Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
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Index 921 reviews in total 

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I am your father

Author: Jamie Spraggon from United Kingdom
25 January 2014

In my opinion this is not only better than the first film or the fourth whatever but it is the best in the entire franchise. I loved it from the first minute until the last, I love star wars even since I was about 4 years old and I used to hate this movie but when I watch it now it's just amazing. Also in this film great Star Wars characters make their debut with the likes of Yoda and Orlnado Calrizion (if that is how you spell it and I can't remember if it is Orlando and Lando so excuse me if I got it wrong.)

This film starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford & Carrie Fisher

I highly recommend this film to all you sci-fi fans

****/***** not outstanding but very good

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Timeless Space Opera, The Perfect Sci-Fi Epic

Author: Sean Lamberger from Bradenton, FL
5 December 2012

Top of the line for a majority of Star Wars geeks, and for good reason. It's the ideal melting pot of George Lucas's vast, quirky imagination, his influences' knack for dark, large-scale epics, and his key contributors' determined efforts to retain a central humanism amidst all the creatures, effects and operatic indulgences. A wildly ambitious picture, it's genuinely amazing just how much territory is covered over the course of two hours. Lucas and company manage to leap from the Hoth battle to Yoda on Dagobah, the asteroid field to Lando and Cloud City, before finally climaxing with the classic Luke / Vader showdown and revelation. That's an awful lot of set pieces, not to mention some seriously powerful plot points, but smooth talking and a few outstanding performances keep the film from feeling over-stuffed or under-explored. The cast, too, grows on an individual basis almost universally, with Luke wrapping himself in the wisdom of the Jedi, Han and Leia developing genuine chemistry and Darth Vader, in a surprise twist that should never have been so effective, actually showing some signs of humanity. Although it can be hammy from time to time, those moments are balanced expertly by a wonderful series of mountains and valleys, to the point that they stop being seen as negatives and instead contribute to the picture's eccentricity. A legendary effort that's just as monumental, entrancing and electric thirty years later, it's damn near perfect.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A great follow-up to A New Hope!

Author: gavin-thelordofthefu-48-460297 from United States
20 November 2012

After having watched A New Hope, I watched the next installment to the original trilogy before the prequel trilogy "The Empire Strikes Back" and I personally agree that this is a great follow-up to it's predecessor since it defined the meaning of a Hollywood classic.

The directing from Irvin Kershner is brilliantly focused and adds a great atmosphere to the movie, making it a lot darker than the previous film. The story is very original and has a lot of exciting moments and a touching scene where Leia says, "I love you" and Han Solo says, "I know." in the carbonate scene especially the lightsaber fight scenes between Luke and Darth Vader. In fact, the characters are likable as they were in A New Hope. Mark Hamill did great as Luke as a now determined warrior to find out about his father from Yoda played brilliantly by Frank Oz along with Alec Guiness as the ghost Obi-Wan. Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford did great with their love and chemistry as Princess Leia and Han Solo. The only character who steals the show, however, goes to Darth Vader thanks to James Earl Jones' dark and intimidating voice. The music from John Williams is excellent and gives an epic scope to the movie and the pacing moves along quite well. Even the visuals are magnificent.

Overall, a great follow-up to A New Hope and is always worth watching just like that film.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The greatest of the entire saga!

Author: joetufano719 from United States
12 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When this movie came out in 1980, people were unsure of how it can live up to the hype due to the success of the previous film. But it did deliver! This movie went to even darker places this time around, and the characters are left at the lowest point by the end of the film. Great action sequences, great acting and above all the biggest twist of all time!

Story: The Rebels have built a new base of operations called Echo Base on the ice planet Hoth after the Empire chased them off Yavin IV in response to the Death Star being destroyed. It's not long before the Empire discovers their new hideout and force the Rebels once again to flee from the invasion of Imperial AT-AT walkers. Princess Leia, Han Solo, Chewbacca and C-3PO escape in the Millennium Falcon, but are later captured by Darth Vader on Cloud City with Han Solo being frozen in carbonite and handed over to Boba Fett who takes him back to Jabba the Hutt. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker travels to the swamp planet Dagobah to continue his Jedi training but this time from former Jedi Master Yoda. During his training, he sees visions of Leia, Han and Chewbacca being kidnapped by Vader and sets out to Cloud Cit to rescue them, only get into a confrontation with Darth Vader where he discovers the most shocking secret about Vader.

Everything in this film is close to perfect as you can get: The battle of Hoth is one of my favorite movie battle scenes ever, and the music once again makes it awesome. The asteroid field pursuit is entertaining as hell, and the light saber fight between Luke and Darth Vader... it's basically indescribable.

