Book Review: Bloodline

If you are going to read Bloodline by Claudia Gray, read it to understand the politics of The Force Awakens.  Actually, make sure you even like politics, because this book has a lot of it.  It fools you with some action, but the action scenes are more like side plots and a cover up to give you a greater understanding of where the political scene is leading up to TFA.

The entire novel centers around Leia Organa who is not yet a General, but a Senator of the New Republic.  We rarely get any moments with Han, unfortunately.  Luke and Ben are off doing their own thing (Ben has not yet turned to the dark side) so we don’t hear from them at all.  The only other returning characters that we know are Threepio who is now Leia’s protocol droid and a brief appearance on the last page of Nien Nunb and Ackbar.

bloodline cover

***Spoilers Ahead***

 

We start off the novel with Leia being completely disenfranchised with the New Republic, being a senator, and the senate itself, which is divided into two camps: the Populists (which Leia is) and the Centrists.  She intends to quit and go travel around the galaxy with Han, whom she still seems to have a pseudo marriage with, though they live apart.

As a one last hurrah, Leia takes on a mission to investigate a cartel and is paired with a Centrist senator: Ransolm Casterfo.  In the beginning, we see him as a pompous young senator who is obsessed with the Empire.  Leia first meets him in his office where he has mementos from the Empire and he claims that he believes the Empire could have been a good thing, but the way Palpatine and Vader ran it was not smart.  Of course, this puts Leia and Casterfo’s relationship on the wrong foot right away.

Yet as Bloodline and their investigation continues, they manage to break past their opposing viewpoints and come to a mutual understanding that eventually leads to friendship.  Together, they discover the beginnings of the First Order and realize that the senate and government is in graver danger than they believed.

The senate decides to nominate a First Senator to create more order and the Populists naturally choose Princess Leia.  She has the name and the long standing goodwill of the people since many of her deeds helped in bringing down the Empire.  Leia, through her friendship with Ransolm, could unite the two opposing forces in the senate and bring it back to what it once was.  Though she realizes she can’t travel the galaxy with Han and can no longer quit, she feels that she must accept the nomination.

But (dun dun dun) then a conniving senator finds out that she is Darth Vader’s daughter and tells her new friend Casterfo, who then releases that news into the senate.  All hell breaks loose.  Leia loses her nomination, Ransolm turns against her, and she can’t continue her mission.  We find out that Ben did not know about this and Leia tells him via a recording (since apparently she can’t reach Luke and Ben because they are on some mission…that’s all very vague).

Being Princess Leia, she continues her investigation into the cartel without approval of the senate or her partner Ransolm and finds all the evidence she needs.  She is able to present the findings to the senate who seem to believe her, despite her tarnished reputation.  Ransolm backs her up, surprisingly, and she is able to hash out differences with him after the senate convenes.  They seem to come back to a neutral relationship of respect and understanding though Leia is still hurt by him outing her relationship to Vader in front of the entire senate without warning her first.

Unfortunately, that sneaky senator who found out that she was Vader’s daughter also doctors some of the footage from when Ransolm and Leia were investigating the cartel to make it look like Ransolm was behind an attack on the senate earlier in the novel – therefore committing treason.  At the end of the novel Ransolm is led off to be executed and Leia is heartbroken.  We have no idea what happens to him.  Leia, in the last pages of Bloodline, star-wars-bloodline-posterforms the very beginning of the Resistance without the knowledge of other senators.  She knows that it is only a matter of time until that glimpse they saw of the First Order threatens the New Republic on a larger scale and she wants to be ready.

