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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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The symbol for what a great sequel should be
The Empire Strikes Back is the most suspenseful, well-paced and most emotional entry of the Star Wars saga. It's the greatest of movie sequels and as far as it goes, it is everything a sequel to a great movie is supposed to be: a darker tone, more development with the characters, universe expanding with some new and greater additions and features.

The perfect adventure telling story that continues from where it left off from and delved deeper into the characters we all know and love today and introduced bigger places in the galaxy far far away that George Lucas originally introduced to us. The action is stunning, the visuals still look ground-breaking today. Empire overall, is just the best movie sequel ever and I don't know if I can call it the best of the original trilogy because its a tough choice between the three of them, to me.

But I still love The Empire Strikes Back so 10/10.
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.''
re-watched for the millionth time
i wanted to briefly state that this is how films and sequels should me made, i know i am not stating new ground here but the sophistication of this film makes me wonder why the template hasn't been used more. it doesn't pick up where we left off, we aren't treated as morons with constant plot explaining, it ends with hope lost. can we have more of this, i don't like happy endings, never seems real in a movie. Han solo being froze is my favourite thing. the twist is a classic move, lando comes in and is instantly a great character, the universe becomes more expanded. the effects look better, i don't know why this isn't higher than 12th at the time of writing, i just wanted to state i love this film
All the fun of the original with a much better, darker plot
The Rebellion has struck an important blow to the power of the Empire by destroying it's Death Star, however the power of the Dark Side of the Force remains strong and continues to hunt the rebellion. While the Rebellion base on Hoth is under treat, Luke has gone to a distant swamp planet to receive further Jedi training from Master Yoda. However the power of the dark side should not be underestimated and many dark truths are revealed as the threat of the Empire looms large.

Following Star Wars was never going to be easy but this is actually better. Empire retains the same characters and the same sense of fun that the first had – the battle on Hoth is just one of THE moments of the series. However what gets added to that is a much darker strand. The Empire is not beaten by the destruction of one ship – it's power is barely dented in fact. This sees some startling revelations (I won't spoil it in case you've been living under a rock!) but also sees significant blows to the rebellion. In fact the ending of this film could not be more different from the end of Star Wars.

Like the recent episode two this follows two strands – the more pedestrian scenes with Luke and Yoda and the more action based scenes with Han and company. The scenes with Yoda add depth to the film and hint at the truth. Meanwhile the other half is a lot more action orientated and has comedy and good new characters such as Bobba Fett. The two work well together and come together well for a great finale. The addition of a dark strand to the film makes it all the better as it can be enjoyed as a story and not just a fun sci-fi film with good effects.

The characters are better here than the first. The strong characters from the first (Han, C3P0 et al) are all still good here. However we also get a much more interesting version of Luke as he continues his journey into becoming a full Jedi. Yoda is a good addition (despite sounding like Fozzie Bear!) and Darth Vader becomes a lot more than just a good villain – we learn his past, a revelation then, but a thing of common knowledge now.

Overall this is as good as Star Wars at it's heart, but the darker nature of the film makes it much better. Where the first one was a victorious uprising this is, as the title suggests, the time in history where the Empire strikes back against the uprising. All the music, characters and things that make Star Wars Star Wars are here and it's simply one of the best of the series to date.
Even though he wasn't at the director's helm this time, George Lucas has done it again.
In a film like The Empire Strikes Back, especially a few years on the heels of such a mind-bogglingly great film like the original Star Wars, there is something that comes immediately to mind that would at first seem to count against the film, but instead only winds up increasing the respect that it commands. In the 1977 Star Wars, there is a clear reliance on simplicity in some parts. Obviously, it is much more than a simply made science fiction film, but like I said in my review of it, there was a lot of highly effective reliance on things that were not put on screen, such as Obi Wan's description of The Force to Luke. In The Empire Strike Back, the first thing that we are treated to is the traditional scrolling text along a background of stars, depicting what has happened between the last film and this one, and reminding us of the things that were mentioned in the last film but never explained.

