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Fun with Franchises: Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Part IV — “Bring on the Wookiee Cookie!”

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

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 fourth part of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back:

The Empire Strikes Back - Title Card

We begin Part IV in the Cloud City, with some shots that Lucas is gonna remember and use a fuck ton in the prequels.

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This place looks fantastic, though.

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Hooray, CGI!

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Remember this for the prequels.

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They got themselves a fuck pad.

Colin:

Leia finally got some new threads. Good good good.

What’s with that DNA strand in the middle of the room. What is this, Osmosis Jones?

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Aww yeah, get it going now!

Looks like someone’s about to get… Leia’d.

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“I like three fingers in my butt.”

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“I know.”

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So Chewie finds 3PO in the scrap heap and tries to get him out.

How did he know he’d be there in the first place?

Colin:

They could have made this scene less worthless by having Chewie tear one of these goblins the fuck apart. Like literally just rending the little bastard with his bare hands and throwing him in the furnace.

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I feel like I’ve yet to question how weird it is that Chewie is always wearing a bandolier. I think I may have mentioned it, but I don’t think I stopped to ask, “Why the fuck is he always wearing it?”

Can we talk about this for real? It’s just always there.

Colin:

And it’s awesome. 

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Profile picture.

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“Am I interrupting anything?”

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“Ahhh.”

Colin:

Whoever decided to let Billy Dee Williams linger on Leia before beginning his dialogue, well done. That was a great two seconds of, “DAMN, this white girl fine, though!”

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“Come on, baby, put your ass in my hands, I’ll put your head in the clouds.”

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He’ll be fine. That happens to my Uncle Dave at least twice a month.

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Goblins?

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Love the windows.

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Lando just made a deal that’ll keep the Empire out of here forever.

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Now that’s a shot.

Colin:

Lando sets this shit up so well. Playing it cool, then opening the door so they can all get FUCKED.

I guess he did try to put his… Bespin on the situation.

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“I’m looking for my son, Akeem.”

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I EAT THOSE!

Colin:

I always figured it was a force thing, him being able to stop the laser blasts. But now that I think of it, he’s got mechanical hands. Although was it his right or left hand that didn’t get cut off? No, must have been the left that’s still flesh, cause later on, Luke cuts off the right hand, and it’s all wires and shit.

Doesn’t Anakin lose both arms and both legs? I thought that was Lucas’s version of overkill for that moment.

Colin:

Although, you know what? I went back and checked, and he gets the right arm cut off first, and then in the fight with Obi Wan he DOES only get one cut off, but it’s the left. So he’s without all of his limbs, as it turns out. It’s worth mentioning that as a result, he’s considerably weaker with the Force than he could have been. Using the Emperor as a base figure of 100, Lucas says that Anakin Skywalker’s potential was a 200, but after sustaining the injuries, he was reduced to only 80. This partially explains why Palpatine was so interested in Luke; other than being younger, when compared with Vader, Luke is more the…whole package.

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Either way, I guess we can say there’s a lot of… disarming, in this franchise.

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“We would be honored if you would join us.”

Awesome.

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Boba Fett!

Colin:

I like the idea of Boba Fett just chilling in the back like it’s a surprise birthday party and asking Vader every few minutes, “Are they here yet? You’re gonna tell me when they get here, right?” And Vader’s all, “Shut the fuck up, you’re gonna ruin it!”

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I guess you can say we’re gonna have a real… Fett, then.

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Way to set a positive view of black people, George.

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“I had no choice, they arrived right before you did.”

This is also conceivably how slavery started.

(Why do the Stormtroopers look like backup dancers about to break into song?)

(Though I do think it’s about that time. To bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme.)

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I love how Vader calmly sits down.

“You may serve the fish.”

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And Luke is on his way.

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“I’m not an animal!”

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“Alas, poor 3PO, I knew him.”

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Colin:

Kinda nice how you get the reveal from C3PO after the fact, explaining why he got shot in the fucking face.

Who needs a reveal. You know the reason begins and ends with, “I was being a bitch.”

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He did feed them first, right? Before all this? Otherwise that’s just low.

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Fun fact: Before becoming a Sith Lord, Vader was actually a practicing dentist.

Colin:

What kinda sick torture device is THAT? Who needs water boarding when we got one of those?

Also, aren’t you supposed to start by asking the questions? I guess Vader’s just into the torture part. Is that what’s going on? He’s just torturing them so Luke will feel their pain and come to get them?

I think he’s just bored, to be honest. Torture is more of a hobby.

Colin:

“It’s a coffee table book.”

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Boba don’t give a fuck!

Colin:

You’ll notice that Boba Fett’s voice is now done by the guy who played Jango Fett in the new trilogy, Temuera Morrison. That’s why he sounds all New Zealandy.

