Captain Piett Tries Not to React While His Superior Is Killed
I'm just gonna say it: Working with Darth Vader has to be a complete nightmare. In the real world, when employees fuck up, they're fired or given a stern warning by HR. In Star Wars, the generals/admirals/captains who fail Vader are Force-choked in front of all of their co-workers and friends. Still, while it creates a stressful workplace, it also constantly opens up room for advancement. One of the "lucky" underlings is Captain Firmus Piett, who gets an impromptu promotion when his superior, Admiral Ozzel, is killed. The best part of Ozzel's death, though, is Piett's reaction to it:
The key is that he can't react too much. He can't risk looking weak in front of Vader by conveying his horror, and he certainly can't come off as insubordinate if he doesn't want his own windpipe to be crushed. So the actor (Kenneth Colley) has to kind of nervously continue his conversation wwhile fiercely resisting his urge to look over at his dying comrade. It's almost slapstick, but not quite. It's funny, but not so silly as to ruin the tension. That's a balancing act modern blockbusters mess up constantly.