At first, this would almost seem to be a way to save money to get more information across to the audience without having to actually put it on screen, but this is really an ingenious way of furthering the story. The very fact that we are so willing to read all this information and forgive our inability to actually see it is a testament to the quality of the series, even at this early stage in its presentation, and we know the story so well from the first film that we are glad to see such a large change in what's happening in the films, not for a second lamenting the fact that we have obviously missed so much action. And besides that, if and when George Lucas runs out of new prequels to release, and maybe if he someday begins to run low on how many hundreds of millions of dollars he has, he could go right back and make these in-between scenes into full length films. What would he call these, if he did that? Introquels? Who cares! The names themselves would be interesting enough, and if you go back and read the stuff that introduces this film, it's obvious that there's an entire film there just waiting to be made. I guess the question of actors would be a formidable one, though.

The Empire Strikes Back is the film where we are first introduced to the great Jedi master Yoda (`Away put your weapon!'), as well as some of the most thrilling battle sequences of the entire Star Wars series, and that includes the prequels. The battle scene where the rebels fight the Imperial Walkers on the ice planet is an incredibly well-made battle scene, not only in the way that it was put together so convincingly using models, but that the machines themselves are so creatively made. Indeed, the Imperial Walkers are some of the most recognizable machines from the entire Star Wars saga, right up there with the Millennium Falcon and the Death Star.

I have just watched this film again, having already seen Episode I and Episode II, and not having seen any of the original Star Wars films for maybe 10 years (except for the original 1977 Star Wars, which I saw and reviewed a few days ago - and these aren't even the Special Edition versions!). When I first saw Yoda when watching The Empire Strikes Back again, I was really struck by how different he looked from in the newer movies. Obviously, he's completely computer generated in the new films, but here in Episode V he looks like a muppet! Even so, I would like to express my opinion that Yoda is more realistic and more interesting here as a puppet than in the newer films as a computer generated image. At least here in the older films you know that he's actually THERE, and that he's not just added into the film later.

Oh yeah, speaking of Yoda, can I just complain for a minute? What the hell was up with the Jedi training? Yes, I realize that I'm just a lowly IMDb reviewer, while The Empire Strikes Back is a part of the greatest science fiction series of all time, but would it have killed George Lucas to write in a little more creative training for Luke? The thing that struck me first about the Star Wars films when I first started watching them was how incredibly imaginative they were, but then Luke started his training. You know, when I was in high school I played football. I was a wide receiver/tight end and I hardly ever got to play because I was too tall and too skinny, but part of my workout was to carry the linemen up and down the stairs to the weight room. Some of these guys weighed 100 pounds more than me, and I still almost never saw the field, and here's Luke Skywalker. He carries Yoda around this boggy swamp and he gets to be a Jedi! What the hell!

There is also the addition of a surprisingly fitting love story. First of all, anyone who has ever read my review of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie will know that I am not the biggest fan of cramming a love story into a movie where it doesn't belong. I can't seem to write anything about Bruckheimer movies without complaining about the idiot love story, and now it's even worse because here's this movie that was made so long before, from which Bruckheimer could obviously have at least learned a LITTLE bit about how to do it right. Han Solo and Princess Leia maintain the personalities that they developed in the first Star Wars film and there is now a sort of love/hate relationship between the two of them, where neither one of them wants to admit their feelings for the other. This romantic subplot is characterized perfectly in the scene just before Solo is carbon frozen, when Leia risks approaching a cheesy romantic moment by saying `I love you' just before Han is lowered into the freezing chamber, and he saves the moment by responding, `I know.' Han Solo. Smart-ass to the last drop.

Before I end I would like to point out that the goofs that can be found on the IMDb for this film are some of the most blatant that I've ever seen in a film. The scene where you can see someone giving a woman at the tactical maps a cue to deliver her lines is amazingly obvious, and some of the other ones, such as the stage hand swinging the light saber prop briefly into view as he switches it for an `off' prop with Luke just after he knocks Darth Vader over backwards, are just as much fun to look for. I have one question about the goofs, though. There's one where Luke looks off into the fog just after R2-D2 is eaten by the sea monster, and you can CLEARLY see a person running to the right a little ways off in the fog. Is that meant to be Luke? It seems that it's supposed to be him running in his search for R2, because you can even hear the FOOTSTEPS of the person running. I can't even IMAGINE how they could have missed THAT!!

