Novel References

The Empire Strikes Back


The Rebel Alliance had established an outpost on the ice world little more than a month before.

Luke was well known on the base and although barely 23 years old, he was adressed as Commander Skywalker.

Luke, himself, found it hard to believe that only three years ago he was a wide- eyed farmboy on his homeworld of Tatooine.

chronology: The rebels have been at Hoth for a month, and Luke is 23 years old. Therefore he was 20 years old in A New Hope.

creatures: Tauntauns referred to as "snow lizards."

Luke flashed his gloved hand to his utility belt and clutched a pair of electrobinoculars

technology: name of Luke's binocular device.


The device was sensitive enough to zero in on even the most minute life readings by detecting body temperature and internal life systems.

technology: function and limitations of life-recognition systems in sensor devices.


Of great concern to Han was the saucer-shaped freighter resting on its newly installed landing pods. This, the largest ship in the hangar, had garnered a few new dents in its metal hull since Han first hooked up with Skywalker and Kenobi.

Details the changes to the Millennium Falcon's condition in the time since A New Hope. The ship has seen action and received damage during Solo's stay with the rebels.

8 9

Chewbacca, Han Solo's giant wookiee co-pilot, was repairing the Millennium Falcon's central lifter when he noticed Solo approaching.

character: Chewbacca

The item Chewbacca was working on is named. What does "central lifter" mean? From the movie, it's obviously a component on the top of the ship. It might be associated with repulsorlift systems.
9-10 10

So impressed was Rieekan by Solo's qualities that he often considered giving him an honorary officer's commission.

An indication of Solo's relationship with the rebels, and the regard that some of them may have for him.

11 12

"I'm going to pay off Jabba before he sends anymore of his remotes, Gank killers, and who knows what else."

Remotes are lethal versions of the device used in Luke Skywalker's lightsabre training in A New Hope. Their original purpose was to seek out criminals for retrieval by law-enforcement agencies. Ganks are a race in the Hutt's thrall, and are briefly seen in the Dark Empire comic.

15-16 15-16

The robot's heat sensors suddenly reacted. It had found a heat source in the vicinity, and warmth was a good indication of life. The insect-like machine slowed only when it neared a mound of snow bigger than the probe droid itself. The robot's scanners made note of the mound's size — nearly one point eight meters in height and an enormous six meters long. What was truly astounding, if a surveillance machine could ever be astounded, was the amount of heat radiating from beneath the mound. The creature under that snowy hill must surely be well protected against the cold.

A thin blue-white beam of light shot from one of the probe robot's appendages, its intense heat boring into the white mound and scattering gleaming snow flecks in all directions.

The droid had never before encountered a Wampa Ice Creature; its computers advised that the beast be dealt with expeditiously. The droid made an internal adjustment to regulate the potency of its laser beam. Less than a moment later the beam was at maximum intensity. The machine aimed the laser at the creature, enveloping it in a great flaming and smoking cloud. Seconds later the few remaining particles of the Wampa were swept away by the icy winds. The smoke disappeared, leaving behind no physical evidence — save for a large depression in the snow — that an Ice Creature had ever been near.

Probot has an encounter with a wampa. Its sensory equipment may be more discriminating than that used by the rebels, who needed to readjust their equipment before wampas could be detected.

24 24-25

The Imperial Probe Droid paused briefly in mid flight, its sensors twitching. Then, satisfied with its findings, the droid gently lowered itself, coming to rest on the ground. Like spider legs, several probes seperated from the metal hull, dislodging some of the snow that had settled there. Something began to take shape around the robot, a pulsating glow that gradually covered the machine as if with a transparent dome. Quickly this force field solidified, repelling the blowing snow that brushed over the droid's hull. After a moment the glow faded, and the blowing snow soon formed a perfect dome of white, completely conealing the droid and its protective force field.

Probots carry a particle deflector shield! This must be an expensive technology, otherwise it would be used by ground troops as well. Alternatively, the use of man-sized shields may be hazzardous to living tissue. Perhaps shield energies require a metallic surface to act as a substrate or conduit.

