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Drama, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
IMDB rating:
Irvin Kershner
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
Carrie Fisher as Princess Lea
Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian
David Prowse as Darth Vader
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
Kenny Baker as R2-D2
Frank Oz as Yoda
Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Jeremy Bulloch as Boba Fett
John Hollis as Lando's Aide
Jack Purvis as Chief Ugnaught
Des Webb as Snow Creature
Storyline: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca face attack by the Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda. Only with the Jedi master's help will Luke survive when the dark side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader.
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Slightly better than the Original
The first Star Wars movie, is a Sci-fi and cinematic masterpiece. But where Star Wars capitalized, Empire Strikes Back took it to the next level.

Here's what I think of the movie:

Story - I'm pretty sure we all know the story of Star Wars. A Galactic Empire is empowering the galaxy, and a Rebel Alliance tries to stop it. Today, it's sort of a cliché plot but back then, it was imagination skyrocketing into the heavens. Now, thats the plot of Star Wars. The story spans from a battle on the frigid planet of Hoth, to a space dogfight in an asteroid field, to Cloud City where the greatest plot twist in the history of cinema, is reveled. The film ends on a cliffhanger which leads to Return of the Jedi. I'm not going to spoil it, but I don't think I would need to because I'm willing to bet that about 99.99% of people have already seen this movie anyway(to that .01%, where the hell have you been?).

-Rating 10/10

Characters - The characters from the original movie are back, including Luke, Han, Leia, C3P0 and R2D2, and of course, Darth Vader. But the films also introduces some new characters as well, including Lando, The Emperor, Boba Fett, and Yoda. The Emperor doesn't really play a big part in the movie(I think he only has like, 10 lines) and Boba's name is never really mentioned. However, Yoda plays a big part by teaching Luke the ways of the force, and Lando, who is Han's old pal, plays a big part by betraying our heroes and giving them to Vader. Of course, he's still a good guy, he had to hand them over. Overall, I'd say the characters are still great.

- Rating 10/10

Visuals - This was back when Star Wars movies didn't rape the fabric of CGI. So what you see in the movie were real things. The Walkers, asteroids, X-Wings, Tie Fighters, everything. The original Star Wars set the standards for Special Effects with the light sabers, Death Stars blowing up and everything. Empire Strikes Back isn't any different. The Effects are still awesome and look great.

-Rating 10/10

Music - The Star Wars theme is (of course) still here and it's one of the most recognized themes in cinema. You only need to hear a second of the Star Wars theme, and you'll know what it is. Like any other Star Wars film, the music is composed by John Williams, so everything is played by an orchestra. Even though it's great the here the Star Wars theme in all it's nostalgic glory, the music thats played is still just as great.

-Rating 10/10

Overall - Empire Strikes back is my favorite Star Wars film and is one of my favorite movies. If I had to make a Top 10 list of my favorite movies, about 15 movies would be tied for the #1 spot, and this would be one of them. Everything about it is just perfect.

Final rating : 10/10

One of Hollywood's greatest cinematic adventures of all time.
'Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back' is the second part of the original Star Wars trilogy and was released back in 1980, three years after the release of 'Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope'. The movie continues the story of young Luke Skywalker and the galactic civil war between the Rebels and the Empire, while also introducing viewers to new aspects of George Lucas' universe, such as the deeper meanings of the Force and much more.

It is, by far, the best movie in the Star Wars saga, as well as the overall greatest movie ever made. The movie deepens the main characters' relations to each other, making us as viewers care even more for them as human beings. Another great aspect of the movie is the character of Yoda, portrayed by Frank Oz. Without spoiling anything for the uninitiated, this characters is one of the best things in the movie, due to Oz's ability to make the character feel like a real living being. However, no movie is perfect and while this movie is almost perfect, there is a couple of lines of dialogue that feel a little bit forced when spoken by the actors during the film's running time.