It is, however, a testament to the quality of a film when such tremendous oversights in editing do nothing to take away from the overall quality of the film. The Empire Strikes Back remains an extremely powerful and well-made installment in the Star Wars series, not taking even a single step backwards in the sheer breathtaking adventure of the original film. It's not often that a film as good as Star Wars can be released and then followed up with a sequel that is just as great, as is clearly the case here. Star Wars was a gigantic film upon its release, and with The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas has begun the formation of one of the greatest film series' in cinematic history.
Why can't they make them like this any more?
From it's opening scenes on the bleak ice-ball that is the planet Hoth, to its exciting finale on the cloud city of Bespin, The Empire Strikes back is a worthy sequel to the magnificent Star Wars. Taking over the directorial reins from George Lucas, Irvin Kershner steers the movie into darker territory to deliver a more mature movie than its predecessor.

The Empire is still licking its wounds after the destruction of the Death Star, and evil Darth Vader is intent on finding the rebels responsible for destroying his new toy. Luke's aim, meanwhile, is to become a fully fledged Jedi knight, whilst Han sets himself a more difficult target: he plans on getting into Leia's knickers.

With more incredible FX packed action scenes than you can shake a light-sabre at (highlights include the fantastic battle on Hoth, a chase scene through an asteroid field, and the Luke/Darth light-sabre duel), and THAT moment where we learn the truth about Luke's father, it's no surprise to find that this episode is often said to be the best of the series. Personally, A New Hope will always be my favourite (for sentimental reasons), but The Empire Strikes Back is a very close second.
The Saga Continues...
It's very rare when a sequel outshines the film that came before it,"The Empire Strikes Back" manages to do that in many ways. "Star Wars" always will be considered an all time classic,but "Empire" is a great follow up.

According to George Lucas,It's "Episode V" in his space opera. In my opinion it's the best in the series.

The characters are more fleshed out this time,and the plot is more complex and darker then the previous installment. The F/X is outstanding.

The film stands on it's own as a great cinematic achievement and should be recognized as more than a sequel,It's a continuation of great epic and all around excellent film.
Excellent Film!
This is the sequel to the original Star Wars (1977) and is the best film in the entire saga. It brings back all of the things people loved about the original and added more action and more great characters. This film and the original or considered some of the best movies of all time, and while this film did not receive as much critical acclaim as the first, most fans of the Star Wars saga will agree that this one is the best.

The film begins in the rebel base on the ice planet Hoth. The whole Hoth sequence is my favorite of the whole series. We see our hero Luke Skywalker get attacked by a yeti like monster and have to use the force to escape. The battle with the Empire's At-Ats and the rebels is the coolest scene in the movie. The AT-ATs are giant walking machines that are almost impenetrable so Luke and the other rebel pilots have to come up with a way to stop them because their guns won't stop them. Luke devises a plan where they circle the legs with a towing line to trip them. It is a really really cool scene. The Empire does shut down the bases power though our heroes must flee.

Instead of joining Han, Chewy, and Leia, Luke goes to the Dagobah system because of a vision he received from the ghost of his former master Obi-Wan Kenobi. On Dagobah Luke meets Yoda. Yoda is one of the most iconic Star Wars characters. He is the most powerful Jedi warrior even though he is only about a foot tall and green. Yoda trains Luke to become the ultimate Jedi Warrior.

Meanwhile Han and the Millennium Falcon are being chased by the Empire through asteroid fields. They decide to go to Cloud City to enlist the help of Han's old friend Lando, Billy Dee Williams. It ends up being a trap and Darth Vader captures Han, Chewy, and Leia. Sensing that his friends are in trouble Luke abandons his training to go rescue them. The result is one of the most iconic endings to any film. Including perhaps the biggest twist in Cinema History up to this point. I won't say it here and spoil it, but it is so iconic you probably know about it even if you haven't seen the film.

This film is Star Wars at its best! I love all the movies, but this is the one where they really did it right. It has tons of awesome action, and really expands the Star Wars Universe. This is the kind of movie that I could watch at any time and would just as in to it!

The Perfect Sequel
Most of the time, sequels are a bit of a disappointment, because of lame story and poor special effects. The Empire Strikes Back on the other hand is one of the best sequels I've ever seen in my life. Everything in this film is marvelous. The story is great, and the character development is far more dark and gruesome than in the first film. The new characters, such as Yoda and Lando Calrissian really add something to the Star Wars saga.

And what would an Empire Strikes Back review be without mentioning one of the most famous lines of all time: No, I am your father.

Truly a shocker, perhaps one of the greatest move climaxes of all time. In conclusion, The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) is outstanding, and meets all the standards that movie sequels should. I never get tired of watching it.
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