Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
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Index 903 reviews in total 

Oh yeah. (Masterpiece's masterpiece.)

Author: Innsmouth_Apprentice from Earth
29 September 2014

TESB is watchable even if you didn't see the previous, first episode (meaning New Hope). That's how I watched it first. Dropped straight into a brutal fictional world of fantasy, cosmos, revelations, philosophy, betrayal, mutilation, loss, love in war, snow, monsters, heroes, dreams.

Giant quadrupedal battle robots.

A dwarfish alien who is a powerful ancient sage.

A city among the clouds.

A dark, mysterious villain who effortlessly dominates this realm. An embodiment of pure ruthlessness and strength. Yet there is one even above him.

A young hero who realizes, over and over, how precious little he knows, and how unprepared he is for these wars among the stars. The further he goes - the tinier his "knowledge" seems. How can he even survive this?

The Empire Strikes Back erects towers in your dream-mind that glitter with frost and stardust as they rise through nebulas and divine realms to eternity. It fills them with visions of shimmering grandeur that will never dissipate.

The dark masterpiece. The dream movie.

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Sequel to the masterpiece is masterpiece

Author: t-viktor212
22 September 2014

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is one of the best films ever, and is considered by readers of empire magazine THE best movie ever.

This is probably one of the most dramatic parts of the saga. Just as said for episode IV, voices that in the original trilogy visual effects look fake aren't right. Everything looks real and most of all Master Yoda, Cloud City do.

This movie is not directed by George Lucas but instead by Irvin Keshner. I'd like to remember that much of the story-setting, the properties of the Force (I won't say what's that, you'll find it out alone) is decided in this movie. I gave a 10/10

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Thrilling, but it needs to dig deeper into the idea of the Force.

Author: orourkec-292-269155 from Belgium
18 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well, well. Not bad at all this film. I thought that Empire Strikes Back was a good motion picture and an improvement over A New Hope which I completely disliked. What's good about Empire Strikes Back is that it is more involving than its predecessor, it is fresh, dark, sinister, emotional and unpredictable in an original and great way but what comes as a particularly interesting subplot in this film is the daring, slick, ironic, manipulative, show-off and comedic dialog shared between Han Solo and Princess Leia. We witness awesome moments whenever it is only the two of them talking together alone in what looks like a romance moment between the two of them. And also the good thing is that the romance and dialogs between them is not over-the-top as some people might expect from a part romance film. And Harrison Ford is impeccably well cast as Han Solo in this movie, both in his acting and his looks and he is ultimately an exceptionally interesting character. And Darth Vader he isn't bad either. He is perfect as a villain: he is obsessed to catch the rebels that won a victory over his Galactic Empire three years earlier and he also punishes his commanders that involuntarily fail him in his attempt to catch the rebels by strangling them by the use of the Force. And he is also beautifully voiced by James Earl Jones though to be honest his small accent bothered me a bit and it harmed his beautiful and haunting voice as Darth Vader a bit. Actually, I think I will not consider it as a flaw as a matter of fact because of his beautiful and haunting voice and I think that his beautiful and haunting voice is enough to undo the flaw. Well done on all that. And last but not least...the sound. The sound was absolutely fantastic in this movie and it arguably deserved the Academy Award for Best Sound which it won. One thing I think should have been improved in this Star Wars movie would have been to dig deeper into the idea of the Force. My rating for Empire Strikes Back is 7.2/10

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The force is with you, young Skywalker, but you are not a Jedi yet.

Author: amour88 from Canada
28 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is by far the best Star Wars movie. It's so enjoyable and every part of the movie is great. I do find that most "middle" movies out of a trilogy are the best as you don't have to introduce the main characters and you don't have to tie anything up.Han and Leia's romance is lots of fun;it's snarky and flirty and they have tons of chemistry. Darth Vader telling Luke he is his Father never gets old no matter how many times you watch it. You do see Luke becoming more mature in this movie,Mark Hamil did such a great job with him.Even after all these years the effects are still great,they don't look dated and never takes you away from the story. Something I think many filmmakers could use a lesson in,effects should be used to enhance a story,not be the base of the story. While the effects were cool,that's not what I remember about Star Wars. It's about the story and these characters. I truly believe that is why these movies are still so popular and will continue to be for many years to come.

