ESB: The Battle of Hoth

I was watching this today and something bugged me.

Why is it so horrible that Admiral Ozzle comes out of hyperspace “So close to the (Hoth) system”? There’s a line earlier about meteor activity making it hard to spot approaching ships. Okay, I can see that, but frankly, it doesn’t work considering the Imperial Fleet has a HUGE FRACKEN super star destoryer as their flagship. Nobody in their right mind is going to mistake that for a piece of space rock, no matter what distance it’s at. With that in mind, I don’t see how it really matters how close they were where they came out of hyperspace, because the Rebels are going to notice.

  1. Perhaps a large ship emerging from hyperspace gives off an easily recognized burst of electromagnetic energy of some sort, which is detectable within a certain radius. Makes sense to me.

  2. Yes, a Super Star Destroyer is very big, but it’s what, 10 km long? Something like that. In space, that is really quite small. A 10 KM long object would be essentially invisible halfway across a solar system - or would be indistinguishable from an asteroid - unless you were looking in a very specific place for it.

  3. The purpose of the scene was to give Darth Vader a reason to throttle some hapless underling; the back-explanation for why a ship emerging from hyperspace can be detected at a certain range isn’t relevant. The scene is meant to show character, not science.

I believe he pre-empted orders. They hadn’t decided on a plan of action, and Ozzel decided to strike while the iron was hot. Vader considered that impulsive and risky.

I think he wanted to keep the SD further back from the planet, to catch the escaping transports. Ozzel came in too close, bringing them in range of the planetary ion cannon. Because of this, the Rebellion’s command structure was able to escape.

Aren’t there better ways to discipline officers then choking them? But then again, who’s going to stop him. THe only one other them the Emporer who could control him was Tarkin, and he’s dead.

After watching the original star wars, I’m starting to feel that Lucas’s choice to protrayl pre-darth anakin as a whiney little bitch was actually very appropriate. 20 years later, he’s matured very little, if at all.

That does not make sense in the order of events portrayed in the movie. Vader said that Ozzel emerged from lightspeed “too close to the system,” not “to the planet.”

Here is the exchange verbatim:

VADER: What is it, General?

VEERS: My lord, the fleet has moved out of light-speed. Com-Scan has
detected an energy field protecting an area around the sixth planet of
the Hoth system. The field is strong enough to deflect any

VADER: The Rebels are alerted to our presence. Admiral Ozzel
came out of light-speed too close to the system.

VEERS: He felt surprise was wiser…

VADER: He is as clumsy as he is stupid. General, prepare your troops
for a surface attack.

VEERS: Yes, my lord.

We can assume Vader knows what he’s talking about; maybe he was a whiny beeyotch as a kid but the guy knows about war. Clearly, the act of emerging from lightspeed within a certain distance is a dead giveaway to your location, and Vader would have preferred to come out of hyperspace further away and snuck in. Just popping out of lightspeed would presumably work if you could immediately attack an amazed and disoriented enemy, but…

It is very clear from General Veers’s dialogue - which immediately precedes poor Ozzel’s unexpected retirement from Imperial service - that they don’t even know for sure which planet the Rebels were on until they got there. Remember, he says that there is an energy field covering an area on “the sixth planet” of the system, “strong enough to deflect any bombardment.” It’s that line that has Vader reply that “the Rebels have been alerted to our presence.”

So at that stage the Imperial fleet had just then learned what planet in the system they were attacking, and were not in close orbit around the planet the way they were when that one Star Destroyer got bitch-slapped by the big cannon. Ozzel couldn’t have gained any sort of surprise because they’re not even in a position to know what direction to shoot in, but they HAVE managed to tell the Rebels they’re coming. So Ozzel really was stupid and clumsy.

A related question on the Battle of Hoth - did those rebel ground forces actually do anything? Because from the looks of it, they didn’t even slow those AT-ATs down, let alone take any of them out. What was all of that infantry doing there when it didn’t have a single weapon that could deal with enemy armor? They didn’t even make effective speed-bumps.

They had weaponry that could deal with snowtroopers. I don’t think they were ever expecting walkers.

Why wouldn’t they?

I don’t know. I wasn’t there to ask them. I’m just making up a plausible excuse for them being ill equipped.

The Empire’s main weapon is Fear. Fear and Surprise. The Empire’s two main weapon’s are Fear and Surprise . . .

