|The following are
examples of lies and trickery in the original Star Wars trilogy.
(I plan to add the prequels to this list some other time, but right now
I'm watching the originals with my kids.) They include lies,
disguises, ruses, feints, distractions, and surprises.
Note: I didn't include instances of honest persuasion (e.g., Luke
convinces Han to help rescue Leia), nor do I classify hiding as
trickery (e.g., R2 and 3PO locking themselves inside a shelter while
the troopers searched door-to-door, Han flying into the asteroid field
or inside of a cave, Luke ducking Vader in the Emperor's chambers,
etc.) or since that don't involve deception or trickery. I did
include surprise attacks, however, even though that's a form of hiding,
albeit a more strategic one. I also didn't include examples of
targeting weaknesses such as the thermal exhaust port on the Death Star
or Luke going for the underside of an AT-AT with a lightsaber and
Wars: A New Hope
- Leia hides the stolen Death
Star plans in R2-D2 rather than in the ship's main computer to create
- Leia claims to be on a
- Vader: "Send a distress signal
and then inform the senate that all aboard were killed!"
- Jawas ambush R2 in the canyon.
- R2 plays part of Leia's
message, then pretends not to understand ("What message? The one
you're carrying inside your rusty innards!") in order to have his
restraining bolt removed.
- Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru
pretend not to know much about Ben Kenobi, even claiming, "He died
about the same time as your father." (Later, Luke reveals more of
the lies they told him: "No, my father didn't fight in the wars.
He was a navigator on a spice freighter.")
- Surprise attack by one of the
sand people who sneaks up to Luke, who thinks he's observing them
- Ben scares off the sand people
by pretending to be a ghost.
- Ben pretends not to know R2
("Can't seem to remember ever owning a droid. Very
interesting..."). (Admittedly, I think this was just a plot hole.)
- Ben twists the history of
Anakin/Vader, even going so far as to embellish it with, "Your father
wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your uncle
wouldn't allow it," and including the key line (later revealed to be
true only in a metaphorical sense): "He betrayed and murdered your
- Storm troopers strike
Jawas/sand crawler, but disguise it as an attack by sand people: "They
didn't. But we are meant to think they did. These tracks
are side by side. Sandpeople always ride single file to hide
- Ben mind-controls troopers:
"These aren't the droids you're looking for."
- Han pulls his blaster under
the table with Greedo.
- Leia lies and says Dantooine
when Tarkin asks, "I grow tired of asking this. So it'll be the
last time. Where is the Rebel base?"
- "You're far too
trusting." Tarkin lies and destroys Alderan anyway.
- "Let the wookie win" is a good
survival strategy, even if it means lying by playing below your ability
and losing the game.
- "Boy, it's lucky you had these
compartments." Not only do they smuggle themselves, the heroes
also falsify an entry in the log that they "abandoned ship right after
takeoff." Following that, they knock out the scanning crew, call
the guards up into the ship (pretending to be the scanning crew), then
steal the troopers' uniforms as disguises. Luke then serves as a
distraction (i.e., lying about a bad transmitter in his helmet) while
the others break into a command center.
- The heroes pretend to be
transferring a prisoner (Chewie) to the detention area. Afterward
the lies continue as Han tries to throw command off the scent: "Uh...
had a slight weapons malfunction. But, uh,
- everything's perfectly all
right now," plus "We had a reactor leak here now. Give us a few
minutes to lock it down. Large leak... very dangerous."
- R2 and 3PO lock themselves in
a closet. When the troopers "free" them, 3PO feigns hysteria as
he spins a tale about how they were locked in by "mad men." With
only one trooper guarding them, he later lies that, "All this
excitement has overrun the circuits of my counterpart here. If
you don't mind, I'd like to take him down to maintenance."
- Ben "throws" a sound to
distract troopers standing guard near the tractor beam controls.
They interpret it as "out-gassing."
- Han's feint: Charges screaming
at storm troopers, leading them to believe they're out-numbered until
- Tarkin and Vader concoct the
scheme to let the heroes escape with the plans so they can track them
back to the rebel base. "You're sure the homing beacon is secure
aboard their ship? I'm taking an awful risk, Vader. This
had better work."
- Han's surprise return during
the Death Star attack knocks out a TIE fighter and ultimately pulls
Vader out of the fight.
Empire Strikes Back
- Chewie distracts the probe
droid so Han can take a couple shots at it.
- The Imperial forces attempt a
surprise attack by coming out of light speed close to Hoth.
- Famous deleted scene: While
evacuating the base, C-3PO rips down a warning sign from a door behind
which captured wampas are imprisoned. When the Imperial troops
enter the base, some are caught off guard by this ruse.