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By far the best and darkest of all Star Wars films

Author: Tyson14 from United Kingdom
4 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When we all sat down to watch "The Empire Strikes Back" for the first we figured we knew what would happen in the rest of the trilogy. At the end of the second film we assumed Darth Vader would beat Luke in a lightsaber duel and then at the end of the final film Luke would finally kill Darth Vader. But then in what is still one of the biggest one-two punches ever aimed at an audience Darth Vader cuts off Luke's right hand and stuns the audience with the revelation "I am your father." Suddenly the idea that Luke was going to kill Darth Vader went from absolute metaphysical certainty to something very much in doubt. The thought that it would be three years before we found out how this would play out drove us absolutely crazy (remember the wonderful speculation that Boba Fett was a clone of Obi- Wan?).

I have to admit that I never really believed that George Lucas intended for Darth Vader to be Luke Skywalker's father from the very start. If he had then we would not have had that "What I said was true...from a certain point of view" from Obi-Wan Kenobi in "The Return of the Jedi" to explain the statement that Darth Vader killed Luke's father in the original "Star Wars" (change the name all you want, it is still "Star Wars" to me). But for a plot twist it certainly floored audiences. I went to the first showing the first day for all three "Star Wars" movies and since my brother made the mistake of flipping through the comic book version and stumbling across the film's big revelation (which he immediately shared with me) I was not surprised at what happened. But I still remember the audience gasping twice when Luke lost his hand and Darth Vader said his big line.

"The Empire Strikes Back" is far and away the best of the "Star Wars" movies, whether you are talking the original three or all of the prequels as well. It is a very dark film in which things are constantly going wrong. Luke is attacked and almost killed by a snow monster, the base on Hoth is attacked and evacuated, the Millennium Falcon end up inside a giant worm, Luke abandons his training with Yoda too soon to help save his friends, Lando betrays Han who ends up a frozen statue, and then Luke loses his hand and learns the truth about daddy. The only real bright spot in the movie is when Leia and Han fall in love (the comic relief with C-3PO does not count) and even that ends on a major downer. There is nowhere to go but up at the end of this one and it is rather amazing how many people would go back repeatedly to see a movie whose idea of a happy ending is that nobody is dead yet.

George Lucas again wrote the story but the script by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan brings the level of the dialogue up to a more adult level than the Saturday morning serial feel of the first film (ultimately, they might be the ones who most deserve the credit for making this the best "Star Wars" film). Director Irvin Kershner draws stronger performances out of the entire cast, which is precisely why he was picked for the second film. The result is an much more ambitious film where the characters have more depth, helped by the dramatic turns at the end that up the ante considerably on the story. Luke Skywalker is no longer the fresh-faced kid he was when we first met him, having to grow up really fast because of what happens in this film. But when you get audiences to take a Muppet as seriously as we take Yoda, then you are really accomplishing something. Even after all this time this film still works.

This movie also reflected a great leap forward in terms of the special effects that were the hallmark of the first film. When we saw "Star Wars" one of the things we fell in love with what how far special effects had come since "2001: A Space Odyssey," the obvious reference point in the field of science fiction films. But that was nothing compared to what Industrial Light and Magic came up with three years later in "The Empire Strikes Back." No wonder Lucas wanted to go back and fix some of the special effects shots in his first "Star Wars" film, especially with the X-wing fighters in the final attack on the Death Star. Compare that with the chase of the Millennium Falcon through the asteroid field in this one, which gets outclassed three years later by the Rebel attack on the new Death Star in the final film.

When it comes to the second in a film trilogy "The Empire Strikes Back" is the standard by which such things are judged. Granted there are not many of them, but "The Attack of the Clones," "The Matrix: Reloaded," and even "The Two Towers" do not rise to the challenge. Ironically, "The Empire Strikes Back" was so good that it made it difficult for "The Return of the Jedi" to be better, especially since the final film was going to be more upbeat (and that was before all those cute Ewoks showed up). When I think about walking out of a movie theater with the words "To be continued" in my mind, this is the movie that epitomizes that thought.

