Empire Minute 83: There Are No Ghosts

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May 7th, 2014


In the bright lights of the fighter, Luke loads a heavy case into the belly of the ship. Artoo sits on top of the X-wing, settling down into his cubbyhole. Yoda stands nearby on a log.


Joseph Scrimshaw



  • Starts on Cloud City as Chewbecca looks for C-3PO; ends back on Dagobah with Luke packing and getting ready to leave.
  • There are 20 seconds of Luke packing.


  • Yoda's attempts to stop Luke from leaving seem very half-hearted.
  • Yoda is a disappointed parent in this scene.
  • Plus Luke is leaving in the middle of the night.
  • When watching the movies minute by minute, some things are longer than you thought and some things are shorter. The longer sequences are usually required to give the audience some time to adjust to something that happened in the previous scene.
  • Where did the ladder on the X-wing come from and what does Luke do with it after he's aboard but before they take off?
  • There are elements of fantasy technology in the original trilogy.
  • R2 is now clean and repairs the ship with his long arm. How does R2 get into the X-wing? Must be by The Force.
  • First time we see Ben as a ghost on Dagobah but he's been listening the whole time. Pete refers to Yoda and Ben as "the guys" in this scene and subsequent podcast episodes.
  • This scene (verbatim) from the Leigh Brackett draft script:

Luke: Ben. Obi-Wan. By the Force, I call you.

For a moment nothing happens, and Luke wonders if he has failed. Then, as before, Ben materializes in a ghostly fashion out of the mist.

Ben: And I am here.

Luke: Ben… I’m so glad to see you! Are you real… or are you a ghost?

Ben: (laughs) I’m as real as you are, only my ‘reality’ has changed a little. There are no ghosts. Those are only names we put to things we can’t understand.

Luke: Then Darth Vader didn’t kill you.

Ben It was my time to move on.

Luke: To move on where?

Ben To a different part of the universe. It’s all one, if you know the way. Or rather, if you understand the laws that govern the way. Physical laws. One day you’ll understand, Luke you will. You’ll be able to glimpse, as I have, the beautiful symmetry of the perfection of this creation we all belong to… Luke, I’ve brought someone with me.

Another half-ghostly form emerges from the mists; a tall fine-looking man who approaches Luke slowly, looking at him.

Ben: Your father.

Luke: My father.

Even with his new-found maturity, Luke finds this an awesome, not to say shattering, moment. They look at each other.

Skywalker: You’ve grown well, Luke. I’m proud of you.

(Luke, not knowing what to say, says nothing)

Proud, and afraid for you. You’re going into battle untried. Did your uncle ever speak to you about Nellith? your sister?

Luke: Nellith? No. Who is she?

Skywalker: Your sister.

Luke: My sister? I have a sister? But why didn’t Uncle Owen….

  • (Why isn't Luke given direct information in the movie? Also, he is not at all concerned about the fate of his mother.)

Skywalker: It was my request. When I saw the Empire closing in, I sent you both away for your own safety, far apart from each other.

Luke: Where is she? What’s her name?

Skywalker: If I were to tell you, Darth Vader could get that information from your mind and use her as a hostage. Not yet, Luke. When it’s time…

  • He then asks Luke to take the "Oath of the Jedi Knight" with him. They then say the oath.
This is the end of Luke's training and he is now a Jedi. There is closure to the sequence.

  • The substance of the above scene was moved to ROTJ.
  • Originally Leia wasn't Luke's sister. The name Nellith was hand-written on the draft script but then crossed out.
  • There is another line from the draft script to be discussed in future podcast episodes.
  • "Remember your failure at the cave" is an iconic Yoda line used by the hosts regularly.
  • Followed by Luke's "But I've learned so much since then" line - although he is not convincing. Luke is very kid-like in this scene.
  • Frank Oz's puppet acting of disappointment is excellent at the end of this scene. Yoda looks like an upset Kermit.
  • More Yoda and Dagobah in the next couple of podcast episodes.

Meta Minute


  • Joseph: I'm Joseph Scrimshaw and I mostly just think about Star Wars.



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