Scene it on Friday – ESB Scene #75

Three thoughts.  No more, no less.

I think that Luke was drawn to the Chamber from the moment he entered Cloud City and the Force was guiding him there.  When I was younger, I always thought it was such a nice coincidence that Luke happened to stumble upon Vader right away, but as I grow older I have begun to think differently.  Luke claimed he was running off to Bespin to save Han and Leia from what he saw in his vision, but he was so willingly drawn to the Chamber.  I think Yoda and Obi-Wan knew this would happen and knew he would face Vader.

I like how the script describes Luke as feeling “confident” and “eager” to confront Darth Vader and I find that to be a bit foolish of him.  I have to keep in mind, though, that this is his first confrontation not only with Vader, but also since he’s started his training.  And I believe Vader knows that Luke is feeling overconfident so he jabs him with the statement that he is not a Jedi yet.  Ouch.  It’s like preparing so hard for the Olympics, only to be told you aren’t really professional yet.

The last thing about this scene that always made me angry was the fact that Luke attacked first.  Jedi do not engage first!  Why did he do that?  Did he sense an attack?  Did he know the attack was inevitable?  Does it show that he really is not a Jedi yet because he can’t have patience?  Was he just dangerously close to the dark side in this moment?  Was his overconfidence his weakness?  This part has always bothered me.  I understand in ROTJ when he attacks the Emperor…clearly the Emperor was goading him on and making him angry.  I guess I just don’t understand why he would attack Vader when he is fresh off of his training.  Now, keep in mind, I think there is difference between igniting your lightsaber and attacking with it.  I feel like igniting is being on the defensive, being prepared.  You could argue that just by igniting it you are welcoming an attack, but I still don’t think a Jedi should go on the offensive.  Even Yoda said earlier in the movie, “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”  Tut, tut Luke.

Luke and Prowse ESB lightsaber fight

INTERIOR: CLOUD CITY — CARBON-FREEZING CHAMBER — ANTEROOM

Luke cautiously walks forward among hissing pipes and steam. Seeing an opening above him, he stops to look up. As he does, the platform he stands on begins to move.

INTERIOR: CLOUD CITY — CARBON-FREEZING CHAMBER

Luke rises into the chamber, borne by the platform. The room is deathly quiet. Very little steam escapes the pipes and no one else seems to be in the large room. Warily, Luke walks toward the stairway.

Steam begins to build up in the chamber. Looking up through the steam, Luke sees a dark figure standing on a walkway above him. Luke holsters his gun and moves up the stairs to face Vader. He feels confident, eager to engage his enemy.

VADER: The Force is with you, young Skywalker. But you are not a Jedi yet.

Luke ignites his sword in answer. In an instant, Vader’s own sword is lit. Luke lunges, but Vader repels the blow.  Again Luke attacks, and the swords of the two combatants clash in battle.

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7 thoughts on “Scene it on Friday – ESB Scene #75

  1. I think it’s intriguing to consider how things may have gone differently if Luke hadn’t gone to Bespin and interrupted his training. On one hand (no pun intended), what did he accomplish? He didn’t save Han, or any of his friends. He nearly died, lost his hand instead, jeopardized his friends’ escape, and then still had to return to Dagobah later when he should have been helping the Rebels plan the attack on the new Death Star. On the other hand, would it have changed his development as a Jedi if he had let the future settle its own account? The confrontation with Vader humbled him significantly, he learned the truth about his father, and he realized what his ultimate challenge would be in the end.

    Unfortunately, I think Lucas wanted this scene and made it happen whether it made sense or not. It’s one of the most important scenes in the history of science fiction and film – to have put that revelation in ROTJ would have diluted it and the climax of the conflict altogether.

    And then, to make things complicated, but only if you’re partial to the EU, this is actually the second time Vader and Luke have had a confrontation, ala Splinter of the Mind’s Eye.

  2. Yes, I have definitely heard of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and I know the basic premise of it.

    I agree with your second paragraph and that this scene is needed in ESB. However, your word choice of “unfortunately”, I disagree with. I don’t mind this sequence of events and I’m glad it’s in here. I like how it almost doesn’t make sense because it seems more like life. One of the great things about Luke is that he’s unconventional and does not follow the rigidity of the Old Republic Jedi. Obi-Wan and Yoda are from a different age, arguing for him to stay and complete the training. Everything happens for a reason right? It’s almost like the traditional vs. modern argument. His confrontation with Vader helped humble him, as you say, which sent him back to Dagobah for more training, which in turn helped him be better prepared for the confrontation with Vader and the Emperor.

  3. I think that this scene is incredibly important to the whole series. I also am of the opinion that the confrontation was preordained and had to happen to finally bring the balance to the force. By finding out the truth about Is father here it allowed Luke to properly prepare himself for the final confrontation on the Death Star which was inevitable if the prophecy was to come true. I liken the events that occur in Eps 3-5 to the stage show Jesus Christ Superstar where Judas questions his independence of actions as they relate to the crucifixition.

    P.s. I am posting this from the Leader’s Retreat on our bush campsite at Australian Scout Jamborree. Current temp is 37 degrees Celsius.

  4. Hot! Kind of jealous since it’s around -2 degrees Celsius here. And I also appreciate you keeping up with my blog while you’re doing something that sounds like heaps more fun…

    I have seen Jesus Christ Superstar, but cannot remember it well enough to comment on it. I know the music pretty well though! I agree also with the fact that it had to happen, though I have recently been persuaded to believe that the term “balance in the force” is horribly misplaced because of an article I read. (I shared it with another follower a few months ago but you should def take a look if you have the chance: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/09/the-qtrue-nature-of-the-force-is-way-more-complicated-than-you-think)

  5. I still think that Luke brought balance. With the Emperor and Vader in charge the scales were heavily tilted to the dark side. By removing those dark side ‘weights’ balance was restored where the inherent dark in all beings was balanced again by the Jedi.

    • But don’t the shift of the weights now turn to the light side? And I’m confused by when you say “inherent dark in all beings”. Balance is an equal distribution of weight, therefore equal dark and light. That’s why I agree with the article and do not think the “balance of the force” term is appropriately placed.

  6. Pingback: Scene it on Friday – ANH Scene #58 | Star Wars Anonymous

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