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Fun with Franchises: Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Part III — “I Don’t Like Things That Secrete Jizz on My Windshield”

Today we begin another entry in our Fun with Franchises series, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Part III.

In case you don’t know how this works — a while back, I decided to rank my favorite Disney movies and rank my favorite James Bond movies. And the Disney ones were mostly straight synopses and not too much fun, but when I got to Bond, I enlisted the help of my friend Colin (whose blog is TokyoRemix.com. Fuck yeah, promotion!), who knows everything about the Bond franchise that I do not, for those articles, and along the way, learned how to have fun with it. And, by the end of the Bond articles, we were having so much fun that I said, “Man, we have to do this again with other stuff.” Because I spent about a straight month and a half putting together those articles. That’s how much time and effort actually goes into something like that. And not once did it feel like work. It was so much fun that I knew, as long as we were doing it for comedy purposes and able to riff off of each other — we could do pretty much any film and it would work.

And very quickly, the first ones you come up with are the major franchises, because those are not only the most fun, but also the most universally known. Everyone’s gonna understand all the jokes we make (well… most of them. Some of them might be limited to three people) about them. So that’s what we’re doing. And if you’re gonna have fun with franchises, it wouldn’t be right if you didn’t franchise it. Also, just so we’re clear, this is all for parody. We’re just messing with them because we love them.

And that’s Fun with Franchises. Right now, we’re doing the Star Wars franchise, and today is the third part of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back:

The Empire Strikes Back - Title Card

We begin Part III with them actually playing Asteroid.

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Asteroids

But actually.

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They’re still chilling in that cave on that asteroid.

Why? Is the Empire still hanging around this asteroid field, looking for them? Also, where exactly are they going, at this point? Nowhere yet, right? Just… away.

A lot of this franchise involves people being stuck in one place or another.

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Just a quiet moment. You know… thinking about dick.

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WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SHIT?!!!

Colin:

Sucking on glass. One of my favorite pastimes.

I don’t like things that secrete jizz on my windshield.

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Naturally you go and check it out. Because just shooting at it and breaking out isn’t an option.

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“There’s an awful lot of moisture in here.”

Han Solo. For the win.

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“I have a bad feeling about this.”

(“No one cared who I was until I put on the mask.”)

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What are you doing? You’re supposed to trust the fungus.

Colin:

Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mynock bird.

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Time to go.

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That’s no cave.

Colin:

Are they still in the throat? Is that why they aren’t being digested right now?

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They look terrified.

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I guess you could say they just had a… brush, with death.

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Colin:

What the fuck?

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Tremors.

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“Jedi training makes me feel funny. Like when we used to climb the rope in gym class.”

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I like how Yoda’s just hanging out on his back.

Does that count as exercise?

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Quite the grip you got there, buddy.

Colin:

Yoda sure can hold on while motherfuckers be doing backflips and shit.

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R2 just has to watch.

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He looks tired. I guess he’s getting… swamped, with work.

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Yoda explains about the Dark Side. Tell him not to give in to anger and hate and shit.

He says the Dark Side isn’t any better, but it’s more seductive. Which is exactly what they tell you about premarital sex and drugs. Which is just a lie.

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Luke asks how he’ll know the good side from the bad. Yoda says, “You’ll know.”

This is starting to sound like “The Talk.”

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Luke starts asking questions and Yoda’s like, “Nah, no more questions, we’re done for today.”

What the hell is that about? “You must not go to the Dark Side. It’s bad. It’s not any better, there’s nothing good about it, there’s really no way to tell which side you’re on, and don’t ask me about it because I won’t tell you anything.”

This IS religion.

God, I hate this Jedi shit.

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R2 knows what I’m talking about.

Colin:

And yet again, something that Plinkett mentioned and I have to chime in on: we’re getting Luke’s training! We see him learning shit about the Dark Side and the light and all that bullshit that’s eventually going to factor into his decisions later and create conflict in his actions. The stuff he’s learning here informs his conduct for the rest of the franchise. We miss out on most of Obi-Wan’s training and nearly all of Anakin’s training. We don’t actually see Anakin learn…anything. We do see him getting browbeaten by Obi-Wan for this or that, but it never gets internalized. All we end up with is the conflict within him, which is played out clumsily over two films; but his good side is just a given in the new trilogy, and there’s no real growth on that side.

I feel like 90% of Jedi shit is mental, and almost none of it is physical. So I feel like Yoda is making Luke do all this just to be a dick.

Colin:

After he tells Luke to clear his mind of questions, there’s a good five seconds of just gayness.

And it’s interesting you say it’s 90 percent mental, cause Lucas sure fucks that up in the prequels. Nobody can construct a single thought, but they can all duel just fine.