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very epic movie!

Author: Ajk2386 from United States
27 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Empire Strikes Back is the Darkest of all the Star Wars movies but is also the best. The Empire strikes Back is in my opinion the 2nd best movie sequel ever (The Dark Knight is the best). I saw a list somewhere online a few days ago titled "Top 20 most epic movies of all time" and what movie was first? The Empire Strikes Back, of course. I also have the Family Guy version of this movie "Something Something Something Dark Side" which I also liked. Another great thing about this movie for me is Harrison Ford. Why? Well, it's a long story, but basically Harrison Ford went to high-school with my grandparents and have been friends ever since. Harrison Ford has known my dad and uncle since they were born and have known my sister and I since we were born. Another thing I love about The Empire Strikes Back is the quotes such as "Luke, I am your father", "why you stuck up, half-witted, scruffy looking Nerf herder", "laugh it up fuzzball" & "do or do not. There is no try". This movie has some amazing characters; Darth Vador, who is either the best or second best movie villain, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Layla and many more. The fight scene between Luke and Darth Vador sends chills down my spine every time I watch it. I could go on and on about how great this movie is but you get the point, The Empire Strikes Back is an AMAZING movie.

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The Golden Middle Child

Author: thediggens from United Kingdom
17 July 2014

There's a reason that sequels of a certain breed are complimented as going the "Empire Strikes Back" route. Often described as 'bigger, better and darker', it's certainly an appropriate description of Empire. It succeeds by taking the most successful elements of A New Hope and minimising its weaknesses, while expanding the world.

The main cast of Episode IV returns for Empire, with the major additions being Billy Dee Williams as Lando and Frank Oz providing the voice and charming puppeteer work for Yoda. Wisely, Lucas handed over the direction to Irvin Kershner, who takes up the helm admirably, and Lawrence Kasdan tightens up the screenplay. The latter especially improves the dialogue immensely. Regardless, its a slick production at its finest, with the effects, both CGI and practical, improving as well- the puppet-work being a standout for Yoda's simple yet delightful presence.

Empire's narrative suffers typically from middle-film syndrome, serving primarily as continuation and set up. As such, it lacks a coherent beginning and the cathartic climax of the finale. But in doing so, it skips lengthy exposition and avoids the responsibility of tying up the loose ends. As such, it gets to indulge in its traits. Part of Empire's success is how it jumps from set piece to set piece with nary a quiet moment. From Hoth, through the asteroid field, to the finale in the clouds, it rarely lets up. And the few quiet moments either ratchet up the tension (the cloud city), or succeed in intriguing world building (Yoda on Dagobah). What is essentially a glorified training montage works through the interaction between Luke and Yoda and excellent atmospheric cinematography.

What is often forgotten, simply from cultural osmosis, is that Empire contains a twist ending. Its such common knowledge that its sometimes forgotten that it even is a twist ending. Nevertheless, it's a sucker-punch that still has a kick even without the shock.

Empire does so very little wrong. The characters are memorable, the set pieces are iconic. There's a strong argument for the Luke-Vader duel being the finest fight scene in the entire saga. While it lacks the extravagant stunt choreography of the prequels, the fight has a rawness to it that later flamboyant fights fail to match. And the emotional tension between the characters makes one really interested.

It's often said to be the most morally ambiguous film, as part of its 'darker' theme. It is likely true, and certainly touches upon these issues. But to say this is only to bring attention to how idealistic Star Wars as a whole is- a betrayal is almost instantly redeemed, and the importance of friendship is at the fore. And it benefits from being able to set up conflicts without having to solve them.

Certainly, it's only real flaw is its middle-child issues. It doesn't plod, but it's still merely placing pieces in position. Chekov's guns are cocked. But damn if it isn't a blast while it does it.

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Dark, moving, and enthralling.

Author: Boson27
12 July 2014

The Empire Strikes Back is the easily the best Star Wars movie.

