Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Daddy dearest.

10/10
Author: tamimarie228 from Iowa
3 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's a great movie but episode four was the best. This one continues on where episode four left off. Now Luke begins his training as a Jedi Knight with master Yoda. Yoda messes with him in the beginning by not being Yoda but Luke figures it out. I love Yoda and think that he is a great character. I don't know what Star Wars would be without him.

Then Luke has to rescue his kidnapped friends from Darth Vadar. The movie is awesome and it still stands up as a great movie even to this day. Near the end there is a great twist that really throws the audience off the plank. If you haven't see this movie please see it but see episode four first and then this one. Strike back and see this movie. The force wants you to!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just as good as the first!

10/10
Author: Marx_Bros_Fan86 from United States
21 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Since its release The Empire Strikes Back has gained a lot of popularity, and it is now widely considered to be the best of the series. Initially many people were disappointed with its cliffhanger ending. I know I wouldn't want to wait three years for the answer to the "big question" that was surely on everyone's minds! Anyway, I think Empire has become widely respected for its maturity in comparison to the other Star Wars movies. It's much more dramatic than A New Hope, and it doesn't have the cutesy aspects of Return of the Jedi. Until Revenge of the Sith, Empire was the darkest Star Wars movie. Empire clearly beats it in the execution department though. All of the characters are put into the worst situations imaginable and have to fight their way out.

I think Empire's greatest strength is the character development of Luke, Han, and Leia. Luke faces his greatest fear (confronting Vader) and a romance blooms between Han and Leia. While the script and the performances are not Oscar worthy I do think this Star Wars movie has the best performances in the series. I believe this is largely due to Irvin Kirshner taking over the director's helm for Lucas. Lucas is notorious for not being very good with actors; his trademark instructions are "do it faster and more intense." Kirshner and Producer Gary Kurtz made sure a lot of care went into the character moments. Personally I don't think Lucas would have done that. Another aspect I like is the fact that the character development is very well balanced, so it doesn't feel like any of the principle characters are just tag-alongs, like in ROTJ. Darth Vader becomes the ultimate bad ass here in his hunt for Luke. My favorite Vader line: "The Force is with you young Skywalker... but you are not a Jedi yet." The lightsaber duel is my favorite of the series as well. There was something evil about the Carbon Freezing Chamber, perhaps it was that red glow.

Empire brought us to some of the best locations in the series, such as the swamp planet Dagobah, the ice planet Hoth, and Cloud City. This happens to be the only Star Wars movie that doesn't have Tattooine. The snow speeder battle contains some excellent stop motion animation which holds up very well today. It certainly was unusual to put the major dogfight scene in the beginning of the movie rather than at the end, but I don't think many people complained.

We are also introduced to new characters like Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams), Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch), and Yoda. Frank Oz's performance is nothing short of amazing. He deserves a great deal of credit for turning a rubber puppet into a living, breathing person. Like Lucas said, if that puppet hadn't worked the whole movie would have been lost.

One valid criticism of Empire is that the action really just stops once Luke lands on Dagobah. I can't say I was ever bored by Empire's middle act. I found Luke's Jedi training and Han and Leia's moments to be thoroughly entertaining. However, I can perfectly understand why a casual moviegoer would be bored by this act. Either way, EBS is still a must see for any film buff.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Best Star Wars and One of the Best Films Ever Made

10/10
Author: DanB-4 from Canada
14 April 2006

It took many years and many viewings before I could say that I liked this film better than A New Hope. But careful examination tells all - by every conceivable measure this is a better picture. The characters are more fully developed, Vader is even more evil, the score gives us the chilling Vader theme and the story is more interesting. Now that the six films are complete, The Empire Strikes Back is even more compelling and interesting than it was before we knew its Big Secret.

All great heroes are flawed, and Luke Skywalker is no exception. Empire reveals to us in full that the inner battle he will have to fight is worse than any enemy he will face. As we meet for the first time Yoda, the wise Jedi master (we find out in Sith why he is on this jungle planet), we learn what a Jedi is, what his responsibility is and just how difficult that life will be. Luke, however, wants immediate gratification - he wants to help and wants revenge.

The film cuts back and forth between Han Solo and Leia's pursuit by Vader and Luke's training and ultimately leads to the greatest scene of the six films, the epic light saber battle between Luke and Vader. And, if you are one of the 12 people on the planet who do not know the outcome, the less said the better.