27 28

"Deader than a Triton moon," he said, knowing Luke did not hear a word.

location: Triton moon. Where or what is Triton? In real life, the primary moon of Neptune is Triton, a bleak and cold place.

31 30

Threepio straightened to his full height again, simulating a human shiver as the night winds howled past his gleaming hull.

The droid's protocol programming extends to the simulation of gestures like shivers. This is probably designed for the establishment of human empathy, which is important for a droid who is expected to conduct negotiations, ceremonies or act as translator.

33 32

And a silent prayer, often spoken on a earstwhile world called Alderaan crept into Leia's thoughts.

culture: Alderaanians practice some kind of prayer, but who or what do they consider numinous? Is it the Force, the Bantha species, or a local diety?

37-38 37

A medical droid was removing the protective pad from his healing face (Leia) "The Bacta are growing well," She said as she looked down at his healing wounds.

technology: Bacta medicine continues to act even after the patient has left the bacta tank. It seems that the healing bacteria live within the damaged flesh, promoting tissue repair.


As the colossal ship began to move closer to the ice world, the planet became clearly visible through the windows which stretched 100 meters or more across the huge bridge of the warship.


To an observer, it may have seemed that Threepio had grew misty-eyed, but then it wasn't the first time he had gotten a drop of oil clogged before his optical sensors.

Can a protocol droid weep?

54 53

With a shock of recognition, the officer identified the Empire's All Terrain Armored Transports.

vehicle: The AT-AT walkers are named here, which is important because they weren't named in the movie.

54-55 54

Angrily, Luke fired his ships' guns at a walker, only to recieve a hail of Imperial fire power that shook his speeder in a barrage of flak.

What is this flak? Heated air from near-miss shots?

57 56

The officer who had first seen the incredible machines and fought alongside his men, was one of the first to be cut down by the walker's body-ripping rays. Troops rushed to his aid, but couldn't save him; too much of his blood had already been spilled, making a scarlet stain against the snow.

Effect of walker fire on a human.

61 60

Rogue two's pilot felt an instant of pain; then his snub-nosed craft, spweing smoke and hurtling on a collision course with the walker, suddenly erupted in flames amid a burst of cannon fire. Very little of Zev or his remained to hit the ground.

71 69

Their pace quickened, as they rushed in the direction of the low whine coming from the ion engines

72 70

Han knew that the Falcon's dented hull might resist the force of those hand weapons, but would be destroyed by the more powerful bazooka-shaped weapon that two of the Imperial troopers were hurriedly setting up.

Regarding durability of starship hulls verses hand weapons and a heavy repeating blaster.

73 71

The huge freighter's engines roared. And everything behind the craft instantly melted in the firey exhaust billowing from its tailpiece.

Ignition of the Millennium Falcon's main engines is dangerously hot in a confined space. Under more favourable circumstances, the freighter probably would have lifted off on its repulsors, and brought its ion-drives up to full power only when clear of the ground.

74-75 73

[Admiral Piett on Hoth] "Seventeen ships destroyed," he reported to the Dark Lord. "We don't know how many got away."


The ice planet was rapidly shrinking to a point of dim light as the Millennium Falcon sped into space. Soon that planet seemed nothing more than one of the billions of light specks scattered throughout the black void.

Admiral Piett, who has landed on Hoth after the battle, describes the outcome. Seventeen of the rebel transports were destroyed, implying that their total number was at least on the order of two dozen.

76 74

The ship was beginning to lurch with the buffeting flak blasted at it by the fighters.

[Han] "At sublight, they may be faster, but we can still out-maneuver them."

76 75

Poor Threepio quickly had to alter his inner mechanisms if he wanted to remain on his metallic feet.


[star destroyers] These ponderously massive ships could not respond quickly enough to such emergencies.

80,89 77-79

"Yes, Artoo, I know the Dagobah system doesn't appear on any of our navigational charts. But dont worry. It's there."
The planet was uncharted and virtually unknown.
[didn't know if it was some force that] had guided his ship into this unexplored sector of space.