In the end, 'Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back' is my favourite movie of all time, as well as the greatest movie ever put onto the silver screen. If you have not seen it, or the other parts of the trilogy yet, you must do it as soon as possible, so that you will not miss out on one of Hollywood's greatest cinematic adventures of all time.
The perfect sequel to its perfect predecessor
In many ways, The Empire Strikes Back is the perfect sequel. But before I begin, let me get one thing out of the way. This is NOT the best Star Wars film of all time. That honour lies with the original, which it always will. There's a multitude of great scenes here, but I can and will argue that every one of them is derived from the original.

In case the original Star Wars lulled you into a false sense of security - the Death Star is destroyed, Tarkin is dead and Vader is lost in space - Empire Strikes Back (the name says it all) opens with the iconic Battle of Hoth, where the rebels are once again on the run from an Empire with superior numbers and firepower. Everything about this battle sets the mood of Empire - most of which is spent on the run. If your heart isn't beating faster than usual when Vader is walking up to the Millennium Falcon, then you're straight up lying.

There's no point wasting space talking about the performances in Empire Strikes Back, because Hamill, Fisher, Ford, Daniel and the actors behind Vader are just as good in this film as they were in the original. Ford and Fisher's on screen chemistry is what every movie couple aspires to be - it is not only believable but obvious that the Princess falls for the scoundrel Solo. Frank Oz joins the cast as the delightful Yoda, and his performance is perfect both in Yoda's wisest and most comedic moments. See also Billy Dee Williams, who became one of the franchise's most beloved characters in such a small amount of time. Williams' easy smile and commanding delivery shows us very clearly why he was in the conversation for the role of Han Solo.

The reason that Empire Strikes Back is the perfect sequel is that it delves deeper into the parts we wanted to know more about. Yoda warns us that Luke is not right to be a Jedi, and then we watch Luke make the very mistakes Yoda was warning him about. Vader is built into an incredible villain in this movie - he knows Luke is his son and he still maims him. One of the things I loved in this movie was the similarity of Vader's approach to Admiral Ozell and Captain Needa's failures. Ozell is a buffoon and Needa an honest and upfront man willing to accept responsibility, and they both meet the same fate. Its a small thing, but it says so much about Vader's lack of empathy.

Kershner is a very skilled director, probably the best in the franchise. Some of my favourite directed scenes include the devastating duel between Luke and Vader, where it is immediately obvious that Luke is out of his depth, and the incredible scene in which Vader's human head is revealed to the audience. A facial expression or change in body language is enough to speak volumes to the audience.

I'm not in love with Empire Strikes Back. I find Hoth's Yeti, the giant asteroid worm, and the community's bizarre obsession with Boba Fett to be rather annoying. I also found Hoth, Dagobah and Bespin to be relatively flat and uninspired worlds by Star Wars standards. But they are all such tiny things in what is obviously an incredible film - the film that gave me my name.

''Luke, I am your father.''
Almost Flawless
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best Star Wars film ever made, and one of the best films ever made. The film immortalized the already iconic characters that George Lucas created in Star Wars, while making a very dense and entertaining film. The Empire Strikes Back is so great because of the improvements made to Darth Vader, the ambitious tonal change, and the fact that it still contains one of the best twists ever. With enough analysis the most impressive thing about The Empire Strikes Back is how hard it is to find flaws in the film.

Darth Vader still stands, and probably always will stand as one of the best villains ever brought to the screen, second on my list only to The Dark Knight's Joker. However, in Vader's first appearance Vader is slightly inconsistent in that he's a temperamental villain often yelling, which isn't nearly as scary as a villain who remains calm. I would contest that the best villains act like they are always in control, whether they are not, it is in The Empire Strikes Back that Vader develops into this villain, while also systematically murdering his failing accomplices. It could be argued that Vader's development helped the tonal change that Empire Strikes Back brought.

It's another testament to the villain, when they are so chilling that the tone of the film seemingly dives with them. As Vader develops into the more controlled, systematic villain the tone of the film dives into a darker world. With Star Wars being considered, at least partially, a kids film it seems extremely ambitious of Lucas and Kershner to make a film directed at kids dark, something many filmmakers are unwilling to do today. The dark tone helps accentuate the character development as the characters hit their all time lows, and the film's tone represents that the world isn't always nice.

