Its Christmas time in case you haven’t noticed, wouldn’t blame you since 2020 has been a mega storm of pain, misery and cringe. Whatever though right? Nothing that can’t be healed by mince pies, alcohol and presents! I have a few traditions during the holiday season that my brain insists I stick too, if I don’t it’s liable to shut down out of shock. You can be sure that I get McDonalds when I put my tree up and I will exclusively drink Guinness from 12.01am Christmas Day through till 11.59PM on the 26th.
Among the plethora of traditions is what I watch, plenty of festive films. The usual argument is whether Die Hard can be considered a festive classic (for the record it is and if you disagree you’re wrong) but I’m here to pitch another movie to add to the “is it Christmassy?” debate. Empire Strikes Back. Arguably the best Star Wars film, I watch Empire at least a few times a year but it always hits harder around Christmas time, and I’m here now to explain why that might be…
Oh yeah right of the bat, the beautiful white powder that isn’t cocaine. The entire first act takes place on the Ice planet Hoth, Luke and co. fend off attacks from space yeti’s, Probe droids (less exciting than they sound) and gigantic death walkers. All with the soft soothing blanket of snow in the background. It would all be pretty magical if it wasn’t for the massive death and destruction wrought by Vader’s Blizzard Force…
Trying to get home
Most of the film is presented to us with the framing device of the crew on the Millennium Falcon trying to escape the pursuing empire. It isn’t too much of a stretch to see this as a family trying to drive home for Christmas. I mean even the vehicle of the choice reminds me of the ropey wagons you sometimes have to make the trip in, making some odd noises and always at risk of breaking down at any minute… The comparison really comes to a head when you see where they end up too.
Vader made dinner
That’s right, soon after the heroes arrive on Cloud City, cool uncle Lando Calrissian betrays them to the Empire, leading them to a dining room where Vader waits to surprise them and apparently catch a few blaster shots fired by Han. Pretty sick scene but made a little emotional when you see the table is set, Vader seems to have had some plans for dinner, no idea how he planned to eat through his mask but whatever, Han ruined it anyway just like your drunk brother-in-law when he tried to fight your Dad.
Like Jacob Marley and that terrifying grim reaper creature in the Muppet Version, Christmas Carol has set a precedent in our minds for Ghosts coming out of the woodwork during the holidays to let us know where we’ve gone wrong all year long. So not long into the film Obi-Wan does his best Ghost of Christmas past impression to show up and tell Luke to jack in this rebel nonsense and go meet Yoda on Dagobah. Later still he appears a few more times to offer guidance here and there from beyond the grave, really just interfering. Where are Statler and Waldorf? Least they’re funny…
Do you agree with my assessment? Let me know in the comments below and make sure to check out some more of our content! It’s better than trying force conversation with your family, I promise.