This seems to speak against the notion that ships can't travel anywhere in unexplored space. At least there does not seem to be any mechanical limitation or safety feature which cannot be overcome by the X-wing pilot and/or his astromech droid. Skywalker probably made use of the instinctive astrogation Jedi power which was described by West End Games for the purpose of explaining this kind of travel. If so then it was Luke's abilities which enabled to find Dagobah, not necessarily a conscious act by Yoda, as some readers assume.

78 76

"If I may say so, sir," Threepio volunteered, "I noticed earlier that the entire main para-light system seemed to have been damaged."

The Millennium Falcon could only continue at its maximum sublight velocity as it moved deeper into space, closely followed by a swarm of TIE fighters and one gigantic Imperial Star Destroyer.

84 82

The greatest of all Imperial Star Destroyers regally moved out of Hoth's orbit. It was flanked by two other Star Destroyers and the entire group was accompanied by a protective squadron of smaller warships.

85 83

"How long until you will have Skywalker and the others in the Millennium Falcon?" (Vader)

87 85

...Han swerved the Millennium Falcon between a few large asteroids, then aimed the craft directly at one the size of a moon.

With expert precision, Han Solo steered his ship toward still another giant asteroid, the largest one they had yet encountered.

Being moon-sized could mean anything up to a couple of thousand kilometres wide. A few dozen kilometres seems more likely, but if the asteroid is massive then its tenuous gravity may be just barely great enough to hold gases in the cave temporarily. The conditions would not be habitable to naked humans, and the gases would most likely be noxious wastes of the space slug's biochemical processes or leaked from the Falcon's external machinery.

Still, there remains much merit in the notion that the gases were retained because of an extension of the ship's artificial gravity and other such fields beyond the hull to its immediate surroundings.

90 88

Artoo squealed again, but his sounds were effectively drowned by the ear-splitting blast of the X-Wing's retro rockets.

96 94

Vader disagreed. He knew of the Millennium Falcon's power and was quite familiar with the skills of her cocky pilot

96 __

As soon as Vader had given his command, Captain Needa's image and those of the other nineteen captains faded completely.

97 95

"How are you with a macrofuser, Your Holiness?"

100 98

Luke took a small fusion furnace from an equipment box and ignited it,

technology: At the galactic standard technology, fusion reactors can be made in safe portable sizes.

101 99

After some hesitation, Luke quietly put his pistol back into his belt. As he did so, he wondered why he felt impelled to obey this tiny creature.

104 103

Luke turned around to see the little droid standing forlornly next to the miniature fission furnace.


As the ships skimmed the surface of the asteroid, they dropped bombs on its pock-marked terrain, trying to scare out the freighter. The shock waves from the explosions violently shook the spheroid, but still there was no sign of the Falcon.

105 104

As it drifted above the asteroid, one of the Imperial Star Destroyers cast an eclipsing shadow across the tunnel entrance. Yet the ship's scanners failed to note the curious hole in the bowllike wall. Inside, Chewbacca worked feverishly to repair the complex powertrain. He had scrambled into an overhead compartmentto get at the wires that operated the hyperdrive system.

110 108

...he could see a few containers holding what apppeared to be hand-written scrolls. [Yoda's house]

No scrolls were visible in the movie; they must have been off-camera. There existence is interesting: this is probably the first canon reference to anything that might serve as written Jedi lore. The ROTJ radio play later has Skywalker returning to Tatooine to use Kenobi's "tools and his books," which also implies non-electronic storage of Jedi lore.

115 112

Only one being in the entire universe could instill fear in the dark spirit of Darth Vader.

Remarks on the relative status of the Emperor and Lord Vader, and their relationship. This is a very exclusive statement; it means that no further fiction can give Vader a feared enemy. In Shadows of the Empire, Vader holds Xizor in disdain, but does not fear him; he fears what Xizor might do to Luke.

117 116

Suddenly Chewbacca, who could see better in the dark than either his captain or the princess,

"Looks like some kind of Mynock," she told Han and Chewbacca.

creature: mynock.

123 120

"It would be in seven pieces, were you a Jedi." (Metal bar Yoda threw in front of Luke) Yoda chewed on his Gimer stick,

126 123-124

While Yoda gave his explanation of the Force, Artoo spun his domed head around, trying without success to register this "Force" on his scanners.

