LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out is a television special based on the Star Wars theme that aired on Cartoon Network on September 26, 2012. The special follows Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader as they deal with too much and too little recognition respectively. It was written by Michael Price, who also worked on LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace. It was released on DVD March 26, 2013 with a new minifigure, Darth Vader with his "Employee of the Month" medal.
The movie begins just after the rebels destroy the Death Star. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo fly back to the rebel base on Yavin IV, where Princess Leia Organa is briefing the rebel troops. She says that, since the rebels destroyed the Death Star, the Empire is probably planning a counter-strike, so all the rebels should evacuate to their secret base on Hoth. As they do this, Luke, R2-D2, Han, and Leia will attack a Stormtrooper base on Naboo, with Han and Leia gathering Ankura Warriors and Luke and R2-D2 finding the base's location. As they all leave hurriedly, which causes Leia to lose her hair briefly, they leave behind C-3PO, who is devastated until he finds out that Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon have also remained behind.
Han and Leia left to greet Boss Nass and the Ankura Warriors that would be assisting them. Luke finds the Stormtrooper base, but as he tries to contact Han and Leia regarding its location, his location is given away by some young girl fans of his. He tries to flee from them, one of his attempts being to wear a Darth Vader costume, though this fails and he is forced to flee the planet.
Meanwhile, Darth Vader confronts his officers on a Star Destroyer, one of which assures him that he sent probe droids to track Skywalker, though the Skywalker that the droids were tracking was Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader. In anger, Vader tries to execute this officer, but Admiral Piett taunts the one in trouble, leading to a fight which Vader puts an end to. Later, Emperor Palpatine arrives and plans to rebuild the Death Star out of LEGO pieces with Darth Vader and Darth Maul, whom Vader is surprised and upset to hear has returned. Maul and Vader soon develop a sibling rivalry, and Vader jumps at the opportunity to leave and hunt down the Millennium Falcon, which had left Yavin IV after C-3PO misinterpreted a message Luke had sent him as a cry for rescue.
While flying, Luke's X-Wing Starfighter and Darth Vader's TIE Advanced almost collide, resulting in Vader crash-landing on Tatooine and Luke crashing into a Star Destroyer, where, still in his Darth Vader costume, is mistook by the Imperials on the ship for Darth Vader. On Tatooine, Vader is captured by Jawas, who attach droid pieces to him and attempt to sell him. Vader, however, uses the force to free himself, turn the Sandcrawler into a playground and construct a podracer to escape on.
On Naboo, Leia, Han, and the Ankura warriors go to Luke's last destination, finding the Stormtrooper base and planning a surprise attack, only for Chewbacca and C-3PO to crash land the Millennium Falcon on them, alerting the Stormtroopers and starting a battle, resulting in the heroes being forced to surrender. However, Luke arrives in his Darth Vader costume and orders the Stormtroopers' AT-AT Walkers to destroy the Stormtrooper base. He then attempts to leave with the "prisoners", but Darth Vader arrives, unmasks Luke and starts dueling with him, while the Ankura warriors, Han, and Leia, with the help of an X-Wing Starfighter, fend off the Imperials. Darth Vader is about to reveal that he is Luke's father, but C-3PO convinces Luke's young fans to annoy Vader instead by showing them a picture of Anakin Skywalker, forcing him to flee before he can tell Luke. Luke and his friends then leave the planet, taking out an Imperial Star Destroyer sent after them in the process.
Palpatine discovers that while Maul had been in charge of building the new Death Star, he had made it look like himself, which Darth Maul thought was "awesome", much to Palpatine's horror. Vader, attempting to escape his fans, flies into the "Darth Star", destroying it, and the debris hits the Star Destroyer's view-ports, creating a vacuum that sucks Darth Maul into space. Overjoyed at Darth Maul's disappearance and the destruction of Maul's Death Star, Palpatine hugs Vader and praises him. Soon, in the style of the awards ceremony at the end of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Palpatine awards Vader the "Employee of the Month" award, and when Darth Vader's fans catch a glimpse of Vader's face beneath his mask, they are no longer crazed over him and chase after Darth Maul instead. Overjoyed with the recent turn of events, Vader pats the back of one of the Stormtroopers standing attention at the event, inadvertently causing all of the Stormtroopers to fall over like dominoes. Palpatine cries, "Vader!" angrily, ending the movie.
