After the release of The Last Jedi fans have been looking back at Luke’s actions in the films and his apparent nonsensical plan to rescue Han Solo in the first act of Return of the Jedi has come under renewed scrutiny. Author Chuck Wendig, writer of the Star Wars: Aftermath trilogy of canonical novels, has taken up the Herculean task of explaining just what Luke had in mind by putting this plan together in a recent post on his blog.
Wendig provides an elaborate breakdown of the plan, beginning with Lando as the scout, ingratiating himself as a member of Jabba the Hutt’s crew. Enter the droids, to be “offered” as translators in exchange for Han, a plan Luke knows won’t work. Wendig argues Luke is stacking the deck here, making sure his best players are there if and when they need to initiate a failsafe.
Wendig further details Leia and Chewie’s roles, but the plan fails, leaving Luke to enter and use each player on the scene for a total extraction. The author even answers why Luke didn’t just go in by himself at the beginning:
“And here the question might be, well, why doesn’t Luke just go in by himself right at the beginning? He could’ve, but that would leave him vulnerable at several steps along the way — getting Solo down and out is a task all unto itself. He needs assets in play. And the palace is stacked now with friendly faces. All of whom come into play at various points of the plan’s execution.”
The plan is summed up as a clumsy heist, with Luke making sure he has all his heavy hitters by his side that’s designed to get everyone in then get everyone back out:
“So, to me, that’s it — that’s the plan. A kind of clumsy, “get everyone in and then work to get everyone out” heist, a heist that would work poorly with only one of them in there, but that works much better with several assets in play to support redundancies and failsafes.”
It’s a great read, and you can jump straight to it here.