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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 718,423 users   Metascore: 79/100
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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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Yoda (voice)
Jeremy Bulloch ...
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?


When Luke is confronted by the phantom Darth Vader in the cave, in the original theatrical release, the "FAKE" Darth Vader has an alternate sound effect of his iconic "Breathing" and his lightsaber is colored in a more ORANGE tone and not his traditional RED. This was to give the audience a hint that Luke was not fighting the real Darth Vader. However, with the re-release and special editions of Empire Strikes Back that have come out since, cave Vader's lightsaber has been given a RED color to match the real Vader, though the alternate sound of his breathing has been left altered. See more »


After having kicked Vader off the platform in the Carbon-freezing-chamber during the first part of their duel, Luke turns off his Lightsaber and jumps down to continue the fight. But when Luke jumps we can see him land and stand up in the shadows in the bottom-left corner off the screen. Yet we hear the sound of Luke hitting the ground a second later. This was probably an attempt to make Luke's fall sound longer than it actually was. Also we can see some wires wobble after Vader having hit the mattress outside the camera angle. 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 alternate DVD version, the Emperor is still credited as being voiced by Clive Revill, despite his performance being replaced by Ian McDiarmid. See more »


Referenced in Wizards of Waverly Place: Franken-Girl (2009) See more »


The Rebel Fleet/End Title
Written by John Williams
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Best of the best
20 November 2007 | by (Cali) – See all my reviews

I cannot believe some people out there didn't like this film, yet claim to have enjoyed Episode One. No comparison whatsoever. "The Empire Strike Back" is George Lucas' best contribution to human history, and it will be remembered long after most other science fiction films have gone the way of the Do-Do Bird. The optical effects still stand the test of time, and the acting is superb. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamil and Carrie Fisher are all better than they we in the original Star Wars, having fully developed and grown into their characters, and the story just keeps going and going, from asteroid fields to swamp planets to cities in the sky, everything in this film works. So ignore anyone who claims to dislike it, and see it for yourself if you haven't already done so. 20 out of 10!!

Oh, and Han Solo shot first! =)

22 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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