You can only use escape when not in a puzzle (and there are 2 puzzles in a row at the start).
Or is it something else?
Sam: "We're 98% certain General Skun-ka'pe is evil."
Stinky: "And the other 2%?"
Max: "That he's crazy and we have to shoot him! But that may be wishful thinking on our part."
(Any resemblance to KOTOR is purely coincidential, really!)