This is mainly due to the amazing script by Lawrence Kasdan. It presents the movie in a much darker context than its predecessor. "The galactic empire is hunting down the rebels" is all you need to know about this movie. You are taken in by the vulnerable yet relatable characters, the overall journey of Luke Skywalker, and the amazing special effects which look better than some sfx in 2014. Need I mention John Williams' musical score?

Dark, moving, and enthralling, "Empire" will go down as one of the best movies in history.

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One of the best films of any generation.

Author: batishwaheed123
10 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Considered the darkest of the original trilogy, Irvin Kershner not only created a wonder for generations to come, but made cinematic history with a film that was originally released to mixed receptions. Everything about this film is fantastic, with the great qualities that defined its predecessor being apparent in all corners of this film, with an added flare that is so normal of Kershner himself. The storytelling is so much more mature, and the soundtrack by the great John Williams covers this with Darth Vader getting his iconic theme that has defined villains in cinema history, and launched him into the centre of what could possibly be the best villain Hollywood has ever seen.

The grand epic premise of Episode IV which led to the destruction of the first death star had us all rooting for the Rebels, but surely the Empire would 'strike back' and as such the Rebels are quashed in amazing fashion that leads the audience enthralled and gaping for more. Following a special movie, that had re-defined technology in cinema it would be a daunting task to accede this, but again the technological advancements remained on pace with the cinematography and editing being exquisite. Another comparison with A New Hope is that of the storytelling which is nothing short of amazing. Laurence Kasdan did a brilliant job here, giving us not only a better story but a more gritty story whilst retaining some of that humour that defined the relationship of Luke, Han and Leia.

On that note, the characters are masterfully executed with Han clearly stealing the show as well as the climax of the film presenting us Leia's and Han's newly found love which had been developing slowly over the course of the film. Leia, the strong woman that she is, is as good as she was in Episode IV, and Luke who was merely an amateur develops into a well rounded Jedi though his brashness and selflessness leads him to ignore Yoda's plea leading to his epic confrontation with Vader. A well choreographed duel to say the least, but Luke's apparent frustrations and inexperience leads to his own demise at the hands of Vader. What follows next is probably the greatest twist in cinema history. It didn't feel out of place or forced, it just seemed so well done, but that single confrontation and revelation is "Star Wars". Luke- our hero - being the son of the embodiment of evil was such a shock, that the anticipation for the sequel was at an all time high.

Overall, more questions were left than answered, though this can be a recipe for disaster, Star Wars: Episode V did it in such a satisfying way that true Star Wars fans cannot downgrade it. A further testament to the quality of the film is the fact that the editing doesn't take anything away from the overall quality of the film, which maintains its powerful nature till this very day. With the release of Empire Strikes Back, Lucas solidified what would become the most well known series of all time.

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One of the undisputed greats in the history of cinema!

Author: Joshua Taylor from United Kingdom
5 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What is there not to love about this sci-fi masterpiece? From start to finish Star Wars: Episode V is pretty much a flawless adventure packed with moments that everyone will remember until the end of their days, from Darth Vader's shocking revelation to Luke, to Han Solo's iconic line before being frozen into Carbonite - "I Know".

The plot evolves from its also magnificent predecessor into a darker, deeper and more gripping tale, plus, the acting on behalf of the likes of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher is turned up a few notches, giving the audience a far more likable and grown up portrayal of the great characters. Although, once again in my opinion, Harrison Ford's Han Solo is the star of the show, just as he was in Episode IV, conveying perfectly the individual's elements of wit, charm and courage to make him one of the greatest movie characters of all time! Darth Vader also steps up his game, becoming more ruthless than he was in A New Hope and if it wasn't for his relentless pursuit of Luke this movie would be short of a few good intriguing plot moments. His lightsaber duel with Luke in Bespin was again a huge improvement than the one with Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode IV, adding more realism and fast paced action.

In conclusion, all aspects of this masterpiece of cinema, from the superb direction, the acting, the screenplay and the sets, there are few motion pictures which can truly surpass this epic. It is not only one of the best science fiction films ever made, but one of the best movies ever made to date!

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