162: Tracking Device
c.1982? | age 13 or 14? It’s the last page of Part 9! I think I’d completely forgotten—between 1983 and 2009—about the tracking device, and the ploy of letting the heroes escape from the Death Star unharmed so they could be followed to their secret base! That possibly explains why the Stormtroopers’ were such poor shots when they were chasing Han, Chewie, Luke and Leia.
It’s a good thing that this wasn’t revealed during the prison break and their escape efforts, or it would have killed the tension somewhat. It was subtle. The stormtroopers may or may not have known Vader’s plan to let them escape. In a lot of these Superhero films nowadays there’s little sense of tension o suspense—because there’s little sense of peril. We know the heroes won’t be killed, because there will be sequels and spin-offs, so they just mow down legions of faceless drones. To be honest, this also kind of happened in the Prequels: Jedi effortlessly mowing down Battle Droids. As George said to his friend Stephen Spielberg in one of the documentaries, “The Jedi cut ’em down like they’re butter, and they really are pretty useless…”
. . .
Hey! You can actually see the battle outside the Death Star’s window! Why don’t they just use that big gun thing that they have?
Aah… I see. Vader and Tarkin are at cross purposes here. And Tarky probably disabled the weapon in case Vader impulsively used it on our fleeing heroes. You know how impulsive he is. Ok, if you’re familiar with George’s version of the story, you’re probably feeling confused now. I bet you recall that it was Vader who, according to Tarkin, took “an awfully big risk” by placing a tracking device on Solo’s ship—and then let them escape? Yep, that was George’s version. Here’s mine:
Tarkin: “Wrong Vader, I placed a homing device on the freighter. We’re tracking them now.”
Smart arse. However, Vader recognises the brilliance of this plan immediately. And to his credit, seems to feel no urge whatsoever to throttle Tarky. («I discussed this previously) Instead he turns wistfully to the window, waxing lyrically about murder, and conjuring the destruction of another planet in his minds eye and finishing the rebellion and the Jedi.
. . .
As a lot of Star Wars fans know, Peter Cushing had leather boots specially made for his role as Tarkin in Star Wars, but he didn’t actually wear them! He preferred to wear his own comfy slippers when he was on set. So none of the shots of him are full body ones. In Star Wars age 9 though, Tarky gets to strut his stuff in his sexy boots.
I wonder what became of those unworn boots?
By the way, what’s that Death Squad Commander doing way up on that 15 foot high desk thingy? Are they trying to stop him going for pee breaks? Another initiative in the Death Star efficiency drive perhaps. The Emperor will be pleased.
. . .
Part 10 is next: The Last Battle!
Nowadays known as The Battle of Yavin, it’s coming this Friday. So stay tuned!
. . .
Vader: I fear we have failed
Tarkin: Wrong Vader, I placed a homing device on the freighter. We’re tracking them now.
Vader: Today has seen the last of the Jedi-Knights –
It will also see the end of the rebellion.
. . .