%% As with all the Star Wars films, Expanded Universe material is irrelevant to the tropes presented in this article.
%% Please discuss all EU material in the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse article.
! This page contains unmarked spoilers. Administrivia/YouHaveBeenWarned!

[-[[caption-width-right:350:'''Darth Vader''': Obi-Wan never told you [[DisappearedDad what happened to your father]].\\
'''Luke Skywalker:''' He told me enough! He told me [[YouKilledMyFather you killed him]].\\
'''Darth Vader:''' No. ''[[ActuallyIAmHim I]]'' [[{{LukeIAmYourFather}} am your father]].]]-]


[[folder: It is a dark time for the \\
Rebellion. Although the Death \\
Star has been destroyed, \\
Imperial troops have driven the \\
Rebel forces from their hidden \\
base and pursued them across \\
the galaxy.\\
Evading the dreaded Imperial \\
Starfleet, a group of freedom \\
fighters led by Luke Skywalker \\
have established a new secret \\
base on the remote ice world \\
of Hoth.\\
The evil lord Darth Vader, \\
obsessed with finding young \\
Skywalker, has dispatched \\
thousands of remote probes into \\
the far reaches of space.... ]]

''[[DescribeTopicHere Try To Describe The Empire Strikes Back Here.]]''

[[DescribeTopicHere No. Do, Or Do Not. There Is No Try.]]

''The Empire Strikes Back'' [[note]]also known as ''Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back'' and ''Star Wars - Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back''[[/note]] is the second film in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' original trilogy and fifth episode in the main ''Star Wars'' saga.

In the aftermath of the destruction of the Death Star, the Rebels have holed up in a remote location on the icy barren world of Hoth. Luke Skywalker sees a vision of Obi-Wan instructing him to search for another surviving Jedi master named Yoda. The Empire discovers their base and weeds them out via a vicious assault. Upon evacuation, Han Solo struggles to stay ahead of the pursuing imperial forces to protect Leia while Luke goes to train with Yoda. Each story pushes the characters to their limits both physically and emotionally, dealing with deceptive allies and Luke coming to understand some bitter truths in a showdown with Darth Vader.

Released in 1980, after the [[ItWillNeverCatchOn surprise success]] of ''[[Film/ANewHope Star Wars]]'' made a sequel inevitable. Lucas's new story turned the series into a dramatic saga with the revelation that [[LukeIAmYourFather Darth Vader was Luke's father]]. Since making the last film had been so stressful, he had Creator/LawrenceKasdan and Creator/LeighBrackett write the script for ''The Empire Strikes Back'' and had Irvin Kershner direct it.

Followed by ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.

'''Please move any character tropes to the proper [[Characters/TheEmpireStrikesBack character page]].'''
!!The Tropes Strike Back:
* ActuallyIAmHim:
** That last little conversation Luke and Vader had.
** Yoda also does this to Luke, pretending to be a random hermit before revealing himself.
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Chewie's reaction to Leia's insult.
--> '''Leia:''' I don't know where you get your delusions, laser-brain.
--> '''-Chewie laughs-'''
--> '''Han:''' Laugh it up, fuzzball.
* AdventureRebuff: Yoda initially states he cannot train Luke because he has no patience and is reckless.
--> '''Yoda:''' This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away... To the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless!
* AdvertisedExtra: Boba Fett. He was featured pretty heavily in marketing for the film, and his action figure was easily the most popular of the pre-release toys. In the film itself, however, Boba has only four lines, under two minutes of screen time, yet his overall effect on the plot is significant enough.
* AerialCanyonChase: Han Solo and the ''Millennium Falcon'' do this during the famous asteroid chase scene. As Solo was noting, "They'd be crazy to follow us." Unfortunately, Darth Vader is quite a motivator for his troops and they dive in after him.
* AllThereInTheManual: Supplemental materials explain that most midsize or larger spaceships have an emergency backup hyperdrive which serves basically the same purpose as a spare tire on a car. Compared to a normal hyperdrive, it's not nearly as fast and won't get you very far, but it's enough to at least limp to the nearest inhabited star system for repairs. Which is how the ''Millennium Falcon'' was able to travel from Hoth to Bespin in a few days rather than a few ''years'' (as well how Boba Fett and Vader were able to get there ahead of them).
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: The Empire storms the Rebel headquarters, based on the [[SingleBiomePlanet ice planet]] of Hoth, but fails to capture the main leaders.
* TheAllegedCar: The ''Millennium Falcon''. Oh it's definitely a CoolShip, but in this movie the hyperdrive fails to work time and time again leading to nothing but headaches for her crew.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: The film abruptly stops just after Lando and Chewie leave to find the now frozen Han, leaving Leia and the droids on the medical frigate with Luke as he's recuperating from his injuries from the duel with Vader. The audience wouldn't get a real resolution to the film until three years later with ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
* AntiVillain: When the ''Falcon'' slips away from his Destroyer, Captain Needa instructs his men to prepare a shuttle. He knows [[BadBoss Vader]] will kill him; he just wants to make sure the Sith Lord's wrath falls exclusively on him.
* TheAppleFallsFar: Look closely when Luke falls out of the chute on Cloud City and clings to a weather vane; his severed hand can be seen falling into the atmosphere.
* ApocalypticLog: We hear what [=C3PO=] was thinking all the way up to when he was blasted. A rare example of the writer recovering.
* ArchnemesisDad: Vader is revealed to be one to Luke himself.
* AnArmAndALeg: Luke, who gains an [[ArtificialLimbs Artificial Limb]] at the end.
* ArmorPiercingResponse: This exchange between Luke and Yoda after Yoda Force-lifts Lukeís ship out of the swamp:
-->'''Luke''': I donít believe it.
-->'''Yoda''': That is why you fail.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: The gravity on the asteroid they land on should be incredibly low. When they are in the ''Falcon'', it can be explained as ArtificialGravity, but later they go outside to investigate and the gravity is still normal. Averted when the ''Falcon'' somersaults into the hole, the hole can be seen moving sideways to meet up with it. When Han takes off after discovering what they're really inside of, he simply turns it around and they are already facing the exit, meaning they were parked (and walking on) the inner wall.
* AsideGlance: When Threepio gets cut off by the door closing and believes Han left him behind deliberately.
-->'''C-3PO:''' How typical.
%%* AsteroidThicket: Possible TropeCodifier.
* AsYouKnow: Although it took 25 years before this was confirmed on screen, Yoda's "There is another" pronouncement to Obi-Wan qualifies in retrospect as the next film would reveal the "another" to be [[spoiler: Leia, who is revealed to be Luke's twin sister]]. ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' confirms that this is information Obi-Wan already possesses.
* AttentionDeficitOohShiny: Threepio, who misses Artoo's company, wanders off when he sees another droid that reminds him of R2-D2:
-->'''C-3PO''': That sounds like an R2 unit in there! I wonder if... Hello? How interesting.
-->'''Stormtrooper''': Who are you?
-->'''C-3PO''': Oh, my! I... I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to intrude. No, please don't get up. [''The stormtrooper blasts Threepio to pieces'']
* BadBoss: Vader personally Force-chokes two of his officers for their perceived incompetence (one of them did have lapses of judgement, but the other arguably did not), being the [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]] for YouHaveFailedMe. And he sends several Star Destroyers into the asteroid field to look for the ''Millennium Falcon,'' causing at least one to suffer ''catastrophic'' damage.
* BadassNormal: Boba Fett is introduced in this episode. He's the one who leads the Empire to the ''Falcon'' after the entire Imperial Navy fumbles, and he's the first character who seems resistant to Darth Vader's ambiance of terror.
* BaddieFlattery: Vader towards Luke during their duel on Bespin. Justified for several reasons: biggest one, [[LukeIAmYourFather Luke is Vader's son]], next Luke, while [[UnskilledButStrong inexperienced]] is able to use the force well enough and with such power that [[SuperpowerfulGenetics it would take a normal Jedi]] [[TheGift years of training]] [[SoProudOfYou to do the same,]] and lastly, Luke managed to [[CurbStompCushion hold his own]] against his father who has on [[CurbStompBattle occasion decimated groups of Jedi in less time than their fight.]]