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Did Luke take off his pants? What is that?

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Something’s not right.

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Yoda says that place is full of the Dark Side of the Force. (Really? The Dark Side can stake a claim on an area of land like that? Is there a border map or something? Is this like Grove Street?)

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Naturally, Luke must go check it out.

“What’s in there?”

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“Only what you take with you.”

So, if Luke is carrying a bag of dildos…

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Colin:

He tells Luke his weapons won’t be necessary, and Luke’s like, “Motherfucker, have you SEEN the spiders in this place? I saw one earlier that must have been six inches wide! The FUCK I ain’t taking my lightsaber.”

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Colin:

See? He’s already stepping on reasons for carrying his lightsaber.

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These fucking iguanas…

Colin:

They ain’t no iguana.

(Take a shot, everyone.)

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So seriously, someone explain to me how this works. Did Yoda give him some sort of hallucinogenic flower mist beforehand? Why is this randomly happening here? Is there some kind of special Force magic that makes this happen? It seems pretty arbitrary. And they don’t even bother explaining any of it.

It looks cool as shit, but it makes no sense at all that this just happens.

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It’s just a flesh wound.

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Well all right.

Colin:

Ah, I get it. It’s him. See what the Dark Side leads to? You, in a cooler outfit.

I guess it’s time for Luke to get out while he’s still… a head.

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“Hmm.”

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Doing Empire stuff.

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Bounty hunters.

(This looks like what Dennis Hopper turned into at the end of Super Mario Bros.)

(Somehow that’s twice that film has been brought up in this article.)

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Boba Fett.

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“I want them alive. None of that shit you did with the last corpse. I know you, asshole.”

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All Star Destroyers, when they shoot lasers like that, should just have “Pew! Pew!” as the sound effect. I’d totally go with it, no questions asked.

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It looks like it has a face.

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So their hyperdrive doesn’t work, they turn around, and then disappear. I take it they have a cloaking device or something. Since the guy says it’s impossible that a ship that small has a cloaking device.

I’m completely lost as to what’s happening right now.

(Note: It’s confusing as shit when you don’t know what actually happens. Now that I know, Lucas did a piss poor job of explaining it, in my mind. Because I had no fucking clue what was happening until later on.)

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I love the idea that they had to stick the puppet on his foot just to get this shot.

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That’s how you make the rocks disappear.

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Colin:

His ship picked a strange time to sink. I hope it leads to something of significance to the plot.

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Luke’s like, “We’re never gonna get this shit out now.”

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“You motherfucker – will you stop being such a bitch and learn some shit?”

“I’ll give it a try.”

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“No. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

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“God DAMN!”

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Of course he fails. Because don’t you know how stories work?

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Colin:

This is the best training moment. This is when we’re really learning about the Force, what it can do and how it works. It also pits Luke’s dumbass character against what he should be, which is confident, competent and open-minded. Yoda’s so clearly frustrated with him, and Luke’s so defeatist that you can’t help but hate him for more than just bad acting. This is, however, a CHARACTER MOMENT! They’re rare, like white elk, so enjoy this.

This is some mystic stuff, which Lucas will shit all over with midichlorians and stuff.

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“I can’t. It’s too big.”

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“Size matters not.”

(Sometimes a joke is too easy.)

(And sometimes it’s just a big ole dick.)

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Yoda tells him he must feel the Force around him. It’s some Rafiki shit.

Also, I like that he’s standing on leaves.

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“You want the impossible.”

Colin:

Yeah, do that. Take that tone.

Seriously – there comes a point when you just don’t deserve to be taught. How much of a bitch can you be, Luke?

I don’t like this guy.

He’s really starting to wear out his badass moment back there with the @@.

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Yeah, go pout.

Idiot.

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Well now don’t you feel like an asshole?

Was that his first Jedi lesson? I guess you can say that this was some… first class shipping.

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Now’s a good time to bring up a salient point – how does Yoda get out of there? He doesn’t, right? He has no way on or off that planet. He can’t Force call people, since the Jedi are basically all gone. So this is a choice.

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“I don’t believe it.”

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“That is why you fail.”

Love that line.

(“I don’t believe it.” “I know. That’s why you suck and I’m awesome.”)

(People who know me know exactly why I love that line.)

Colin:

I do understand why you love that line. I also know that in another film, Yoda’s gonna be dead in a ditch.

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He dead. Which – there was a nice moment earlier when he said to his second in command, “I’m gonna go take full responsibility for this” and knowingly went to die. That dude was pretty noble. Good for him.

Colin:

I’ll talk about this more later (maybe in our favorite shots article, if he makes the cut), but this guy is one of my favorite minor characters. He made quite the impression on me in spite of getting probably less than a minute of total screen time.