The story for Empire Strikes Back, being the middle film in the trilogy, had the most freedom, and used it accordingly. The story of Empire Strikes back is arguably, the strongest in the series, as the film was one of the earliest to say the bad guy can win, in a giant blockbuster, another very ambitious move. However, the best element of the story is the unpredictable turns it makes, in particular it's iconic twist. The twist remains one of the most famous of all time, for a reason, and the film benefits from it.

In the end Empire Strikes Back has the best story in the trilogy, the best character development, is very ambitious, and immortalizes it's iconic villain. On top of all of that it has been copied numerous times over the years, and remains one of the best films ever made. Empire Strikes Back still stands as the embodiment of what makes Star Wars so great.
Much anger in him...like his father.
Empire Strikes Back took everything that was revolutionary from Star Wars and improved it, and then some. It is deeper, more mature, and asks more questions of the world. R2D2 and Chewbacca, who became lovable fan favourites from the moment they hit the screen in 1977, did so without speaking a single word, but here they are much more than just accessories to the plot. In their grunts and roars and beeps, they now became beacons of loyalty for our group. The iconic opening crawl speaks of the events in between the two films - a time skip has occurred and the rebels are in hiding. The strengths of the characterisations show us exactly what has happened in these months unseen; Luke has become a respected fighter and commander, Han a captain, and his bickering and romantic tension with Leia only growing stronger (and which results in one of the most iconic confessions of love of all time). We see the bonds of friendship so much stronger in this sequel, and as Chewie attempts to repair CP3O and carries him around like a backpack, we recognise this is as an emotion of universality. No wonder Lucas used it again with Luke and Yoda.

Fox had placed little faith in the original, and the budget had been constricted, and Lucas's vision mellowed. But after the immense popularity and success, ESB was given full backing. The world of Star Wars was now even more fully realised. We had visited the deserts of Tattoine, the Aztec pyramids rebel bases amidst jungle territory, and now the icy planets of Hoth, where an imperial assault is imminent. The battlefield was now much clearer and the greenscreen backdrops of the dogfight-style fighter pilots more detailed, more immersive - fellow rebel ground fighters, jets and Imperial assault crews now milled around in the background, and live explosions proved to be more threatening than the multicoloured digital explosions in the black of space. There was real weight and fluidity in the way that the X-Wings would speed in and out and under and over the AT-ATs, and the coverage now provided a greater and more epic scale of the action; see Luke run around the legs and dangle from the elephant- like robotic beast, and how the Millennium Falcon weaves around an entirely three dimensional asteroid field and narrowly escapes from a gigantic space slug.

We have more new developments. Besides the stop-motion photography of the AT-ATs, which creates an oddly appropriate jerky walking motion, we also have the puppetry of the endearing Tauntauns which amble about in the snow, and their models are amazingly detailed, head to claw in a thick frost-covered hair, a dragon-shaped head and curved horns. And there is the old Jedi Master Yoda, whom I am conflicted on; at times it remains painfully obvious that he is a puppet, whose mouth does not correspond to the truths that he speaks, but they are great and important truths that become even more evident once Luke encounters the foreshadowing of himself in a Vader helmet. And of course the matte paintings are once again immaculate and beautifully detailed; in particular the landing platform on the edge of the Cloud City, and the glorious Bespin itself, bathed in the pink glow of the sunset and clouds. As the Falcon soars away above the sunset, Williams' Cloud City orchestral theme is at its most stirring, and is the second most iconic in the soundtrack, right after (what else?) The Imperial March. Never has a trumpet fanfare been so menacing and so recognisable - also named Darth Vader's Theme because the mere sighting of it signalled his presence and power.