* TheBadGuyWins: Played with. The Empire crushes the rebels at Hoth, forcing the good guys to flee, but they fail to achieve their primary objectives: Eliminating the rebel army and capturing Luke Skywalker. Additionally, the good guys then get trapped in an asteroid field and then barely escape with their lives. Darth Vader defeats Luke in a lightsaber duel, cutting off his hand but Luke's virtue proves too strong to turn, and Han Solo is captured by Boba Fett and then frozen in carbonite to be taken to Jabba the Hutt. Subverted when the Empire doesn't exactly win either. Darth Vader's objective-- capture or turn Luke-- is an abysmal failure and, at most, the Empire uprooted the Rebel base at Hoth only for the Rebels to disappear into space again. Ironically, the trope is played straight only for Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt, who isn't even in the movie.
* BaldOfEvil: The scene with Vader in his medical chamber is the first time the audience sees a glimpse of what he looks like underneath his helmet. [[BodyHorror It's only the pale, extremely scarred back of his head, but that's more than enough.]]
* BatmanGambit:
** Vader wants Luke, but after the Hoth evacuation, he has no idea where to start looking for him. Instead, he pursues and captures Han and the others. While capturing them would be of value to the Empire regardless, Vader doesn't even have to bother sending out a villainous threat. He correctly anticipates Luke sensing their suffering through the Force and racing to the rescue.
** Hanís plan to escape the Imperial fleet by attaching the ''Millennium Falcon'' to a star destroyer and waiting for the destroyer to release its garbage, which is standard Imperial procedure before going into light speed. The ''Falcon'' then floats away with the garbage. Boba Fett, however, [[DefiedTrope foresees this plan and follows them]].
* BewilderingPunishment: Han, Leia, and Chewie aren't told that Vader is torturing them to draw Luke.
* BigBad: The only film where Vader holds this role[[note]]he's TheDragon to Tarkin in the first, and the Emperor in the third[[/note]], though [[GreaterScopeVillain the Emperor]] is the one who gives him the mission to find Luke.
* BigDamnKiss: In the cargo bay. There's a reason it's one of the most famous kisses in cinematic history.
* BigGood: Yoda, a Jedi master who teaches Luke more about the Force.
* BigNo:
** The most famous one in the entire series, even counting ''[[Film/RevengeOfTheSith Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith]]'', comes from Luke after he learns the truth about his father.
** After Han is frozen, we get the Wookie version of the trope.
* BigShutUp:
** Leia to [=C-3PO=] after he's about to tell the odds for a second time.
** Chewbacca also has a loud roar that is effectively this to [=C-3PO=] when he is berating Han for his plan of hiding from the Star Destroyer by parking ON it.
--->'''[=C-3PO=]:''' No, I will NOT be quiet!
* BittersweetEnding: The Rebels have survived, Luke has not gone over to the Dark Side (which has deeply disappointed Vader), he and his friends escaped and the view of the galaxy signals that while this story is ending, [[AndTheAdventureContinues the series continues]] -- the fight will go on.
* BlatantLies: When Lando notices the box full of what's left of Threepio. "Trouble with your droid?" "No. Why?"
* BluntYes
-->'''Yoda (to Luke as he is about to leave Dagobah):''' Stopped, they must be. On this all depends. Only a fully trained Jedi Knight will conquer Vader and his Emperor. If you end your training now; if you take the quick and easy path as Vader did, you will become an agent of evil.
-->'''Obi-Wan (also to Luke):''' Patience!
-->'''Luke:''' And sacrifice Han and Leia?!
-->'''Yoda:''' If you honor what they fight for? Yes.
* BondOneLiner: Villainous example.
-->'''SelfDemonstrating/DarthVader:''' Apology accepted, Captain Needa.
* BottomlessPit: Subverted with the asteroid scene, when Han Solo decides to hide the ''Falcon'' inside a large dark chasm. Immediately combines with a [[AvertedTrope realistic]] [[SpaceIsAnOcean interpretation of three-dimensional space]] when the next shot is oriented upright, as if the pit were a horizontal tunnel. Even better, when they enter, the hole is seen moving sideways into position, implying that the astroid rotates. Sure enough, the escape scene shows that Han was parked (and even walked on) the inner wall: gravity was sideways.
* BountyHunter: Vader hires some when the Imperial fleet loses track of the ''Falcon'', including Boba Fett.
* BreakoutCharacter: Boba Fett, famously, became incredibly popular and marketable after a subtle yet significant role in this film.
* BrokenPedestal:
** Anakin Skywalker. His son used to think he was a noble Jedi Knight that died years ago at the hands of Darth Vader. Now he knows not only did he not die at Vader's hands, he ''is'' Vader.
** It is implied that Obi-Wan becomes this to Luke once Luke learns the truth about his father[[note]]The third movie reveals that there are [[RebuiltPedestal no hard feelings]], well, not really.[[/note]].
* BrownNote: While in a cell in Cloud City, Chewie is tormented by a siren-like noise.
* TheBusCameBack: When viewed chronologically, this marks Yoda's fourth appearance, making this a return for the character after the ending of ''Revenge of the Sith'' wrote him out by exiling him to Dagobah.
* BuzzJob: After finding that the ''Millenium Falcon''[='=]s hyperdrive is still inoperable, Han turns around and flies right at the Star Destroyer chasing them, buzzing the ship's bridge, making the captain and first officer duck, and then disappearing ([[RefugeInAudacity actually clamping onto the back of the ship's command tower]]).
* CantUseStairs: Averted in-story, but in full force in RealLife. Anthony Daniels couldn't use the stairs in the [=C3PO=] costume, and the filmmakers "cheated" by having the human characters walk down, the camera would lose 3PO for a second, and he'd rejoin them from behind once they passed the stairs.
* CaptainObvious: 3PO says the asteroid the crew is on "might not be entirely stable", right after the ground shakes. Han calls him "the professor" right after that.
* CarcassSleepingBag: The one everyone remembers, when Han keeps Luke from freezing to death on Hoth by hiding him in the body of his tauntaun.
* CarnivalOfKillers: The bounty hunters, including a slimy reptilian (Bossk), a cyclopean droid (IG-88), an insectoid droid (4-LOM), a creepy scuba suit-wearing bug (Zuckuss), an armor-clad and mysterious badass (Boba Fett), and a man in [[BandagedFace bandages]] (Dengar). At least one Imperial officer is incensed that he's been forced to allow them aboard his ship.
--> '''Admiral Piett:''' Bounty hunters! We don't need their scum!
* CaveMouth: The crew of the ''Millennium Falcon'' confuse a space slug's mouth with an asteroid cave.
* CleanupCrew: Some Imperial Navy troopers drag Needa's body away after Vader [[YouHaveFailedMe finished with him]].
* ColdBloodedTorture: Vader has Luke's friends tortured in Cloud City, and they are mystified why they are not asked any questions. In reality, Vader is just doing it to lure Luke to him.
* ComicBookAdaptation: Creator/MarvelComics adapted the film as part of its ongoing ''Star Wars'' comic book, though it was also published separately as a graphic novel.
* ConstantlyCurious: Luke Skywalker.
-->'''Yoda''': There is no "why." Nothing more I will teach you today. Clear your mind of questions.
%% All Crowning Moments go on namespaces now.
* ContrivedCoincidence:
** Han manages to find a wounded and exhausted Luke, on a huge ice planet, near nightfall.
** When the AT-AT armor proves to be too strong for the snow speeders' laser cannons, we suddenly learn that the speeders happen to be equipped with magnetic harpoons and tow cables, perfect for tripping giant mechanical beasts.
** Luke escapes Hoth without any issues while the ''Millennium Falcon'' had to contend with three Star Destroyers.
* CoolStarship: The ''Executor'', a Super Star Destroyer that is miles long and Darth Vader's personal flagship. The regular Star Destroyers are absolutely dwarfed by it.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The [[https://a.dilcdn.com/bl/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2015/07/ESB-Special-Edeition.jpg 1997 re-release poster]] of the film gives a heavy amount of focus on the (Ian [=McDiarmid=]) Emperor. In the actual film, the Emperor is only in one scene, and the 1997 re-issue still retained the original version of the Emperor that was played by Marjorie Eaton and voiced by Clive Revill. It was not until the 2004 DVD release that the Ian [=McDiarmid=] version of the Emperor was added into the film.
* CruelTwistEnding: Calling it that was an understatement, at least to viewers at the time. In fact, [[LukeIamYourFather the revelation]] likely made it the biggest twist in movie history.
* CrypticConversation: Yoda and Obi-Wan's conversation about Luke's father on Dagobah makes a lot more sense when seen in view of the entire trilogy, as well as the ThereIsAnother scene.
* CurbStompBattle:
** The Battle of Hoth. A ''lot'' of Rebel soldiers and equipment lost, at the cost of two [=AT-ATs=] (along with whatever troops and equipment are on them), an ''Imperial''-class Star Destroyer (which was only disabled and not destroyed), and a few Snowtroopers.
