"I thought they smelled bad on the outside!" Han Solo proved he was more than just a scruffy nerfherder when he risked his own life in a Hoth blizzard to find Luke Skywalker!
In The Empire Strikes Back, Han--again portrayed by Harrison Ford--ignores the concerns and advice of C-3PO and his Rebel Alliance commanders to brave the raging snowstorm and find his only romantic rival for the affections of Princess Leia--reprised by Carrie Fisher. Mounting his smelly, furry tauntaun he goes back out to find Luke Skywalker--Mark Hamill--fearing the worst but unable to satisfy his conscience by staying indoors and hoping for the best.
It's one of the weirdest scenes in the sci-fi franchise but one of those endearing, fan-favorite moments that helped establish the sequel as one of the greatest films of all time. After finding Luke, bewildered and wounded from his encounter with the wampa, things turn from bad to worse as the two-legged creature gives out from exhaustion under the pair. Han sees that Luke is spiraling fast into hypothermia, so in a fit of desperation he takes Luke's lightsaber and slices the smelly beast open and pushes his ally into the warm guts, just until he can set up a proper shelter; proving there's more than one good use for a tauntaun!
The director, Irvin Kershner, was reluctant to take the reigns--fearing that no sequel could live up to the original. George Lucas insisted that his former USC School of Cinematic Arts professor take the job as he was spread too thin with responsibilities to the financial management of the film and his increased role with Industrial Light and Magic. Everything came together perfectly though and Empire is easily the best film of the original trilogy--from the dogfight on the frozen planet, to the swamps of Dagobah and the voice and puppetry of Frank Oz, to the famous "I am your father" revelation by Darth Vader!