Who chases stormtroopers down a hallway when he’s only one man? A pirate extraordinaire, that’s who. I love it. The last paragraph in this scene describes Han Solo as “pirate extraordinaire”. And you know what? He totally is. Harrison Ford plays Solo so well that even when I see those ridiculous words describing his character, I think, “Yeah, he is a pirate extraordinaire.” The description has a level of confidence in it, a deeper level of gravitas that a description like “smuggler” does not. It reminds me of a nautical pirate with the feather in his hat, sailing the high seas with nary a worry because he knows that he’s got it all under control.
When you have it all under control and you have that confidence, why wouldn’t you chase a group of stormtroopers on their home turf?
Overall, this scene is humorous and you can’t help but laugh because it gives us a greater look into Han’s personality. We have a pretty good idea of it up to this point, but you could argue that perhaps he was all talk and no action. Now we see that he has action up his sleeve as well. Oh yes, this pirate extraordinaire can talk the talk and walk the walk.
Does anyone remember the original Original Trilogy? The one that was first released in 1977? I hate that I even have to ask that, but Lucas has tinkered so much with the movies that it’s hard to remember how it looked when it first came out. Thankfully, I watched the original original trilogy (yes, I am writing two words of “original” on purpose though spell check keeps getting angry at me) so many times when I was younger that I think I still remember them.
In the 1977 theatrical release, there were not as many stormtroopers at the end of the hall and I believe Lucas added many more stormtroopers into the Special Edition. I’m not sure how I feel about this. I am a little bit of a purist and LOVE the theatrical release for its authenticity, but it does make it more dramatic to add dozens more stormtroopers at the end of the hall as opposed to only a few. Am I being a lame fan for admitting that?
With this scene, you also get to see Han Solo’s love for his ship. That simple line of “There she is,” is almost wistful. He’s probably hoping that the Empire hasn’t damaged it in any way. If you know anything about Han Solo’s history through the Expanded Universe, you know that he was once in the Imperial Academy (where he met Chewbacca) so he probably has a good idea of what they could potentially do to a captured ship. Also, Leia’s quip here cements the fact that the Millennium Falcon is not a good looking ship.
Anyone else notice this is the scene with the iconic picture of our three heroes?
INTERIOR: DEATH STAR — HALLWAY.
Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and Leia run down an empty hallway and stop before a bay window overlooking the pirateship. Troopers are milling about the ship. Luke takes out his pocket comlink.
HAN: (looking at his ship) There she is.
LUKE: See-Threepio, do you copy?
THREEPIO: (voice) For the moment. Uh, we’re in the main hangar across from the ship.
LUKE: We’re right above you. Stand by.
Han is watching the dozen or so troops moving in and out of the pirateship. Leia moves towards Han, touches his arm and points out the window to the ship.
LEIA: You came in that thing? You’re braver that I thought.
HAN: Nice! Come on!
Han gives her a dirty look, and they start off down the hallway. They round a corner and run right into twenty Imperial stormtroopers heading toward them. Both groups are taken by surprise and stop in their tracks.
FIRST TROOPER: It’s them! Blast them!
Before even thinking, Han draws his laser pistol and charges the troops, firing. His blaster knocks one of the stormtroopers into the air. Chewie follows his captain down the corridor, stepping over the fallen trooper on the floor.
HAN: (to Luke and Leia) Get back to the ship!
LUKE: Where are you going? Come back!
Han has already rounded a corner and does not hear.
LEIA: He certainly has courage.
LUKE: What good will it do us if he gets himself killed? Come on!
Luke is furious but doesn’t have time to think about it for muted alarms begin to go off down on the hangar deck. Luke and Leia start off toward the starship hangar.
INTERIOR: DEATH STAR — SUBHALLWAY.
Han chases the stormtroopers down a long subhallway. He is yelling and brandishing his laser pistol. The troops reach the end of the hallway and are joined there with at least a few dozen others who begin to turn and fight. Han stops a few feet from them and assumes a defensive position. The troops begin to raise their laser guns. Soon all of the troopers are moving into an attack position in front of the lone starpirate. Han’s determined look begins to fade as the troops begin to advance. Solo jumps backward as they fire at him.
INTERIOR: DEATH STAR — SUBHALLWAY.
Chewbacca runs down the subhallway in a last-ditch attempt to save his bold captain. Suddenly he hears the firing of laser guns and yelling. Around the corner shoots Han, pirate extraordinaire, running for his life, followed by a host of furious stormtroopers. Chewbacca turns and starts running the other way also.