Sunday, June 8, 2014

Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back first impressions

That was a long game. Nice to get home to half a pizza and a screen already set up for viewing.

Expectations seem to be high for this one. Me, I don't know what to expect. I'm just excited. Nothing to skip this time, just straight on through. Here goes nothing!

 There are few pleasures in life that can compete with a good hot slice. This is a passable hot slice, but what can you do.

Fanfares. Love 'em.

Space fairytale again. Wasn't it "long long"

YES. Same intro! Thought it might be fifferent this time but I don't ebven care.

We're not capitalizing Death Star anymore now that it's destroyed

The chase is on

Heck of a way to get the top job, Luke.

He's hunting Luke? Oh it's so on. SOLD.

Love this music. Have I said that yet I'm never gonna stop saying it.

You probes better find something quick, because you know about that Vader.

BIG SHIP we're back guys this is happening I'm so in

Opening shots remind me of stuff from the last one

Ice? yeah

Why didn't I think ofthat? I'm Canadian, I should think of that :P

creepy droid is creepy

and that's a man on a kangaroo

That's LUKE on a kangaroo

 And we have Han! Hey Han!


Kangaroos killed: 1

Loving the visuals. Again.


"Don't lose my temper? Have you MET me?"

Princess Leia!

Looks like I'm on the ball this time. He's going to go deal with Jaba something.

She looks maaaaaaaad

She IS maaaaaaaaad

Highnessness. It hurts to laugh.

OHO THE BANTER IS FUN it hurts to laugh

so they were like

"Why not?" Oh it's good to be back folks

Kangaroos = tontons. Check.

Luke's being a bat.

Is it like a yeti?

Oh hey he's telekinetic now

Hooray for the Force! Now he can die out in the cold.

R2's just got everything in there, doesn't he

Luke, you look like shit. Just putting it out there.

"ALL hope" thank you C3P0. Good emphasis there.

Chewy does not have time for your shit, weather.


is he a ghost?

That makes sense! New teacher! I'm thinking... what... someone with an injury serious enough that they can't go do the job any more, or maybe a cranky recluse. Could be both.

...right when I made this joke the first time it was a JOKE, but

Kangaroos killed = 2

HAHA forget the smells Han

So while they're doing this, thoughts on this new master. I'd like to see somehow a person (or alien) (or awesome alien) who reflects why Ben and himself or herself or itself aren't actively fighting the Empire anymore. Maybe bitter about something? Recluse sounds more and more likely. It would be cool to have a big alien who can teach Luke how to lightsaber with the force, but chances are they cast some actor who would have been recognized and famous back then.

And the gang's all here and is Luke the same guy? He sounded the same but his face looks really differen how long did they take to make this movie

"Who's scruffy looking?" oh it hurts to laugh

TOLD, Han. TOLD HARD. HAHAHA the look on Luke's face.

Han's got no time for your shit, probe

I've heard this before

that's a BIG fleet WHAT SHADOW


annnnnd Vader's here! Awesome.

Shut up moustache, Vader's got NO TIME FOR YOUR SHIT

why were you right there in his face that seems unwise

Run away, rebels! Run run run

BEAR HUG love it love this movie

where have I heard that music I feel like it was sports.

you're splitting the party? I told you about this.

if I saw that thing heading my way with that music playing I would just give up

VADER THRONE. SOLD. I want five. on my Millennium falcon

Sorcery. Nice. No time for your shit.

...he just promoted that guy while murdering his superior officer didn't he


Oh god what's coming
something's coming

they're looking like it's coming what's coming



 didn't expect to be writing that today but it happened



holy crap that's a thing it's like a war movie gone mad


hehehehe mini Vader it's funny

they're going to clothesline them aren't they :D

BOOM down goes the walking tank. Clever!

They just completely broke the Millennium Falcon didn't they

Okay the new soldier masks are seriously creepy. Who authorized this.

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we can safely say the Empire has quite successfully struck back. This is just a rout.

holy cripes those things are huge though

oh don't make her a screaming damsel I am not on baord with that

poor C3P0 HEY IT'S VADER that's his thewme now isn't it. Awesome.

"How typical." It hurts to laugh.