Empire rightly holds a place in the IMDb top 10, combining Action-Adventure, space opera and even the best elements of a super-hero film, into an infinitely watchable, entertaining movie. **** out of ****.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Ian Mcdiarmid added to DVD version of Empire Strikes Back

Author: (byronyale@msn.com) from United States
3 January 2006

Out with Clive Revile and in with Ian McDiarmid. George Lucas has once again retouched this movie, but with little fanfare this time. In the new Star Wars Trilogy DVD 3 pack, (episodes 4,5, and 6) The scene with Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine has been redone. Clive Revile has been entirely cut out, and an improved holographic projection of Ian has been added along with expanded dialog. And I have to say this is probably the only scene George added to the original trilogy that actually made the movie better. But I think George could take a lesson from the great painting artists, the painting always looks the best when incomplete, otherwise it has no ability to stimulate our imagination.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

brilliant sequel

10/10
Author: nobbytatoes from Australia
11 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The rebels have had their brief victory over the Imperial Forces; destroying the Death Star. But the rebels are on the run, hiding on the remote planet Hoth. Though hidden for now, it doesn't last long. The Empire have found the rebels base and are going to wipe them out. When the rebels escape, Luke goes to find Yoda, to begin his training to become a Jedi. Han, Chewbacca, Leia and C3PO are having more trouble. They are being run down by the Imperial Force fleet; trouble is the Millennium Falcon is falling apart, making their escape all the harder. Finally escaping they head to the cloud city to take refuge with Han's old friend, Lando. But Lando is stuck in a bind. He is being used as a pawn by Darth Vader, to set a trap for Luke.

This can easily be said to be one of only a few sequels that has surpassed the original. The Empire Strikes Back is darker, deeper plotting, much better dialog and incorporates more action without relying upon it. T.E.S.B. expand the story even further, creating some startling revelations. I still remember the first time i heard Vader's mind boggling truth to Luke. This also perfectly sets up for the third sequel, ending on such a note of anticipation.

The acting is also better. Here all the actor have fitted comfortably into their characters. As the dialog is better, they seem a lot more comfortable; Lucas's writing in the first Star Wars at times seemed really basic and childish, but its more intellectual here.

The special effects are just great. They make the action sequences so much better. The fight between the rebels and the Imperial Walkers is so amazing. The fight between Luke and Vader is so intense and emotionally charged; it stays with you that fight.

A step forward in the Star Wars movies. One of the best sequels to any movie.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Probably one of the most influential movies on my life

10/10
Author: cookiesap from East USA
10 June 2005

ESB is one of the best science fiction movies of all time. In most circles, there tend to be a division between 'regular' movies and science fiction ones, but the Empire Strikes Back not only wrote the importance of the previously establish Star Wars saga into history, but borough the Joneses and Kims and N'Danou's and Guptas and everyone else from all over the world a re-lived curiosity about a genre that often is exclusively reserved to geeks, gamers, and goblins. The first star wars movie was a feat in special effects and something quite new. The Empire Strikes back, however, drew us into a new world with an amazing conviction. We were all so very much standing next to Luke and Han, so that they have almost helped share their world with us, but also influence popular culture today in a somewhat surrealistic concept, where the actors/actresses step out of the TV/silver screen and dictate the 'real' world, using their 'fantasy' world to justify for their candor - in an almost 'emperor's new clothes' fashion. Only the greatest movies have the ability to enmesh reality and the fiction on the screen. Lord of the Rings did it, Hitchcock did it, and Lucas did it! Lucas made us believe in a world far away, long long time ago, which any other creator would have made seem like another Star Trek or Stargate episode (like the prequels).

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This Changed My Life

10/10
Author: Hotwax from The New Jersey Turnpike
27 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film changed my life....i fell in love with Star Wars when it was re-released on video in the early 90's.I was a small boy that would obsess over things like Batman & Nickelodien.After i saw the trilogy, i went and bought everything i could get my hands on.Children of nerds should be given this at birth.This film is,in my opinion,is the greatest of all the Star Wars films.I think that it has a fantastic ending,cool characters (Boba Fett,Yoda,Lando) and great acting.I recommend this film for every Sci-Fi fan (even the Trekkies).I also must say that this is just a great film all around(not just for a space-fantasy).

