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Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
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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Star Wars, The mother of Science Fiction
I am a chain si-fi movie watcher. What ever I can remember, Stars Wars is the base of all science Fiction movie from Hollywood. All of these things come into play in my position, but I'm mostly analyzing my picks on the effect they had on me, both when I actually formerly viewed them and today. As always, I actually appreciate your feedback in the section below, but most of all, would want to see your rating of the films. With out further delay, on to the list
A worthy second (or 5th??) Star Wars installment, might be the best of the bunch.
My five children were all pre-teens when 'The Empire Strikes Back' came to the theater. While there had been other Sci-Fi movies with a theme of conflict in outer space, the 'Star Wars' trilogy filled our imaginations like no other movies before them. The fantastic, strange worlds were presented almost like we were there too. Aliens sitting around a tavern, enjoying drinks and speaking in all sorts of languages. Nothing before had approached the sheer size of the space ships depicted here, huge cities traveling all over the galaxy. And how about the jump to hyper speed, then disappearing from the screen as the speed exceeds light speed! And the light sabres of the Jedi Knights. The Jedi Knights, a striking parallel to the Japanese Samurai.

It is fruitless trying to argue 'which is best' in a trilogy, because the first one, in this case 'Star Wars', starts it all and has to be the 'father'. However, an argument can be made that 'The Empire Strikes Back' (now on DVD called Episode V) is overall a better-made movie which has more excitement, and grabs your imagination,than the other two original installments (now called parts IV and VI). The DVDs finally came out last month, and they are near perfect, as we should expect from Lucas Films and THX. The bit rate is high, and the picture is nothing short of superb. As is the Dolby EX surround track.

My wife and I watched all three of the movies on DVD this week -- Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi -- compliments of our local public library. It was an appropriate reminder how good these movies are, and still ahead of their time. Nothing else has been made to compare to them.
Good but just because it is darker doesn't mean its better.
Star Wars Episode 5 The Empire Strikes Back tells the story of the evil galactic empire attacking the hopeless rebellion after the destruction of the Death Star. One thing that I feel is worth noting right off the bat is that I don't think this film surpasses A New Hope but is ratter on the same level in terms of substance as well as quality.

What makes this film good is that it is able to keep its focus on the characters in a universe that is so interesting as well as vast. That is something that makes the original trilogy better in my opinion because in the prequels it was focused on showing us heavily C.G.I. visuals ratter then on the characters. This is one of many factors that make the original trilogy by far the superior films. The plot is also more complex then the first of this trilogy which shows that the people involved with this project were taking risks. The characters were all likable and interesting. And the fact that they filmed at real locations shows dedication from the director Irvin Kershner.

The cons of this picture though are not minimal which leads me to feeling as though it is grossly overrated. The acting and dialogue is still hooky, the effects are showing age, the action is underwhelming, and unfortunately the fan base that surrounds Star Wars has made it difficult to watch Empire as it was intended. The story although complex is occasionally driven forward by plot convinces. And although I did not see this infamous twist coming, I also was not all that wowed.

In conclusion The Empire Strikes Back is complex and has relatable characters which is able to drive this picture forward as well as be entertaining. And I'm giving this one a 6/10.
I usually watch this show every two years to keep a fresh perspective on it. This is the first real film experience I ever had, and it remains the strongest influence on me. The thing that amazes me about this, time and again, is the ingenuity of the pacing, the orchestration, and the motion of the vehicles and ships.

This is a triumph of editing.

The motion control work is so artfully done, it puts CGI to shame. Watch how the ships move. They dance alongside the camera, swooping toward and away from us. Look at the terrain whiz by in the snowspeeder search. No CGI can convince like that. This is basically helicopter footage on fast-forward, through the cockpit of a prop ship, but it works. The amount of activity going on screen at any given time is frenetic.

And then we have Frank Oz. Forget that we live in a world where there are Yoda pajamas, animal crackers, dolls, etc., and just focus on this wonderful character in this one film. He is more lifelike than many of the actors we have working today. When he is on screen, I believe he exists. That is pure movie magic. Mark Hamill is given a tough job with this. Whenever you have a multi-million dollar film that hinges on the performance of one person and a sock puppet, there's pressure. People have blasted him for years over his acting, but it works. He pulls his share of the work and sells every scene.