Vader is photographed more ingeniously than in Star Wars (in brightly lit exteriors) and this enhances his terrifying persona; giving instructions from his own personal capsule, force-choking over the communications channel, emerging from icy mist in the freezing tunnels of Hoth, slivers of light hitting his mask and creating a dark and shiny gleam, and in that climatic duel between father and son, both are silhouetted on the orange steps by the smoking vents, and the colours of the shimmering lightsabers tell us all that we need to know about their allegiances. This is one of the classic movie villains at his peak, but it is more than black and white (or blue and red) morality - there is just a hint of fatherly affection behind that mask, buried deep below, but we see the inklings of a plan, tinges of regret that have formed over the years living in the Dark Side. And in Luke's horrified reaction, the realisation that his own vices may well lead him down the same path. The studio was not entirely happy about leaving Vader in his tumbling TIE fighter after the explosion of the first Death Star; sequels were regarded as pulpy cash-ins rather than significant narratives. But Empire proves its worth, and then some - it ends with Vader's cruel blow and confession, the loss of a hand, and the capture of a beloved character...but there is still a glimmer of hope. It remains one of the remarkable sci-fi achievements.
Mysterious sci-fi - fantasy
Unexpectedly thought provoking, as adventurous as the first one - an immersive journey into the star wars universe -- escapism at its finest!

It's a visually beautiful movie, the more I analysed it, the more surprised I was to find out how good the directing and cinematography this masterpiece of a movie has. When cinematography and directing wasn't in my vocabulary, I wasn't focusing on those aspects of movies, unconsciously, I, as a kid, was still mesmerized over how visually pleasing the movie's cinematography and directing was, without even being aware of it.

Empire's score composed by John Williams: Williams has perfectly written the music for this movie, it's powerful when they show the empire's greatness with ''the imperial march'', it's mysterious in unclear, foggy locations. In my opinion, the only Star Wars score that surpasses Empire's score is Return of the Jedi's score.

Not really any standout performances, but the actors and the writing gives the characters charm. We see the characters exchanging banter, and other well written interaction, developing the characters well, we also see them being a bit more developed since the previous installment.

Practical effects' durability is shown here; it still holds up, it even looks better than most modern movies, and most of my favourite movies are even modern movies.

It's the most well written Star Wars movie to-date, it's original and can't really be compared to many other movies. It's memorable, mysterious, shocking. Some may find the dialogue cheesy, some find it witty. It even brings a puppet to life, making him one of the best movie characters of all time. The universe expands from each scene, the universe feels grand. The movie's twists works, it's difficult to predict what will happen next.

It's a journey like nothing else, fun from beginning to its end. Fast paced adventure, exploring the Star Wars universe. Highly recommended for audience of all sorts, the movie has it all for people with all kinds of taste in movies.
Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter
Why is The Empire Strikes Back (1980) such a beloved movie? Star Wars (1977) is more fun, but Empire marks the point where the story gained more emotional depth and the matinée serial black-and-white morality of the original becomes less defined.

Howard Hawks once said a great movie has a few great scenes and no bad ones. If that is the case, then Empire is without doubt a great film, as one cannot find a bad scene in the bunch. As for great scenes, just take your pick: the battle on Hoth, Luke's training in Dagobah, the X-wing rising from the swampy muck, Lando's reluctant betrayal, Han and Leia's poignant farewell in the carbon chamber.

Undoubtedly, the most iconic moment in this film is the climactic confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, when our hero discovers his much-idealized father is a fallen Jedi who has lost much of his conscience and humanity. Though Luke's reaction to this reveal is often mocked and even I cannot help but chuckle sometimes, I think it's entirely appropriate. Hamill's big "noooo" is not forced or phony; the way his face contorts and his voice cracks makes it feel raw and heartbreaking.

This is one of few films that gets better every time you watch it. It also makes me keenly aware how the series declined in quality afterward (Return of the Jedi is okay, but it feels a bit too derivative of the first and a bit too juvenile for an epic conclusion). Out of all the SW films, this one is the closest to perfection.
Possibly the best made Star Wars movie
Before I get to in depth with this whole review, I will get one thing out of the way. This isn't just possibly the best Star Wars movie. This is just flat out the best Star Wars movie in terms of film making. However, I will say this though. It is my least favorite of the original trilogy in terms of watch value. I can recognize that it is the best, but sill not really think that it is the greatest to watch.