The acting once again is fantastic with Mark Hamill once again giving another solid performance as a young impatient Luke Skywalker who fails every task given to him by Yoda, Harrison Ford once again owning the role of Han Solo and his interactions with Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) make for some really entertaining dialogue. I also like seeing how their relationship actually grows from love/hate to a love relationship, especially since Han grows throughout the trilogy. Billy Dee Williams as Lando brings his own brand of charm to brighten the mood up until he is forced to betray Han, but redeems himself by turning against the Empire and helping Leia attempt to save Han.

As for Yoda, he is so awesome in this one! Frank Oz's puppetry is so terrific that it's better than anything CGI can do today (not that I despise CGI). I love the scenes where he's training Luke on Dagobah, especially the part where he goes "Not this crude matter!" Darth Vader is more evil than he was in the first one. He's killing lieutenants left and right that it makes me go, "I'll do whatever you want, just please don't choke me!" As for the big twist where he says "I am your father" to Luke, it still gets me every time. I can't remember the first time I heard him say that line because I was like 5 or 6 years old when I first watched "Empire" but when he says it and you hear that music playing in the background and the look on Luke's face... you still feel that shock that Luke feels.

It goes without saying that this is not only the best Star Wars movie ever, this is one of the best MOVIES ever made. As for sequels surpassing the predecessor, for me it's right up there with "The Godfather Part 2", "The Dark Knight", "Spider-Man 2" and "T2 - Judgement Day". Even with the foul taste that a lot of people have in their mouths from the prequel trilogy, they need to watch this again to be reminded that George Lucas gave us a great saga. Final grade: A+

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Flawless Sequel

Author: Scott MacBurnie from Canada
17 March 2012

It is not always possible for a sequel to re-capture the peculiar magic of an original film. 'The Empire Strikes Back' manages to do so by being less of a sequel than it is a new film on its own. The story begun in 'Star Wars' is advanced, the characters & their relationships with one another are deepened and the film itself abandons much of the easy spirit of the first film in favour of a darker and more uncertain tone. If the first film was largely about heroism, the second is largely concerned with struggle. The main characters are soundly tested in this film and for the most part, they come up short.

This is also the film that transforms Darth Vader into one of the screen's great villains. Vader was interesting in 'Star Wars,' but he is iconic in 'The Empire Strikes Back' and he rightfully takes his place as not only a great villain, but a great character. In spite of the despair that runs through the film, the visuals and imagination so apparent in 'Star Wars' returns here, as well. The film is littered with awesome action sequences and more than enough 'coolness' to measure up to its predecessor.

Again, the original (1980) version is the one to see - if given the option - although the enhancements made to this film are somewhat less invasive than those applied to 'Star Wars.' Still, the film is more charming and more polished its original release. It is considerably less delightful than its predecessor, but it is every bit as good of a film, if not even slightly superior to 'Star Wars.'

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The Perfect Sequel

Author: zurnderrick from United States
22 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Most of the time, sequels are a bit of a disappointment, because of lame story and poor special effects. The Empire Strikes Back on the other hand is one of the best sequels I've ever seen in my life. Everything in this film is marvelous. The story is great, and the character development is far more dark and gruesome than in the first film. The new characters, such as Yoda and Lando Calrissian really add something to the Star Wars saga.

And what would an Empire Strikes Back review be without mentioning one of the most famous lines of all time: No, I am your father.

Truly a shocker, perhaps one of the greatest move climaxes of all time. In conclusion, The Empire Strikes Back (Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) is outstanding, and meets all the standards that movie sequels should. I never get tired of watching it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Favourite all time movie, a piece of perfection

Author: EmperorCrispy from Australia
10 September 2008

I saw this movie in the theater in 1980 multiple times and many times since. It is a great film and tasty "meat between the sandwich" sitting in between A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. This film has it all from a battle in the snow with mechanical walking beasts, a trip to a swamp planet to introduce the legendary Jedi master, a beautiful city in the clouds that houses the climatic end to the film. This film is darker and more menacing than the other 2 films including a more evil Darth Vader and introductions to the mysterious Bounty Hunters including Boba Fett. Excellent effects, beautiful locations, top character development and Masterful directing. Go rent it out, you wont be disappointed.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

More than the Dark Side, A Great Movie

Author: JRKITE from United States
26 May 2005

When talking about The Empire Strikes Back many people have commented on how dark it is in comparison to the other two films from the original trilogy. However as was expected by Star Wars fans, Revenge of the Sith without a doubt took the title of Darkest Star Wars movie from Empire's mantle. Given the galactic scale of tragedy in the final prequel, Empire's personal tragedy reveals itself to be a little self-absorbed. In the post-prequel Star Wars paradigm, we should be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel in the final revelations of Empire.