The message of this music is "Vader is now in charge of all of you" and I am on board with this

guys noooo you're splitting the party

hehe Luke's the new C3P0 in the double act

This is the theme of the whole movie, isn't it? SOLD, for the record

HAHAHAHAHA how did they fall for that

oh poop. they're going to get caught THIS IS STIRRING CHASE MUSIC YES

Asteroids? YES YES YES

"never tell me the odds" BADASS AS HELL LOVE YOU HAN

the music just keeps finding new ways to be even better

clever man

ocean planet? did I get it?

swamp. less obvious than ice, I think. maybe next time then

and the droid's in the drink. Well done R2. You're supposed to be the smart one.

hehehe I'm loving the comic role though. The tones are so good at conveying nonverbal ideaWHATTHE

oh not this crap again I didn't want it last time

HAHAHAHHAA ahhhhh it hurts to laugh

Vader throne. Still lvoe it whoa okay he's bald and seriously scarred. Do I want to see his face?

I want that throne. You can tell people when you're done with them. It's awesome

.Poor C3P0. Him and Han are not compatible.

MORE BANTER I ENJOY THIS okay it was a little creepy how he phrased it but she did set him right up to make that exact joke

Recluse looks more and more right. I'm a smart cookie.

the hell is that?

hehehe she sounds like Grover from Sesame Park

is this Yoda?

hehehehe owwwww hehe

the laugh is just the funniest goddamn thing

oh now THESE two are the comedy act

so much Grover.

rightr so this is Yoda's helper thing then. Does it annoy people into going away? I can't see that working on Vader; he's consistently established a pattern of no time for anyone's shit. Still it makes a lot of sense that a recluse would hide on a planet like this and have local backup.

Haha Han you're a dick and I love it.


Calling it: that was mutuOH BAD TIMING annnnnd C3P0 doesn't get sarcams

that one just died, didn't he

The Emperor! Interested. Very interested.

Did not see that coming. Guy's old and sounds like a frog.

"But I totally killed that guy! I don't have time for his offspring shit!"

They're going to try to get him addicted to the Dark Force? That's interesting. Corrupt Obi-Wan's student, that would definitely be salt in the wound.

Still loving the laugh.

Yoda's dead, isn't he

they're going to his grave

...oh you bastards I'm going to look like an idiot now why do I fall for these things, I've got to say that is an incredible puppet. It was the most ridiculous thing and now it looks so... wise. And it's all in the eyes. I'm blown away by how good the work is on that thing.

Alright and Yoda is now the creepy one.

new ship design for bombing! Cool



NO NO NO we're not doing that

don't like those sounds. Not one bit.

Mynots are now my new least favorite thing.

it's breaking apart!

I AM NOT A COMMITTEE ohh it hurts to laugh

love the music OH AHAHAHA THAT'S COOL

Giant space worm has NO TIME FOR YOUR SHIT

So it's easier to fall into. It's the easy way out. I like it.

Again the puppet is just so... REAL. I'm amazed.

a domain of evil?

well this place is all snakes and badness.

VADER? this is an illusion of some kind. No way he'd have time for this shit.

Too easy.


oh are we going to see Jabba now? :D

that one looks cool.

right C3P0 because this is SO much better than that

"It's not fair" I love the matter-of-fact way he says that

I kind of wanted to know those odds actually


bad idea, Captain.

 AHAHAHHA the face on Yoda when he fell

I feel like Yoda must be the face of any number of motivational posters for geeks.

I love Yoda. That speech was just great.

Oh here it comes you guys it's on now Yoda powers!!!

The score is just SO DAMN GOOD. What a beautiful shot that was.


There goes another one.

"Apologu accepted" HAHAHAHHAHAHHA ahhh... ow.

When Vader says admiral he makes it sound like "dead man" OH YOU CHEEKY BASTARD That is awesome.

I smell a new character coming! :D

Sleazy gangster type? Working with Jabba maybe. Can't wait you guys :D

Oh crap they're being followed by the cool one. This bodes ill

The future is pain for Han and Leia. stress

Yoda laying down the law.

Han's facial expressions are  just the best thing.

Impressive visuals! :D This all looks new, but it's the good kind of new.

Okay on the one hand it feels like they cast a black man just to claim diversity. On the other hand that's as roguish a moustache as I have ever had the fortune to see and his voice is just pure smooth sex. Opinion of a straight male.

Oh cool it's his ship!

I like Lando.

Man's got a cape he's now the best. That's the rule.

Silver C3P0!

what just happened

I'm with you Chewy. Stress.

Obi-Wan! Welcome back!  :D

Listen to them, man, Obi-Wan's been there. Not to mention he fully trained Vader and you're still a rookie.

he's going to do it isn't he? He's going to challenge Vader

Pausing. They just said there's another hope if Luke fails. That means Luke can fail. I'm worried this was deliberate. He can't face the Sorcerer of Strangulation all on his own.

