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

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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 603,997 users   Metascore: 78/100
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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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Title: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

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Cast

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

Fleeing the evil Galactic Empire, the Rebels abandon their new base in an assault with the Imperial AT-AT walkers on the ice world of Hoth. Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and the droid C-3PO escape in the Millennium Falcon, but are later captured by Darth Vader on Bespin. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker and the droid R2-D2 follows Obi-Wan Kenobi's posthumous command, and receives Jedi training from Master Yoda on the swamp world of Dagobah. Will Skywalker manage to rescue his friends from the Dark Lord? Written by James Pearce <james.pearce@cs.man.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

empire | princess | rebel | escape | training | See more »

Taglines:

The Adventure Continues... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 May 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$290,158,751 (USA) (9 May 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Lucas had originally planned to only Executive Produce and finance the film, leaving the directorial duties in the hands of Irvin Kershner and day-to-day producing duties to Gary Kurtz. Directing the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) had left Lucas exhausted and sick, and he had intended to take time off to start to focus on the expansion of the Lucasfilm company and spending more time with his then-wife Marcia Lucas, so that they could start a family and finish construction on Skywalker Ranch. However, when production on this film ran overbudget and behind schedule, Lucas had to step in and take a more hands-on role, going on location to oversee filming and even directing portions of the film. A disastrous rough cut of the film proved incoherent during screenings, and facing the possibility of financial ruin, Lucas then re-edited the film himself with even worse results. Extensive reshoots and further post-production effects work put enormous strain on his health, his marriage, and his relationships with Kershner and Kurtz. Though the film proved an enormous critical and commercial success, Lucas would never work with Kurtz again, and his marriage dissolved a couple of years later. See more »

Goofs

When Yoda tells Luke to lift the X-wing from the swamp, he is standing on flat ground next to Luke, who is reclined. Luke stands up, looks down at Yoda, and walks away. Yoda then bows his head and raises the X-wing. As it recedes from the camera, Yoda is seen at the far L now standing on a low knoll. When Luke returns, he has to look up at Yoda, but Yoda never moved. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Supernatural: Death Takes a Holiday (2009) 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.


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