- Yoda pretends to be a silly
little creature in order to assess Luke's readiness for Jedi training,
testing his patience, his reasons for wanting to be a Jedi, etc.
- Han saves face by pretending
to know what the Falcon needs, then (when he thinks 3PO isn't
listening): "I think we'd better replace the negative power coupling."
- The space slug pretends to be
a cave in order to capture prey. (Well, I'm assuming.)
- Han's 2nd feint: "Sir, the
odds of surviving a direct assault on an Imperial Star
Destroyer..." He turns the Falcon around and charges the Star
Destroyer, only to hide in its blind spot. The Imperials think
he's jumped to hyperspace and eventually abandon their position
thinking he's long gone. The Falcon remains hidden until the
heroes can drift away undetected with the "rest of the garbage."
- Boba Fett anticipates Han's
"garbage" escape strategy and adopts it himself.
- Vader and the Imperials hide
out on Cloud City (presumably in the Ugnaughts' robot factory that 3PO
discovers) before the heroes arrive.
- Lando poses as angry at Han
when the latter arrives on Cloud City. (This comes across as a
joke, but it's also foreshadowing, of course.) In fact, he's
posing as Han's friend when he's really setting a trap under Vader's
- Vader tortures the heroes to
make Luke believe that they are dying.
- "No. There is
another." Yoda and Ben have kept another secret from Luke.
- "They must never again leave
this city." Vader plays by his own rules. "That was never a
condition of our agreement, nor was giving Han to this bounty
hunter!" And again, later, "Take the princess and the wookiee to
my ship... I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it
- Vader has his troops parade
the heroes through the halls of Cloud City to lure Luke directly into
the carbon freeze chamber.
- Lando and Lobot ambush the
Imperials and rescue Leia, Chewie, and 3PO.
- Multiple surprise attacks from
Vader during the light saber battle: Appearing from nowhere, plus
force-throwing objects at Luke.
- The Imperial techs deactivate
the Falcon's hyperdrive while the heroes are away.
- R2 literally puts up a
smokescreen so the heroes can avoid the storm troopers and make their
way to the Falcon.
of the Jedi
- The droids (or at least 3PO)
have never been told the whereabouts/plans of Lando or Chewbacca (whom
3PO mentions on their way to Jabba's palace).
- Luke tells Jabba he's giving
him the droids as a gift.
- Leia shows up in disguise as a
bounty hunter with the "captured" Chewbacca in chains.
- Lando is in disguise.
- Jabba knows there's a rescue
attempt afoot. He and his crew waits and surprise Leia when she
- Luke mind-controls Bib Fortuna
to gain entry to Jabba's throne room.
- Jabba has a secret trap door
that drops Luke into the Rancor pit.
- R2 has Luke's lightsaber
hidden inside him. Launches it to him when Luke gives him the
secret signal (a salute).
- Spies bring the Rebellion
information about the construction of the new Death Star.
- The heroes use a captured
Imperial shuttle with stolen security codes.
- "I told you it was gonna
work!" Han lies again (running joke) about the ruse working after
visibly being certain it wouldn't work.
- Han and Chewie attempt to
sneak up on a pair of biker scouts.
- Biker scouts sneak up on Leia
(One shoots from a distance to distract her).
- The Ewoks set a trap than
ensnares the heroes (especially Chewie).
- C-3PO "impersonates a deity"
under Luke's suggestion: "Threepio, tell them if they don't do as you
wish, you'll become angry and use your magic."
- Luke reveals to Leia that
she's his sister/Vader is their father, but she doesn't tell Han when
he confronts her about why she's upset.
- Luke turns himself in to the
Imperials, but says he's alone. ("Although he denies it, I
believe there may be more of them.")
- The heroes learn of a secret
entrance to the shield generator and so target that instead.
- One of the Ewoks serves as a
distraction, luring three biker scouts away from the bunker entrance.
- Han lures the lone remaining
biker scout away from his post into a group of armed Rebels.
- The Emperor has set up a trap:
"Your friends up there on the Sanctuary Moon are walking into a
trap. As is your Rebel fleet! It was I who allowed the
Alliance to know the location of the shield generator."
- C-3PO acts as a lure for
Imperial troops. Once called away from the others, the Ewoks
- Lots of Ewok surprise attacks
follow, including trip cords and other tactics.
- The Emperor also lied about
the Death Star main weapon. "Now witness the firepower of this
fully-armed and operational battle station."
- Ewoks distract a scout walker
driver so Chewie can yank him out when he opens the hatch.
- Has uses the captured walker
to disguised himself as an Imperial and lure the remaining forces out
of the bunker, thereby capturing them and leaving the bunker