 

Pros:

  • I finally understand the Resistance vs. New Republic vs. First Order.   Basically, the New Republic is the ruling government but has fallen to pieces with a lot of internal squabbling.  Amidst this, the First Order is forming on outer worlds and is filled with Empire loyalists and fanatics.  Leia created the Resistance to be ready for when the First Order decides to take on the Republic.  In the opening crawl of TFA, it says that Leia leads the Resistance with support of the Republic.  I’m not sure when that comes about since this is still in the early stages but at least I’m understanding this a bit better.
  • The galaxy finds out that Leia, and by default Luke, are Darth Vader’s children. I always assumed that no one knew about the familial relationship between Vader and his children, but I wondered when they let Ben/Kylo Ren know.  Even though we don’t see that happen here, we do see the beginning of how he found out.  By the time of The Force Awakens, everyone knows Luke and Leia are the children of Vader which puts an interesting new twist on viewing it.  That means Ben had only been on the dark side of the Force for a maximum of six years by TFA.  No wonder he still had some hesitations.
  • For a book that is almost entirely compromised of politics, Ms. Gray does a great job making the book engaging.
  • After the book got through introductions and settled into a good pace, it got a lot less predictable. Every time I thought it was getting predictable, I was thrown off course and what I thought would happen, didn’t.  I love that!
  • I thought she did a great job with Threepio. He still plays a minor role but she writes him so perfectly.
  • There were no real “bad guys” and I liked that. I’m so used to reading Star Wars novels where there is a clear delineation between good and bad that having this murky area was refreshing.  The leader of the cartel was obviously bad, but he wasn’t the main driving force behind this.  Then there was the terrorist in charge of the burgeoning First Order, but she wasn’t really the main bad guy either.  The main antagonist, if there was one, was the sneaky senator who goes around causing trouble.  But even then, it was almost a Professor Umbridge kind of bad.  She wasn’t Voldemort/Vader, just a normal person doing bad things.

General Leia

Cons:

  • I thought the first ¼-1/3 of the book was yawn worthy and played out like any Star Wars novel. It was a little predictable and I felt like skipping through many of the pages.
  • Where were Leia’s feelings for Han and Ben? She occasionally seemed to feel sad that Han wasn’t around but that was it. If I was separated from my husband almost permanently, I would not be as distracted as she was and I would definitely make more of an effort to see him.  She seemed way too resigned to rarely being physically together.  And I think Ben was mentioned only two to three times in the entire novel.  I’m only a new mom, but I can tell you that I’d be thinking of my child more than three times a day.
  • On that subject, I didn’t feel like Han was Han. He was in the novel sporadically but I’m not sure he was captured very well.  I also think Han Solo is one of the hardest characters to capture on paper so I understand the challenges but I thought he was lacking a bit when he did show up.  He was almost too goofy-like, even though his scenes were serious…it’s hard to explain but there was something missing.
  • The action scenes were not well written. I felt like Ms. Gray’s strength lies in writing character’s emotions and relationships – not action. You could figure out what was going to happen in the actions scenes and it felt like they were thrown in just so the book would feel like “Star Wars”.  Instead of trying to interweave action in it, the book should have been entirely about politics and stuck to that.
  • Leia was a little mopey. At some points it was believable…other times not so much. Leia is not a sit on her butt kind of person.  There were times when Ms. Gray remembered that and Leia seemed like the person we remember from the OT, but there are pages where she kind of falls off and I was left thinking she really took after her father in the sulking category.  I know she was trying to make Leia seem jaded, but instead I thought she was moping about.

 

I’d give Bloodline 3.8/5 stars.  It was better than A New Dawn, but it still isn’t Zahn worthy.  (The new Thrawn book coming out by Zahn is definitely going on my list!)  Many people had great reviews for this book and I wasn’t feeling it as much as everyone else, I guess.  I am happy to understand more of the politics of this time in Star Wars, but thought that a few things were too disjointed to make me appreciate this fully.

Which Character Would You Choose to Be?

Before I start, a few notes.  “Hem, hem,” as Dolores Umbridge says.

First off, I have some great guest bloggers coming up in the next few weeks when I’m gone (7/4-7/21).  I really, really want everyone to comment and show love.  I can’t force you to, but would still love if you treat these people as an extension of me as they are putting in some time and effort to craft beautiful posts.   Also, if I die in Australia, they’ll be able to continue on the legacy of this wonderful blog.  Wonderful^2!

Yes.  This is the love you need to show.

Yes. This is the love you need to show.

You will notice that my instagram widget is now on the sidebar of my blog.  This is to hold myself accountable and actually follow through with my resolution to take 1 beautiful photo a day during July.  The point of this challenge is to become more aware of my surroundings and to try to look at the world from a different point of view.