127-128 125

He was dressed in a weapon-covered, armored spacesuit, the kind worn by a group of evil warriors defeated by the Jedi Knights during the Clone Wars.

129 127

Undaunted by the steady rain of asteroids on its massive hull, the Star Destroyer relentlessly followed the smaller ship.

132 130

It was all he could do to avoid the barrage of flak bursts rocketing toward the Falcon from the Imperial ship.

132-133 131

A small freighter could not do much damage if it collided against a Star Destroyer's hull, but if it smashed through the bridge windows, the control deck would be littered with corpses. The panicked tracking officer reported his sighting. "Were going to collide!" "Shields up?" Captain Needa asked. "He must be insane!"

134 132

The two glowing balls hovered like alien fireflies above Luke's body lying motionless in the mud. [Also called energy balls, these are remotes used by Yoda to train Luke. When he bests two ofthem, Yoda calls up two more.] Artoo-Detoo leaned over Luke's inert body and whistled in an effort to revive him. But Luke, stunned unconcious by the charges of these energy balls, did not respond.

135 133

His electronic circuits told him there was no use trying to wake Luke with his little noises. An emergency rescue system was activated within his metal hull and Artoo extended a small metal electrode and rested it on Luke's chest. Uttering a quiet beep of concern, Artoo generated a mild electric charge, just strong enough to jolt Luke back to conciousness.

140 138

"You keep logs?" Leia was more impressed by the minute. "My, how organized." she teased. "Well, sometimes." he answered, as he hunted through the computer readout.

144 142

The dark inside the cave was so thick that Luke could feel it against his skin, so black that the light thrown by his laser sword was quickly absorbed and illuminated scarecly more than a meter in front of him.

Environment of the dark cave of Dagobah; although bright to the eye, the lightsabre casts little illumination. At least it doesn't seem to cast more light than a flourescent light tube of comparable size.

145 143

Out of the darkness, a light appeared — the blue flame of a just-ignited laser sword. [Luke confronting Vader spectre]

147 145

As the Millennium Falcon began its approach through the planet's atmosphere, it soared past several of Bespin's many moons.

155 153-154

Through a hose that ran from the pond to an oriface in his side, the robot sprayed down the ship with a powerful stream of water.

157 155

All he had to follow were his keen Wookiee instincts as he wandered through the unfamiliar white passageways and corridors of Bespin. Following his senses, Chewbacca finally came upon an enormous room in a corridor on the outside of Cloud City.

163 161

But the man who may have been the fastest draw in the galaxy was not fast enough to surprise Vader. But before he could discharge another laser blast, something — something unseen yet incredibly strong — yanked the weapon from his hand and sent it flying into Vader's grip.

181 180

"They're encasing him in carbonite," the droid reported. "Its high-quality alloy. Much better than my own."


Vader's influence was incredibly strong; it seemed to Luke like a thing alive. Hanging from some hoses draped across the ceiling, Luke was suspended, having leaped some five meters into the air to escape the carbonite.


A second piece of machinery sped toward the youth, and he again used the Force to deflect it. The weighty object bounced away as if it had struck an unseen shield.

196 195

He lunged at the Dark Lord with a vicious blow, bringing his sizzling laser blade to crash onto Vader's armor and sear through to the flesh.

Vader has flesh in his shoulder (which was confirmed in Shadows of the Empire), and Luke cut him. Interestingly, the armour appears to remain unscratched in the movie. Perhaps it was heated by the presence of the beam, but failed to vaporise because it has a high heat capacity?

210 209

"Chewie, check the secondary deviation controls."

[Escape from Bespin]


The Empire Strikes Back: Radio Drama



LUKE: Artoo'll be leaving with me, in my X-wing, but I'd be grateful if you'd keep Threepio with you.

LEIA: Didn't you know that I would, Luke? Even though Artoo and Threepio think they're looking out for us?

The droids have a protective regard for the twin children of their Maker, but they haven't revealled the reason for this connection. At this time (just before the Battle of Hoth) neither of the twins suspects their true familial connection. While the droids keep old confidences, Luke and Leia might never suspect or learn that the droids served previous generations of Skywalkers.

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