From the opening crawl onward, this never lets up. The music is simply beautiful. This is why I go to the movies.
the King of Sci-Fi soaps
It's virtually impossible to review a Star Wars film without resorting to comparisons between the various episodes these days - I'll attempt to avoid getting into a whole rave about the generally dull, flat Prequel Trilogy, and focus on why I believe the Empire Strikes Back is the equal of it's ground-breaking predecessor Star Wars (A New Hope)with both being lightyears ahead of the other 4 installments in terms of imagination, plot, ingenuity and especially *heart*.

When Star Wars opened up Lucas' Galaxy to us all and gave us one helluva swashbuckling ride, a sequel obviously seemed enticing but not particularly necessary - Star Wars (A New Hope) is a fairly self-contained adventure, the Goodies win in the End and are awarded medals from the rescued Princess - all nicely wrapped up. *But* Lucas had more of his tale to tell, and what's more had a pretty good angle on the follow-up to his smash hit ... Leaving Darth Vader beaten, spinning outta control, but still *alive* in Star Wars was no accident, while this dire villain still existed within this Galaxy there was still conflict to be resolved ... Elaborations on themes from the first film were genuinely surprising and captivating - people forget that when Luke 'wills' his lightsabre to him in an act of telekenisis during his captivity in the Ice Monster's cave, it was the first time visual *evidence* of 'the Force' was really seen - in A New Hope, Luke, Obi-Wan and Vader had dabbled in telepathy and using the Force as a focusing tool, but Luke's 'magical' and timely retrieval of his weapon at the start of the Empire Strikes Back was a genuinely gasp-inducing moment the first time it was seen ... A welcome vision of Obi-Wan's 'Force ghost' reveals why Kenobi was so at peace with impending death during A New Hope's lightsabre duel with Vader, the disembodied voice that guided Luke has now become a full blown apparition, able to dispense wisdom and advice like the Ben of old ... The magnitude of the Empire itself is amplified via a star-sea full of leviathon Ships and John Williams magnificent 'Imperial March', which is introduced in the Empire Strikes Back for the first time in the series ... Darth Vader is more menacing than ever, using his Force abilities to dispense with underlings that displease him by choking them to death. His obsession with seeking out and crushing the Rebellion gains added resonance for both he and Rebel/Trainee Jedi/Hero Luke Skywalker with the revelation of *THE* secret of the 80's (no, not 'who killed J.R,' the other one ..) Both the shadowy Emperor, a man so Evil and Powerful that even Darth Vader demures to him, and his counterpart, Jedi Master Yoda are introduced for the first time in the Empire Strikes Back, the relationships between the various characters take on greater complexity and the music is quite amazing throughout ... The Editing, and the Direction of Irwin Kershner, both contribute heavily to giving this Episode a very different feel to all the other Star Wars installments

- here's a few more points as to why I rank the Empire Strikes Back 'Equal Best' :

* It's the only one of the 6 films that *doesn't* feature the desert-setting of 'Tatooine' - so beautifully shot in A New Hope, but thereafter not particularly inspiring ...

* the planets/locations that are used are the most vividly drawn of the series - Dagobah, Hoth, the asteroid belt encountered by Han Solo and companions, and most original of all 'Cloud City' with it's sunset views and labyrinth of chutes

* Yoda's ruminations on the force is probably the best dialogue in the entire series

* *THE* secret, which turns the mood of the entire film on it's head

* Luke's surreal encounter in a Cave 'strong with the Dark side' is one of the few metaphorical moments in the series, eerily shot partially in slow motion

* Lucas and co. back up the joyous Cantina scene from A New Hope with quirky characters like the Bounty Hunters and the Ugnauts

* the chemistry between Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford is very good, and their romantic scenes are handled with far more aplomb than any other in the series