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One for the ages

10/10
Author: ftrain from United States
24 February 2005

As great as the original Star Wars may be, The Empire Strikes Back remains the best film in the series. As the years pass, the real achievement of Empire only grows. While the original film has grown somewhat dated in appearance, and Return of the Jedi feels a bit silly now, Empire has maintained remarkable staying power. The effects in the film feel as fresh now as they did in 1980, and as importantly the story and tone of the film still hold an ominous feel and lend the series the grandeur that made it so lasting. Without Empire, Star Wars would have been remembered but not nearly in the same way. Everything that was begun in Star Wars was expanded and improved upon here, right down to the score Remember, this was the movie that introduced the now-famous and ridiculously overplayed Imperial March composed by John Williams. And virtually every scene is now iconic--the Imperial Walkers in the snow, Luke's training in the swamp, the asteroid field chase of the Millennium Falcon, the Cloud City, Luke's lightsaber battle with Vader. When I think of "Star Wars", most of the images that come to mind first are from Empire. The colors and textures of the film are so sharp and rich.

A truly majestic film. One of the great visual statements in the history of movies, and one of the most successful realizations of a movie vision we will ever see.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Saga Continues...

10/10
Author: darthgeorge1973 (darthgeorge1973@hotmail.com) from Scotch Plains N.J.
17 December 2004

It's very rare when a sequel outshines the film that came before it,"The Empire Strikes Back" manages to do that in many ways. "Star Wars" always will be considered an all time classic,but "Empire" is a great follow up.

According to George Lucas,It's "Episode V" in his space opera. In my opinion it's the best in the series.

The characters are more fleshed out this time,and the plot is more complex and darker then the previous installment. The F/X is outstanding.

The film stands on it's own as a great cinematic achievement and should be recognized as more than a sequel,It's a continuation of great epic and all around excellent film.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Unlike Father & Son

10/10
Author: moronicfables from The Philippines
13 November 2004

Back in the 80's, people were very excited for the release of The Empire Strikes Back, the much-awaited sequel to the phenomenal Star Wars. But, I can imagine, they were also wondering if it would be as good as Star Wars. No, it's not. It's much better. There's more action, the characters become richer and we are introduced to new ones. Thankfully, Lucas backed down in directing and/or writing the film.

Considered as the best film among the Trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back starts with the whole gang staying at a Rebel base in the ice planet of Hoth. After almost getting mauled by a Wampa Beast, Luke gets a message from Obi-Wan Kenobi to go to the Planet of Dagobah and look for a Jedi Master named Yoda. The Imperial Army arrives and tries to destroy the base, but the Rebels have already escaped, with Luke accompanied by R2-D2 goes to Dagobah. The Battle of Hoth is easily my favorite action scene in the whole Trilogy.

While Han, Leia and Chewbacca are hiding from the Imperial army that's chasing them, Luke meets the 800 year-old Jedi Master Yoda. Full of wisdom and a funny way of talking, Yoda trains Luke to be a real Jedi and teaches him the ways of a Jedi. Almost nothing happens in the middle of the film, except for great character development and lots of intelligent dialogue. It manages to keep us interested and excited without having too many action scenes. We get to know more about all the characters, including the villains and new characters that we are introduced to.

We then meet Lando Calrissian who lives in Bespin, a city that floats among the clouds. Lucas hardly touched this masterpiece, but he still added some more striking visuals, most of which aren't unnecessary. More windows are added to the buildings in Bespin, adding lot more light and life to the settings. The visuals added aren't a bother anymore, and for once probably made a scene look better.

Han and Leia don't trust Lando, to which we soon find out that they were right about their feelings toward him. Luke forsees that they're in trouble and goes to make sure that they're all right. As Han Solo is about to be frozen, Leia finally admits to Han that she loves her. To which Han replies with, "I know." It's an incredibly touching and emotional scene, where things are just about to get worse.

As Luke arrives at Bespin, he encounters Darth Vader, to which father and son fight. Quite possibly the best Lightsaber fight in all the Star Wars films, the scene is filled with so much emotion and a shocking revelation. Luke sacrifices his own life rather than join the dark side, and is saved by Leia and Chewbacca, along with Lando, after much threats from Chewy. The film ends on such a downbeat note, keeping a cliffhanger for the final movie in the Trilogy.

The characters have yet to face another adventure, and learn more from each other as the Imperial is yet to be beaten and Solo to be rescued. It's not a happy ending, or should I say, a beginning for the characters as what the future holds from them is yet to be known. It shouldn't be a suprrise from anyone that The Empire Strikes Back is considered by many as the best of the Trilogy, because the film is a great stepping-stone for the characters we've grown to love in the first film and introduces us to new ones that we easily grow to love and care for. That's what makes Star Wars a great Trilogy in the first place: it's the characters we remember. Not the visuals.

10

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