The Empire Strikes Back
The second installment of the beloved Star Wars Trilogy The Empire Strikes Back. Some call it the perfect movie. It tells the tale of how the infamous Luke Skywalker furthers his training as a Jedi, and the struggle of the Rebel Alliance trying to stay alive in the wake of the enormous Empire. Our hero Luke Skywalker goes to a distant planet where he meets Jedi master Yoda. Before completing his training, he speeds away to save his friends who have been captured by Darth Vader. This is strongly ill-advised by Master Yoda. Upon Luke’s defeat in his fight with Vader, Vader reveals that he is in fact Luke’s father. I believe this film falls under Giannetti’s implicit ideology category. The protagonist Luke and the antagonist Vader represent conflicting values, yes, however, there isn’t a moral or lesson being preached (Giannetti).
There are many positive messages throughout this film. One of the biggest is loyalty. Early in the film Luke and the Rebel Alliance are on the ice planet of Hoth. Hoth is basically Antarctica, but the entire planet is nothing but ice and snow. Luke is attacked by some strange snow monster and manages to flee into a blizzard. Luke’s best friend Han Solo learns that Luke has gone missing, and is probably lost to the storm. Facing immense odds Han goes after him. Several members of the Rebellion tell Han there is no way Luke could survive out in the storm, and that if Han goes after him that he will die too. Han leaves anyway to save Luke, his friend. Han’s sense of loyalty pushes him to put his life on the line, even though, he knows there is very little chance of either of them surviving.
Later in the film Luke is very young, and is just beginning his training as a Jedi, when he has a vision of the future, where, his friends are captured by Darth Vader. Luke, knowing he is not ready to face Vader feels an undying sense of loyalty to help his friends. He knows he is the only person with even a chance to defeat Vader. Upon bringing his conflict to Master Yoda, Yoda tells him that he is not ready to face Vader, and that he should on no terms go to face him. Knowing how wise Yoda is Luke goes against his advice and leaves, “they’re my friends I don’t care” Luke yells at Yoda as he flies away. He goes to save his friends knowing he is in no way ready to face his arch nemesis.
There is one major negative message if you watch the third film in the trilogy. In The Empire Strikes Back, Princess Leia shares a passionate kiss with Luke in order to make Han angry during an argument. She kisses Luke again towards the end of the film as a form of gratitude for saving them. In the third film, we learn that Luke and Leia are brother and sister. Yikes. There’s the argument that the director George Lucas just didn’t have the films very well planned, however, there was still a rather intense portrayal of incest. In lieu of the discovery of Luke and Leia’s blood relation. In my opinion I believe Lucas just didn’t plan very well, nevertheless, it still happened.
I believe the strongest message portrayed throughout the film was loyalty. There are many cases where characters go against other’s advice and face immense odds in order to help their friends.