Heartwarming / The Empire Strikes Back

You need more scoundrels in your life.
  • Han Solo and Princess Leia.
    Leia: I love you!
    Han: I know.
    • Also a funny moment. Han can't just say "I love you, too." (Even if the script said he should.)
    • Plus, just before he's put into the Carbon Freezing chamber, the last thing Han says to Chewie is to take care of Leia for him.
  • Luke's hug with Chewbacca, Chewie follows this by giving Luke a Bear Hug from behind.
    • Likewise, the farewell between Han and Luke. If you (like many) are marathoning the Original Trilogy, then not very long ago you saw Han selfishly packing up his reward before the Battle of Yavin and Luke seeing him off with ill-concealed scorn. Today, these Fire-Forged Friends say goodbye with real affection.
      • And they're sparse with words. Luke doesn't thank Han for saving his life (risking Han's own life in the process), Han doesn't mention it and doesn't give Luke any great last words. They just smile at each other and tell each other to be careful. They don't need to state how they feel, they both know it.
    • And of course C-3PO's farewell to R2-D2, telling him to take care of Master Luke, then queitly adding, "...and do take care of yourself."
  • Captain Needa volunteering to take the blame for their failure, so his men may live. Even an organization as sinister as The Galactic Empire was not without at least one stand-up guy.
  • Han facing the odds of a hideous death by freezing on Hoth in order to find Luke.
  • Leia warns Luke about the impending trap, even after being captured and tortured, while being used as a Human Shield in the middle of a gunfight.
  • A minor one, but Vader persuading The Emperor to try to get Luke to join them. Seems like a minor task for the Sith, but he was doing everything he can to make sure his son was safe. When Palpatine implied he might try to have him killed as a threat to The Empire, you could tell by a slight change in tone, that Vader had some concern over Luke, just by this line.
    Vader: He's just a boy; Obi-Wan can no longer help him.
    • Related is Vader's plea to Luke: Don't Make Me Destroy You. In his own distorted way, he wants to be a family again. A family that rules a galaxy with an iron fist and brutally crushes any threats to their despotic regime, but nonetheless a family. Similarly, his talk about "ending this destructive conflict" gives the impression that he feels some regret for the loss of life, on both sides, that the war has caused.
  • The Big Damn Kiss. Yes, Leia, you really do like him because he's a scoundrel.
    • Another interpretation is equally heartwarming — when Han said that line to Leia, she said that she "happen[s] to like nice men." Now Han is growing out of the charming but amoral guy he was at first, so this could be Leia acknowledging that he is a "nice man."
  • Vader allows Chewbacca to rebuild C-3PO. It's really Heartwarming in Hindsight considering that he built C-3PO in the first place. Clearly, Anakin Skywalker isn't as dead as Vader believed.
    • Later, when Boba Fett readies his blaster to take a shot at Chewbacca, Vader actually stops the bounty hunter from taking the shot.
    • Even more heartwarming when you see this, even though the comic is possibly no longer canon. Someone please add this scene into the next Re-release.
  • Small but sweet moment at the beginning of the Battle of Hoth when all of the Rebels still in the base cheer when the first transport gets away. It shows the sense of camaraderie on the side of the Rebellion is genuine and profound.
  • After The Reveal in The Empire Strikes Back Vader's actions take on a different light; he's not the Evil Overlord trying to destroy The Hero, but a father desperate to get his son back.
    • Especially after you factor in Revenge of the Sith, Vader's spent the last twenty years believing he killed Luke along with Padme.
    • "Only your hatred can destroy me". Well, no father wants his son hating him, is it?
  • Seeing Yoda laughing, goofing around, and offering to take Luke in and feed him, even if the foolish persona was only an act to test his patience. After you've seen how stoic and detached the Jedi could be in the prequels, it's nice to watch the biggest curmudgeon of them all show a little playfulness and simple generosity.
  • A retroactive one: Rogue 1's sacrifice was not forgotten, as a squadron of elite badasses led by no less than Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles themselves are continuing the fight in their name.