I love Star Wars. (That’s not much of a revelation, but it is the start of this line of thought, so stick with me.)
One of the cool things about it is that, even though the last of the original trilogy came out over 30 years ago and I’ve watched them all over a hundred times, there are still some things that I never noticed in them. Granted, it doesn’t happen as often as it used to, since I’ve seen them so much, but it still happens.
Normally, when I notice these things, it’ll be something that is inconsequential, like a character or ship in the background that I never saw before. Today, while at work, this thing popped into my head randomly without me having to watch the movie. It is definitely not inconsequential. It has the possibility of changing quite a bit in the Star Wars universe.
What I’m talking about happens in The Empire Strikes Back. Han and friends are running from the Star Destroyers in the Millennium Falcon. He turns the ship around and does the flyby past the bridge. It cuts to the Imperial crewman saying that the Millennium Falcon no longer appeared on their scopes. Then, the captain says this: “No ship that small has a cloaking device.”
And there it is. Did you catch it? Sure, the captain’s statement seems innocent enough. He’s in disbelief that they couldn’t find his prey. Look at it again closely.
“No ship that small has a cloaking device. ”
He didn’t say that there was no such thing as a cloaking device. He didn’t say that no ships carried a cloaking device. He said, “No ship that small has a cloaking device.”
That, of course, means that there are ships out there (larger than the Millennium Falcon) that do have a cloaking device.
So… where are these large ships with cloaking devices? (P.S. Dear smartasses, please save your “if they’re cloaked you can’t see them” jokes.)
It seems to me that having large ships (which usually pack more firepower than small ones) that can cloak themselves would give either the Empire or Rebellion (or the Republic or the Seperatists, in the case of the prequels) a strategic advantage in battle. Yet, in the five movies made after Empire (Return of the Jedi, the three prequels, and The Force Awakens) cloaked ships are not used, or even mentioned, again. I’ve played a lot of the video games and read dozens of the novels and still don’t remember ever coming across anything about ships that are able to cloak.
As I said, this movie has been out for over 30 years, so I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice this (although it would be cool if I was the first), but I am a little surprised that I haven’t heard anyone say anything about this before. Ships with the ability to cloak could’ve changed quite a bit in the books and movies. Hell, if the Empire had a ship that had a cloaking ship at the beginning of Empire Strikes Back, they could’ve sent it down to destroy the shield generator without their idiotic admiral giving away their presence.
Maybe it was brought up in a game I didn’t play, or a book I didn’t read. However, you would think that technology that useful would be used more widely and would be a bigger part of some of the stories. I’ve been thinking about it all day, but the only thing that I can come up with that’s close to a cloaking device I’ve seen in anything Star Wars is the Stealth Field Generator that the scoundrels use in KOTOR, but I’m not sure those qualify.
Seriously, Disney, if this technology exists in the Star Wars universe, throw them in a movie somewhere. It could certainly make a space battle more dramatic.