** The fight between Luke and Vader. Inexperienced Force-user vs. a Dark Lord of the Sith with decades of experience. As the fight continues it's clear Luke is hopelessly outmatched, even before Vader cuts his hand off. Worse, Vader is beating up Luke spiritually, taunting Luke to use his anger to defeat him and then, just as Luke is clinging for dear life over an abyss, reveals that he is Luke's father. By the time Luke is rescued by his friends fleeing Cloud City, he's both a physical and mental wreck.
* CurbStompCushion: The Rebels ''do'' manage to take out two [[GiantMecha AT-ATs]], and a Star Destroyer is disabled, breaking the blockade around Hoth and allowing the Rebels to escape and regroup. Although Spencer Ackerman of Wired [[http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/02/battle-of-hoth/ argued]], if Vader hadn't been so concerned with personally taking Luke, smarter Imperial tactics could have ended the Rebellion right then and there. This argument however, was based largely on several incorrect assumptions regarding the Rebels' deflector shield.
* DamageControl: Han and Chewbacca are shown trying to get a malfunctioning hyperdrive online while being pounded by Imperial Star Destroyers. In fact, [[RunningGag they spend the entire film]] trying to get the thing to work. It takes a stopover at Cloud City to finally get it repaired, and even then it's sabotaged again to prevent their escape. It is only thanks to R2 that the hyperdrive is finally fixed, allowing the heroes to escape in time, much to everyone's complete surprise.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Empire'' is noticeably darker in tone than its predecessor, clearly showing that destroying the Empire's most powerful superweapon hasn't taken them out of the fight -- in fact, the Rebels spend most of the movie outgunned and on the run. In an interview with critic Leonard Maltin for a VHS reissue of the film, George Lucas explains that the middle act of a trilogy is usually the darker, bleaker chapter, setting up the dilemma that the final act solves.
* DavidVersusGoliath: Luke vs. Vader. Not only is Vader [[EvilIsBigger taller]], he's also much more skilled and experienced with the Force. It's almost a ForegoneConclusion that [[CurbStompBattle Luke will lose.]]
* DaylightHorror: The bright white Cloud City, where it's immediately apparent something is not right. Though its most sinister scenes take place in the darkly lit industrial areas underneath, the welcoming and futuristic interior of the city winds up being an unsettling location as the Empire infiltrates it and lays a trap for Luke using Han and Leia.
* DealWithTheDevil: Sure the alternative might have been the Empire arresting and/or executing everyone on Cloud City, but seriously, how could you think that was going to turn out well, Lando?
--> '''Vader''': [[MovingTheGoalposts I am altering the deal.]] Pray I do not alter it further.
* DefiantToTheEnd: Even after Luke's hand has been cut off and he's at the mercy of Vader, he isn't willing to surrender and is edging out to the very edge of the platform he's on to get away from his enemy. And when he understands he can either go with Vader or fall - he chooses to fall.
* DidNotDieThatWay: Luke was told a [[MetaphoricallyTrue slightly incorrect version]] of Anakin's passing by Obi-Wan in ''[[Film/ANewHope Star Wars]]''. In this one, he learns the truth.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: In retrospect, removing the binders from a ''VERY'' angry Wookie probably was not wise, Lando.
* DisconnectedByDeath:
** During Vader's teleconference with the Star Destroyers' captains, one hologram image flickers and vanishes after the ship is struck by an asteroid.
** "Imperial troops have entered the base. Imperial troops have entered [''static'']"
* TheDogBitesBack: A subtle one. When Lando discovers that Vader was most likely not going to hold his end of the bargain after giving him Han Solo, he subtly contacts Lobot to orchestrate the Imperial boarding party's arrest by the security guards so he can get C-3PO, Leia, R2-D2, and Chewbacca out and hopefully save Han Solo.
* DontMakeMeDestroyYou: TropeNamer. Vader says this to Luke verbatim after he cuts Luke's hand off in their lightsaber duel.
* DontThinkFeel: A core theme of Yoda's training.
* DownerEnding: The Rebels are on the run, Han's been kidnapped, Luke loses his lightsaber and right hand, and his soul is profoundly shaken by Vader's claim to be his father, leaving the awful suspicion that his mentors Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda have lied to him.
* DramaticIrony: The plot twist of [[LukeIAmYourFather Darth Vader really being Luke Skywalker's father]] becomes dramatic irony in hindsight, thanks to the Prequel trilogy.
* EarlyBirdCameo: Emperor Palpatine's first appearance is in this film, briefly seen via hologram talking to Vader.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Emperor Palpatine was originally played by Marjorie Eaton wearing a bizarre mask, rather than the more famous Ian [=McDiarmid=] who played the Emperor in the Prequel Trilogy and Film/ReturnOfTheJedi. This results in the Emperor having a very different look, often described as having "chimpanzee eyes".
* ElectricTorture: In Cloud City, Han is strapped to a gurney and lowered over a device that appears to administer brief, intense electric shocks.
* EtTuBrute: Happens twice in the movie.
** Princess Leia feels this way after Lando was forced by Darth Vader to conspire with him, so that Cloud City will not be invaded.
** Luke himself gets this after learning that Darth Vader is his father and had fallen to TheDarkSide.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Boba Fett is referred to only as "Bounty Hunter" by everyone in the film. It's only in [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi the next film]] that he gets explicitly identified.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The Empire strikes back in a ''big'' freaking way in this film. By the end of the film, the heroes have ''really'' got their work cut out for them.
* ExpositionOfImmortality: Yoda already looks like he's seen his fair share of years; walking stick, not much hair, crotchety old man. And clearly, he's been around for a while if he was the Jedi Master who trained Obi-Wan Kenobi, himself no spring chicken by Episode IV. Nevertheless, a sense of his true age is held back until he turns around and says:
--> ''"What know you of ready? For ''eight hundred years'' have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained."''
* EyeLightsOut: C-3P0, except it's when he's merely deactivated. Or when he's yelling at Chewie for fumbling around in his head with repairs after he got blasted apart.
* FaceDeathWithDignity:
** Needa knew exactly what was going to happen to him when he lost the ''Millennium Falcon''. He displays no fear or dread, and he personally accepted responsibility to spare his men.
** While he didn't know for sure he was facing death (and wasn't ''intended'' to die), Han faces the carbon freezing chamber with remarkable stoicism, and when Chewbacca goes berserk to try and save him Han actually ''stops him,'' reminding Chewbacca that he has to protect Leia in his place.
* FacePalm: Leia after the ''Falcon''[='=]s hyperdrive fails yet again.
* FieldPromotion: Piett.
-->'''Darth Vader''': {{You are in command now}}, ''Admiral'' Piett.
* {{Flanderization}}: While in Episode IV, C-3PO clearly wasn't as brave as R2-D2 and could express fear, in the original film he was still capable of self-sacrifice, even urging Luke to abandon him after 3PO had been badly damaged by the Sand People. Later, when he was cornered onboard the Death Star by some Storm Troopers, he managed to successfully bluff his way past the Troopers ("They're madmen! If you hurry you might catch them."). He also felt grief for Luke and the others when he thought they were dying. In ''The Empire Strikes Back'', he's Flanderized into a total coward, unable to think about anything but himself, and frantically advocating surrender when the ''Falcon'' is being chased by Imperial Destroyers.
* FoilerFootage: Before the movie's premiere, the number of people who knew about TheReveal could be counted on one hand: George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Gary Kurtz, James Earl Jones, Mark Hamill and whatever editors Lucas trusted to see the scene. Even Creator/DavidProwse, who had to say ''something'' during filming, was given the fake line "Obi-Wan killed your father." {{Urban Legend}}s now abound of Creator/HarrisonFord turning to Hamill ''in the middle of the premiere'' and giving a BigWhat, as well as David Prowse leaning forward and telling George Lucas "Why didn't you tell me? I would have said it."
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** The scene where Luke enters a cave on Dagobah and hallucinates about decapitating Darth Vader, and the helmet splitting open to reveal Luke's own face. In hindsight, [[IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim it's a clear warning of where Luke might have gone]]; it's also a subtle hint to Vader being his father (i.e., there's a Skywalker behind the mask). Vader's line, "Only your hatred can destroy me," is a foreshadowing of the final duel in ''Return of the Jedi''.
** Luke's ability to call to Leia through the Force also foreshadows an important reveal in the next movie.
** Also, this dialogue between Obi-Wan and Yoda as Luke flies away from Dagobah:
-->'''Yoda''': Told you, I did. Reckless is he. Now, matters are worse.
