or they followed Chewie’s example and just strutted around the Falcon nude, this means they were stewing in them for the entire trip. You’d think Lando would have been unwilling to hug a Han who smelled quite that ripe.
But if we’re generous and say that the rebels fleeing with only the shirts on their backs were only in the Falcon for a few increasingly pungent days, then how the hell did Luke learn so much – enough to hold his own in a lightsaber battle with one of the most powerful Jedi in history?
Mind you, Lando clearly raided Han’s wardrobe once he was piloting in the Falcon, so maybe it was just Leia who had to deal with wearing the same sweaty cold-weather gear for weeks and weeks while Han just swapped out identical duds each morning.
Hopefully she at least had some wipes or something. She seems like the sort of person who’d be prepared.
Anyway, no matter which way you cut it, either the Falcon’s trip was too long or Luke’s training was too short. Fortunately that’s literally the only unanswered question in the entire franchise, because by the next film they’re at Jabba’s palace trying to rescue Han and…
Hold on, what was their actual rescue plan? Presumably it wasn’t “everyone get caught and hope we’re put over a massive Freudian desert-metaphor”, so what was it?
Wow. Maybe these films aren’t very good after all.