Wired.com’s Danger Room made one critical mistake in their analysis of the Battle of Hoth.

Mind you, they get the details right on why the Battle of Hoth was such an unmitigated disaster for the Empire, but they miss the ‘why.’  It’s actually very simple: Darth Vader had no intention of ‘winning’ that battle in the first place.  His long-term strategic goals absolutely required Luke Skywalker escaping that death-trap (and, subconsciously at least, Leia Organa as well); Vader’s original plan must have been to encourage the Rebel Alliance to make an orderly retreat and evacuation – but one where Vader could easily dedicate resources to securing his kid in the process.  Only, Admiral Ozzel’s scream-and-leap messed all of that up, so Vader had to spend the next few days messing up the attack and Force Choking idiots*.

Mind you, Vader was always pretty sh*tty when it came to strategy.  As witnessed by, well, most of Episode III.

Moe Lane

*Which, admittedly, must have been a temptation for him to do all the time anyway.

6 thoughts on “Wired.com’s Danger Room made one critical mistake in their analysis of the Battle of Hoth.”

  1. The article also has another question. Can a Tie fighter fly in an atmosphere or space only? Even on Endor the Empire had no air cover.

    1. Which is such a lousy bit of writing. Even someone only casually acquainted with strategy (eg yours truly) knows the enormous value of air support. The Empire may be evil and totalitarian, but there’s no indication they’re staffed entirely by idjits.

  2. I completely disagree with you Moe and, to a lesser extent, Spencer Ackerman.
    Watch that movie again. How the movie is edited, Vader didn’t even know about Luke Skywalker was alive until the Emperor informed Vader of the younger Skywalker. Not once did Vader say anything about Luke up until that point. The reason for the initial single-minded pursuit of Millennium Falcon, was because it was there at the First Death Star and then got away. Lord Vader, seeing it, said to himself: “Holy Force Antlers! That thing escasped me once before, never again!” Once he was on Luke Skywalker’s trail, he saw that Luke had a connection with Falcon using the Dark Side of the Force.
    You get it completely wrong, because you think Vader bunngle the attack on purpose (there’s nothing to support this). Spencer Ackerman (of the Weird article) gets it wrong, because Lord Vader changes tactics at least four times thoughout the movie (not just at the battle), each time after getting new information. If Lord Vader had stuck to the plan, he would have won the day.
    Also, do I also have to point out how pointless it was to kill Captain Needa? If anything, I would have forced choke Captain Lennox. Admiral Ozzel clearly deserved his fate. Don’t get me started on Admiral Piett’s blindly following orders during the battle at Endor.

      1. I’m sorry. I do, however, get a little fustrated because a lot of the people completely missed the point of Lord Vader’s reaction after seeing the Millennium Falcon on Hoth. He wasn’t going after it because of Luke, he was going after it because it was on the First Death Star and it took him out of the Battle Of Yavin. Lord Vader would have paid the Millennium Falcon little to no mind, had he been focus on looking for the young force-senative Skywalker at the onset of the battle.

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