-->'''Obi-Wan''': That boy was our last hope.\\
'''Yoda''': No. [[LongLostRelative There is another]].
* ForgivenessRequiresDeath: Captain Needa apologizing to Darth Vader for losing sight of the ''Millenium Falcon'' is met with Vader accepting his apology...after executing Needa via Force-choke.
* FourLinesAllWaiting: There are a lot of different plot threads to follow;
** The Rebel Alliance moving to a dangerous new base after the Battle of Yavin and then fleeing the planet Hoth while suffering a crushing defeat from the Empire.
** Luke Skywalker seeking out Yoda at the behest of Obi-Wan and training under him.
** Darth Vader obsessively seeking out Luke to capture him for the Emperor and to further his own ends.
** Han trying to leave the Rebellion to pay off Jabba's debt before having to evade the Empire, which eventually gets him captured and tortured to lure Luke to Cloud City and frozen in carbonite to be delivered to Jabba by Boba Fett.
** Lando selling out his friends to protect Cloud City, the consequences of it and his redemption.
* FourStarBadass: General Veers, one of the few Imperial officers shown to actually be competent in the movies.
* FreezeFrameBonus: When Luke arrives on Bespin and tries to get the drop on Boba Fett escorting the frozen Han to Slave-1, you can briefly see Fett briefly turn his head and look down the hall as he walks across the hallway when Luke is spying on him. This explains why he's able to get the drop on Luke and shoot at him when he goes to intercept the procession a few moments later.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent:
** [[YouHaveFailedMe Admiral Ozzel getting strangled]] as Vader talks to Captain Piett, [[YouAreInCommandNow who is officially promoted to Admiral once Ozzel drops dead]]. One of the technicians is [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight completely unfazed by this]].
** After Captain Needa is strangled, the crewmen who were watching quickly and hurriedly get back to work as Darth Vader turns around. Also of note, Needa's actor Michael Culver [[TheLivingDead helps the two crewmen carry his "body".]]
** Also, after the ''Falcon'' managed to jump to hyperspace and escape near the end of the movie, every officer on the star destroyer's bridge immediately stops whatever it is they are doing to prepare for the wrath of Darth Vader. All except one guy standing by the door who is nonchalantly typing into his handheld computer, and who only seemed to clue in on what happened when Vader walked past him.
** Luke rolling his eyes when Han says to Leia: "I just think you can't bear to let a gorgeous guy like me out of your sight."
* GeniusBruiser: This film both emphasized not only how big of a badass Darth Vader really is, but how intelligent he is.
* GenreShift: Lucas told his writers to take inspiration from ''The Exorcist'' and as such ''Empire'' has a real horror film ambiance, including scary monsters like the Wampa, the Asteroid worm, as well as scary places like Dagobah swamp, and the Cloud City Freezing chamber. The sequence where Vader and Luke fight is full of jump scares, and floating objects.
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion:
** The big changes in the special editions include seeing more of the Wampa in the cave after Luke cuts himself free, along with some digitally inserted windows behind the characters to show more of Bespin.
** It's worth noting that this is the least changed out of the original trilogy.
** Most notable changes include replacing the original Emperor with Ian [=McDiarmid=] with new lines, and altering Vader's line "Bring my shuttle" to "Alert my Star Destroyer to prepare for my arrival" and intercutting the ''Falcon''[='=]s escape with digital effects of a Lambda-class shuttle approaching the ''Executor'' and footage culled from ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' to show the hangar landing. The latter is especially strange and serves no apparent purpose beyond extending the run time.[[note]]The scene was apparently inserted because the "Bring my shuttle" line wasn't enough for some viewers to explain how Vader got up to the ''Executor'' in time to watch the ''Falcon'' escape.[[/note]]
** Perhaps the most controversial change was Creator/TemueraMorrison overdubbing all of Jeremy Bulloch's lines as Boba Fett. Supporters argue that it makes the film tie in better with the prequel trilogy, while detractors dislike it for [[FanonDiscontinuity exactly that reason]] in addition to it being disrespectful to Bulloch's performance, not to mention being unnecessary as Morrison played Boba Fett's ''father'', not the young Boba Fett, in the prequels.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar
-->'''Princess Leia:''' ''(after accidentally falling on Han's lap)'' Let go, please.\\
'''Han Solo:''' Don't get excited!\\
'''Princess Leia:''' Captain, being held by you isn't ''quite'' enough to get me excited.\\
'''Han Solo:''' Sorry, sweetheart. I haven't got ''time'' for anything else.
** As Chewbacca tweaks C-3PO's controls in an attempt to fix him:
--> '''C-3PO:''' I quite like that. Do go on.
* GiantFootOfStomping: The AT-AT walkers.
* GilliganCut: Upon approaching Dagobah, Luke assures R2 that it is perfectly safe for droids. As soon as they land, R2 falls into the swamp and is then swallowed by an [[StockNessMonster underwater monster]], who subsequently spits R2 out.
* GreaterScopeVillain: The Emperor is only seen in one scene, and disappears from the film afterwards, but him ordering Vader to locate Luke makes the rest of the movie happen.
* GrewASpine: Luke, when he left Yoda's training to save Han and Leia.
* HappyEndingOverride: As the opening text says, the Rebel Alliance may have destroyed the Death Star in the first film, but the Empire drove them off of Yavin and are trying harder than ever to find and snuff out the rebellion, forcing the Rebels to hide in a desolate, barely habitable planet like Hoth.
* HeroicBSOD: After Luke escapes from Vader and is rescued by Lando and the others in the ''Falcon'', Luke has a major one. In the ''Falcon''[='=]s cockpit as the heroes try to escape from Bespin, he's clearly filled with despair, whispering, "Ben, why didn't you tell me?" It doesn't help that he's just been through the trauma of losing his hand, and that Vader was using the Force to more or less "torture" Luke with the previous reveal of Vader being Luke's father.
* HeroicSacrifice: Captain Needa willingly taking the full brunt of Vader's wrath to protect his crew.
* HiddenInPlainSight: The ''Millennium Falcon'' hides on the back of a Star Destroyer.
* HollywoodTactics: [[http://www.wired.com/2013/02/battle-of-hoth/ This article argues]] that the Empire is guilty of this during the Battle of Hoth.
* HonorBeforeReason: Attempted when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda reluctantly agree to let Luke go to rescue his friends, against their better judgment:
-->'''Yoda''': Stopped they must be; on this all depends. Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor. If you end your training now - if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did - you will become an agent of evil.
-->'''Obi-Wan Kenobi''': Patience.
-->'''Luke''': And sacrifice Han and Leia?
-->'''Yoda''': If you honor what they fight for... [[BluntYes yes!]]
* HopeSpot: When Lando tells Leia that there's still a chance to save Han, they go running after Boba Fett but they're too late and arrive just in time to watch ''Slave I'' take off.
* HumongousMecha: AT-[=ATs=].
* HypocriticalHumor: When Lando fakes anger at Han during their reunion, one of the things he jokingly calls him is "double-crossing". Lando later double-crosses Han, which in turn backfires against Lando when Vader reneges his earlier agreement and Leia, Chewie and the droids are not to leave Cloud City under the threat of making it a permanent Imperial outpost.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo:
-->'''Leia:''' You think that after what you did to Han we're gonna trust you?!\\
''(Chewie strangles Lando)''\\
'''Lando:''' I had no choice!\\
'''C-3PO:''' What are you doing? Trust him! Trust him!\\
'''Leia:''' Oh, we understand, don't we Chewie? [[SarcasmMode He had no choice.]]\\
'''Lando:''' I was just trying to help!
* ImmuneToBullets:
** The [=AT-ATs=]. Luke even says, ''"That armor's too strong for blasters."''
** Darth Vader. When Han Solo shoots him, he stops the blaster bolts with his ''hand''.
* ImpliedDeathThreat: Darth Vader to Lando, when the latter finally has enough and protests Vader's complete abuse of their original agreement. Vader's response has Lando's hand automatically finding his throat worriedly.
-->'''Vader:''' Perhaps you feel you are being treated unfairly?
* InASingleBound: As Luke's Jedi training progresses, he learns to use new powers like the Force jump, which comes in handy during his fight with Vader.
* IncestSubtext: A pair of DeletedScenes for Luke and Leia, who were TrueCompanions but not yet aware of their mutual descent. One UST-laden scene has a near-kiss between Luke and Leia after Luke tries to confess something to her before being interrupted by C-3P0 and a second she gives him a short peck on the lips as she tends to him after he lost his hand.
