StarWars-A Child's JourneyPt.2
A Youngling's perspective on Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back!
A Long time ago, back at that previously mentioned mobile home...
Radical! Tubular! Holy Cow! Reaganomics! Bodacious! Station! Cowabunga, and all that jazz; There's more Star Wars movies! I was ecstatic, and I begged my Babysitter, Cindy, to let me borrow them. She had to discuss things with my Mother though; as apparently there were some things I may have been too young to see. Little did she know my Mom had very little restrictions to what I was allowed to watch, so I expected no problems keeping me from viewing the rest of the Star Wars flicks. Sure enough, Mom said it was a go, and when she picked me up Cindy went searching for the other movies. Remember the old CBS/FOX covers? My mind dreamt up countless scenarios at the sight of this treasure...
Chewbacca, Threepio, and R2-D2 surrounded by what to me at the time looked like Crystals. I half expected them to find Superman's Fortress! And Han Solo, my third favorite character, going in for the kiss on the Princess; Man, I was stoked! Unfortunately Cindy couldn't find me Star Wars: A New Hope, so she only sent me home with The Empire Strikes Back, no complaints from me though.
Mom said it was too late to watch the movie, so I'd have to wait until the next day. I begged and pleaded, citing that it was a Saturday, but Mom would have none of it. I didn't sleep a wink that night. I kept staring at my TV wondering whether or not I could get away with watching it if I slyly turned the volume down and stood right in front of the screen in order to block any escaping light that would give away my status. I concluded that if Mom caught me, she'd take the movie back to Cindy and I'd never get to watch it ever, so I played with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures pretending that Leonardo was wielding a green lightsaver, rather than an oddly colored Katana and other weapons...
Booo to Leonardo's weird colored weapons, Booo I say!
I waited until the clock in my room said 5am, reasoning that 5 is a good number, and the sun WAS up. I put the tape in my VCR, and instantly the Star Wars theme blared! My Mom screamed at me to turn it down, but I couldn't find my remote. My heart skipped a beat as I searched frantically for the remote. I leaped across my bed, giving myself a good bounce towards my TV for style, and manually turned the volume down. The credits were over, and since I couldn't read all that well I felt no need to rewind so the movie began. I watched as a large lizard creature scurried across the frosty planet. I pondered about what kind of dinosaur it was...
Soon the character riding atop the crazy snow dinosaur revealed himself; It was Luke Skywalker! I couldn't wait for him to use his Green lightsaver, I was almost foaming at the mouth. A large muppet slapped my hero upside the head and dragged him off. I sunk beneath my covers fearing the worst for poor Luke. Meanwhile, Han and Chewie were working on their space airplane, and Leia was yelling at people. I didn't care much about what everyone else was doing; Luke was in trouble! Finally Luke was shown hanging upside down in the Ice Muppet's cave. He reached out his hand and magically he snatched his lightsaver...but wait. This lightsaver was blue.
Now keep in mind I was a little unclear
on the chronological order of these movies,
so not only was I upset that Luke's lightsaver
was for some reason no longer green, I was
also confused as to where he got a blue lightsaver.
I first thought my TV was broken. Anyway, Han
saves Luke, who was told to go to the DerryBah
system and see Yoda...
Wait, I thought Yoda was dead? And while we're on the subject, why is Dark Vader back? And where's Lando? What happened to the Ewoks? I thought Dark Vader turned out to be a good guy...why is he killing so many people with his hand gesture? Isn't Leia Luke's sister? Why did they kiss with tongue? My confusion finally lead me to call Cindy, as I knew her number by heart. I woke her up, and she wasn't very happy about that, however her son, Boone, was up watching cartoons so she turned the phone over to him. We had a long and confusing conversation where I finally understood that everything happening had happened BEFORE Return of the Jedi. I asked Boone if Luke would have his green Lightsaver later on, but it was too late; Boone had hung up. I pushed play on the VCR and next we had a battle set in the snow pitting Luke and his snow ship vs. the Empire's Gigantic Metal Turtles.
After defeating a few by tripping them, and one from Luke slicing open one of their bellies with his blue (ugh) lightsaver and throwing a bomb up in there, I thought the good guys had won. Luke flew to the swamp, and Han kidnapped Leia and forced her onto his ship. Luke and R2-D2 encounter Yoda. I remembered Yoda from his brief death scene in Return of the Jedi, and was happy he was back. I hoped he'd help Luke make his green lightsaver, so Luke could fight with a REAL weapon. The Empire's giant space airplanes chased Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and Threepio into an asteroid field. Han and the gang were hiding in a cave when Leia was attacked by space bats! The noise they made scared the heck out of me. My Mom came in to ask what I was watching, and I told her I was watching "Jedis". She commented that it looked weird, and left my room. A brief interruption from my movie, but not much was going on anyway. Luke and Yoda did a lot of talking, and I kind of stopped paying attention. Finally Luke walked into a cave and fought Dark Vader! What was Vader doing on DerryBah? Luke cut Vader's head off, and the mask exploded revealing this...
Wait...so Dark Vader is Luke's twin? WHAT?!?! I distinctly remember Dark Vader looking like this without his mask...
I mean, who could forget those eyebrows! Anyway, Han ended up on Cloud City where his "friend", Lando, welcomed him. Han and his clan would soon be betrayed when Lando opens a door revealing Dark Vader at a dining table. Wait, how did Vader get to Cloud City? He was last seen on DerryBah headless. There he was, Dark Vader, head and all. Han pulled out his blaster and shot at Vader. All Vader did was hold out his hand and Han's blaster was now in his grasp. Vader proceeded to hurt Han using a weird table that sparked.
Anyway, Luke went to Cloud City after Yoda got his space plane out of the swamp. The ghostly Obi-Wan told Yoda that Luke was their last hope, but Yoda told Obi-Wan he was wrong; "There is another." I wondered who they were talking about. Vader and his friend, The Bounty Hunter, froze Han right after Leia told him she loved him. As Luke got closer to the rest, The Bounty Hunter fired his lasers. Luke ducked behind a corner. I was just waiting for him to ignite his lightsaver and make that Bounty Hunter pay, but Luke just shot back with a tiny blaster. At this point I was longing for Return of the Jedi. I missed the green lightsaver, ewoks, and Lando and Dark Vader being good guys. I persevered, and got to the climatic battle. Dark Vader vs. Luke, and this time I didn't know the outcome, but everyone knows good guys win, so I was expecting Luke to easily defeat the villain.
The battle raged on, but then Vader started to cheat by throwing things at Luke. Chewbacca choked Lando and turned him into a good guy, as they attempted to escape Cloud City. Luke and Vader continued to fight until this happened...
!?!?!?!?! That was the most horrific thing I had ever seen!
Not only did my hero, Luke, lose his hand, he lost his lightsaber! He was defenseless. Vader went on to taunt him, even going as far as telling him that he was his Daddy.
I already knew that, but still the way he let Luke know was just chilling! Vader offered Luke a chance to rule space by his side, but Luke knew better. He jumped, and went down a space tube. Leia and Lando picked him up, and flew off. The last scenes involved Luke getting his robot hand, and Leia joining him as Lando and Chewbacca fly off to rescue Han.
The movie was over. My verdict? It was a scary movie. I was confused, angry, and disappointed. It was a disturbing experience that scarred me for life...This was the first time I ever watched a movie where the Good guy's lost. It shattered my innocent perception of reality. What's even more twisted is that now that I'm older and a bit more aware of what was going down in a Galaxy Far Far Away, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite movie of the saga, even if it was responsible for ruining my childhood.
The End...of Part 2!