MEDICAL CENTER: Luke dresses in readiness for the evacuation as his attending medical droid stands by.
MEDICAL DROID: Sir, it will take quite a while to evacuate the T-forty-sevens.
LUKE: Well, forget the heavy equipment. There's plenty of time to get the smaller modules on the transports.
MEDICAL DROID: Take care, sir.
MAIN HANGAR DECK: Pilots, gunners, and R2 units scurry about. Luke stops at the rear of the Millennium Falcon, where Han and Chewie are trying to repair the right lifter with even more haste than before.
LUKE: Chewie, take care of yourself, okay?
As Luke pats him, Chewie puts his arms around Luke and gives him a tight hug.
LUKE (laughs): Okay, okay.
Han is discussing the lifter with a repair droid when he sees Luke.
HAN: Hi, kid. (to droid) There's got to be a reason for it. Check it at the other end. Wait a second. (to Luke) You all right?
HAN: Be careful.
LUKE: You, too.
Luke smiles and the two exchange a silent communication, each wishing the other safety, happiness - many things, all difficult to verbalize.
In the control room, a controller urgently gestures for General Rieekan to check a computer scan.
CONTROLLER: General, there's a fleet of Star Destroyers coming out of hyperspace in sector four.
RIEEKAN: Reroute all power to the energy shield.
Rieekan turns to give instructions to another controller.
RIEEKAN: We've got to hold them till all transports are away. Prepare for ground assault.
HOTH ORBIT: Vader's armada has reached the planet Hoth. Vader's Star Destroyer is surrounded by the smaller Destroyers along with TIE Fighter swarming around the massive ship.
VADER'S STAR DESTROYER - VADER'S CHAMBER - MEDITATION CUBICLE: The dark cubicle is illuminated by a single shaft of light which falls on the brooding Dark Lord as he sits on a raised meditation cube. General Veers enters the room and approaches the silent, unmoving Vader. Although seemingly very sure of himself, Veers is still not bold enough to interrupt the meditating lord. The younger general stands quietly at attention until the evil presence speaks.
VADER: What is it, General?
VEERS: My lord, the fleet has moves 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 bombardment.
VADER (angrily): 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.
Veers turns smartly and leaves as Vader activates a large viewscreen showing the bridge of his mighty ship. Admiral Ozzel appears on the viewscreen, standing slightly in front of Captain Piett.
OZZEL: Lord Vader, the fleet has moved out of light-speed, and we're preparing to... Aaagh!
VADER: You have failed me for the last time, Admiral. Captain Piett.
Piett steps forward, as the admiral moves away, slightly confused, touching his throat as it begins to constrict painfully.
PIETT: Yes, my lord.
VADER: Make ready to land out troops beyond the energy shield and deploy the fleet so that nothing gets off that system. You are in command now, Admiral Piett.
PIETT: Thank you, Lord Vader.
Piett's pleasure about his unexpected promotion is a mixed emotion. He glances warily at the struggling Admiral Ozzel who, with a final choke, stumbles and falls in a lifeless heap before him.
REBEL BASE - MAIN HANGAR DECK: With a sense of urgency, Leia quickly briefs a group of pilots gathered in the center of the hangar.
LEIA: All troop carriers will assemble at the north entrance. The heavy transport ships will leave as soon as they're loaded. Only two fighter escorts per ship. The energy shield can only be opened for a short time, so you'll have to stay very close to your transports.
HOBBIE: Two fighters against a Star Destroyer?
LEIA: The ion cannon will fire several shots to make sure that any enemy ships will be out of your flight path. When you've gotten past the energy shield, proceed directly to the rendezvous point. Understood?
PILOTS (in unison): Right. Okay.
LEIA: Good luck.
DERLIN: Okay. Everyone to your stations. Let's go!
The pilots hurry away.
ICE PLAIN - SNOW TRENCH: Rebel troops carry heavy bazooka-type weapons and position them along the snow trench. Men hurriedly brace themselves against the rhythmic gusts of bitter-cold wind. Other troops load power packs into a gun turret and swing its guns into position.
POWER GENERATORS: Near the base power generators, troops rush to set up their heavy battle equipment. Buzzing loudly, the generators send along, sparking fingers of energy into the bitter Hoth wind.
COMMAND CENTER: The long line of Rebel controllers is tense, as are Princess Leia and General Rieekan, who are trying very hard not to show any fear.
RIEEKAN: Their primary target will be the power generators. Prepare to open the shield.
ICE PLAIN: The Rebel transport and two escort fighters begin their departure from the ice planet.