* IncompletelyTrained: Luke runs off to save his friends before Yoda has finished training him (which Yoda notes in the next film).
* InsultBackfire: Leia calling Han a "scoundrel."
-->'''Han''': "Scoundrel"? I like the sound of that.
* InterruptedIntimacy: C-3PO interrupts Han and Leia when they kiss.
* IronicEcho:
** "It's not my fault!" is said by both Han and Lando when the hyperdrive fails to work[[note]]Lando, unlike Han, is justified in his protestation - Han didn't do a good job, but Lando's tech's repairs have been deliberately sabotaged by the Empire.[[/note]]
** Also, the dialogue between the Emperor and Darth Vader, with Darth Vader and Luke[[note]]This appears in the 2004 DVD edition and later Blu-ray.[[/note]].
-->'''The Emperor''': "I have no doubt, this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker."\\
'''Darth Vader''': [''beat''] "How is that possible?"\\
'''The Emperor''': "Search your feelings, Lord Vader. You'll know it to be true."

-->'''Darth Vader''': "''I'' am your father!"\\
'''Luke''': [''beat''] "No, that's not true! That's impossible!"\\
'''Darth Vader''': "Search your feelings. You ''know'' it to be true!"
* IsThatWhatHeToldYou: Darth Vader telling Luke he's his father, contradicting what Obi-Wan had told Luke in the original film.
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne:
-->'''Leia:''' Why you...stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking...'''[[HoldYourHippogriffs nerf-herder!!]]'''
-->'''Han:''' ''Who's'' scruffy-lookin'?"
* IWantThemAlive: "'''No''' disintegrations!"
-->'''Boba Fett:''' As you wish.
* IWarnedYou: C-3PO tries to tell them the hyperdrive is broken.
-->'''C-3PO:''' Sir, uh, sir, might I suggest--\\
'''Han:''' Shut him up or shut him down!\\\
'''Han:''' Prepare to make the jump to lightspeed.\\
'''C-3PO:''' But sir!\\\
''[after failing to go into lightspeed]''\\
'''Han:''' I think we're in trouble.\\
'''C-3PO:''' If I may say so, sir, I noticed earlier the hyperdrive motivator has been damaged. It's impossible to go to lightspeed.\\
'''Han:''' We're in trouble!
* JumpScare: Overpowered by Darth Vader, Luke flees and seeks shelter in the lower infrastructure of Bespin, eerily silent save for the incessant hum of the generators... shattered by the snarling sudden breath of the Dark Warrior as his blood-red light-saber viciously hisses into life like a snake and crashes into Luke's own blade.
* KooshBomb: Used for a frame or two at a time.
* LateArrivalSpoiler:
** Darth Vader is Luke's father. The prequels have effectively made it a non-spoiler now.
** The fact that the little green Muppet Luke encounters is Yoda. (Luke doesn't know this until partway through the scene.)
* LeeroyJenkins:
** Luke qualifies when he ignores the advice of both Yoda and Obi-Wan to fly to Cloud City.
** Admiral Ozzel as well, by jumping into the system right in the Rebels' faces, giving them time to activate their shield. Vader, naturally, [[YouHaveFailedMe permanently removes Ozzel from command]] after that one.
* ALessonInDefeat:
** Yoda sends Luke into the cave to experience the dark side of the Force. When he thinks he kills Vader, the mask explodes and reveals Luke's own face, showing that he could give into the dark side himself.
** An alternative interpretation of the scene, supported by [[Radio/StarWarsRadioDramas the radio adaptation]] of ''Empire'', is that Yoda is showing Luke what is holding him back, namely himself and his own attitudes. Yoda tells him explicitly that he won't need weapons, and that the only thing in the cave is what he takes with him.
-->'''Luke''': "My enemy's face... is my own."
* LicensedPinballTable: Released exclusively in Australia, oddly enough. [[Pinball/TheEmpireStrikesBack Click here.]]
* LimbSensationFascination: Luke gets a new hand at the end. After being pricked with a needle to check pain sensation, he flexes his fingers a bit and clenches a fist while examining his bionic hand.
* LittleNo:
** Luke says this before it turns into a BigNo after Vader reveals that he is Luke's father.
** Chewie's reaction when they close the shield doors, locking Han outside, is somewhere between this and BigNo, in Wookie-speak.
* LoveTheme: "Han Solo and the Princess", prominently heard during Han and Leia's scene aboard the ''Falcon''.
* LoveTriangle: Luke has a smug grin after Leia kisses him in a deliberate rejection of Han's advances. Turns out Han doesn't have to worry, even before a certain revelation in the next movie.
* LukeIAmYourFather: The TropeNamer, though said trope name is a slight [[BeamMeUpScotty misquote]] (as detailed in the "Trivia" tab).
* LuredIntoATrap: Twice. The ''Millennium Falcon'' crew falls into one arranged by Boba Fett and Vader at Cloud City, and they are tortured in order to lure Luke via the Force. The second trap even features an early appearance of [[MemeticMutation "It's a trap!"]] when Leia tries to warn Luke while being used as a [[HumanShield human shield]] during a gunfight.
-->"Luke! Luke, don't, it's a trap! IT'S A TRAP!"
* TheManBehindTheMan: While the word 'Empire' does imply an Emperor, this movie was the one that established that Palpatine was a BiggerBad, not just a powerless figurehead.
* MeaningfulEcho: Lando's IronicEcho (mentioned above) of Han's line also serves to show Leia, Chewie and the audience that there is more to Lando than the betrayal he was forced to make, that Han was right about him and Lando being so much alike, and that he is now in this together with the rest of the gang.
* MillionToOneChance: "Artoo says that the chances of survival are 725 to 1."
** "Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately three thousand, seven hundred twenty to one!" "NeverTellMeTheOdds"
** "Sir, the odds of surviving a direct assault on an Imperial Star Destroyer-" "Shut up!"
* MissedHimByThatMuch: Played with, twice.
** Early in the film, after the Imperials have won and are overrunning Echo Base, Darth Vader strides inside with his troops, seeking out his quarry (Luke, though he would likely have been pleased to obtain Leia too, either due to her importance to the Rebellion or to lure Luke as he does in the last third of the film). He arrives in the hangar...just in time to see the ''Falcon'' taking off. Except Luke isn't actually onboard (and with the Force, Vader likely realizes this), but he still demands the ship, surely already considering setting the aforementioned trap.
** Then, near the end of the film, when Luke arrives on Cloud City, he just manages to see Leia and the others being escorted away as Imperial prisoners, and they see him; Leia warns him of the trap, but he isn't able to get to them in time (or realize exactly what she's warning him of--although thanks to Yoda and Obi-Wan, he already is aware of the possibility anyway). Meanwhile Lando also gets a glimpse of him, but still doesn't quite know who he is or why he's so important; he has to wait until the next film to learn this via working with Luke to rescue Han.
* MohsScaleOfViolenceHardness: It rates a 4, due primarily to the vision of Darth Vader being decapitated, Han Solo being tortured, and Luke Skywalker getting his hand chopped off.
* MomentKiller: Just as Han and Leia were into their first kiss, C-3PO bursts in, chattering about the reverse power flux couplings.
** Well, he ''has'' found the [[OppositesAttract reverse]] [[SlapSlapKiss power flux]] [[BigDamnKiss coupling]].
* MovingTheGoalposts: Lando tried to make a [[DealWithTheDevil deal with Darth Vader]], agreeing to help capture his old friend Han Solo and his companions in exchange for the Empire not occupying his city. Vader kept altering the deal, because Lando realizes too late that he's completely powerless.
* TheMusketeer: It's not as obvious as other examples of this trope but Luke [[SwordAndGun carries his blaster and lightsaber into battle together]] (mostly evident in the climax where goes from being shot at by Stormtroopers to dueling with Vader). It's the only movie in which he does this as well as the only time in the entire film franchise we see a Jedi or Sith doing it. It should be noted, though, that Luke never actually ''fires'' his blaster over the entire course of the film. He draws it when the stormtroopers start shooting at him, but he can never quite get a clear shot to return fire. By [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi the next movie]], he only ever uses a lightsaber.
* MustMakeAmends: After the deal falls apart, Lando tries his best to save the Rebels.
* NavalBlockade: When the Imperial fleet arrives over Hoth, they form a blockade to prevent Rebel ships from escaping, but they didn't seem to count on them having an ion cannon capable of disabling a Star Destroyer.
* NeverLiveItDown: An in-universe example. Just over three years, and Boba Fett still can't live down that one time he disintegrated [[spoiler:three rebel spies armed with ion disruptors on Coruscant]].