- The special featured many references to the Star Wars saga:
- Like in LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace, the beginning has an opening crawl similar to the six Star Wars movies. However, the narrator from The Clone Wars is reading the opening crawl.
- Han and Luke both call Leia "sister" at one point, but when Luke says it, he senses that there is some irony in his words, referencing the discovery made in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi that Luke and Leia are siblings.
- Before attempting to execute one of his Imperial Officers, Vader says, "You have failed me for the last time," a line that he also says in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. It is possible this Imperial Officer, is Admiral Ozzel, who is yet to be realized in LEGO form, for he has the same features as Ozzel.
- In the scene where Bib Fortuna is selling devices resembling iPhones, he speaks in Twi'lek. While the captions say that his words translated into "Do you want a cell phone?", this is a joke, as he says the exact same words in Return of the Jedi when greeting C-3PO and R2-D2, a case in which he was obviously not mentioning cell phones.
- R2 ejects Luke's lightsaber into the air for him to catch and use, a tactic they also used in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
- Maul separates into two halves frequently, referencing his defeat in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
- When Han shoots a Stormtrooper attempting to arrest him, C-3PO criticizes him for shooting first, sparking a debate between them. This is a reference to a change made in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope to have Greedo shoot first as opposed to Han, as George Lucas did not want to send the wrong message to viewers. This change has upset many fans, some of them claiming that Han shooting Greedo first was morally justified as it was obvious that Greedo would have killed him if he had not acted. Han uses an argument similar to this in his fight with C-3PO.
- When Vader and Luke duel, Luke shouts "You killed my father", prompting Vader to attempt to reveal the fact that he is Luke's father, mirroring the famous scene from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. However, he is interrupted numerous times, and is thus not able to reveal this information.
- The scene where the Jawas capture Darth Vader closely mirrors the scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope where they capture R2. When the Jawas blast Darth Vader, he makes the sounds that R2-D2 made when the same thing happened to him in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, then falls forwards onto his face, groaning, just as R2 did.
- When Vader lands in Tatooine, he shouts "I've got sand... up my NOOOOOSE!!", a clear reference to his first scene, in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, when he shouts "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" after being told of Padme Amidala's (his love, and former wife) death.
- After being captured by Jawas, Vader wakes up to find himself hanging upside down on a cable attached to a Sandcrawler and use the Force to free himself like Luke did after waking up following an attack by the wampa.
- A scene featuring TIE Fighters shooting at the Millennium Falcon also closely mirrors a similar scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
- When Luke accidentally loses his hand after a Tie Fighter shot at his X-Wing cockpit, it resembles Darth Vader cutting off his hand in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
- Before the rebels destroy the Star Destroyer, Han says, "You're all clear, kid, now let's blow this thing and go home! Again," referencing his famous line near the end of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
- The "Employee of the Month" awards ceremony at the end of the special is similar to the medal ceremony at the end of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
- Luke's X-Wing Starfighter crashes into the Super Star Destroyer the same way Arvel Crynyd's A-Wing starfighter did.
- Also, after Luke's X-wing crashes, Admiral Piett says that he is honored by Luke (in a Darth vader costume)'s presence, like Moff Tiaan Jerjerod said in Return of the Jedi.
- When Darth Maul appears, he is singing the word "awesome" to the tune of Duel of the Fates (the song from the duel scene in The Phantom Menace).
- The rebel pilots use a device similar to an iPhone to view a short clip of their next destination, Hoth. Later in the special, Stormtroopers are distracted by a stand selling similar devices.
- The name is a play on Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
- At one point, Darth Vader appears late in a scene, prompting someone backstage to have to tell him that he is in the scene. This is a reference to a running gag in "LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace", where Vader would frequently do the opposite and appear in scenes he was not supposed to be in.
