The Empire Strikes Back: From A Certain Point Of View reveals the Empire almost discovered Luke Skywalker and Yoda on Dagobah.
Star Wars has revealed the Empire nearly discovered Luke Skywalker during his training on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back. The Rebel Alliance proved itself a force to be reckoned with in the first Star Wars film, but by the events of The Empire Strikes Back they were on the back foot. The Empire had forced the Rebels to hide on the frigid world of Hoth, and they had barely managed to complete their base there before they were tracked down.
Fortunately, Luke Skywalker received a prompt from the Force to travel to the swamp world of Dagobah. This planet is a vergence in the Force, and in fact many Force-sensitives are overwhelmed the minute they set foot on it. Master Yoda had used the power of the Force vergence to hide himself from the Empire, waiting for the day when he would train the next Skywalker. Ironically, Yoda was rather looking forward to teaching Leia, and was somewhat disappointed to find Luke was the one Obi-Wan’s spirit had guided to him. But it seems the training was almost interrupted by the Empire, because an Imperial Probe Droid had landed on Dagobah.
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This is revealed in the recently published anthology book The Empire Strikes Back: From A Certain Point Of View. The short story “Eyes of the Empire,” by Kiersten White, tells the story of the team responsible for analyzing footage from the Probe Droids. One, Maela, had spotted the signs of Echo Base on Hoth; some days later, she also noticed suspicious footage from Dagobah.
“A swamp planet, a riot of plants and bogs, mud and vines, nothing that indicated they should give it a second glance. Except – there, the outline of something in the night. Inorganic. Something that looked distinctly like a half-drowned X-wing.”
Fortunately, the Force was with Luke and Yoda. The analyst Maela had only joined the Empire in order to see the galaxy, and she was achieving her dream by looking through the eyes of the Probe Droids. Two of her droids had landed on Hoth, and after the battle she used the second to explore the ruins of Echo Base. Maela was shaken at what she saw, finally realizing the horrors she was contributing to. She chose to delete the footage from Dagobah, a tiny act of rebellion that changed the course of galactic history. Had she reported the X-wing on Dagobah, the might of the entire Imperial navy would have descended on the swamp world, and Master Yoda and the half-trained Luke Skywalker would have been discovered.
The Empire Strikes Back: From A Certain Point Of View is a fascinating book, a collection of short stories that add tremendous depth to the classic movie. While the Star Wars movies naturally focus on the greater acts of heroism, “Eyes of the Empire” reveals that behind every great moment there are a thousand small acts of bravery.
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