* NeverTellMeTheOdds: TropeNamer. Han tells C-3PO this when 3PO gives him the odds of surviving within an asteroid field. Later, Leia tells 3PO [[BigShutUp to shut up]] when tries to give the odds of surviving a direct attack on a Star Destroyer.
** Earlier on Hoth, Han goes out into the cold to save Luke, despite the guards warning him about the likelihood of freezing to death. After Han leaves, R2-D2 gives the low odds of surviving overnight in the cold. But after the blast doors are closed, 3PO applies this trope to himself by noting that R2 has been known to make mistakes Ö from time to time.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Yoda Force-lifts Luke's ship out of the swamp. This then allows Luke to leave Dagobah before his training is complete.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Admiral Ozzel's blunder in bringing in the Imperial Fleet so close to Hoth where the Rebels were located, in his hopes of a rapid strike that would catch them off guard. Instead, the Rebels immediately got the deflector shield up and running, forcing the Empire to come down by force and lose many troops in the process. Vader quickly pays him back for this foolish move.
* NoHarmRequirement: The film has Darth Vader convene a cadre of bounty hunters to capture the Heroes. "There will be a substantial reward for the one who finds the Millennium Falcon. You are free to use any methods necessary, but I want them alive. No disintegrations."
* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine: With Vader in Cloud City. Subverted somewhat, given that they aren't actually shown having a meal.
-->'''Vader''': We would be honoured if you would join us.
* NoodleIncident:
** "That was a long time ago. I'm sure [Lando]'s forgotten all about that." It's helped by the fact that Han is the only one who can understand what Chewbacca is saying.
-->'''Lando''': Why you slimy, double-crossing, no-good swindler. You got a lot of guts coming here after what you pulled.
** Hanís off-screen run-in with a bounty hunter on Ord Mantell convinces him to leave the rebels.
** Also see IWantThemAlive above. The fact that Vader specifically waves his finger in Boba Fett's face when he says, "No disintegrations," implies that Fett must have once [[BlackComedy shown up with a bag of ash and insisted it was the guy he'd been sent for.]]
* NoOSHACompliance: Definitely shown during the lightsaber duel on Bespin. Why anyone would work there is anyone's guess. Railings seem to be very expensive to install or maintain.
* NotNowKiddo: When on their way to save Han from the Bounty Hunter, R2-D2 links up with the city's central computer and learns about the purposefully deactivated hyperdrive on the ''Falcon''. But when trying to alert his friends, C-3PO cuts in and changes the subject.
-->"No, we're not interested in the hyperdrive on the ''Millennium Falcon''. It's fixed!"
* NothingIsScarier:
-->'''Luke:''' There's something not right, here... I feel cold. Death.\\
'''Yoda:''' ''(points to a cave beneath a large tree)'' That place... is strong with the dark side of the Force. A domain of evil it is. In you must go.\\
'''Luke:''' What's in there?\\
'''Yoda:''' [[{{Foreshadowing}} Only what you take with you.]]
* ObfuscatingStupidity: How Yoda first acts around Luke, [[SecretTestOfCharacter to ascertain Luke's mental preparedness for Jedi training]].
* ObscuredSpecialEffects: Only brief, partial glimpses of the Wampa are shown, as it let the guy portraying it just wear portions of a suit at a time. But for the Special Edition, Lucas decided to include shots showing the whole creature. Same thing with the aquatic creature that swallows and spits out R2-D2 on Dagobah.
* AnOfferYouCantRefuse:
** Lando Calrissian had to turn Han and his friends in to the Empire, due to the alternative being to have Cloud City be attacked by the Empire and either occupied or worse, destroyed by them.
-->'''Lando''': I had no choice. They arrived right before you did. I'm sorry.
-->'''Han''': I'm sorry, too.
** Also, Vader's [[NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine "invitation" to dinner]].
* OffTheShelfFX: Due to the scale necessary for the Star Destroyer's bridge model, ILM used an off-the-shelf ''Millennium Falcon'' model kit for the shot where the ''Falcon'' is hiding on the back of the bridge.
** Both a potato and a shoe were used during the asteroid field scene. The shoe has a rumored story too - The rumor in question being that George Lucas asked the FX crew to redo the scene so many times that they got annoyed and one of them threw in their shoe. The potato can be seen in beginning of the scene in the top left corner.
** During the scene where Cloud City is evacuating and Lando and co. are running past them, you can briefly see a man running by carrying what is clearly an undisguised ice cream maker.
* OffWithHisHead: Luke defeats the vision of Darth Vader by severing his head. When the head rolls to the ground, the helmet blasts open, revealing [[HeWhoFightsMonsters Luke's own face.]]
* OhCrap:
** The look on Piett's face when the ''Falcon'' finally gets the hyperdrive fixed just before the Star Destroyer can lock on the tractor beam. He [[YouHaveFailedMe knows the price of failure]]: Vader Force-chokes you. Luckily for Piett, Vader is more disappointed than angry.
** Cpt. Needa when they lose the ''Millennium Falcon'' (hiding on the Destroyer's surface itself), and realizing he has to own up to Vader that he let them get away.
-->'''Needa''': Get a shuttle ready. [[BenevolentBoss I shall assume full responsibility for losing them]], and apologize to Lord Vader.
-->''*GilliganCut (much later) to Cpt. Needa dropping dead; his lifeless body is carried out of the room*''
-->'''Vader''': Apology accepted, Captain Needa.
** C-3PO, before he got blasted.
-->Oh my. [[MotorMouth I am terribly sorry I didn't mean to intrude no-no-no please don't get up--]] ''[*BLAST*]'' [[BigNo NO!]]\\
("Stormtroopers? Here? We're in danger! I must tell the others! OH NO, I'VE BEEN SHOT!!")
** The look on Hobbie's face when Leia reveals the escape plan from Hoth.
-->"Two fighters against a Star Destroyer?!"
** Every time the hyperdrive on the ''Millennium Falcon'' doesn't work.
** Lando, when he finally realized The Empire was not going to leave his city (or him) alone, even after he cooperated.
** Han and Leia when they learn they're being used to bait Luke.
-->'''Leia:''' Vader wants us all dead!\\
'''Lando:''' He doesn't want you at all, he's after somebody called Skywalker.\\
'''Han:''' Luke?!
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness:
** The fact that Vader ''doesn't'' kill any of his subordinates after the ''Falcon'' escapes again is a ''huge'' surprise to his crew, whose faces shift from terrified to confused as he just walks away sadly.
** The prim, proper and skittish C-3PO turns snappy and downright abusive towards Chewbacca in the second half of the movie.
* OutOfTheFryingPan: A rather protracted example: Han Solo flies into the asteroid field to escape the Imperial fleet. He does escape, but realizes the interior of the asteroid field is just as dangerous, so he lands in a cave on a larger asteroid. The cave turns out to be a space worm's mouth. Fleeing from ''that'', Han winds up right back where he started, with the Imperial fleet pursuing him again.
* PercussiveMaintenance: Han pounding on the ''Falcon'' fixes a short in the systems.
* PlummetPerspective: It's a long way down from Cloud City. If you know anything about gas giants, it's even worse, as there's really ''no bottom''; you'd just keep falling until the atmospheric pressure crushes you.
* PsychologicalTormentZone: The cave on Dagobah forces Luke to face Darth Vader and then see his own face within Vader's mask, forcing Luke to question himself.
* PragmaticVillainy:
** Vader has one moment when he keeps Boba Fett from simply shooting Chewie when the Wookiee is flailing about trying to prevent Han's doom. He may have been worried about damaging the freezing equipment, or just felt that cleaning Wookiee bits off the walls wouldn't be as satisfying as watching his heart break.
** Before that, Boba expresses concern that Han might not survive being frozen in carbonite--not because he's worried about Han's wellbeing, but because he needs the smuggler alive to collect the bounty on him. Vader placates Boba by assuring him that he would be compensated if Han died.
* PrecisionCrash: Luke goes to Dagobah to search for Yoda, and crash-lands into some random swamp - a short walk from Yoda's home.
** It's possible that the Force led him to that exact spot, though this is not mentioned in the film. In Creator/TimothyZahn's ''[[Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy Heir to the Empire]]'', Luke himself ponders this possibility.
* PrecisionFStrike: During a conversation between Han and a Rebel technician.
-->'''Rebel technician''' (to Han): Your tauntaun will freeze before you reach the first marker.
-->'''Han''': Then [[SeeYouInHell I'll see you in hell!]]