This is very hard for me.  Some people see taking photos as the easiest thing, but I really am challenging myself here.  I was born lacking artistic skills.  Stick figures are the closest I get to drawing when I’m forced, so this challenge is concerning.  I have yet to take a photo today and yet to see anything worth taking a photo of.  Oh, and another concerning thought, and perhaps the most amusing, is the fact that I don’t know how I’m going to do this in Australia so there may be a two week lag of actually posting to instagram haha.  Or if everything works out with my SIM card, you’ll all be able to follow my photos on the side 🙂

Oh, and, this is my last post until I return.  Adios folks.  MTFBWY.

I was asked by a colleague at work last week a very simple, but difficult (for me) to answer question:

“If you could be any Star Wars character in the saga, who would you be?”  Upon further questioning, I found out that not only was it limited to on-screen characters, they didn’t want it to be someone with 2 seconds on the screen.  Okay.  So no Oola.  (I realized later that I wouldn’t want to be Oola anyway because she dies a horrible death)

Oh gosh, did you really just have to ask me that?

Oh gosh, did you really just have to ask me that?

This was more difficult than I thought.  Generic Old Republic Jedi wouldn’t do, neither would the Twi’leks who were massaging Sebulba.

Surprisingly, I settled upon an answer pretty quickly.  Wedge Antilles.  How weird is that?  If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I rarely mention him.  He’s a cool character and I love what he did for the OT, but I’ve only lately begun to appreciate him.

Looking at the OT only and not including EU (even though a lot of what I am going to say still applies to the EU.  Legends.  Whatever.), Wedge is the guy who is always calmly backing up his comrades during the x-wing battles and survives throughout all three movies.  He may not get all the shining glory in the way Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie do.  But he appears in every movie and is one of the Rebels to help bring in a new age after the fallen Empire.  I like that.  If I were part of the Rebellion, I wouldn’t mind a role like that and I think it reflects nicely on my real personality.

It reminds me of when I used to do musicals in high school.  I never auditioned for the main role.  I never wanted the responsibility of carrying a play, singing a lot of solos, and memorizing a lot of lines.  I wanted that part that was memorable, but on the side.  I often had one solo, or would sing solos with another in a joint song, but never had the lead role.  However, it was always a memorable role and people were always coming up to me afterwards to tell me how much they enjoyed what I did.

If you haven't seen this, you should. It's my job on steroids.

If you haven’t seen this, you should. It’s my job on steroids.

It’s similar to my role today as an Executive Assistant.  I like playing an important role and having a lot of power by default…but I don’t actually like all the attention on me, nor would I like the responsibility of being an actual CEO.  I just like being the one who is calm and always standing by to help bring down the next problem.  Their right hand woman, so to say.

 

The thing is, we all have different shades of our personality.  As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I’m more similar to Threepio than anyone else.  At times my stubbornness lends itself well to Captain Panaka.  My need for organizing and my administrative abilities could probably reflect Admiral Ackbar.

The difference between this question that I received and other questions that have been similar (Who is your favorite character? Which characters are you most like?) is that I got to choose what popular character I would want to be from the saga.  Just like I get to choose my profession and choose what role I want to try out for in a musical.

So, surprisingly, I choose Wedge: a character that I don’t often pay attention to and take for granted.  Loyal, calm, and there when you need him.

If you could be any Star Wars character, movies, EU, or anything else, who would you choose to be?  And why?

wedge antilles is awesome

 

Scene it on Friday – ROTJ Scene #25

second death star hologram

There’s so much to go into with this scene, I love it!

My main thoughts:

  1. The first time we see a woman leader within the rebellion other than Leia.
  2. Han and Lando have really progressed in their character arc.
  3. Leia is sensing Luke more and more, tuning into the Force.
  4. This is a turning point for the Rebellion.

1)  I never cared about Mon Mothma when I was younger.   I hated the way she said, “Many Bothans died to bring us this information”.  I found that line halting and weird…so it made sense not to like her character in my young mind.