Okay, made a dumb joke, feeling less stress. Back in we go!

There's a theme that's been following these two in a lot of scenes. It's very smooth and light and pretty.

Space kobolds? Factory pigmen? That was kind of weird.

I feel like Lando needs a theme with lots and lots of sax. Sax galore.

OH LOOK IT'S VADER you all lose.

Lando this is exactly why you don't get any saxophone.

This is all Helmet Guy's doing isn't it. Not Vader, other helmet guy.

This film feels a lot more ruthless. I'm starting to feel like not everyone is guaranteed to make it out of this one. :(

the hell is that

This guy's cold as ice. "No good to me dead." So this is Jabba's guy?

You made a deal with the space devil, Lando, you should have known better. You have a cape.

HAHAHHAHA ahh poor C3P0

Poor Han.

So that's the game

 What is this place it looks awesome



I'm going to lose a main character I'm not ready for that yet :(

This place just looks so goddamn amazing though, it's all light and shadow and mist

Vader and his partner are a scary-looking team

...that's what you say? But it fiiiiiits. It fits so well.

This whole thing here is hellish. Black claw, red smoke, stress...


He's ALIVE? Nope. No no no. That's just horrible.

Lando, Vader has NO TIME FOR YOUR SHIT.

It just looks SO HORRIBLE. It's like they laminated him with molten steel.

...he's got a PLAN. You clever man.


so this is the "it's a trap" joke! I get it now! :D

Oh here it comes

not ready
not ready

best set ever

no no no he's not ready

Chewy, you'd better make some time for his shit. He did just rescue you



The bounty hunter doesn't get a name. Weird.




Vader's all over this fight. Am I going to lose both I'm not ready for that either


this is incredible

Vader's doing new sorcery

WHAT oh okay

rescue Han already come on guys


I need the comedy bits right now. Thank you droids

R2 the Swiss Army Robot. :D

this is the final showdown isn't it

still not ready


oh shit its really happenig

he pushes Vader off or tricks him

Paused. I wanted to walk it off but I can't walk right now. I can't think of anything to say about this.


no I don't believe it. That's a lie. That's how they get you.

oh god his face is like the way I feel I'm just chills and shaking

this is the thing

you can't kill Luke there's still one more movie come on

the Force just gives you a whole lot of powers doesn't it. I'm not complaining if it means no losing Luke.

is Lando a replacement Han did we lose Han

but she loves him and he knows!

No, I say we still have Han.


oh god it's true isn't it

OH THANK GOD I needed to see that sight

Vader's gonna choke someone


well at least he's got a good prosthetic

next movie we'll see the famous Jabba, then

the score is so hopeful and sad at the same time how does someone do that

Wow. Wow. Okay, that's a wrap on this post. Indepth to follow, but not right now. I need to sleep on that. You were all waiting for that, weren't you? I've got nothing. I'm going to bed.


  1. Me again!

    "Tauntaun" and "Mynock", for the record.

    Luke is Mark Hamill, the same actor as last time. In between movies (there was a three year gap) he had a motorcycle accident that required some reconstruction, but it's still him.

    Yeah, the Imperial March is a pretty sweet little tune.

    Yoda's actually played by Frank Oz, the same guy who originated Grover. Nicely spotted. His design is impressive, isn't it? His eyes were based on Albert Einstein's.

    Yeah, Boba Fett is the cool bounty hunter. He doesn't get to do much in the movies, but he's even more of a fan favorite than you might guess.

    No, the famous "It's a Trap" joke is still to come. Though I guess the quote does occur here too, but it's the other occurrence everyone is referencing.

    See ,aren't you glad nobody warned you about that? Fun story: The only people that knew what Vader was going to say were George Lucas, Irvin Kirshner (the director of this movie), Mark Hamill (Luke), and James Earl Jones (the guy who does Vader's voice). Everyone else was told Vader would be saying "Obi-Wan killed your father." Everyone else was kept in the dark until the premiere. Harrison Ford (Han) actually turned to Hamill during the premiere and demanded to know why he didn't tell him.

    Incidentally, as you explore, you'll see a lot of homages, references, and parodies of Star Wars in general, but particularly of that scene. Almost everywhere you go from here on out. This series is that huge. That you have such a different background actually works to your advantage because it means that none of those spoiled it for you yet.

    1. Actually, Mark's accident was a car accident. He was on the freeway when he realized that he was about to miss his exit but attempted it anyway. The car flipped several times.