I can’t wait til we get to that, so I can talk about how much I hate it.

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This is pretty great. Boba Fett was hired by Jabba to get Solo, and presumably Vader paid him even more to find him first. So now Boba is gonna get the Vader money and get to take him to Jabba as well.

Good business.

After all, this is just a… Jabba, to him.

(Though I did just think about the fact that Vader is, in a way, responsible for Fett’s father’s (is father even the right term? Christ, Lucas) death. I mean, Samuel L. Jackson did the deed, and I guess Vader helped abet his killing, but… do you think they had this conversation at all?)

Colin:

I doubt it. He’s not the ‘talking’ sort, and besides — he’s a bounty hunter and so was his dad. I don’t think you can really hold it against someone that much when the circumstances are as they were. They pledge allegiance to themselves. Vendettas aren’t profitable.

I guess this way his life is more… bounty-ful.

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Nice shot.

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Vader also says Leia and Chewie “must never again leave this city.”

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He can’t do shit about it.

(And why would he want to? Han’s out of the way, the Empire is off his back, and now he’s got a white bitch with him. Or does Vader mean they’re gonna be dead? In that case I get it. Otherwise, what’s wrong with that?)

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Colin:

C3PO is very much enjoying being pleasured by a Wookiee.

Bring on the Wookiee Cookie!

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“I feel terrible.”

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Oh boy, now everyone’s here.

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Colin:

Nice bed. Aw, and Leia’s out of her other outfit. And they never asked him any questions. I guess I was right about the whole pain telepathy thing. You know what this conversation is, too.

“How bout a little pick-me-up?”

“NO!”

It’s funny how base these references are, and yet — I always feel bad for the people who don’t know the joy of that movie.

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Lando explains the situation and says that Vader is only after Luke.

Colin:

Again, like the Imperial soldiers – what the fuck is Lando gonna do? Say no to Vader and probably get his whole outfit blown up?

Why does he have a member of Devo with him?

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Han fucking CLOCKS him one.

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Why does it look like they’re standing at the beginning of the Yellow Brick Road?

(♫ “We’re off to go get tortured…” ♫)

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“You’re a real hero.”

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You’re lucky I buy how conflicted he is, otherwise I’d be saying, “What does he care? Shouldn’t he embrace being a scoundrel?” But I get that he’s changed and why he’s feeling this way. So that’s cool.

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“Don’t worry… you’re my hero.”

(We’re basically one step away from this at all times. You realize this, right?)

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Colin:

This set has good color.

Maybe I picked the wrong spot to place this comment. He’s talking about the lighting, not Billy Dee Williams.

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And Luke is here.

Colin:

When they cut to Luke in the cockpit, it’s making the same sound it was making during the trench run from A New Hope, which I always assumed was the targeting computer. You could even see it ticking off as he got closer. I guess they just wanted some ambient noise.

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Vader’s gonna freeze Luke for his visit with the Emperor.

He could just capture him. This seems overly complicated.

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“What if he doesn’t survive? He’s worth a lot to me.”

“The Empire will compensate you. Shall we say one million American dollars? Very well. Make it two million.”

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I like Vader and Boba Fett whispering in the background.

“I bet you two to one she’s into freakier shit than he is.”

“The Kessel Run ain’t the only thing he finishes in under twelve parsecs.”

Colin:

“$10 he shorts it.”

“$20.”

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RAHHHH!!!!

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Chewie ain’t gonna have none of this.

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“No, no, let him finish. They’re worthless anyway.”

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Colin:

Chewie does owe this guy a life debt, and there’s a pretty good chance he dies in a second. I’d say that whatever he’s doing is warranted.

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“Chewie — Chewie!”

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I like this insert.

“Well you do know what a Wookiee does, don’t you?”

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“The princess – you have to take care of her.”

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Oh yeah…

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I like how they always pull someone away right during the kiss. Never before, and it’s never, “Oh, well, give him another couple seconds.” It’s always right then.

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“I love you.”

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“I know.”

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To try to put a positive spin on this, I’d say, “Oh, he’s thinking about him and Padme,” but you know he isn’t. And plus, that might not be such a positive spin. Hell, I cringe when I think about those scenes between the two of them.

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Where he’s going is a place he’ll have to go… Solo.

Colin:

It would seem the appropriate time to make this known to our readers as well. My favorite is the Stormtrooper getting down in the background.

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Kali ma.

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Carbonite.

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Reaction shots are the key to comedy.

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He survived.

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How much worse would Lando have felt if he died right there?

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“Take the princess and the Wookiee to my ship.”

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This deal’s just getting worse and worse.

