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

PG  |   |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy  |  20 June 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 734,663 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 833 user | 198 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.



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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
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Did You Know?


More scenes of the AT-ST Imperial "chicken walkers" were filmed, but George Lucas decided that the larger AT-ATs were more menacing and impressive. He later realized that the AT-STs would work better in close quarters, which led to using them extensively in the forest battle in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). See more »


During the raid on Hoth, weather conditions change several times between perfectly blue sky and overcast in subsequent shots. 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 Lost: Exodus: Part 1 (2005) See more »


The Imperial Probe/Aboard the Executor (Medley)
Written by John Williams
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best film in the original trilogy.
2 May 2000 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

The Empire Strikes Back is the best film in the original Star Wars trilogy. It has all the great qualities that the original Star Wars has: great effects (at the time of its release), appealing characters, and lots of spellbinding action. It also has eliminated some of the problems that plagued the first: the storyline is tighter, and goes much deeper into character development. The performances are terrific, especially by Harrison Ford as Han Solo, and Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian. George Lucas has also remembered to include a spellbinding battle sequence with the snowspeeder sequence near the beginning of the film. The conclusion, with a lightsaber duel between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, is truly one of the most suspenseful and dramatic scenes in the entire series. This is a truly wondrous film, and serves as a constant reminder that just because a movie is expensive and a blockbuster doesn't mean that it has to be shallow and two dimensional. This film will undoubtedly entertain viewers of all ages from start to finish.

212 of 249 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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