Solo Spotlight: The Empire Strikes Back
Today is officially Star Wars Day 2018, and with the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story a mere twenty-one days away, it seems appropriate to revisit some of Han Solo’s best moments in past films. Since we reviewed Episode IV: A New Hope last year, it only seems appropriate to start with what many consider to be the best film in the franchise, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Directed by Irvin Kershner and written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, the film picks up three years after the events in A New Hope with the Galactic Empire and Darth Vader in search of Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance. It was theatrically released in 1980 and ended up being the highest-grossing film of that year. However, one of our favorite parts of this film is the storyline between Han and Leia, which was brilliantly portrayed by Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
So, here are what we consider to be some of Han’s finest moments in The Empire Strikes Back.
1) Luke’s Recovery
Even though we all know the relationship between Luke and Leia now, you have to appreciate the love triangle really established in this scene. However, one of the greatest parts of this scene is how it showcases Han’s relationship with several of the characters. He’s constantly being the big brother figure toward Luke. His closeness with Chewbacca is on display, even as he tells the fuzzball to laugh it up, and of course, his exchange with Leia here is fantastic. Only Han could be called a nerfherder and be insulted by the idea of being called scruffy looking.
2) Escape Sequence/Fixing the Falcon
So, I’m going to group these two moments together since they occur within the same setting. Han’s escape from Hoth on the Millennium Falcon is a truly fantastic moment, and it is made all the better by the accompaniment of Chewbacca, Leia, and C-3PO. I love that Han always insists for 3PO to never tell him the odds, and it’s one of the better sequences we get of Han’s piloting skills. He maneuvers through the asteroid field like a true professional with the help of Chewie, and you cannot help but laugh as he runs back and forth between repairs.
Also, can we just acknowledge his moment with Leia while she’s trying to repair something? I mean, their relationship is one of the backbones of the franchise, but C-3PO interrupting their kiss is one of my favorite scenes of all time. We can always rely on Han for a passive aggressive retort.
3) Lando’s Introduction
“Hello, what have we here?”
In all seriousness, before we even meet Lando, we get some great moments from Han. In his conversation with Leia, we see him faking just how much confidence he has in his old friend. We get the side commentary to Chewbacca. Then, once Lando starts talking, we begin to learn a little more about their background and how Han came to have possession of the Falcon. It has some great pieces of dialogue, and while Han is as cool as ever, you have to love how uncomfortable he looks when Lando flirts with Leia.
4) “I love you. I know.”
I know there are quite a few pieces of dialogue from this franchise that are considered iconic, but this brief exchange tops the list. In fact, this moment is not just iconic in the Star Wars franchise; it’s an iconic moment in cinema history. The music, the set design, the performances. When Leia says “I love you,” only Han could get away with a response as cocky and sweet as “I know.”
So, what do you consider to be Han’s best moments or pieces of dialogue? Who is your favorite character in this part of the saga?
Be sure to share them in the comments below, and be on the lookout next Friday as we find some more of Han’s best moments in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Until then, May the 4th be with you!
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.