So I guess if he doesn’t make the shots article then we’ve… choked.

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“Apology accepted.”

Colin:

This is already badass because he’s choking yet another person under his command, but it becomes way more awesome when he says, “Apology accepted.” Doesn’t look too ‘accepted’ to me. And then we see that he just did it in front of like 40 people who were all doing other jobs but also watching.

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That’s awesome. He’s got people who move bodies.

This is why you have people.

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Colin:

You almost feel bad for these guys, cause they’re just doing the job they have to do. It’s like how you hear about ex-Nazi soldiers who say they were doing things under orders, and for a lot of them, you can kinda get it. If someone’s a member of a military that starts doing some crazy shit (especially if it looks like you’re just trying to stop so-called ‘troublemakers,’ like these guys are) they pretty much just go along with it. That’s why I like this version of the Imperial military so much better – they’re not clones, they’re individual guys who have their own fears and motivations. Growing up, I always rooted for the Rebellion, but during scenes like this, I was also like, “Damn, that’s fucked up.” Cause Palpatine’s evil and Vader’s evil…and I’m pretty sure Tarkin was evil. But the rest of these guys are just career men with more ambiguous character.

There’s that c-word again.

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So they’re just piggybacking on them now? That’s what happened?

This looks like when you play with toys.

(Once again, this is NOT a bad thing.)

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And Vader doesn’t know this at all? Dude can sense all kinds of random shit but doesn’t know they’re hanging out on the back of their ship? This makes no sense at all.

Colin:

Everything he’s sensed so far has been Luke. He can sense Luke’s presence because they’ve sort of come face to face. He knows Luke now, which is why he could sense the Rebel base on Hoth and why he figures out what’s up with the Imperial Shuttle in Return of the Jedi. But a random ship full of other people…there’s no reason he’d sense that.

I like when you explain shit like this. Because I’m actually asking out of genuine ignorance. I’m sort of trying to be funny about it, but when there’s an actual explanation, that’s cool.

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Colin:

Having watched a shit ton of House, I’m pretty sure that Star Destroyer has Lyme disease.

I have a pretty good idea what it doesn’t have.

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3PO won’t shut the fuck up, as per usual.

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That’s fucked up.

Colin:

He’s like a person, really. He has fears and hopes and shit. The only difference is that when he’s really annoying, you can turn him off.

(Just like Lana Turner.)

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Oh, they’re doing it so they can fuck?

… carry on.

(Carrie on?)

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They figure out how to get out of there and look for a place to go.

Han finds Lando Calrissian.

Colin:

I like blue light on someone’s face. Maybe everything reminds me of The Hunt For Red October, but this is a lot like Stellan Skarsgård’s character Tupolev, when we see him receiving orders to find and sink the Red October. His whole face is bathed in blue light, which…yeah, awesome. But this is the Millennium Falcon, not the Konovalov. 

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“Card player, gambler, scoundrel – you’d like him.”

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“I deserved that.”

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They’re on Bespin. A mining colony. Lando conned someone out of it.

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They float away with the garbage.

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Why wouldn’t you bang in front of 3PO?

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Aww shit… they being followed.

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Boba Fett, baby.

Colin:

It’s a good idea, and you think they’ve pulled it off. But Boba Fett is good at his job and follows them in Slave I.

Fun fact: Lucas got that name from Thomas Jefferson, as he employed a similar system of nomenclature.

(Well, I guess he didn’t really employ it…)

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Colin:

“Yeah. Feel that shit flow!”

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So yeah, he’s doing Force shit, but then he fucks up because he sees Han and Leia in trouble.

Colin:

Luke’s good at dropping stuff, I’ll give him that.

What about dropping the bass?!

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“Will they die?”

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“If you leave now, help them you could, but you will destroy all for which they have fought, and suffered.”

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Colin:

This is good because we don’t know what the fuck Luke and Yoda are talking about or what’s gonna happen to Han and Leia on Bespin, but we know that whatever it is, it’ll be bad. Then they cut right to Bespin and we have this knowledge that shit’s gonna go down, even though it may appear to be okay.

I love that we have these opposite interpretations of scenes. You see that and go, “That’s awesome,” and I go, “This is fucking stupid.” Because he says that like the Force is absolute. (And we know who deals in absoutes.) Pretty sure there are a lot of paths that can happen that could make what he sees not happen.

Also, didn’t he lose all his Force sight once the Sith returned? So why the fuck would I trust him anyway?

It just sounds dumb. Out of nowhere, his decision not to go is suddenly the biggest thing in the world. It’s just like, “If you go, you’ll fuck up everything.” Why? I thought Jedi were open-minded?

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And here we are on Bespin.

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Lovely shots of clouds here.

