Why would Luke carry a rope and grappel?

I dont know if this has been discussed before but dont you find it odd that Luke just happened to have a rope and grappling hook so he and Leia could swing across a chasm?

And Luke knew how to use it and was strong enough to do it? With 2 people?

Or did Lucas just like scenes of the hero swinging across things?

First off, the last option is most likely, but…

Secondly, he didn’t - it was on the Stormtrooper’s belt that he’d kept after shucking the armour. which leads to the next question: why was it there?

I’d guess (fanwanking a bit), that whomever designed the stormtrooper armour, and it’s attendant utility belt, decided that the advantages of having a bit of line and a grapple available was worth the bulk and cost. I imagine there’s any number of soldiers and such who can attest to times when it would have been handy.

My guess is that Stormtrooper Management figured since the Death Star had all of those open shafts, the line and grapple might come in handy. Apparently they’ve never had a visit by OSHA or the building inspector because the lack of guardrails has to be a code violation.

Ohh sure. more regulations stifling the entrepreneurial job creators. That’s always your answer, isn’t it? If the market wanted guardrails, then another emperor would have come along offering them.

OSHA dweeb: I find your lack of guardrails disturbing, Lord Vader.

Darth Vader: heavy breathing

OSHA dweeb: chokes to death

Darth Vader: I find your lack of oxygen disturbing. Yeah, that’s a good line. I’ll have to remember that and tweak it and use it a lot, YIPEE!

I like:
OSHA dweeb: I find your lack of guardrails disturbing, Lord Vader.

Darth Vader: heavy breathing

::ignites light saber. slices off OSHA dweeb’s face::

Darth Vader: I find your lack of face disturbing.

What about the grappling hooks and tow cables on the snowspeeders? Now maybe they are too small to have a tractor beam, but what were those ships designed to “tow” across the ice at several hundred mph?

Everyone’s always on the Empire’s case about those handrails. Well, only one person has ever fallen to their death on a Death Star, and you know what was around that particular bottomless shaft?

Fucking handrails, that’s what.

You can’t have handrails. People would be leaning all day.

Streamlined hover-pallets, of course. I mean, think about how cheap and ubiquitous anti-grav tech seems to be in the Republic and Empire.

They could use it to pull their hover-4x4’s out of the hover-mud, duh!


I’ve always thought that the grappling hooks were part of a pre-determined strategy to take on walkers. So they had found them useful before and had already practiced doing it.

The full nerd answer?

During the initial trials of the new AT-AT Walker design, an Imperial officer figured out that the walkers were vulnerable to being tripped by a cable, and filed a report that would have basically shut the entire project down. Turns out, his commanding officer was on the take from the military contractor designing the walkers, and he buried the report and shipped the officer who wrote it off to some dead-end position on the ass of nowhere. Soured on the Empire, that officer began passing information to the Rebellion - including a copy of his report on the flaws in the walker design. The Rebels were able to use this information to outfit their airspeeders with tow cables specifically as an anti-walker defense.

That was canon, at least for a while. Came from a source book for the Star Wars role-playing game, around the late '80s/early '90s.

And if you have time to lean, you have time to clean.

Lack of handrails don’t bother me as much as the sheer number of bottomless pits the Empire has everywhere. There isn’t a single room or hallway that doesn’t have something to trip and fall into.

It makes perfect sense that Luke would know how to use a grapnel, and it’s thanks to his Uncle Owen.

It’s established in the film that he’s a moisture farmer, an occupation devoted to gathering water from the harsh environment of Tatooine. However, the devices he directs Luke to service–presumably as part of his regular chores–are called “vaporators”. Now, for collecting water from the Dune Sea, that sounds like exactly the wrong sort of gadget; you’d want condensers, catch basins, and the like to collect dew.

This conundrum can be resolved if we note just where Owen says the vaporators are, though; they’re on the South Range. “Range” can mean a number of different things, geographically, some of which are contradictory. However, context suggests that in this case, it’s a reference to a mountain range (or at least, the largish, rugged rock formations that pass for mountains on Tatooine). This is because the vaporators are used to collect water that is deposited as frost where elevation, wind, and cold desert nights combine to chill depressions high up in the rocks (similar to the way ancient Egyptians harvested ice). They rove over the rocks, heating them to vaporize the frost for collection. They tend to break down in awkward places, so in the course of his chores, Luke often has to engage in a bit of rock climbing to get at them–hence his facility with a grapnel.

As to why the stormtrooper had one…think about those vertical shafts all over the place and put the pieces together. The shafts, grapnels, and lines enable rapid deployment, enabling troopers to hook on and rappel down to lower levels quickly in the event of an emergency that cut off normal routes. He may well have had a power ascender in his kit, too, but Luke probably didn’t recognize it.

Didn’t Owen want Luke to “check the condensers on the south ridge” the day he got torched by the Empire? :confused:

Ahhh… that makes sense.

He wanted the droids working on the condensers on the south ridge. When he found out Luke was gone, he also said “Well, he’d better have those units in the south range repaired be midday…” Both do probably refer to the same area, if not necessarily the same equipment.

(Mainly, I wanted to try to justify using something called a “vaporator” in moisture farming while I was at it. :p)