Now that I’m older, I wonder why it took so long for us to see another female leader within the Rebellion.  Think about it, at this point weMon mothma speaking to rebellion are almost done with the entire OT.  In fact, according to the webpage I use, there are a total of 235 scenes between ANH, ESB, and ROTJ, and this is the 198th scene.  We are 84.25% of the way through the entire trilogy and have only seen Leia as a leading female.  Okay yes, I remember she was talking to some nameless woman who had no lines in ESB, but I’m not counting that.

I’m not completely knocking Lucas.  The fact that he had Leia standing equal to Luke and Han in a science fiction trilogy is, in and of itself, a great feat and I applaud him for that.  But with my 21st century eyes, this trilogy is very skewed in favor of the male.  Especially when we argue the case that ANH had quite a few Rebellion scenes where we could have seen some good examples of female leadership.  ESB is more understandable due to the fact that it focused on the adventures our heroes went on rather than what happened with the Rebellion.

2)  Han and Lando are now Generals.  Think about it.  That’s a huge step from where they were when we first met them.  Han was a smuggler with no interest in any cause, just interested in the side that paid him the most.  Lando was a pirate turned business man that stabbed our heroes in the back when he gave them over to the Empire.  And now both are going into this battle with the most dangerous missions for the Rebellion, knowing they might not come out alive.

It’s good to see this character development and show how when something is worth fighting for, you are willing to risk your life for it.  It’s easy to say Han was doing it all for Leia, which could be somewhat true, but what does Lando have?  Regret for a stupid action he took against his friend because the Empire gave him a lot of money.  He learned his lesson and knows the greater good outweighs the selfish motivation.

3)  We first see Leia sensing Luke through the Force in ESB, when she turns the Falcon around to go rescue him.  I wasn’t alive when the OT was released in theaters, but I wonder what fan speculation was about that?  Did fans suspect her to have Force sensitivities?  Did they think she was his twin?

Well, now we know by this scene that they are brother and sister, but her uncanny sensing that something deeper is going on with Luke has to be attributed to the Force.  I loved reading about Leia continuing/starting her training with the Force in the EU.  I remember how it had never occurred to me that Leia would train to be a Jedi…but why not??  She has some of the Force too, though she seems to lean more closely to her mother with her love for politics.

4)  Not much to say on the fourth point, since it’s the most obvious, but notice how “a volley of spirited chatter erupts from the crowd” when Mothma points out that the Emperor is onboard the second Death Star.  I guess this is why I call it a “turning point” for the Rebellion, and probably their greatest in the Saga.  They are always fighting, but until they kill the Emperor, they are just fighting the Lernaean Hydra.  So now they know if they blow up the Death Star, they kill the Empire’s leader…maybe both leaders since everyone is probably hoping Vader is on the battle station as well.  Stuff just got serious.

Great scene, glad I had one that I could go into with depth.  With that, I wish you all a great weekend.

general madine and mon mothma

EXTERIOR: SPACE – REBEL FLEET

The vast Rebel Fleet stretches as far as the eye can see.  Overhead a dozen small Corellian battleships fly in formation.  Fighters and battlecruisers surround the largest of the Rebel Star Cruisers, the HEADQUARTERS FRIGATE.

INTERIOR: HEADQUARTERS FRIGATE – MAIN BRIEFING ROOM

Hundreds of Rebel commanders of all races and forms are assembled in the WAR ROOM. WEDGE is among them. In the center of the room is a holographic model depicting the half-completed Imperial Death Star, the nearby Moon of Endor, and the protecting deflector shield.

MON MOTHMA, the leader of the Alliance, enters the room. She is a stern but beautiful woman in her fifties. Conferring with her are several military leaders, including GENERAL MADINE and ADMIRAL ACKBAR (a salmon-colored Mon Calamari). Lando moves through the crowd until he finds Han and Chewie, standing next to Leia and the two droids.

Han peers at Lando’s new insignia on his chest, and is amused.

HAN: Well, look at you, a general, huh?

LANDO: Oh, well, someone must have told them about my little maneuver at the battle of Taanab.

HAN: (sarcastic) Well, don’t look at me, pal. I just said you were a fair pilot. I didn’t know they were lookin’ for somebody to lead this crazy attack.

LANDO: (smiling) I’m surprised they didn’t ask you  to do it.

