Top 6 Parallels Between Star Wars Episodes 2 and 5
The Star Wars Prequels
As any enthusiast of the galaxy far far away knows, the prequel trilogy heavily divided fans. Some loved it, some hated it, and many were somewhere in-between. With a new cast and fresh setting, the impossibly high standards of the first three movies may have paved the path for an inevitable backlash of the prequels.
Regardless of your take on Episodes 1-3, they do offer several fun nods to their predecessors, interesting correlations that likely zoom over the causal viewer's perception. So, here are the top six parallels between the middle film of each trilogy: Attack of the Clones (Episode 2) and The Empire Strikes Back (Episode 5)!
6. Both Introduce a Fett
In Episode 5: Boba Fett, the iconic Mandalorian bounty hunter debuts in Empire (unless you count a deleted scene from Episode 4). Darth Vader hires Fett to track down the Millenium Falcon, with the goal of using Han Solo and Leia Organa as bait for Luke Skywalker. Fett successfully pursues the ship, leading to its occupants' capture.
In Episode 2: Years earlier, Boba's "father" Jango (Boba is actually his clone) works under the Sith Lord Count Dooku. Jango serves as the template for the Clone army of the Republic while aiding and protecting Dooku. He also duels Obi-Wan Kenobi and manages to gain the upper hand with a little assistance from Boba himself, still in his youth.
Further similarities: Both Jango and Boba were hired by the main antagonist, and both aided in the capture of a protagonist(s): Boba netted Han and Leia while Jango ensnared Anakin. Not surprisingly, Jango and Boba also pilot the same ship, Slave 1. That's where the similarities end, as one Fett escaped his film in significantly better condition than the other..
5. Both Kindle a Romance
In Episode 5: Though Episode 4 hinted more at a romance between Luke and Leia, it's Han who ends up falling for the princess while evading the Empire. The two quarrel frequently, but behind the animosity lies a deep respect and admiration for each other.
In Episode 2: Anakin Skywalker reunites with Padme Amidala ten years after they met on Tatooine. As taken with her as before, Anakin serves as her bodyguard due to several assassination attempts on her life. While lying low, the pair's blossoming feelings develop into a full romance.
Further similarities: Both women confess their love in times of crisis, Leia with Han before he freezes into carbonite, and Padme to Anakin before the two face execution. Each romance also faces significant tension: Leia's connection to Luke interjects with her and Han, while Anakin's status as a Jedi and Padme's as a diplomat force them to hide their connection.
4. Both Feature an Asteroid Skirmish
In Episode 5: In a desperate attempt to evade the Empire, Han flies his ship into an asteroid field, noting "they'd be crazy to follow us, wouldn't they?" His risky move pays off as the asteroids demolish the pursuing Tie Fighters.
In Episode 2: Pursuing a lead for the assassination attempt on Padme, Obi-Wan tracks Jango Fett through an asteroid field. However, he soon realizes he's outgunned when Jango bombards him with a variety of projectiles. Through clever use of the terrain, Obi-Wan manages to leave the battle intact.
Further similarities: Both Han and Obi-Wan conceal their ships on asteroids (Han later hides on the back of a Star Destroyer as well) to evade their adversaries.
3. Both Villains Tempt the Jedi
In Episode 5: Suspecting Luke Skywalker to actually be his son (which the Emperor himself confirms), Darth Vader seeks to turn the Rebel to the Dark Side rather than destroy him. After defeating Luke in a lightsaber battle and revealing their shared bloodline, Vader tries to persuade Luke to join him and destroy the Emperor. Luke desperately retreats from the encounter instead, shocked by Vader's words.
Was Vader being sincere, and actually offering to betray his master with Luke's aid? Considering Luke's connection to him, as well as Vader's actions in Return of the Jedi, I'm inclined to say yes.
In Episode 2: After being captured on Geonosis by the Separatists, Obi-Wan encounters former Jedi Count Dooku. Dooku reveals several truths to Obi-Wan, including that the Senate is controlled by a Sith Lord. Dooku mimics Vader's terms, offering to help Obi-Wan destroy the Sith if he joins him. Obi-Wan, reluctant to believe the stunning revelation, declines.
Was Dooku being sincere with his offer to Obi-Wan? You could argue either way. Dooku seems more loyal to Palpatine than Vader, and Dooku doesn't have the familial bond with Obi-Wan that Vader did with Luke. Still, as Dooku points out in, the two are connected through Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn, who was Dooku's apprentice and Obi-Wan's master. Add in a deep respect for Kenobi revealed in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, and I'd bet Dooku was at least considering a betrayal of his master.
Further similarities: As discussed, both villains attempt to turn their victims to the Dark Side, reveal shocking news, and offer questionably-sincere plans to overthrow Palpatine.
2. Both Films Dismantle C-3PO
In Episode 5: After discovering Stormtroopers hidden in Cloud City (who really should have locked the door they were behind), the soldiers shoot Threepio to conceal their presence. Threepio isn't reassembled until it's too late to warn his friends of their impending capture.
In Episode 2: Accompanying Anakin and Padme to a Geonosian factory, Threepio gets decapitated in the explosive battle that ensues. Threepio's head ends up on a Battle Droid's body, while a Battle Droid's head gets placed on his.
Further similarities: Threepio's head is removed and reattached improperly in both films. In 5, Chewbacca placed it backwards on Threepio's body, while in 2 it mistakenly gets placed on a Battle Droid. R2-D2 also helps reassemble Threepio in each instance.
1. Both Skywalkers Lose a Hand
In Episode 5: After an exhausting clash in the depths of Cloud City, Darth Vader slices off Luke's right hand and reveals the truth of his lineage.
In Episode 2: When Dooku dispatches Obi-Wan in a duel, Anakin jumps in to battle the Sith. After a fierce contest, Dooku chops off Anakin's right arm from the elbow down.
Further similarities: Despite being outmatched by their more-experienced foes, both Luke and Anakin manage to hold their own. Luke lands a glancing blow on Vader before his defeat, and Anakin temporarily puts Dooku on the defensive by assaulting him with two sabers.
Which movie do you prefer?
Bonus: Obi-Wan Disarming in Cantinas
Speaking of losing limbs, here's a neat parallel between Episodes 2 and 4: Each features Obi-Wan slicing off an appendage within a cantina. In Episode 4, he dispatches a thug harassing Luke, while in 2 he disarms the would-be assassin Zam.
Both occurrences take place near the beginning of each movie, have Obi-Wan traveling with a young Skywalker, and take place shortly after he employs a mind trick.
Future of Star Wars
Though far from perfect, I'll forever enjoy the Easter Eggs and references Star Wars inserts within its films. With two separate timelines as well as new movies still releasing, the future looks bright for the galaxy far far away.
Feel free to vote for your preferred film, and I'll see you at our next countdown!