We're Doomed!

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This article is about the novel. You may be looking for other things related to The Empire Strikes Back.

The Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back novelization, written by Donald F. Glut, is the official novelization of the film of the same title. Like other novelizations, Empire contains many scenes and details cut from the film. Original printings of the book do not bear the label "Episode V" anywhere.



Publisher's summaryEdit

Although they had won a significant battle, the war between the Rebels and the Empire had really just begun. Soon, Luke, Han, the princess and their faithful companions were forced to flee, scattering in all directions…the Dark Lord's minions in fevered pursuit…


The book is the same as the film, with only a few minor differences or changes in detail or plot. A few are listed below.

Differences from the filmEdit

  • The Imperial probe droid encounters a wampa, which attacks it. The probe droid reacts by disintegrating the creature with its blaster.'
  • Han Solo never says, "And I thought they smelled bad... on the outside." He does however mention that if he doesn't get the shelter built in time, "Jabba won't need those bounty hunters."
  • After the Rebels' shield generator is destroyed, Hobbie crashes his crippled snowspeeder into the head of General Veers' AT-AT, killing himself, Veers and everyone aboard.
  • Admiral Piett goes down to Hoth with Darth Vader's landing party instead of remaining aboard the Executor.
  • Yoda has blue skin. (The Marvel Comics version of Yoda also depicted the character with blue skin.)
  • Luke sees scrolls of what look like handwritten manuscripts in Yoda's house.
  • Luke doesn't bump his head in his hurry to tell Obi-Wan and Yoda he is ready to become a Jedi.
  • Han and Leia's kiss is not interrupted by C-3PO, but Chewbacca witnesses part of the scene.
  • While training Luke, Yoda throws a metal bar into the air and Luke cuts it quickly into four sections with his lightsaber as a test of his reflexes.
  • There are only five bounty hunters aboard the Executor; 4-LOM is omitted, and Zuckuss is a "human type" instead of a Gand.
  • Captain Needa's death is not directly described. The scene merely begins with: "A pair of white-armored stormtroopers lifted Captain Needa's lifeless form from the floor of Darth Vader's Imperial Star Destroyer." Another difference, as mentioned, is it is stormtroopers and not Imperial Navy troopers who carry him away.
  • When greeting the Millennium Falcon on the landing platform, Lando Calrissian's entourage includes aliens. Also all of Lando's men are armed, whereas in the film none of them have weapons drawn.
  • The protocol droid Threepio encounters never says, "E chu ta!"
  • The Ugnaughts are throwing scrap into a pool of molten metal instead of putting them onto a conveyor belt that carries them into an incinerator. Chewbacca also has far less trouble in forcing them to relinquish Threepio's parts.
  • Han attempts to shoot Vader after Lando says "I'm sorry," and Han replies, "I'm sorry, too," rather than immediately after the dining room door opens as in the film.
  • Boba Fett doesn't enter the room as Vader says "We would be honored if you would join us."
  • Luke sleeps in Yoda's house, and experiences his friends' pain through the Force in the form of a nightmare that causes him to wake up.
  • During Chewbacca's rampage in the carbon freezing chamber, the stormtroopers attempting to subdue him keep accidentally hitting Threepio, much to the droid's distress and annoyance.
  • Following Chewbacca's rampage, the binders are placed on the Wookiee's wrists at Han's suggestion lest he hurt himself, telling the Imperials to remove them once "it's over."
  • Han never says "I know" in response to Leia's "I love you," which was due to Harrison Ford ad-libbing the line. Instead, Han simply reassures Leia that he'll be back.
  • Vader's alteration to his and Lando's deal is different. Instead if insisting Lando take Leia, Chewbacca and Threepio to his ship, he sticks to the agreement that "they must never again leave this city," however reveals he's leaving Imperial troops behind to ensure Lando cooperates.
  • Vader briefly chokes Lando with the Force to demonstrate what his fate will be if he betrays him.
  • When Luke is attacked by stormtroopers in Cloud City, he returns fire with his blaster, unlike in the film, where he doesn't fire a shot.
    • Vader's lightsaber is mentioned during the cave scene on Dagobah to be blue rather than the usual red.
  • Vader says "Bring my ship in," instead of "Bring my shuttle."
  • Luke falls from the weather vane at the bottom of Cloud City before the Millennium Falcon intercepts him.
  • The nebula at the end of the film is a red-orange star.

Discrepancies with the EUEdit

There are discrepancies between the novel and the later Expanded Universe material:

  • The book shows Rebel pilot Hobbie (Luke's wingman during the Battle of Hoth) flying his snowspeeder into the head of General Veers's AT-AT walker in a suicide run after he had been wounded. However, Hobbie is seen alive and well in the books and comics set after the battle.
  • In the Expanded Universe, Veers is stated to have survived as well.


By type 
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea



Droid models



Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology


Cover galleryEdit

This is a gallery of the different cover variations of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

Collected inEdit


See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

Star Wars film novelizations
Original trilogy
Episode IV A New Hope · Episode V The Empire Strikes Back · Episode VI Return of the Jedi
Prequel trilogy
Episode I The Phantom Menace · Episode II Attack of the Clones · Episode III Revenge of the Sith
Sequel trilogy
Episode VII The Force Awakens · Episode VIII The Last Jedi
The Clone Wars · Rogue One

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