HAN: Well, who says they didn’t.  But I ain’t crazy. You’re the respectable one, remember?

Mon Mothma signals for attention, and the room falls silent.

MON MOTHMA: The Emperor has made a critical error and the time for our attack has come.

This causes a stir. Mon Mothma turns to a holographic model of the Death Star, the Endor moon and the protecting deflector shield in the center of the room.

MON MOTHMA: The data brought to us by the Bothan spies pinpoints the exact location of the Emperor’s new  battle station. We also know that the weapon systems of this Death Star are not yet operational. With the Imperial Fleet spread throughout the galaxy in a vain effort to engage us, it is relatively unprotected. But most important of all, we’ve learned that the Emperor himself is personally overseeing the final stages of the construction of this Death Star.

A volley of spirited chatter erupts from the crowd. Han turns to Leia as Chewie barks his amazement.

MON MOTHMA: (cont) Many Bothans died to bring us this information. Admiral Ackbar, please.

Admiral Ackbar steps forward and points to the Death Star’s force field and the Moon of Endor.

ACKBAR: You can see here the Death Star orbiting the forest Moon of Endor. Although the weapon systems on  this Death Star are not yet operational, the Death Star does have a strong defense mechanism. It is protected by an energy shield, which is generated from the nearby forest Moon of Endor. The shield must be deactivated if any attack is to be attempted. Once the shield is down, our cruisers will create a perimeter, while the fighters fly into the superstructure and attempt to knock out the main reactor.

There’s a concerned murmur.

ACKBAR: (cont) General Calrissian has volunteered to lead the fighter attack.

Han turns to Lando with a look of respect.

HAN: Good luck.

Lando nods his thanks.

HAN: You’re gonna need it.

ACKBAR: General Madine.

Madine moves center stage.

GENERAL MADINE: We have stolen a small Imperial shuttle. Disguised as a cargo ship, and using a secret Imperial code, a strike team will land on the moon and deactivate the shield generator.

The assembly begins to mumble among themselves.

THREEPIO: Sounds dangerous.

LEIA: (to Han) I wonder who they found to pull that off?

GENERAL MADINE: General Solo, is your strike team assembled?

Leia, startled, looks up at Han, surprise changing to admiration.

HAN: Uh, my team’s ready. I don’t have a command crew for the shuttle.

Chewbacca raises his hairy paw and volunteers.  Han looks up at him.

HAN: Well, it’s gonna be rough, pal. I didn’t want to speak for you.

Chewie waves that off with a huge GROWL.

HAN: (smiles) That’s one.

LEIA: Uh, General… count me in.

VOICE: (OS) I’m with you, too!

They turn in that direction and peer into the crowd as there are more cheers. The commanders part, and there at the back stands Luke. Han and Leia are surprised and delighted.

Leia moves to Luke and embraces him warmly. She senses a change in him and looks into his eyes questioningly.

LEIA: What is it?

LUKE: (hesitant) Ask me again sometime.

Han, Chewie, and Lando crowd around Luke as the assembly breaks up.

HAN: Luke.

LUKE: Hi, Han… Chewie.

Artoo beeps a singsong observation to a worried Threepio. 

THREEPIO: “Exciting” is hardly the word I would use. 

Return of the Jedi: 30 Years

Return of the Jedi was released thirty years ago today on May 25th, 1983.  Considered by some to be the weakest movie of the Original Trilogy, I still love it.  It’s changed my life, as every Star Wars movie has, and I thought I would spend a moment today talking about my favorite parts of the movie and some interesting facts about it in the 5-1-5-0 fashion…(except I didn’t know what to do for “0”, so we’re sticking with 5-1-5).