With the issue of darkness settled, the Star Wars audience and the movie-going public should now be able to see The Empire Strikes Back for what it is. The best Star Wars movie. And not only is it a great Star Wars movie, but it is a great movie. The direction, the writing, and even the performances come together to make it a complete movie.

Watching the movies that George Lucas has directed, specifically Star Wars: Episodes I-IV, you can tell he is not a student of the craft of acting. The result is that actors are left developing the emotional life of the characters on their own. Some actors are able to survive and even thrive in this environment. Harrison Ford and Alec Guinness give inspired performances in the original Star Wars that make some of the other performances in the movie appear worse than they actually were.

George Lucas responsibly tapped his professor from film school, Irvin Kershner, to direct The Empire Strikes Back, and the difference is palpable. Star Wars is without a doubt the most revolutionary in terms of Special Effects of the original trilogy. But in terms of quality movie-making, editing, cinematography, etc., Emipire takes the cake. And all the while putting together great shot after great shot, he managed to pull good performances out of most the cast. Not a single one of the primaries are flat or perform an unbelievable moment. Hamill's performance is so good you actually believe for at least a few minutes that he might stand a chance against Darth Vader.

But the quality of film-making and the emotional life of the characters would not have mattered, nor could they have possibly existed without brilliant writing. In Empire Lucas is at his myth-making best (Han's metaphoric descent into hell and Luke's journey into the Dark Cave are brilliant), and the screenplay by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasden is sharp, well-paced, and energetic. As a result of this three-part collaboration, you have the rough and romantic flirtations of Han Solo and Princess Leia (in which you can hear the voice of both Brackett's earlier work, The Big Sleep and El Dorado, and Kasden's later work, The Big Chill and The Accidental Tourist). Also you have Yoda-speech when it was genuinely profound in a Confucian way, before it devolved into the gimmicky and painful form it takes in the prequels.

On the whole there is no denying that Star Wars: A New Hope is the most influential movie of the series, quite possibly of the last quarter of the twentieth century (although it would have to fight with Jaws for that title). And with the fall of Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith, it no longer can be called the darkest of the Star Wars saga. But it is, with little doubt the best movie of the series.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

The best adventure movie ever.

Author: Jonathan Puntervold from Copenhagen, Denmark
16 November 2003

One of my seven 10s (of my about 200 rated movies) are given to this movie. And when I first wanted to vote for it, I had just seen it, yet again experienced the class, the acts, the dialogue, the action, the characters, the amazing adventures of Han, Luke and the rest. And let's just say that I hadn't seen it in years just before I voted. And a 10 sounded so, well, unreal, especially when you should actually presume that it's the original Star Wars which deserves a 10. If one of the movies should have one. But it was this one I found right. I still do. I am sure that this is the absolutely greatest adventure movie of all time. Of all Star Wars movies. Of the Indiana Jones movies. And of the Lord Of The Rings movies. Of every adventure movie I have seen, this one is the very best. Why, you will probably ask. Most people I know either prefer Star Wars IV or VI to this one. But I think they forget to take acquintance to the amazing chemistry there is between all the cast in this movie. And the classic scenes, there are many more than in the other movies. Luke meeting Yoda, and Yoda's amazing wisdom for such a small, little green alien. Vader confronts Luke. The truth revealed. Han and Leia's first kiss, and C-3POs interference. The introduction of Lando. Boba Fett. Admiral Piett's absurd rise to great Imperial stature. The battle of Hoth. Han frozen into carbonite. Just about everything of the dialogue, acting, everything of it is so classic, so climatic, so absolutely real. The Empire Strikes Back is the absolutely finest film in the entire Star Wars series. It's so intense, its plot and subplots are perfectly intertwined, just about everything in the film is perfectly fit for its genre. This is why this movie deserves a 10.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Best of the Star Wars Movies.

Author: driveinsammy from Good old town
2 November 2003

Empire Strikes Back is not only a great sequel to one of the best science Fiction movies ever made but its probably one of the best sequels ever made. A movie that not only blows away the first film in terms of scoop and magnitude but in story telling as well. This is the second of the entire Star Wars series of movies and in no doubt, the best. Not even the movies that come after were able to capture the landscape of this great cinematic achievement.

Don't dare call yourself a Star Wars fan if you have not seen it.

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