Vader’s reasons are wrong anyway. The Rebels were not alerted to their presence by Ozzel’s mistake (not one in my oppinion) but by Vader’s probes. It was teh discovery of the probe transmission that tipped off the rebels to the Imperial presence. They were given the time to set up defences and prepare for any form of attack.

Perhaps if he used a probe that didn’t announce its presence Ozzel’s plan would have worked. Also The Imperials knew where the base was thanks to the probe. They knew it would have been on the 6th planet because that is where the shield generator was.

Vader was just pissed that Ozzel didn’t give him proper respect (Questioning him earlier when they found the generator) that he decided to get back at him on the earliest opportunity. It’s Vader’s fault! Perhaps if he ordered cloaked probes or ones that were far more discreet…

I would just like to point out that I as a poster who get very upset with myself when I do stupid shit like using an apostrophe to form a plural.

Didn’t look like the Empire brought a ton of ships with them. Why did the Rebels feel that their only escape route was through the Star Destroyers? Go up…or down…it’s not like they had the only bridge out of town blockaded.

And no, that had nothing to do with that quote I accidentally included.

You’d be extremely upset after that LAST effort then wouldn’t you? :slight_smile:

Maybe because–
[li]They’re huge & hard to transport.[/li][li]There may not be many of them.[/li][li]They might have been new models that could operate in arctic environments.[/li][li]Walkers that size may be just plain new, period.[/li][li]The Rebels might have avoided defenses against Walkers, because the big gun emplacements needed would be highly visible from orbit. Camoflage was thus viewed as more important.[/li][/ul]

Lots of explaining going on for the mere purpose of waving away more plot holes in the films.

  1. The droid could tell the Empire what star system it was in but not what planet it was on? :dubious:

  2. Taking your opponent by surprise not being a valid military tactic?

  3. “No weaponry that could deal with Walkers”? Damn good thing those speeders had those handy-dandy tether hooks then! :dubious:

  4. And what’s with the on-the-fly improvisational tactics? Shouldn’t there already be a standard counter to walker attacks (trip 'em up!)?

To: Lord Vader
From: Admiral Piett
Re: My Recent Promotion

May the Force be with you, Lord Vader.

For starters, I would like to thank you for my recent elevation from lowly captain to Admiral of the Emperors fleet. I promise that I will do everything I can to avoid the mistakes of my predecessor, Admiral Ozzel.

Death to the Rebel Alliance!

However, I must make you aware of a number of issues regarding my sudden promotion. Please be patient and understanding as you read the following list.

  1. While my rank has been increased, this information apparently has not been given to the Imperial Payroll Department. Please notify them of my promotion, and if I may be so bold, have them adjust my pay retroactively to the date I was promoted. I, myself, am perfectly satisfied to do this job while being paid a scale commiserate with what one should expect of a first-year Captain… unfortunately Lord Vader, my wife is not.

  2. My sudden promotion has apparently sparked an internecine debate that I am unable to quell. Many people of higher rank are refusing to obey my orders, declaring that you did not follow the established procedures set up by the Executive Committee. I am too busy chasing and fighting the rebel scum to worry about their petty concerns, and I was thinking a word or gesture from you, Lord Vader, would do much to bring order within the ranks.

  3. I am concerned by reports that indicate that you might have a familial relationship with the person or persons involved in the destruction of the last Super Space Station, the “Death Star” as the system techs have called it. While I am sure that this has the potential to be quite a touchy subject, in my new duties as Admiral I have no choice but to bring it to the Emperors attention.

Thank you for taking your time in addressing my concerns. I’m sure that everything will be resolved shortly with you by my side, Lord Vader!

Death to the Rebel Alliance!

Most faithfully and always yours,

Admiral Piett

CC: The Emperor Palpatine, The Executive Committee, the Imperial Payroll Department.

About four or five years ago I asked the same question in this forum. I got about the same answers, but the best one overall can really be applied to a lot of other questions about Star Wars:

George Lucas was kinda winging it as he went.

I heard an anecdote about Mark Hamill asking Harrison Ford why their clothes were dry after they escaped from the trash compactor in the Death Star. After all, they were all knee-deep in water, and flailed around in it for some time. Ford’s response was, “Kid, it ain’t that kind of movie.”