The Empire Strikes Back
The Empire Strikes Back (later retitled Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back in 1997), is a 1980 Space Opera film directed by Irvin Kershner and the second film in the original Star Wars trilogy.
Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca battle the Imperial forces and their AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of the Jedi master Yoda. Only with his help will Luke be able to survive when the dark side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader.
Why It Rocks
- Great acting.
- Excellent cinematography.
- Iconic dialogue.
- The special effects still hold up.
- The scene near the end of the movie, where Darth Vader reveals that he is Luke's father all this time, gave one of the most iconic plot twists in cinema history. This scene is so iconic that many movies and TV shows constantly parody this moment.
- For a change, the heroes actually lose, as Han Solo was left petrified while Luke lost a hand after being defeated by Dath Vader forcing the rebels to flee.
- The film introduces us to Yoda and Lando Calrissian and they were both really good characters.
- 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 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.
The film received acclaim from critics and fans of the Star Wars series alike, and is hailed as one of the greatest sequels of all time. It has a 95% critical rating and a 97% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, a 82% critical rating and a 9.0/10 audience rating on Metacritic, a 4.4/5 on Letterboxd, and an 8.7/10 on IMDb.
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".