I will get the stuff that makes it so great out of the way first. First off, it is very well acted at least for Star Wars standards. It had a lot of talent and effort put into it and it shows with the fact that everybody seemed to be at their top here. It also has one of the best endings in the series as well as nice and long training bit with Yoda at Dagobah and it shows that Luke can be able to at least fight sort of in terms of how he can handle the light saber. And the battle of Hoth was a great way to open the movie and gets you into what is going on with just the first thirty minutes or so.

Although one of the reasons on why it is not my favorite one to watch is just that it can be really boring at a lot of times. I will not be sad to admit it since it is true. Such as when Han and Leia are in space with Chewy, it can be a bit of a drag and while it does advance the whole plot line of them falling on love forward, it doesn't mean that it is something that I would be fully invested in. However, the "I love you" and the "I know" line makes up for it.

While I could go on to say something bad about this movie, I don't really feel like I can get myself to do so. And while I could say more positive things about this movie, I don't really know if I actually need to since everybody probably already knows of all the good things that are within this movie. I will say that when you watch Star Wars, you should pay attention to this one since it is one that very much will showcase what good Star Wars is like. Many people love this movie, and it really does make sense why they do. It is a genuinely well made movie, and one that has a story that really gets the series from Point A to Point B.
The only film that gets a 10
And I've seen some great films. However, within this one it's the culmination of both fortuitous events and the craft and skill of everyone involved that makes this the best film of all time.

If you start with the script, because many people leave this detail out, you realise how well crafted the dialogue is. This is no accident and arguably the key to this success was the work by Leigh Brackett, the woman that was also partly responsible for the script to the Bogey classic "The Big Sleep". I've often said that it you place Han and Leia's script in empire and compare the sparkling repartee between them and Marlow and Rutledge you could almost switch them between films (Those are harsh words to throw at a man, especially when he's walking out of your bedroom and sorry sweetheart, I haven't time for anything else, in particular).

Then of course the luck factor kicks in. Bad luck at first with Mark Hamill's terrible bike accident which had to be explained with the wampa attack, which in turn leads to the scene where we see how Luke's powers are first coming along. Then arguably the best piece of lateral thinking. The obvious jedi master would be 6 feet tall and virtually indestructible, and rather than do that, they make Yoda anything but, they went the other way and created one of cinema's best realised fake characters. In Empire, Yoda is masterfully done and every scene with him is like a moment with a treasured Grandparent whose wisdom is strange but unquestionable. This is Yoda's film and is fantastic for it.

The John williams score in this one is breathtaking, key moments, include the lifting of the X-wing and the confrontation between Lando and vader, so subtle, but so perfect.

Finally the effects, the light sabre duel is arguably the best one ever put on film, as Luke's quick but not perfect yet, going up against a Jedi Warrior whose powers are second to only 2 others in the galaxy. Awesome, and as for the revelation, I thought he was lying when I was 10 years old, it is almost too unbelievable, but believable it is.

First three aren't a patch and this one is George's masterpiece.

10/10 Mikey B
A Flawless Sequel
It is not always possible for a sequel to re-capture the peculiar magic of an original film. 'The Empire Strikes Back' manages to do so by being less of a sequel than it is a new film on its own. The story begun in 'Star Wars' is advanced, the characters & their relationships with one another are deepened and the film itself abandons much of the easy spirit of the first film in favour of a darker and more uncertain tone. If the first film was largely about heroism, the second is largely concerned with struggle. The main characters are soundly tested in this film and for the most part, they come up short.

This is also the film that transforms Darth Vader into one of the screen's great villains. Vader was interesting in 'Star Wars,' but he is iconic in 'The Empire Strikes Back' and he rightfully takes his place as not only a great villain, but a great character. In spite of the despair that runs through the film, the visuals and imagination so apparent in 'Star Wars' returns here, as well. The film is littered with awesome action sequences and more than enough 'coolness' to measure up to its predecessor.

Again, the original (1980) version is the one to see - if given the option - although the enhancements made to this film are somewhat less invasive than those applied to 'Star Wars.' Still, the film is more charming and more polished its original release. It is considerably less delightful than its predecessor, but it is every bit as good of a film, if not even slightly superior to 'Star Wars.'
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