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The Empire Strikes Back

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This film has been preserved in the National Film Registry in 2010.

The Empire Strikes Back
220px-SW - Empire Strikes Back.jpg
Darth Vader: "Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father."

Luke: "He told me enough! He told me you killed him."
Darth Vader: "No, I am your father."
Luke: "No... No... That's not true. That's impossible!"
Darth Vader: "Search your feelings, you know it to be true."

Luke: "NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! NO!!!"
Genre: Science fiction
Directed By: Irvin Kershner
Produced By: Gary Kurtz
Written By: George Lucas
Leigh Brackett
Lawrence Kasdan
Starring: Mark Hamill
Harrison Ford
Carrie Fisher
Billy Dee Williams
David Prowse
Peter Mayhew
Anthony Daniels
Kenny Baker
Frank Oz
Cinematography: Peter Suschitzky
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 21, 1980 (Canada)
May 21, 1980 (UK)
June 6, 1980 (Cocos (Keeling) Islands)
June 20, 1980 (USA)
June 27, 1980 (Ireland)
June 28, 1980 (Japan)
July 14, 1980 (Brazil)
August 7, 1980 (Australia)
August 8, 1980 (Hong Kong)
August 8, 1980 (Philipines)
August 10, 1980 (Norway)
August 15, 1980 (Sweden)
August 20, 1980 (France)
September 19, 1980 (Italy)
October 3, 1980 (Spain)
December 5, 1980 (New Zealand)
December 10, 1980 (India)
December 11, 1980 (West Germany)
December 19, 1980 (Greece)
December 25, 1980 (Mexico) Febrary 5, 1981 (Taiwan)
Februrary 12, 1981 (Peru)
Runtime: 124 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $33 million
Box Office: $550.9 million
Franchise: Star Wars
Prequel: A New Hope
Sequel: Return of the Jedi

The Empire Strikes Back, also known as Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, is a 1980 epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner, produced by Gary Kurtz and written by George Lucas, Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan. It is the second film in the original Star Wars trilogy.


The year is 3 ABY (After the Battle of Yavin) and Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca are on the run from the Galactic Empire after the Rebel Alliance suffers a crushing defeat on the ice planet Hoth. While Han, Leia and Chewbacca head to the gas giant Bespin in the Millennium Falcon, seeking help from Han's old friend Lando Calrissian, Luke travels to the backwater world of Dagobah in search of the legendary Jedi master Yoda. Only with his help will Luke be able to survive when the dark side of the Force draws him into a fateful duel with Darth Vader, ending with his hand being cut off and Vader revealing to Luke that he is indeed his father, Anakin Skywalker!

Why Darth Vader Is Luke Skywalker's Father

  1. It's an amazing follow-up to the first (or fourth, depending on what order you're watching them in) movie, with a groundbreaking story that brings about major changes in the Star Wars universe.
  2. Amazing acting, especially by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Frank Oz.
  3. Lots of memorable action and thriller scenes, such as the Battle of Hoth with a squadron of Rebel snowspeeders going up against waves of Imperial AT-ATs, the Millennium Falcon getting chased by tons of TIE Fighters and Star Destroyers through an asteroid field, and the climactic lightsaber duel between Luke and Darth Vader.
  4. In addition, there are some scary moments, such as a scene where the group onboard the Millennium Falcon realize that it's not a cave and it's actually the inside of a giant space slug.
  5. This movie introduces us to some brand-new characters in the Star Wars universe:
    • Yoda is a small, green humanoid alien who is powerful with the Force. He is among the most powerful members of the Jedi Order and a general of clone troopers during the Clone Wars. He also trains all Jedi children before they are assigned a Jedi master.
    • Lando Calrissian (Baron Landonis Balthazar "Lando" Calrissian III) is the Baron Administrator of Cloud City on the gas planet Bespin. Before the events of TESB, Lando made a career as a gambler, con artist, playboy, mining engineer and businessman, and was the original owner of the Millennium Falcon until he lost the ship to Han in a bet.
    • Emperor Palpatine (AKA Darth Sidious) is the emperor of the Galactic Empire and the master of Darth Vader. He is portrayed as a cunning individual who uses Machiavellian tactics to bring the entire galaxy under his iron rule.
  6. There are a lot of scenes where Yoda teaches Luke Skywalker how to be stronger in the light side of the force on Dagobah, such as floating stuff around and trying to raise his X-Wing out of the dirty swamp.
  7. The soundtrack, performed by John Williams, is still amazing and unforgettable to this day, especially with tons of exciting, suspense and scary soundtrack moments throughout the movie.
  8. Excellent cinematography by Peter Suschitzky.
  9. The Wampa is a terrifying monster.
  10. Most of the special effects in the movie still hold up well to this day.
  11. Iconic dialogue, especially the scene near the end where Darth Vader reveals that he is Luke Skywalker's thought-dead father, Anakin Skywalker.
    • That scene gave us one of the most iconic plot twists in cinema history, and is so iconic that movies and TV shows continue to parody this moment to this day.
    • The dialogue :
      • Vader: Obi-Wan Kenobi never told you what happened to your father.
      • Luke : He told me enough. He told me you killed him.
      • Vader: NO, I AM YOUR FATHER.
  12. In what was a huge shock at the time, this is the first movie ever made in history when the heroes/protagonists actually lose and the villains/antagonists actually win. Han is frozen in carbonite and captured by the ruthless bounty hunter Boba Fett, while Luke loses a hand and suffers a lot of emotional trauma after finding out that Darth Vader is his father. Don't worry, our heroes eventually achieved their victory in the next movie.
  13. This famous scene before Han got carbonated, Princess Leia says to Han:
    • Leia: "I love you."
    • Han: "I know."