It was all downhill after the Empire Strikes Back for the Star Wars series as far as I'm concerned, but the joy I've had watching both A New Hope and the Empire Strikes Back far outweighs any lingering disappointment associated with the rest of the series ...
Ian Mcdiarmid added to DVD version of Empire Strikes Back
Out with Clive Revile and in with Ian McDiarmid. George Lucas has once again retouched this movie, but with little fanfare this time. In the new Star Wars Trilogy DVD 3 pack, (episodes 4,5, and 6) The scene with Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine has been redone. Clive Revile has been entirely cut out, and an improved holographic projection of Ian has been added along with expanded dialog. And I have to say this is probably the only scene George added to the original trilogy that actually made the movie better. But I think George could take a lesson from the great painting artists, the painting always looks the best when incomplete, otherwise it has no ability to stimulate our imagination.
It's NOT the darkest of the trilogy - it's the most mature
`It avoids having the standard shoot-'em-up ending,' says a friend of mine, `by not having an ending.' I suppose this is what most people think, but all the same the film manages to form a satisfying whole; or at least, a whole that satisfies me. I'm therefore inclined to think it DOES have an ending. Obviously, I can't discuss this without giving things away to those few who don't know what happens. If you're one of those few, then believe me: your ignorance is precious enough to be worth guarding until you see the film. Stop reading now.

After the surprise attack on the rebel base, Luke Skywalker splits with Han, Leia, et al. Han's party gets away first (is it just me, or is the shot of Luke watching the Falcon flying off while he stands stranded on the ground, a poignant one?), but thereafter they face one narrow escape after another, while Luke slinks off quietly and safely to train with Yoda.

The training scenes are many and Yoda talks a great deal of rubbish. But somehow it doesn't matter. The film is ambivalent in its attitude towards Yoda, anyway. Our sympathy clearly lies with the entirely non-spiritual concerns of Han, Leia and the adolescent Luke. The main story concerns the understanding that builds between Han and Leia. In the end they are honest with one another; and if Han's being frozen and shipped back to Tatooine is the price to pay for this, well, it's the price to pay. It was very important NOT to end with the dashing rescue that opens `Return of the Jedi', which would be dramatically beside the point. Instead we end with the promise that the rescue will some day occur. That's enough.

As for Luke: he abandons Yoda to rescue Han and Leia, and achieves NOTHING WHATEVER. This was my favourite touch. All five Jedis - Luke, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Vader, and the Emperor - find that their conflicting instincts are all entirely wrong. The film is really about the temporary triumph of human impulses over the mystical Force. Luke's human idealism is vindicated, but his supernatural powers, just this once, are not.

When George Lucas gave his Star Wars trilogy a fresh coat of varnish in 1997 he felt he had to justify the expense by making needless changes. You'll notice he made precious few changes to episode V. There just wasn't room. He added a few extra shots of the ice monster, which of course weakened that one scene; but even with those changes in place the Special Edition is virtually identical to the original edition. Since Lucas was so keen on making changes wherever he could this is obviously a tribute to the tightness of the story and the direction. It's also a tribute to the perfection of the original special effects, more innovative than the effects in the first Star Wars movie and better than the effects in any subsequent one.
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!

A true classic
This movie was a true film making classic. Any story that can take place in 3 unique environments and space while telling thee classic good versus evil (with a twist Vader as the dad)is worthy of a movie this good. It is a reminder on an era of movie making when film makers took a risk with using more elaborate special effects in their shots. This movie started a flood of great 80's films that allowed you to get lost in a new world of far away people. Empire Strikes Back stands out as the best of the stories in the original trilogy as there is simply more story and more characters involved. This movie is a great family as well and is a great way to spend a family night in.
The best in the SAGA
I gotta admit I never always like Star Wars episode 5 the empire Strikes back. I use to think that it was boring and had too much talking and Information but I grew older and now I study films and notice Why certain things happen and how they make a film better. I will not deny that I am tired of hearing certain scenes but that doesn't happen Often. Honestly if you haven't seen this you must. The only problem I can think Off is the battle between vader and Luke. I want to know why vader didn't kill Luke and what happened to R2. Why did he get dragged down at dagobha What was the point of that scene. The film has a great beginning and a good Ending. Overall as a trilogy it is better than the prequels
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