* RayOfHopeEnding: Han has been captured, Luke has lost his hand and had a pretty nasty revelation, the Rebels are on the run, but the heroes escape and are making it clear that they're not giving up, they are going to save Han and they are going to prevail. It might take a while but they will win.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Yoda gives Luke one for having always [[DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife looked ahead to the future with little to no regard for his present surroundings]].
* RescueHug: While the ''Millenium Falcon'' is inside the asteroid, there's a sudden tremor. Princess Leia falls backward and Han Solo catches her. He doesn't let go immediately, and continues to hold her even after she gets uncomfortable and asks him to let go. They then have a bit of banter that's intended to foreshadow their growing attraction to each other.
* ResistanceIsFutile: Vader says a variant of this as he corners Luke near the end of their duel.
-->"You are ''beaten''! It is ''useless'' to resist! Don't let yourself be destroyed as Obi-Wan did!"
* {{Retcon}}: The entire "I Am Your Father" reveal was actually this, although only the eagle-eyed at the time of release would have noticed it. In ''A New Hope'', as shot and first released, Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker are meant to be entirely separate characters. The franchise still being fairly young at the time gave Lucas & co. the latitude to pull this off, although it still makes a few parts of ''ANH'' odd as a result (as detailed on its page).
* TheReveal: One of the most famous in film history: "[[LukeIAmYourFather Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father Ö]]"
* RightBehindMe:
-->'''Luke:''' ''(talking to R2)'' There's something familiar about this place. I don't know. I feel like--\\
'''Yoda:''' Feel like what?\\
'''Luke:''' ''(points his blaster)'' Like we're being watched.
* RightInFrontOfMe: Luke's patience is tested to the breaking point by a little troll who turns out to be Jedi Grand Master Yoda. Luke is nothing but respectful towards Master Yoda while talking about him (although the latter is a bit upset about the "great warrior" description), but his lack of patience with the apparent simpleton does nothing to impress.
* RuleOfThree:
** C-3PO describing the ridiculous odds against whatever Han Solo's trying to do.
** The ''Millennium Falcon'' failing to jump into hyperspace when needed.
** Vader killing two subordinates for failing and [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness sparing the third]].
* RunningGag: Again, the hyperdrive on the ''Falcon'' failing. By the third time, Leia and Chewie just kinda look at each other, neither one of them surprised at ''all.'' Eventually, Chewie goes into a rage, and Leia just does a FacePalm.
* RunningTheBlockade: Following the Battle of Hoth, Han Solo and Princess Leia have to get through an Imperial blockade aboard the ''Millennium Falcon'', which is complicated by the fact that their hyperdrive is out of order.
* SadisticChoice: See DealWithTheDevil and AnOfferYouCantRefuse.
* ScreamDiscretionShot: The infamous torture scene. All we see are the the sparks and Han convulsing, but the worst of it is heard while Lando and Boba Fett are looking at each other, Lando being the most disgusted.
* ScreenShake: After Han outmaneuvers the ''Avenger'' while escaping Hoth, Captain Needa and the bridge crew throw themselves against the wall as they collide with another Star Destroyer. However, one crewman walking off-screen seems completely unaffected by it.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: When he realises the Empire has no intention of leaving Bespin untouched, Lando flees. He also broadcasts a warning to Cloud City of the Empire's intention to occupy the city, and most of its population opt to do likewise.
-->''"Attention, this is Lando Calrissian. Attention. The Empire has taken control of the city; I advise '''everyone''' to leave before more Imperial troops arrive".''
* SecondChapterCliffhanger: Perhaps the [[TropeMakers Trope Maker]] for ending the second installment of a TwoPartTrilogy on a CliffHanger.
* SecretTestOfCharacter: After being told by Obi-Wan Kenobi to go to Dagobah to find Yoda, a great Jedi Master, Luke heads there after helping the Rebellion evacuate from Hoth. However, the only sentient life he finds is a really small creature who has a habit of searching through his things, and speaking in riddles. Luke gets flustered when the creature seems to continue wasting his time in search of Yoda, who then reveals himself to be the Jedi Master he was searching for in the first place.
* SelfDestructMechanism: The Imperial probe droid that discovers the Rebel base in the Hoth system has one, presumably to prevent anyone from capturing and identifying/analyzing it.
* SequelEscalation: The movie has more locales, more action, and features the first Luke/Vader lightsaber duel. While the Force in the first movie was vaguely defined telepathic and telekinetic powers, ''Empire'' shows the Force can also give you superhuman physical abilities and low-grade clairvoyance.[[note]]Although the clairvoyance part was hinted at in the previous movie.[[/note]]
* SequelHook: Luke is left with the bombshell that [[LukeIAmYourFather Darth Vader is his father]], Lando and Chewbacca set off to rescue Han, the identity of the other who could defeat Vader in Luke's stead hasn't been revealed, and Leia is showing signs of Force-Sensitivity.
* ShameIfSomethingHappened: When Lando angrily complains that Vader is altering the terms of their arrangement, Vader retorts with the implication the Empire will occupy Bespin if Lando doesn't back down.
-->'''Lando''': That was never a condition of our agreement, nor was giving Han to this bounty hunter!
-->'''Vader''': Perhaps you think you're being treated unfairly?
-->'''Lando''': [[OhCrap No]].
-->'''Vader''': Good. It would be unfortunate if I had to leave a garrison here.
* ShippedInShackles: Han Solo is frozen in carbonite for his trip to Jabba the Hutt. Vader plans to use the same procedure on Luke so he can be taken to the Emperor without escaping or fighting back.
* ShooOutTheClowns: R2 is left behind with Yoda when Luke travels alone into the Dark Side Cave on Dagobah, and is also separated from Luke on Cloud City before he confronts Vader.
** Han being frozen and sent away to Jabba the Hut.
* ShootTheMessenger: Captain Needa was willing to be executed by Darth Vader for losing sight of the ''Millennium Falcon'', rather than have anyone else take the blame.
* ShoutOut:
** Cloud City's design is ripped directly from one of the old Flash Gordon serials.
** To ''Literature/TheAeneid''. Chewbacca carrying C-3PO on his back during their escape from cloud city is a clear reference to Aeneas carrying his father out of Troy.
** The Walkers' attack on Hoth is handled like the Romans' battles with Carthaginian war elephants during the First Punic War.
** The Official Encyclopedia states that the shot of Chewbacca holding C-3PO's head is a ShoutOut to the AlasPoorYorick moment of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}''. Intentional on director Irvin Kershner's part.
** Han & Leia's pose in the movie's first release poster (as seen in this page's image) is a reference to Rhett & Scarlett's pose from the ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'' re-release poster.
* ShowdownAtHighNoon: The duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader
* ShutUpKirk: When Luke accuses Vader of killing his father, Vader replies with a WhamLine.
* ShutUpKiss: Han gives one to Leia:
--> '''Han:''' [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys You like me because I'm a scoundrel]].
--> '''Leia:''' I happen to like nice men.
--> '''Han:''' I'm nice men.
--> '''Leia:''' No you're not, you're--
* SingleBiomePlanet: Hoth (ice/snow) and Dagobah (swamp). [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] for Bespin, which, as a gas giant, can really only have one terrain type (you know, gas).
* SlapSlapKiss: Han and Leia.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Despite the saga's idealistic tone, ''Empire'' is definitely one of the darkest Star Wars movies.
* SmugSnake: Admiral Ozzel is only in two scenes, but is clearly established as this. He blows off Captain Piett's correct assessment that the Rebels might be on Hoth, ''backtalking Vader'' in the process, and ignores his direct orders to launch a stealth attack. [[YouHaveFailedMe It goes over about as well as you'd expect with Vader in command.]]
* SoProudOfYou: A villainous example with Vader towards Luke. Several times during their duel, Luke has surprised Vader with his resourcefulness, ability, and power in the force. Since Vader was once a Jedi when the Order still had a large presence and is a trained force user with years of combat experience, Vader is most likely beaming with pride on the inside that his son could become so powerful in only a few months (over a year at best) when it would take other normal Jedi years to gain the same results.
-->'''Vader:''' The force is with you young Skywalker.\\
'''Vader:''' Impressive. Most impressive.\\
'''Vader:''' [[VillainRespect Obi-Wan has taught you well.]]\\
'''Vader:''' [[WeCanRuleTogether You do not yet realize your importance.]]
* SoulBrotha: Lando Calrissian, who gives Solo a run for his money in the charm and cool department (and puts the moves on Leia, who's uninterested).
* SpaceSuitsAreScubaGear: In this case, they're face masks attached to an oxygen tank.