- In order to keep the young girls from following Luke, C-3PO shows them a picture of Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, which the girls immediately become infatuated with, causing them to chase after Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) instead.
- Like in "LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace", R2 does not have his middle leg.
- In the closed captioning, there were lines said in the phone scene they don't say, such as "look sir, droids!" and "dibs on the 4G!"
- Darth Maul's return reflects his return in the The Clone Wars TV series.
- When Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker) is in a podracer (like he did in the first episode) he says "Now this is podracing!", a line he said in The Phantom Menace.
- During the "Employee of the Month" awards ceremony, Darth Vader's fans ask him to take his mask off so they can get a glimpse of his face referencing Vader asked Luke to take his mask off so he can see his son with his own eyes in Return of the Jedi.
- Luke's appearance, similar to Yoda in a few scenes of The Yoda Chronicles, isn't true to a specific variant, as he has the X-Wing pilot variant's torso and legs, but the 2011 Tatooine variant's face and hair.
- Darth Vader
- Luke Skywalker
- Leia Organa
- Han Solo
- Emperor Palpatine
- Darth Maul
- Boss Nass
- Admiral Piett
- Ankura Warriors
- Boba Fett (cameo)
- Bib Fortuna (cameo)
- General Veers
- Gungan Warriors
- Imperial Officers
- Jar Jar Binks (cameo)
- Lando Calrissian (billboard only)
- Pit Droid (cameo)
- Rebel Pilots
- Watto (cameo)
- Wicket W. Warrick (cameo)
- Yoda (cameo)
- Jango Fett (cameo)
- Battle Droid (cameo)
- Aayla Secura
- Greedo (cameo)
- Jempa (cameo)
- Plo Koon (cameo)
- Kit Fisto (cameo)
Ships and Vehicles
- 6211 Imperial Star Destroyer
- 7877 Naboo Starfighter
- 7962 Anakin Skywalker and Sebulba's Podracers (Anakin's podracer only)
- 8097 Slave I
- 8017 Darth Vader's TIE Fighter
- 7965 Millennium Falcon
- 9492 TIE Fighter
- 9493 X-wing Starfighter
- 9495 Gold Leader's Y-wing Starfighter
- 10144 Sandcrawler
- 10178 Motorized Walking AT-AT
- 10198 Tantive IV
- 10212 Imperial Shuttle
- 10221 Super Star Destroyer
- 9497 Republic Striker Starfighter
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Get your lightsabers and LEGO bricks ready because a brand new LEGO Star Wars special is coming to Cartoon Network. Your favorite characters are back, and even though it’s just moments after the Death Star has been destroyed, Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and the rest of the Rebel Alliance’s heroes have no time to rest on their laurels or stand around celebrating in the Yavin IV hangar bay.
In LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out, premiering Wednesday, September 26 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT), a new Imperial threat has been detected and the good guys have to act fast. But Jedi-in-training Luke discovers that instant fame as a “Death-Star-Blower-Upper” can be a double-edged lightsaber, as his secret mission to Naboo is thwarted by those most unstoppable of foes — crazed fans! (It’s hard being the galaxy’s New Hope.) Meanwhile, Darth Vader sees his day go from bad to worse when his relationship with the Emperor is imperiled by the unexpected arrival of Darth Maul. Luke and Vader’s quests to prove themselves lead them on a collision course with each other (literally) and their destiny.
Tune in for the action, suspense and comedy on September 26 at 8:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network.
Cast & Crew
- C-3PO - Anthony Daniels
- Darth Vader - Matt Sloan
- Jar Jar Binks - Ahmed Best
- Boss Nass - Brian Blessed
- Watto - Andrew Secombe
- Darth Maul - Sam Witwer
- General Veers - Julian Glover
- Admiral Piett - Kenneth Colley
- Princess Leia Organa - Julie Dolan
- Writer - Michael Price
- Producer - Kathleen Fleming
- Executive Producer - Michael Price
- Director - Guy Vasilovich
- Sound mix - Skywalker Sound