Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Year:
1980
Country:
USA
Genre:
Drama, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
IMDB rating:
8.8
Director:
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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File Size 13409 Mb
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Reviews
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.
2002-06-27
More than 20 times viewed and it NEVER gets old
I literally watched this movie about twenty times when I first got it, VHS , a box-set of the original three. But this one is best! It was the most exciting, it kept you on the edge of your seat and your mind the whole way through. Although, I have to say, Lucas has become very lazy in the Star Wars saga since the Phantom Menace, which was quite poor. This is vintage Lucas and this your vintage space movie. Star Wars (any of the original 3 and Episode 3) is a must see! It includes many household names. Some, though, hate Star Wars with a vengeance. Those people lack in creativity and are subject to boring, lack-luster films. All I can say is have fun because I know you won't for missing out on this 5-star, one of a kind classic. Must see, it's too great for a 10 out of 10 rating. It was way ahead of its time. It's a film of the ages and has caliber modern films dream to re-create!
2007-02-19
A great follow-up to A New Hope!
After having watched A New Hope, I watched the next installment to the original trilogy before the prequel trilogy "The Empire Strikes Back" and I personally agree that this is a great follow-up to it's predecessor since it defined the meaning of a Hollywood classic.

The directing from Irvin Kershner is brilliantly focused and adds a great atmosphere to the movie, making it a lot darker than the previous film. The story is very original and has a lot of exciting moments and a touching scene where Leia says, "I love you" and Han Solo says, "I know." in the carbonate scene especially the lightsaber fight scenes between Luke and Darth Vader. In fact, the characters are likable as they were in A New Hope. Mark Hamill did great as Luke as a now determined warrior to find out about his father from Yoda played brilliantly by Frank Oz along with Alec Guiness as the ghost Obi-Wan. Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford did great with their love and chemistry as Princess Leia and Han Solo. The only character who steals the show, however, goes to Darth Vader thanks to James Earl Jones' dark and intimidating voice. The music from John Williams is excellent and gives an epic scope to the movie and the pacing moves along quite well. Even the visuals are magnificent.

Overall, a great follow-up to A New Hope and is always worth watching just like that film.
2012-11-20
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.
2016-07-24
A Timeless Space Opera, The Perfect Sci-Fi Epic
Top of the line for a majority of Star Wars geeks, and for good reason. It's the ideal melting pot of George Lucas's vast, quirky imagination, his influences' knack for dark, large-scale epics, and his key contributors' determined efforts to retain a central humanism amidst all the creatures, effects and operatic indulgences. A wildly ambitious picture, it's genuinely amazing just how much territory is covered over the course of two hours. Lucas and company manage to leap from the Hoth battle to Yoda on Dagobah, the asteroid field to Lando and Cloud City, before finally climaxing with the classic Luke / Vader showdown and revelation. That's an awful lot of set pieces, not to mention some seriously powerful plot points, but smooth talking and a few outstanding performances keep the film from feeling over-stuffed or under-explored. The cast, too, grows on an individual basis almost universally, with Luke wrapping himself in the wisdom of the Jedi, Han and Leia developing genuine chemistry and Darth Vader, in a surprise twist that should never have been so effective, actually showing some signs of humanity. Although it can be hammy from time to time, those moments are balanced expertly by a wonderful series of mountains and valleys, to the point that they stop being seen as negatives and instead contribute to the picture's eccentricity. A legendary effort that's just as monumental, entrancing and electric thirty years later, it's damn near perfect.
2012-12-05
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.
2004-12-17
I am your father
In my opinion this is not only better than the first film or the fourth whatever but it is the best in the entire franchise. I loved it from the first minute until the last, I love star wars even since I was about 4 years old and I used to hate this movie but when I watch it now it's just amazing. Also in this film great Star Wars characters make their debut with the likes of Yoda and Orlnado Calrizion (if that is how you spell it and I can't remember if it is Orlando and Lando so excuse me if I got it wrong.)

This film starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford & Carrie Fisher

I highly recommend this film to all you sci-fi fans

****/***** not outstanding but very good
2014-01-25
The best "Star Wars" film ever made.
(Note: This review contains some spoilers.)

Movie novelty quickly wears thin, which is why so many sequels pale in comparison to their originals. "Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" is the best of the original "Star Wars" trilogy, darker and deeper and even more powerful than the first film. Granted, the original pioneered an endless saga of imitators and somewhat imaginative knock-offs, and is still one of the greatest films ever made, but "The Empire Strikes Back" is a tiny inch ahead in the race.

It is the dark middle chapter in an almost perfect trilogy, crammed full with imagination and special effects. It is simply one of the most visionary movies of all time, which is rare for a sequel -- any sequel -- especially in the case of a sci-fi film. Just take a look at "Predator 2" for an example of an idea running out of steam, or a director who cannot cope with his script.

The film generally picks up where the last left off: Luke (Mark Hamill) saved the day by blowing up the Death Star, the heroes were awarded with medals by the princess (Carrie Fisher), and peace was temporarily restored. But Darth Vader (voice of James Earl Jones) is still alive, and the Emperor's fury grows stronger as Luke begins his Jedi training under the help of Yoda. Meanwhile, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Leia flee to Cloud City to escape an attack from the empire, where they are taken under the wing of Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), an old pal of Han's who is secretly working for Vader, somewhat against his own will.

