Up 29 this week

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  20 June 1980 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 735,832 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 836 user | 199 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $19.99 on Amazon Video

Top Rated Movies #12 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the universe from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt, the rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star, while Luke struggles to make Vader return from the dark side of the Force.

Director: Richard Marquand
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three years after the onset of the Clone Wars; the noble Jedi Knights are spread out across the galaxy leading a massive clone army in the war against the Separatists. After Chancellor ... See full summary »

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé, while Obi-Wan investigates an assassination attempt on the Senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two Jedi Knights escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to reclaim their old glory.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the US government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A meek Hobbit and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the One Ring and the Dark Lord Sauron.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When Dr. Henry Jones Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones must follow in his father's footsteps and stop the Nazis.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her young son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg, made out of liquid metal.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
The Matrix (1999)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss


Cast overview, first billed only:
Yoda (voice)
John Hollis ...
Des Webb ...
Emperor (voice)


After the Rebel base on the icy planet Hoth is taken over by the empire, Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and C-3PO flee across the galaxy from the Empire. Luke travels to the forgotten planet of Dagobah to receive training from the Jedi master Yoda, while Vader endlessly pursues him.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Star Wars saga continues See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for sci-fi action violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

20 June 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 609,584,000 (Italy) (11 April 1997)


$290,158,751 (USA) (9 May 1997)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The highest grossing film of 1980. See more »


In a shot of Chewbacca, after the rebel soldiers are telling Princess Leia that "the shield doors must be closed", the shield doors can be seen moving soundlessly. In the next shot of Leia and the rebel soldiers, they aren't moving. See more »


[first lines]
Luke: Echo Three to Echo Seven. Han, old buddy, do you read me?
Han Solo: Loud and clear, kid. What's up?
Luke: Well, I finished my circle. I don't pick up any life readings.
Han Solo: There isn't enough life on this ice cube to fill a space cruiser. Sensors are placed. I'm going back.
Luke: Right. I'll see you shortly. There's a meteorite that hit the ground near here. I want to check it out. It won't take long.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the section of the end credits cast list devoted to the Rebel Forces, there are no fewer than three misprints: Christopher Malcolm is credited as "Christopher Malcom"; Denis Lawson is "Dennis Lawson"; and the character Dack, whose spelling is attested in the script as well as in books and other media, in the credits is spelled "Dak". See more »


Referenced in Futurama: Viva Mars Vegas (2012) See more »


The Battle of Hoth (Medley)
Written by John Williams
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A worthy second (or 5th??) Star Wars installment, might be the best of the bunch.
7 October 2004 | by (Houston, Tx, USA, Earth) – See all my reviews

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.

117 of 150 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Vador/Emporer Scene rocknroll8484
If this didn't "wow" me, should I give up on Star Wars? cartesianthought
I had no choice. They arrived right before you did. I'm sorry... McGannahanSkjellyfetti
Han Solo and Jesus Christ McGannahanSkjellyfetti
Is Harry Potter more successful than Star Wars? sarahsavideos
Lando's Balls JediMasterMisu

Contribute to This Page