Bad Qualities

  1. In 1997, George Lucas created the Star Wars "Special Editions", which included unnecessary additions to the original cuts of the movies, most notably an excess amount of CGI and recasting some of the characters. Lucas kept making more changes to them until Disney bought out Lucasfilm in 2012. Since then, they have never officially released the original theatrical cuts of the films on DVD, Blu-Ray or digitally, except for the bonus discs for a 2006 DVD release, which were sourced from the 1993 Laserdisc releases.
    • On the topic of re-releases and remasters, they make it too obvious that Yoda is a puppet and it quickly becomes distracting due to the higher image resolution.
  2. The hologram of emperor palpatine is uncanny to look at and Is considered one of the worst effects in the entire movie
  3. Sometimes, these funny moments feel very unnecessary for a Star Wars movie, including:
    • The Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive acting up.
    • "Why you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder!"
      • "Who's scruffy-looking?"
    • "You're lucky you don't taste very good!"


On the release, the film wasn't well-received by critics, as it was met with mixed reviews, with some critics dismissing the film and others celebrating it. Despite the mixed reviews, it received positive reviews from the audiences, and fans, fans of the previous film dismissed that it's a great installment over the previous film.

The film had now received acclaim from both critics and fans of the Star Wars series alike and is hailed as one of the greatest sequels of all time. It has a 94% critical rating and a 97% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, an 82/100 critical rating and a 9.0/10 audience rating on Metacritic, a 4.4/5 on Letterboxd, and an 8.7/10 on IMDb. Movie Lover 120 considers it his favourite sci fi movie of all time

In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States' National Film Registry by The Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant".


  • The first draft was written by screenwriter and prolific science fiction novelist Leigh Brackett, who had previously scripted The Big Sleep and Rio Bravo for Howard Hawks. Brackett died of cancer after completing her initial draft, and Lawrence Kasdan was hired to continue the script's development. To honor Brackett's contributions, both writers received screen credit.
  • Though he had told George Lucas that he was game to return for the sequel, Alec Guinness developed eye problems and was advised by his doctors to stay out of bright light. Faced with the possibility that the English actor might not be available to reprise his mentor role at all, the character of Yoda - originally called Minch Yoda - was conceived, as Lucas has said, "to replace Obi-Wan Kenobi."
  • During production, Lucasfilm began keeping track of plot leaks from cast and crew. The actor in Darth Vader's suit, David Prowse was by far the worst offender - and ultimately had to be given script pages different from what was actually intended for the final film. "David talks his head off," said director Irvin Kershner at the time.
  • Snowy Hoth scenes were shot on location in Finse, Norway, where weather conditions were so harsh that the crew was often unable to venture far beyond their hotel. According to associate producer Jim Bloom, "if the camera would've turned around, you'd have seen a big hotel behind you. But because of the weather it looked like you were out in the middle of nowhere.
  • Surprisingly, when James Earl Jones (Darth Vader's voice actor) first read the "I am your father" line in the script, he actually thought that Darth Vader was lying to Luke.
  • In commemoration for its 40th anniversary, the film was given a limited re-released into 411 theaters on July 10, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing most theaters worldwide and limiting what films played, Empire grossed $611,000 and topped the box office.
  • The Empire Strikes Back is the only Star Wars movie to not feature any desert planets.


External Links

Star Wars
Canon: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace - Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones - Star Wars: The Clone Wars (pilot film) - Star Wars: The Clone Wars (series) - Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith - Solo: A Star Wars Story - Star Wars: Rebels - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Star Wars (A New Hope) - The Empire Strikes Back - Return of the Jedi - The Mandalorian - Star Wars: The Force Awakens - Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Legends: Star Wars: Clone Wars - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic


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