The movie is strong in its morals and Biblical metaphors, just as the original. Luke is the savior, Calrissian could be considered the equivalent of Judas, Han Solo is one of Luke's good disciples and Vader represents pure evil. And of course, there's the truly iconic line, "I am your father," that is relevant to the devil, who -- according to the scriptures -- was an angel before being cast into the bowels of hell and becoming Lucifer.

Lucas admittedly used these various metaphors to strike a nerve in the subconscious of his viewers. Like all good fables, of fantasy or reality, "Star Wars" is a trilogy that relates to just about everyone, in one form or another, and is -- at its roots -- a story we are all very familiar with. It is the ever-familiar notion of good-vs. -evil at its core that helps propel these movies into the hearts of many. Yes, "Star Wars" is the quintessential nerd's film, engulfed in an entirely different dimension, but the film's bad rap for this is undeserved -- it's still a wonderful story, and you don't have to be a die-hard fan to appreciate its fine points (and it has many).

One of the most popular legends (and misconceptions) regarding the "Star Wars" phenomenon is that George Lucas helmed the entire Star Wars trilogy, when in fact he only directed the first and wrote the screenplay for all three combined. "The Empire Strikes Back" is directed by Irvin Kirshner, who also delivered us the disappointing "RoboCop 2." How could one sequel be so great, and the other so bad? Simple: Kirshner's darkness in "The Empire Strikes Back" had a point, and a high value. In "RoboCop 2," it was just excessive and silly, not to mention totally unnecessary. What Paul Verhoeven was able to do with the original "RoboCop" was something not many films can accomplish, and Kirshner tried to add on to this with a darker narrative, which only ended in a frustratingly empty motion picture.

"The Empire Strikes Back" has a point amidst the action, and is the most important of all three "Star Wars" movies. It has the famous introduction of the creature Yoda, who sits tucked away in his hut on a swamp planet, at first startling Luke with his strange features, and then with his subtle wisdom. It is Yoda who trains Luke in the ways of the Jedi, and eventually leads him towards his destination: The showdown with Vader, when the infamous secret is finally revealed.

The movie is expertly crafted, both in terms of a a narrative and literal context. From beginning to end it is darker, fiercer and more powerful than the original film, which is not an easy feat. All trilogies have their dark areas, and this is usually the middle chapter ("Back to the Future Part II" is a good example), yet in "The Empire Strikes Back" the darkness seems very appropriate given the material. It is a film that dwells long and hard on betrayal, murder, revenge, and unrecoverable mistakes. By the end of the movie, we know what Luke is feeling: There is still much to be done, despite an overwhelming emotional downpour of attachment and confusion. For us, as an audience, we know everything must come to an end within the next installment. For Luke, it could be an eternity of struggle. But we all know there will be an end to the epic saga, and we have always known this, ever since we first caught a glimpse of a younger, more innocent Luke working for his uncle on that deserted planet, so many years ago, when he could only dream of having adventures in other galaxies far, far away...

5/5 stars.

- John Ulmer
2004-04-03
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
2017-03-11
More than the Dark Side, A Great Movie
When talking about The Empire Strikes Back many people have commented on how dark it is in comparison to the other two films from the original trilogy. However as was expected by Star Wars fans, Revenge of the Sith without a doubt took the title of Darkest Star Wars movie from Empire's mantle. Given the galactic scale of tragedy in the final prequel, Empire's personal tragedy reveals itself to be a little self-absorbed. In the post-prequel Star Wars paradigm, we should be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel in the final revelations of Empire.

With the issue of darkness settled, the Star Wars audience and the movie-going public should now be able to see The Empire Strikes Back for what it is. The best Star Wars movie. And not only is it a great Star Wars movie, but it is a great movie. The direction, the writing, and even the performances come together to make it a complete movie.

Watching the movies that George Lucas has directed, specifically Star Wars: Episodes I-IV, you can tell he is not a student of the craft of acting. The result is that actors are left developing the emotional life of the characters on their own. Some actors are able to survive and even thrive in this environment. Harrison Ford and Alec Guinness give inspired performances in the original Star Wars that make some of the other performances in the movie appear worse than they actually were.

George Lucas responsibly tapped his professor from film school, Irvin Kershner, to direct The Empire Strikes Back, and the difference is palpable. Star Wars is without a doubt the most revolutionary in terms of Special Effects of the original trilogy. But in terms of quality movie-making, editing, cinematography, etc., Emipire takes the cake. And all the while putting together great shot after great shot, he managed to pull good performances out of most the cast. Not a single one of the primaries are flat or perform an unbelievable moment. Hamill's performance is so good you actually believe for at least a few minutes that he might stand a chance against Darth Vader.

But the quality of film-making and the emotional life of the characters would not have mattered, nor could they have possibly existed without brilliant writing. In Empire Lucas is at his myth-making best (Han's metaphoric descent into hell and Luke's journey into the Dark Cave are brilliant), and the screenplay by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasden is sharp, well-paced, and energetic. As a result of this three-part collaboration, you have the rough and romantic flirtations of Han Solo and Princess Leia (in which you can hear the voice of both Brackett's earlier work, The Big Sleep and El Dorado, and Kasden's later work, The Big Chill and The Accidental Tourist). Also you have Yoda-speech when it was genuinely profound in a Confucian way, before it devolved into the gimmicky and painful form it takes in the prequels.

On the whole there is no denying that Star Wars: A New Hope is the most influential movie of the series, quite possibly of the last quarter of the twentieth century (although it would have to fight with Jaws for that title). And with the fall of Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith, it no longer can be called the darkest of the Star Wars saga. But it is, with little doubt the best movie of the series.
2005-05-26
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