      His nose was pretty smashed and he needed a couple surgeries to make it look like a nose again. He also fractured his cheek bone and had several lacerations that left scars but otherwise a broken nose was his worst injury.

      A lot of people think his entire face needed reconstruction but in his very own words "I just broke my nose". Granted, it was a completely different nose so by 'broke' he actually meant 'smashed beyond all recognition' but a different nose can make a face look like a totally different face.

      There's an article I read somewhere where he talks about it and laughs about all the crazy stories he's heard from other people, how his whole face had to be reconstructed (which he debunked), how he had to drag himself along the freeway with one arm, and his personal favorite, that he drove off a cliff. He finds it all pretty funny because the accident wasn't actually that bad but the stories are pretty intense.

  2. Wonderful Noise, I'm following this with interest.

    Yes - Yoda is one of the great triumphs of geek film. Or any film, really.

  3. This is awesome and you are awesome.

    I'm kinda surprised how you can't have known the *I am your father* line coming through cultural background noise, it's like the most famous twist in the history of twists.


    1. I'm sure I've heard it before, but never in the context of Star Wars that I can recall. I'm not the worst at figuring out when something is a quote or a reference, but what it's a quote or a reference TO is usually a lot harder for me to remember/care about.

  4. Another great review. ESB is widely considered the best of the trilogy.

  5. Balls"Death Triangle" Is a Much better Name Than Imperial Star destroyer.

    you Can Be Sure I'll Be tuning Back In Here When You Watch SpaceBalls.

    This textBox Is Playing Hell With Swype For Some Reason. sorry About The Weird Capitalization

  6. "where have I heard that music I feel like it was sports"

    Very good. One of the other things John Williams did was music for the 84 (I think) Olympics in LA. NBC still uses the main theme in their Olympics coverage. And while Williams is an excellent composer, there is not enough recognition of his sources. Yes, listen to the Star Wars soundtracks. Also listen to Gustav Holst's The Planets. The main Star Wars themes could reasonably be called a remix of that.

    As for replacement Han, Ford wasn't sure he wanted to come back for a third movie. So yes, Lando might have been the replacement Han.

    1. Oh that's very interesting. Also I think I've heard The Planets. That's the one that I Vow To Thee My Country was based on, right?

    2. I can't say I've heard I Vow To Thee, but a quick google shows that it was composed by Holst, so it's reasonable to expect some similarity. But having just listened to The Planets again today, you could honestly shuffle that and the Star Wars theme and not be sure which you're listening to at any given moment.

    3. I vow to the my country is Jupiter.

  7. Dude, I am very much enjoying this, and your last review. Star Wars was the very first movie I ever saw back in 1977 (I'm 40 now) and it's so great and refreshing to see the series fresh through someone else's eyes again. Your insight is wonderful.

    Also, "Lando this is exactly why you don't get any saxophone." may be the greatest quote ever. Carry on, good sir. I'm off to read your ROTJ review.

    1. I'm just so pleased that me trying to pass the time is paying off for so many other people :D

      Thanks for reading!

    2. I'll tell you why the reviews are so valuable... Often my wife (a fellow geek of pop culture - I met her at ComicCon!) and I wax poetic about how awesome it would be to just erase our memories of certain movies, PARTICULARLY the original Star Wars trilogy, and see them with fresh eyes as an adult. Of course, I was a very young kid when these were coming out, so I saw them with a way different perspective than how you are. But really, it's great to know that A) these things are transcending generations and time in their greatness, and B) that our feelings are echoed as we watch things revealed to you.

      Often, I find myself going, "Oh man *so and so* part is coming up... wait for it..." and your reaction always slays me. Love your style and the way you put it together. Plus you do have a degree of I guess what I'd call classical cultural literacy that allows you to predict and follow story structure from an educated perspective.

      And really, they're just great for a laugh. Not sure what you did to be so incapacitated, but godspeed on your recovery, but PLEASE don't stop doing these even after you're healed. I'm just so enjoying the journey.

  8. The big reveal with Darth Vader ... "I am your father..." Anyone who speaks DUTCH got that a long time ago, because Darth Vader means "Dark Father" in Dutch.

    So. I still didn't get it until the movie.

  9. Another great (early) John Williams theme is the TV show "Lost In Space". It's just so much better than it had to be! He also scored some of the early episodes (and, I believe, set the template for the rest of the series).

  10. Just amazing. My whole office is laughing at your level of unpreparedness.

  11. Love this blog! So glad I found this! I'm seeing the whole movie in my head as I read along with your reactions... just awesome

  12. Another great post! On to the next review!! Your making my day!