How long is Luke Skywalker on Dagobah?
This seems like a quick little trip, but alas, no - and my research on the interwebs has been spotty at best.
In fact, what is the timeline for the entire movie The Empire Strikes Back?
It seems, on the surface that it's a couple weeks, right?
But if you give a pause, and start to analyze the timeline, the possibility arises that it could be 6 months to a year.
Let's take a look:
Once Luke is brought back to Echo base, he's in the medical tank and recovery. There's not a lot of hints on how long that therapy lasted. That could have been a month from Wampa attack to twins kissing in the sick bay. It probably wasn't, but the Imperial Probe Droid had to cover an entire planet -- some people can't even get around in the city they live in without GPS...
From the battle of Hoth to Dagobah, even though Luke's X-wing has hyperdrive, still could have taken a while. That's assuming that Hoth is in the same galactic neighborhood, it's still going to take a while -- and while Luke is speeding along to his destination, the Falcon's hyperdrive is NOT working... and they go into the asteroid field that is in, I can only assume, the Hoth solar system.
So the Falcon is in the asteroid belt for quite some time. Vader's Super Star Destroyer and three or four Star Destroyers are constantly bombing and probing the asteroids for the Falcon. The Falcon is in the Worm for an undisclosed amount of time before they discover that the mynock are part of the worm's digestive system. Sure it looks like an hour, but by the time they come out, Vader's assembled and hired a crew of Bounty Hunters since his team isn't getting the job done.
He would have had to put out the contract, they would have had to get to his Super Star Destroyer... even with the bending of space and time - that's still a large amount of travel involved. And as everyone knows how long it takes for a government contract to go through, this alone should be a clue that Vader was looking for the Falcon for at least a month or possibly two.
Meanwhile, back on Dagobah, Luke's training - while short, doesn't give a true sense of how long he was there. From dinner at Yoda's mud hut to the "Failure at the Cave" is an undisclosed amount of time. It's not a couple days, it could have been over a month of training.
Now, of course, a month of training to be a Jedi seems just silly after watching Eps 1-3... Let's dismiss that for a second.
In my childhood imagination - Obi Wan spilled the beans that he personally trained Anakin, and failed... I always assumed that Anakin was about Luke's age and that Obi Wan did a crash course on a bunch of freighter pilots and that Anakin worked out against the clones. And because he hadn't had the proper training from Yoda, he turned to the dark side. Oh, and the Clones were all Boba Fetts and BAD GUYS in my version... there weren't any stupid Droid armies. I always figured that Luke is (at least) getting some one-on-one time with Yoda and having his education honed to use the Force. Enough to be a Jedi? Or just enough to take out his old man? It paints a darker image of Obi Wan and Yoda - which makes them deeper characters with an agenda... from a certain point of view.
Back to the Falcon. They sneak away and limp to Bespin "It's far, but I think we can make it" from the asteroid belt. That's no hyperspace. To get technical - that would be a couple hundred years... but let's pretend it's only a couple weeks to a month of traveling from Hoth to Bespin. That's still a couple more months.
Then they get there, "3p-O's been gone too long to be lost" they have dinner and are tortured by Vader - for how long? A day, a month? Long enough for their pain to reach Luke on a Force wave.
Vader's plan DOES cut into Luke's crash course in Force training, much to the horror of Yoda and Obi Wan... but they know that they've got Leia as backup in case the boy child in such a hurry to fall into a trap doesn't work out for them.
Remember, Luke isn't really holding his own in that first battle with his old man. And it's when Vader tells Luke that he's his daddy is when Luke's lack of training really fails him. Had he been able to control his feelings, he would have just shrugged and given old iron lung a Force blast - but instead his only escape is to jump off a tall whathave you into an air vent over a gas giant planet.
But I still ask, how long is the timeline for Empire?