* SpoilerCover: Back in 1980, it was a ''major'' spoiler for the film's poster to show Han and Leia in a romantic pose. Up until the film's release, every aspect of the franchise -- the first film, the first official sequel novel, the comics, etc. -- had promoted Luke and Leia as the franchise's designated romantic pairing. Literally no one expected Han and Leia to become an OfficialCouple, so the poster stole a major surprise away. (It would not be until ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' three years later that Lucas would reveal exactly ''why'' he [[ShipSinking sank the Luke and Leia ship]].)
* TheStarscream: In the climactic confrontation, Vader tempts Luke with the offer to join him and overthrow the Emperor together.
--> '''Vader''': Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny! Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son!
* StealthInSpace: Han's successful attempts at hiding from Star Destroyers (but not from cunning bounty hunters).
* StealthPun: [=C-3PO=] [[LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone isolated]] [[OppositesAttract the reverse]] [[SlapSlapKiss power flux]] [[BigDamnKiss coupling]] in the ''Millenium Falcon'' before [[MomentKiller he interrupted Han and Leia's moment]].
* SternChase: The cat-and-mouse between the ''Falcon'' and the Imperial fleet.
* StockNessMonster: The Dagobah sea creature that swallows R2.
* TheStoolPigeon: Lando Calrissian was forced by the Empire to sell out Han Solo and his friends to the Empire because they threatened total occupation/total annihilation of Cloud City if he didn't. In other words, he's closer to the Lacerated Larry type.
* StrangeSyntaxSpeaker: A prime example, Yoda is.
* SwampsAreEvil: Played with: Yoda lives in a swamp, but there's also a cave that is strong in the dark side.
* TakingTheBullet: Captain Needa [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifices himself]] to a Force Choke [[TheMenFirst to save his crew from Vader's wrath]].
* TellMeAboutMyFather: A variation. Luke mentions his father, and Yoda, still hiding his true identity, starts to talk about Anakin. Luke misses the hint, and just gets annoyed.
-->'''Luke:''' How could you know about my father? You don't even know who I am.
* ThatsNoMoon: The space worm masquerading as a harmless cave.
* ThereIsNoTry: Yoda's line to Luke Skywalker is the TropeNamer. His Force training of Luke actually subverts the very trope it names, as Luke fails to rise to the occasion of using the Force to move his sunken X-wing out of a lake. He gives up until Yoda demonstrates how badass he is by raising the X-wing out of the water.
-->'''Luke''': ...I don't believe it!
-->'''Yoda''': That is why you fail.
* ThisIsSomethingHesGotToDoHimself
-->'''Obi-Wan:''' If you choose to face Vader, you will do it alone. I cannot interfere.\\
'''Luke:''' ''(solemnly)'' I understand.
** Unlike many examples of this trope, Obi-Wan actually literally can't interfere, rather than deciding to hold back for the sake of letting the hero learn a lesson or win on his own - as a ghost, he can't do anything to affect a lightsaber battle.
* TooSmartForStrangers:
--> '''C-3PO (conversing with R2-D2):''' Why didn't we just go into lightspeed? We can't? How would ''you'' know the hyperdrive has been deactivated?! The city's central computer told you? R2-D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer!
* TrainingFromHell: Luke's training with Yoda is noticeably more difficult than his training under Obi-Wan, due to the time constraints and pressure enforced by the looming threat of Darth Vader. Heck, Yoda even lampshades it, when Luke says he's not afraid.
-->"You will be. You ''will'' be."
* TryAndFollow: Han rushing into the asteroid field at full speed.
* TurnsRed: Vader against Luke in the finale of their duel on Bespin, hacking and swinging much more aggressively than the beginning of the duel. His aggressiveness actually leaves himself open enough for Luke to score a hit on him, which he promptly pays for. Not that Vader was in any danger of being defeated, but he simply decided to finish Luke by overwhelming him with sheer force.
* UnbuiltTrope: While it is famous for being the darkest Star Wars film, it's important to note that Empire Strikes Back is the only Star Wars film without any major character deaths in both the OT, the PT, and the ST. What makes it dark is the introduction of horror film concepts, and the more psychological focus on the characters and situations. Fundamentally the film is still optimistic (Vader fails in capturing Luke and turning him to the dark side) and by the finale, even the film's main villain, Vader, thanks to the plot twist, becomes an empathetic figure.
* UnholyGround: The cave. "That place is strong with the Dark Side of the Force."
* UnPaused: C-3PO is damaged by Imperial stormtrooper fire. When he's repaired and reactivated, he replays what he was saying and thinking when he was attacked.
* VillainBall: Vader picks it up big-time on Bespin. Both Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett complain about Darth Vader's plan to freeze Han in carbonite, Lando because Han is his friend, Fett because he wants to collect Jabba's bounty on Han. Vader reassures Fett that the Empire will compensate Fett if Han dies, but coldly tells Lando that he is altering the deal. Now, consider the fact that Boba Fett is just one guy; Vader could kill him and have his body tossed off the side of Cloud City, and no one would care. For that matter, Vader could have tested the carbon-freezing process on Fett, and no one would have minded. Lando, by contrast, was the administrator of Cloud City and had a loyal security force at his command that he subsequently used to rescue Leia, Chewie, and Threepio, which of course led to the ruination of Vader's plans. If Vader had been thinking rationally, he would have realized very quickly that Lando was the one he needed to assuage, but Boba Fett he could ignore or even dispose of. So why did Vader do the opposite? Well, Fett was evil and Lando wasn't, so of course Vader would favor Fett, even though it was against his interest.
* WeCanRuleTogether: Vader offers this to Luke, up to the point he begs Luke to do so, arguing that a father and his son should rule the galaxy together, not fight each other to the death over it.
* WellExcuseMePrincess: Han and Leia, in spades.
* WhamEpisode: Vader being Luke's father was a huge shock when the movie came out, and is for anyone who is watching the movies in release order for the first time. And all the rest of the stuff at the end. Also "ThereIsAnother", which resulted in a lot of debate at the time. Han was a favorite candidate.
* WhamLine:
** Vader's parental revelation, by now one of the most famous examples in cinema history.
** "ThereIsAnother." is another one, even if the full impact waited until the next movie.
** "Perhaps you feel you are being treated unfairly...?" It was at this point that Lando realized Vader planned to continue to renege. On everything.
** "I can not teach him." A line said so casually but it reveals that Yoda, the ''last'' Jedi Master in the galaxy, has been the silly little green guy that's been annoying Luke.
** A comparatively minor one, but at the time of the film's release, the audience knew little of the Emperor and how exactly he fit in to Vader's corruption. Thus, this was the first time it was apparent that the BigBad might pose a threat himself rather than simply being the [[NonActionBigBad non-action]] variety:
-->'''The Emperor:''' There is a great disturbance in the Force.
* WhatTheHellHero: Lando betraying his friend Han. Later he tries to save him and Leia from Vader by having Vader turn them over to him[[note]]or so Lando thinks[[/note]].
-->'''Lando:''' I've done all I can do. I'm sorry I couldn't do better, but I have my own problems.\\
'''Han:''' [[SarcasmMode Yeah, you're a real hero.]]
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: [[AvertedTrope Han tries]] ''[[TheDogShotFirst immediately.]]'' Vader simply [[BulletCatch blocks the shots with his hand]], then Force-pulls the blaster away from Han.
* YouAreInCommandNow: A TropeNamer from the same conversation that named the below. Vader promotes captain Piett to the rank of admiral just as Admiral Ozzel's body hits the ground. Vader says the words in the TropeNamer when he promotes Piett.
* YouHaveFailedMe:
** The TropeNamer. Without Tarkin "holding his leash" as in the previous film, Vader force-chokes several of his subordinates to death. Most notably, Admiral Ozzel near the beginning of the movie, which inspires the TropeNamer because Vader outright says the trope name, word for word, and adding, "for the last time, Admiral."
** Subverted with Piett. When the Millennium Falcon escapes the Imperials by jumping into lightspeed (despite his having ''just then'' assured Vader the hyperdrive had been deactivated by Imperial agents on Cloud City), the utter terror on his face is palpable. Vader merely steams in quiet fury for a moment, and slowly strides away leaving a dumbstruck bridge crew in his wake.
* YouKilledMyFather: Famous subversion. [[HalfTruth From A Certain Point of View.]]
* YouNeedToGetLaid: Han drops a slightly more family-friendly version of this trope on Princess Leia at the beginning, [[BelligerentSexualTension rather angrily telling her]] "You could use a good kiss!"

-->''Luminous beings, we are. Not this crude matter.''