Return of the Jedi, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways…

  1. The Endor bike chase scene.  Wow, I just loved that scene!  Whipping through the forests at top speed and Luke and Leia taking out the scout troopers is still exciting.  Plus, we get to see what I believe is Leia tapping into the Force a little bit to guide her as she chased the other speeder bikes.
  2. We get to see Luke as a bona fide Jedi.  Right from the start of the movie when he enters Jabba’s Palace in the Old Republic Jedi brown cloak, to the end of the movie when the Emperor is trying to convert him to the dark side of the Force and he says “You’ve failed, your Highness.  I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”  Oooo…I still get goosebumps when he says that and then throws away his lightsaber.
  3. One of my favorite pieces of music by the wonderful John Williams is in this movie.  On my CD that I got years ago (14 years ago maybe?), the track is actually titled “Return of the Jedi”, but on current soundtrack versions it is known as “The Pit of Carkoon/Sail Barge Assault.”  Listen and love. (I guess WordPress doesn’t let you embed videos coming in at a certain time) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT34sc33q0A#t=0m58s
  4. Finding out Leia was Luke’s sister.  Yes, a little weird, but also, like, whoa!  Luke has a sister!  And…wait…wasn’t he just crushing on her in the last movie?  And didn’t they kiss?  Oh, eew.  But still, Luke has a sister.
  5. Vader redeems himself and then dies.  How perfect.  Could you imagine if he turns back to the light side and then lives?  How do you explain that to the rest of the Alliance and universe?  No, wait, he’s actually good!  I swear!  They would have to start calling him Anakin, change his outfit to white, oh geez…what a headache.  He saved everyone the hassle by dying after he came back to the good side.

And now to my favorite lines from the movie:

  1. “It’s a trap!” –Admiral Ackbar

That’s it.  Best line ever.  Enough said.  For your enjoyment: http://bit.ly/13Qvrz2

its a trap!

Finally, some little known facts about this great movie.

  1. As I mentioned in an earlier SioF (yes, I just made up my own acronym for Scene it on Friday), Lando was originally supposed to die and go down with the Millenium Falcon and this was only changed at the last minute.  Hence the line that Han says when about to depart for Endor and staring at the Falcon, “Yeah, I just got a funny feeling.  Like I’m never gonna see her again.”
  2. Harrison Ford was not contracted to return to ROTJ (no pun intended) and so suggested to Lucas that they kill off his character through self-sacrifice as it would make the movie more poignant.  Director Kasdan thought it would be a good idea, but Lucas vetoed it.  I am torn on this one.  I would have loved to see a death of one main character in ROTJ, but I’m glad it wasn’t Han.
  3. Yoda was not originally supposed to be in ROTJ, but it was changed so that Luke would have a second confirmation that Vader was really his father.
  4. Most fans know this, but ROTJ was filmed under the title of “Blue Harvest” so that they could attempt to film in peace away from rabid fans and keep spoilers from being leaked.  I heard it worked most of the time.
  5. The original title of the movie was supposed to be Revenge of the Jedi.  Lucas later changed it because he felt that Jedi do not seek revenge.  The original movie poster also had the lightsaber colors between Luke and Vader switched.  Episode III’s title, Revenge of the Sith, is a nod to this earlier title.

revenge of the jedi original movie poster

Take some time today to enjoy ROTJ if you can and feel free to let me know how you feel about this movie.  May the Force be with you!

Scene it on Friday – ROTJ Scene #59

Scene it on Friday – ROTJ Scene #59

I love this, I love this!  This webpage I’m getting the scenes from clearly does not have the final, edited scripts, but rather a previous version of the almost-done scripts.  We’ve seen a couple of times in different scenes that there will be a line that was later omitted in the final film version or even a scene that was completely cut (like ROTJ #20).

This scene is pretty accurate, up until the very end where we see that Lando actually goes down in a ball of flames with the Millennium Falcon.  I love reading this because I had always heard and knew about how Lando was originally supposed to die and the Falcon was supposed to go down with the second Death Star.

Personally, I think he should have died.  It just would have been a little more…realistic.  No hero ever dies in the Original Trilogy of Star Wars.  And if they do, they come back to life (you know what I mean) like Obi-Wan.  Yoda died, but it was old age which is, yes, realistic but not in terms of a war.  Biggs Darklighter died, but if we had seen these films in the original release, we would not have even known he was Luke’s best friend.  Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen die, but it was more for moving the plot along.  We hadn’t connected with them as an audience; we connected more with Luke as he went through the emotional pain of losing his adoptive parents.

