December 19, 2015

[Movies] Star Wars - (5) The Empire Strikes Back 1980

The Empire Strikes Back starts on an icy remote planet. The rebels are being hunted by the dark forces and forced to evacuate their base. The tensions in the relationship between Han and Leia play out, with Han declaring that Leia is in love with him and Leia refusing that, insisting that the allies need him not just her. Luke Skywalker is getting a lot confident in using the 'Force' and he is able to escape the grip of an abominable snowman kind-of-creature.

The attacking ‘Imperial Walkers’, bug like metallic robots with long legs and an impenetrable armor reminded me of the chunky robotic things in the transformer movies and the machines invading Pandora in the Avatar movie. It made me conclude that the Star Wars series is indeed the mother of all the hi-fi sci-fi movies of today. In three years, the designs and detailing have gotten much better. Perhaps, the success of the first one helped. Emotionally, the characters don’t seem to have evolved much. In a scene, just to prove to Han that she’s not in love with him, she kisses Luke Skywalker, who turns to look at Han, as if he’s beat him and won a trophy! While, from the relationship angle, the characters seem to still be in the adolescent stage, things have matured a lot in the philosophical front, for here is Yoda!

As the voice of Ben sows the seed for Luke’s journey towards becoming a Jedi warrior, we first hear of the legendary Yoda in the Star Wars Series! No other character seen so far comes close to the interestingness of Yoda.  In some ways, Yoda reminded me of Oogway, the tortoise Grand Master in Kung Fu Panda. Whether it was the way they both hold their eyes half closed a lot or the intuitive, wise and a little crazy approach of the two, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly, but I see a clear shade of similarity. 

Live from Yoda, we get to hear all the lines that pervade popular culture. These are my personal favorites.

Do... or do not. There is no try.

(The king of motivating punch lines. The kind of words that seem to zing with action)

Luke: I don't believe it.
Yoda: That is why you fail.
(The essence of what he must learn, captured tersely. In believing lies winning)

Luke: Is the dark side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
(A perfect psychological portrait of all darkness, be it anger, hatred, doubt) 

Yoda: [points to a cave opening beneath a large tree] That place... is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go.
Luke: What's in there?
Yoda: Only what you take with you.
(Could all the evil we perceive, be whatever we take with us? )

Entering this very cave, Luke finds Darth Vader within and defeats him, only to find that his own face in the black mask of the slain Vader. Perhaps, this cave is the place where one finds what one fears the most. Perhaps, it’s the philosophical inverse of Harry Potter’s Mirror of Erised where one sees what one desires the most. 

As predicted through out, Darth Vader tries to win over Luke to the side of the Dark Emperor. His motive and the methods are reminiscent of Lucifer tempting Jesus. Interesting is the way Vader tries to confuse Luke Skywalker saying that he is Luke's father and we are led to believe that Luke believes this, as he keeps murmuring ‘Why didn’t Ben say?’

There are plenty of puzzles in this one. As Ben declares to Yoda that Luke’s their last hope and Yoda replies, ‘No. There’s another!’ Much to look forward to, in the final of the initial Trilogy!

Yoda Quotes: Courtesy - IMDB.

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