‘No,’ Vader replied calmly. ‘I am your father.’
‘No,’ Vader replied calmly. ‘I am your father.’

I am feeling conflicted about this one. In the novelization of Empire Strikes Back, Yoda is blue. Since the novelizations were written relatively in time with the films, give or take some time, and this is the second in a trilogy…at this point, it should be well established that Yoda is green, right? I am not sure I understand the logic behind making him a blue creature.

I cannot fault the overall content all that much, given that most of it comes from the film and, of course, it is a good movie. Once again, I like the insight into the minds of these classic characters. I have said it before and I will say it again: regardless of how good an actor is, there is still something lost when a book is adapted into a film. Thus, in this case, the author adds something to the content we know from the movie.

There are a couple more things I noticed while I was reading Empire Strikes Back. One, I think is kind of amusing and interesting. The other? I do not think I like it.

Let’s talk about the moment that amuses and interests me first. In the movie version of this book there is one of the most famous exchanges in the films, aside from the “I am your father” scene with Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Spoiler alert: Darth Vader is Luke’s father. But really, you should know this already. The scene I am talking about though is when Leia tells Han she loves him and he responds with a simple “I know.” I had heard rumours about this line. Many people, Harrison Ford included, have apparently claimed the line was not originally written this way. Many say Harrison improvised it himself while they were shooting. There is some truth to this, but it is not completely true. Yes, Harrison did technically improvise this line. However, he worked it out beforehand with the director. According to what I have read, it apparently caused a bit of tension between Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.

But enough about that improvisation. I continued to research the scene and compared what I found to what was in the novelization I recently finished reading. The original line in the script was the same in the novelization, which makes me absolutely sure the author finished writing this book before they filmed the scene. Had it been before printing, I am sure they would have changed it given the reactions of the test audience.

For those interested, the original exchange was:

“I love you. I couldn’t tell you before, but it’s true.”

“Just remember that, because I’ll be back.”

I find it interesting that Han never told Leia he loved her in either version. Did he? I have heard many people say he did and simply did not say he loved her back because he did not want to put her through hearing that and never seeing him again. Additionally, I believe part of the reason they changed the line in the film had to do with the fact they really wanted to make it seem as if no one would ever see Han again, even if the process worked.

I think this is one of the only cases in which I preferred the movie version to the book. Perhaps it is the only case? I cannot think of any other instance in which I preferred the film. It is all about the books for me. I am not even sure why I liked the movie version more. Perhaps this scene was funnier in the film? Maybe the action was better in the movie. Hopefully I can figure it out before I finish this series…


Title: Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Author: Donald F. Glut

Publisher: Del Rey


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