Lando would have been the perfect character to die.  I strongly believe that.  He’s a hero of the OT, but more of a reformed hero and we had connected enough to him over the past film to be sad he died. As a reformed hero who had so much potential of reworking his friendship with Han, it would have been more poignant.  Add to that the fact that he died doing a very noble act of blowing up the second Death Star and it would have been the final act of redemption.  If anything, we would be heartbroken to see the Falcon die, which had turned into its own character at that point, similar to the Black Pearl in Pirates of the Caribbean.

All in all, it also makes the movie a lot more realistic.  This is the final battle of the war and all our heroes pretty much came out unscathed.  C’mon, George, just one death here, please!  Whenever I see the final scene in ROTJ with everyone standing around looking like a big, happy family Christmas photo – it makes me cringe.

The only reason I could think for George keeping Lando alive is that these movies were loosely based on the TV serials he watched as a child, and in those, the hero always lived another day.  A death, as George probably saw it, was in the form of Darth Vader who had newly returned to the light side to be Anakin Skywalker.  Vader’s death was the loss we were supposed to feel as an outcome of this epic story that spanned over three movies.

Yes and no.  There was no choice but for Vader to die.  If he wanted to neatly wrap up the series, then the antagonists had to die and George presented that to us in a package with a bow.  So yes, Vader died, Luke felt a loss and so in turn, as an audience, we also felt a loss.  But no, Vader was a cop out because he HAD to die; these movies could not go on forever (though now we see otherwise lol).

George should have let Lando go down in a supernova of glory.

Final thought on this scene: Wedge Antilles really does not get enough credit as an awesome, steady character in the films.  I’m glad the EU came around and gave him a more prominent role.  But think about it: he was a good pilot who was reliable and had a hand in almost every battle he flew in.  I’m glad he lives.

But seriously, George should have let Lando go down in a supernova of glory.

second death star destroyed

EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR

The Millennium Falcon leads a swerving bomb run through the immense superstructure of the half-built Death Star. The Rebel Star Cruisers outside continually bombard the huge station. And each direct hit is answered by resonating, chain-reaction explosions within the station itself.

INTERIOR: MILLENNIUM FALCON – COCKPIT AND GUN PORTS

Lando’s crew fires away at the pursuing TIE fighters as the dashing Baron of Bespin and his alien copilot home in on the main reactor shaft. It is awesome. A lone X-wing is just in front of the Falcon.

WEDGE: There it is!

LANDO: All right, Wedge. Go for the power regulator on the north tower.

WEDGE: Copy, Gold Leader. I’m already on my way out.

The X-wing heads for the top of the huge reactor and fires several proton torpedoes at the power regulator, causing a series of small explosions.

The Falcon heads for the main reactor, and when it is dangerously close, Lando fires the missiles, which shoot out of the Falcon with a powerful roar, and hit directly at the center of the main reactor.

He maneuvers the Falcon out of the winding superstructure just ahead of the continuing chain of explosions.

INTERIOR: REBEL STAR CRUISER – BRIDGE

Ackbar and other Mon Calamari lean on the railing of the bridge, watching the large screen showing the Death Star in the main briefing room.

ACKBAR: Move the fleet away from the Death Star.

EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR

An Imperial shuttle, with Luke alone in the cockpit, rockets out of the main docking bay as that entire section of the Death Star is blown away. But as Luke pilots toward the safety of the Sanctuary moon, his thoughts – enhanced by the Force – turn to his friends aboard the Millennium Falcon.

The Falcon flies at top speed, with a single X-wing as escort, over the endless surface of the Death Star. A series of explosions within the superstructure follow, then swiftly overtake the small craft as it races for an exit.

INTERIOR: MILLENNIUM FALCON – COCKPIT

Lando turns to Nien Nunb and shakes his head.

LANDO: (into comlink) Wedge, I don’t think we’re going to make it.

WEDGE: (VO) You’ll make it. Just follow me Gold Leader.

LANDO: (to himself) I promised to return his ship without a scratch… I sure hope that old pirate forgives me. This is gonna be close.

EXTERIOR: DEATH STAR

An X-wing, piloted by Wedge Antilles, races out of the exploding superstructure and whizzes toward the Sanctuary Moon. But the Millennium Falcon is not fast enough as it explodes with the Death Star in a supernova of glory.