Flickering Myth’s writing team are counting down to the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by discussing their most memorable Star Wars moments. Next up is Villordsutch with Han Solo’s torture scene from The Empire Strikes Back…
Star Wars for myself as a child was A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and of course The Return of the Jedi. There are some rather major key moments that my child-like brain remembers clearly, like having A New Hope recorded for me by my Mum and Dad when it was first shown on ITV and being unsure why it started with Episode IV, watching in shock at Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru’s charred remains, having two freak-outs in Empire seeing Luke’s face inside Vader’s helmet and of course hearing, “No, I am your father!”, and in Jedi watching both the Speederbike chase and the epic lightsaber battle at the climax of the film. I’ll never forget these moments – as a child they are what made Star Wars that bit special; however there was a moment that as I grew up it suddenly appeared in the The Empire Strikes Back from out of nowhere.
It’s odd to think I’d missed it, but in my defense I was too immature to have even noticed this scene existed. The one in question is the Han Solo torture scene and the line that followed shortly after. We witness Han being ever so slowly lowered to a bed of numerous devices, lashing out at him were forks of electricity. Vader and two Stormtroopers look on as the scene cuts away to a corridor – filled with Solo’s screams – where we see Lando pacing and a protesting Boba Fett, who later informs Vader that Han is no good to him dead; he needs to deliver him to Jabba the Hutt. It’s what follow’s this scene that is the real “welcome to being aware!” moment, the bit where you realise that Vader is evil and the Empire aren’t a bunch of bumbling Stormtroopers who can’t shoot straight.
Han is unceremoniously dumped into the holding cell, were Chewy is repairing C3PO and when Leia arrives she asks, “Why are they doing this?” an exhausted Han whispers, “They never even asked me any questions.”
You suddenly get the realisation that Vader is more than aware of what is unfurling around him. He’s also parading his power he wields, by taking one of the most cock-sure, bravest heroes of our films into a room and making him scream in pain, for no reason other than to show us that he can. There was no want for information, details, Rebel base or master plan – he just wants to inflict physical pain on Han Solo because he can.
This to me this one of the reasons why The Empire Strike Back is one of the greatest films out of the original Star Wars films. Here we see the might of the Empire in one small room and in one small scene.
What’s your most memorable Star Wars moment? Let us know in the comments below…