Colin:

This guy drives a hard bargain. That’s the shitty part about doing deals with people who have all the power. They might as well just take everything. Take my fucking coffee maker while you’re at it, asshole. You took everything else.

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Tokyo Drifter. This is totally Tokyo Drifter.

Colin:

Holy fuck. It is!

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Colin:

I want a floating table.

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Couldn’t resist, could you?

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That’s why you’re a badass, Boba Fett.

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“Not now, R2. Stop trying to suck my dick.”

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Oh shit. Lando got a Power Rangers communicator?

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Oh, I get it. They’re firing so he doesn’t see Leia. That’s not as badass. I’d have loved it if Boba just wanted to take a couple of shots at him for fun.

How does Luke manage to not see any of this happen? A fucking parade of people, including coffee table Han, just walked by, and you didn’t look out to see any of it?

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Oh hey, she finally realized SHE COULD TALK!

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Colin:

Hah. I always forget that Leia’s the first one to say, “It’s a trap!”

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“She said it’s a trap… I wonder if I should listen…”

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“Nah.”

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No droids allowed.

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Just gonna say it now so I don’t say it twelve times in the next minute and a half – amazing lighting.

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^ ^ ^ ^ ^

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“The Force is with you, young Skywalker.”

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Glorious shot.

Too bad Luke is posing like Peter fucking Pan.

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When in doubt, whip it out.

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“But you are not a Jedi yet.”

(How does he know? How does he even know he’s being trained? He knew the Force was with him last movie. And whether he knew it or not, someone must have seen Luke with a lightsaber.)

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“My dick’s bigger than yours.”

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Colin:

It’s really cool how just their lightsabers show something of their respective characters. Luke’s pops out real fast, cause he’s been waitin’ for this shit all his motherfuckin’ life! But Vader’s is slow, making it feel almost contemplative. He’s ready for shit to go down, but he doesn’t need to rush cause it got all this on lock. Then again, maybe it all comes down to ED.

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And it’s on!

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I really like the lighting on that part of the set back there. It almost looks like another dimension, and that’s a hallway that extends back further into the distance.

Or maybe I’m just drunk.

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This fight would look like shit if not for the lighting.

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Gotcha, bitch.

Colin:

Lando got the drop on you motherfuckers. But remember how storm troopers have communicators in their wrists? How are you supposed to “keep it quiet” when they could alert their buddies and make it look like they’re scratching their noses? Ah hah! But you CAN’T scratch your nose with a helmet on! That’s that all cleared up.

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I love that look. I will always give a thumbs up to a, “You know what to do,” look.

But only if the person does know what to do.

Colin:

You know Lobot’s got some Daft Punk going in those headphones right now.

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I love that he hands her the gun. Which is a pretty baller move, considering he fucked them over like a half hour ago.

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He’s getting them out of there.

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Proper reaction.

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He says there’s still a chance to save Han.

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That’s a great reaction. “Do you trust him?” And then the nod. “All right you’re cool.”

Colin:

Lando, you probably should have seen this coming. But still, the guy is trying to help you now. And Leia, you DO need his help. They have no reason not to listen to him now that he’s fucked himself over by kidnapping storm troopers. It’s one of those, “Why should you trust me? Well, I just came here with my pants around my ankles to tell you some shit I can and probably will be murdered for. So sure, don’t trust me. I do this kinda shit all the time.”

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Love this shot.

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That floor looks really wet. Otherwise why would it reflect like that?

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So he’s just wandering around for like, no reason.

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And a minute too late. As always.

(Isn’t it weird how this exact scene happens with essentially the exact same character in the exact spot of the other trilogy?)

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Anyway, back to the important stuff.

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Tally ho!

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Colin:

Vader just shut you the fuck up. And then tally ho’ed off the top step. Damn.

That tally ho was glorious.

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“Your destiny lies with me, Skywalker.”

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I didn’t know you could fly.

Colin:

That was a Force jump. An impressive Force jump. It’s a good skill to have, especially if – like Yoda – you use the fourth form of lightsaber combat, Ataru.

Ataru?

Was this something Yoda taught him? Because I didn’t see it.

Maybe since he left Dagobah, he’s been going to… Jedi night school.

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Oh, he is getting up with the choreography here. The flipping is a bit much, but I like that they’re less unwieldy now.

Colin:

The fight is great. Better choreography than the first fight we saw with Obi Wan (obviously) but still believable and exciting. Vader’s just messing with him, getting a feel for what Luke’s got in the skill department.

The only downside is there isn’t much to say about the fight.

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Well damn. In sumo lightsabering, that’s a win.

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Tally ho!

(A lot more “tally ho”s in this one than “I can’t feel my legs.”)

And that’s where we’ll END PART IV.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is Part V, and some kind of familial, revelation, something or other. I forget.

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

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