8

During the opening battle when they're trying to land the imperial cruiser, after they lose the back end of the ship Anakin remarks that they're really picking up speed. He then declares that they're coming in too hot. (Too fast)

At this point we see the fire fighting crew show up as they try to land, and we see Palpatine assessing the situation looking around. He doesn't seem too concerned as if he knows he isn't in any danger.

As the ship starts to land you see him looking at both Anakin and Obi-Wan with a cautious look on his face.

Does he use the force here to slow down the ship and bring it to a stop? Is he comfortable because he knows he'll stop the ship in time? Is he looking at the Jedi to try to see if he's masking his use of the force and seeing if they notice?

  • 1
    Palpatine doesn't use the Force around Jedi. They'd most likely spot it and have some serious questions to ask. – Valorum Mar 6 '16 at 18:47
  • "He then declares that they're coming in too hot. (Too fast)" I think the "too hot" in this case could be taken both literally and figuratively... – reirab Mar 7 '16 at 1:38
18

Palpatine didn't use the Force, but Anakin most certainly did.

Hatches and drag fins

They were well within the atmosphere now, and still moving far too fast. Anakin opened all the hatches and extended every drag fin that still worked, trading the growing heat from the increased friction for a decrease in speed. - RotS: Junior Novel

Steering thrusters

Anakin spared a glance for the Chancellor, who was clinging grimly to his seat. He’s an administrator; he’s not used to this. But he didn’t have time to explain things to the Chancellor, not if they were going to survive this. “I’m going to shift a few degrees and see if I can slow us down,” Anakin told Obi-Wan. “We’re heating up,” Obi-Wan warned, and began calling out numbers.

I know, I know. Anakin played the controls, opening and closing hatches, using steering thrusters to brake, anything to slow their fall. - RotS: Junior Novel

Shields

“Keep us level,” he told the droid, and went back to work to slow them down. “Steady,” Obi-Wan said. “Five thousand.”

“Hang on,” Anakin said. “This may get a little rough. We lost our heat shields.” - RotS: Junior Novel

The Force

And at the same time, he [Anakin] draws power from the Force. He gathers perception, and luck, and sucks into himself the instinctive, preconscious what-will-happen-in-the-next-ten-seconds intuition that has always been the core of his talent. And then he begins.

On the downbeat, atmospheric drag fins deploy; as he tweaks their angles and cycles them in and out to slow the ship’s descent without burning them off altogether, their contrabass roar takes on a punctuated rhythm like a heart that skips an occasional beat. The forward attitude thrusters, damaged in the ship-to-ship battle, now fire in random directions, but he can feel where they’re raking him and he strokes them in sequence, making their song the theme of his impromptu concerto.

And the true inspiration, the sparkling grace note of genius that brings his masterpiece to life, is the soprano counterpoint: a syncopated sequence of exterior hatches in the outer hull sliding open and closed and open again, subtly altering the aerodynamics of the ship to give it just exactly the amount of sideslip or lift or yaw to bring the huge half cruiser into the approach cone of a pinpoint target an eighth of the planet away.

It is the Force that makes this possible, and more than the Force. Anakin has no interest in serene acceptance of what the Force will bring. Not here. Not now. Not with the lives of Palpatine and Obi-Wan at stake. It’s just the opposite: he seizes upon the Force with a stark refusal to fail.

RotS: Official Novelisation

  • 4
    It would have been wonderful if this had come through in the film, the novelization creates a crowning moment of awesome. – Morgen Mar 6 '16 at 20:55
  • 16
    @Morgen - Indeed. In the film it basically looks like he's trying to pilot a brick. When it lands, there's very little sense that he had anything to do with it landing not like a brick. – Valorum Mar 6 '16 at 20:59
  • 1
    So he guided his actions with the force, but he didn't wholesale physically stop the ship with the Force? – Azor Ahai Mar 7 '16 at 0:23
  • @azor-ahai - Precisely so. – Valorum Mar 7 '16 at 13:21
  • @Richard what is the meaning and implication of the last paragraph? More than the Force, seizing upon the Force with stark refusal to fail rather than serene acceptance of whatever comes? – thegreatjedi Mar 8 '16 at 7:58

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