Another Unanswered Question from The Empire Strikes Back

Luke, Vader, Lightsabers
The Princess and the Wookiee are actually dead. Sorry about that.

Pursuant to the resurrection of the entire series, the next film to enjoy some scrutiny is the venerable, must-never-be-questioned-as-the-best Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back.

Once again, I know that this is dangerous territory in which to be. After all, we know that the Lord Himself came down from Heaven to give us this most perfect of films, and the wisdom of a muppet.

So here it is. Another of my big unanswered questions from The Empire Strikes Back.

Why Not Kill Everyone Once Luke was At Cloud City?

Seriously, once Luke was at Cloud City, Vader’s big goal was accomplished. What was the point of taking the princess, Chewie and Threepio back to his ship? Han is frozen, the token extra gets his line delivered, and they know Luke is there.

Just drop them right then and there. Instead of this elaborate, incompletely-explained chase to make Luke go up the wrong elevator, kill them all and have Luke follow the frozen Han to the unfathomably-complex fake…room? Closet? …However the Heck Luke got to the carbon freezing chamber.

The group of people you’re using as bait have an annoying habit of escaping and screwing up your plans. Just kill them.

There are a million possible explanations outside the obvious “for dramatic effect” explanation, but I want to see what ideas float to the top of the dream pool here.

Do You Accept This Challenge?



4 thoughts on “Another Unanswered Question from The Empire Strikes Back

  1. Due to him having the force, Luke can feel his friends’ presence. He probably has a bigger bond with Leia even though he doesn’t know she is his sister yet. Killing them will cause a disturbance in the force which would lead him the wrong way, maybe even to leave Cloud City.

  2. @Alastair: Wouldn’t the killing of his rebel friends make it more likely for Luke to lose control, seek out Vader for revenge and hasten his path to the Dark Side?

    The only possible explanation that I can think of (and it’s reaching) is that Anakin can somehow sense that Leia is his daughter (even if he doesn’t fully understand it) and the “good” in him is guiding his behavior. And perhaps he’s just as excited to have Threepio back as we would be to reclaim a toy that we lost when we were children; such as a Threepio action figure.

    As for Chewie, I have no idea. Perhaps he was waiting to kill him in just the right way to turn him into a throw rug? Your guess is as good as mine. Vader’s much more effective at killing his own people, it seems.

    1. That’s true Will. Although it could have been that he needed them alive to keep the support of Lando. He may have been planning to kill them after he had dealt with Luke

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