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If we got to see all the political maneuverings that went on here, I guess you’d have to call it… BeSpin City.

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And here’s Lando Calrissian. Played by the great Billy Dee Williams.

(Side note, just to show how awesome I am: I met Billy Dee Williams. He’s a cool guy.)

Colin:

Yes, we finally get to meet Lando! I love Lando. More than Seao.

One if by Lando, Two if by Seao.

(It’s sad, because Seao shot himself in the chest.)

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“Why you slimy, double-crossing, no good swindler.”

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“You’ve got a lot of guts coming here, after what you pulled.”

I guess, with the Falcon, he must have pulled… a fast one.

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Colin:

Black people love making white people flinch. Just a thing you gotta go with.

Not if you’re a badass.

Colin:

You’re Puerto Rican. It doesn’t count.

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“Well he seems very friendly.”

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“Yes. Very friendly.”

Was that a gay joke?

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We find out that Han won the Falcon from Lando.

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“Why Han… I didn’t know you had a white bitch with you.”

Colin:

Possibly the best line in the franchise. “Hello, what have we here?” I wanna get to that point where I can say that to women I’ve never met before and it just flies.

When you’re captain of the Millenium Falcon, it almost always… flies.

(To be fair, Colin basically made it first.)

(This is basically just my way of saying — “It’s not my fault!”)

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That’s how it’s done.

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“Bye now. I guess I’ll be… Calri-seeing you.”

(Also, 3PO is such a gay character. You know he is.)

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We find out Lando’s gone legit. He’s a straight businessman now.

Colin:

Han’s laughing here because Lando really was a scumbag, and now he runs this whole facility with thousands and thousands of people. Won it in a card game. I actually had the comic book recounting the tale when I was a kid. Cool story with a femme fatale and everything. She was the Lady Luck who helped her boyfriend (the previous administrator) cheat. Lando was smooth, worked it out so he couldn’t cheat, beat him and got the guy’s job as head of Cloud City. There was a whole Casino Royale bit about him losing at first, then getting fronted a bunch of cash to get back in the game and finally beating the guy. And the guy who fronted the cash was Lobot, the bald guy with the weird metal earphone things wrapping around his head. At any rate, he was a total sleaze like Han until like a year before this, and now he’s Mr. Responsible, which is why it’s strange.

I guess because now he’s a… Lando-wner.

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3PO’s been using Grindr.

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And then he walks in on, presumably, someone having sex with an R2 unit.

(Ha ha… unit.)

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Colin:

Always nice to see someone with equal disdain for C3PO. Especially when it’s a droid just like him.

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Oh man, he just got FUCKED UP!

Colin:

Thanks to whomever just fucked up 3PO.

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So I guess Luke has listened to nothing Yoda’s said. Good job.

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“You must complete the training,” he says, watching him leave.

Colin:

I didn’t really get the “failure” in the cave. He failed the test? Was it that in striking down Vader, he became him, and that’s why the dead Vader head turned out to be his own? Is that why later he knows to stop attacking?

George Lucas was nominated for an Academy Award for screenwriting.

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Being a Jedi apparently involves saying, “Fuck other people, I got more important shit to do.”

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“Motherfucker, what are you doing?”

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“Seriously. Don’t be a dick.”

He tells him the Emperor wants him, which is why his friends are in trouble.

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“That’s why I have to go.”

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He says he’ll come back to finish his training. (Yeah, right. You know he’s gonna end up at DeVry.)

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“Fine, go on with your bitch ass, then. See if I pay no never mind.”

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“If you’re gonna fight Vader, you’re gonna do it by yourself. I can’t interfere.”

Why not, exactly?

(And how… if you could?)

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“I understand.”

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So this is the real moment he finishes his training, right? When he realizes he’s doing shit on his own? It’s actually kind of hazy at what point he becomes a full-on Jedi.

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Fun idea: Ghost traffic cops.

(Also, watch out, we got a badass over here.)

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Luke never listens.

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He has his own spotlight now?

♫ “And allll-ways, love you, I willl!!” ♫

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“That boy is our last hope.”

“No. There is another.”

John Stamos. I know it’s Stamos.

Colin:

Luke is fucking up, though. At least in terms of what we know and who we know to trust. He’s doing something reckless, and he’ll pay for it. Obi-Wan and Yoda sound pretty resigned to the fact that it’s all over. Except for the “there is another” part. Which, Obi-Wan was THERE when they were born, so why does Yoda have to say anything about it?

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So wait – that’s the entire planet of Dagobah, and Luke just happened to land exactly where Yoda lives?

The GPS is strong with this one.

(Take a drink. I forgot I said that too.)

And this is where we’ll END PART III.

– – – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Part IV. “I know.”

(See the rest of the Fun with Franchises articles here.)

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