8.8/10
1,036,191
1,027 user 200 critic

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

Trailer
2:07 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $19.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
After the rebels are brutally overpowered by the Empire on the ice planet Hoth, Luke Skywalker begins Jedi training with Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader.

Director:

Irvin Kershner

Writers:

Leigh Brackett (screenplay by), Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
1,058 ( 60)
Top Rated Movies #13 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 24 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the mysterious Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.

Director: Richard Marquand
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three years into the Clone Wars, the Jedi rescue Palpatine from Count Dooku. As Obi-wan pursues a new threat, Anakin acts as a double agent between the Jedi Council and Palpatine and is lured into a sinister plan to rule the galaxy.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two Jedi escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to claim their old glory.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé Amidala, while Obi-Wan Kenobi investigates an assassination attempt on the senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Three decades after the Empire's defeat, a new threat arises in the militant First Order. Stormtrooper defector Finn and the scavenger Rey are caught up in the Resistance's search for the missing Luke Skywalker.

Director: J.J. Abrams
Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac
The Matrix (1999)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Forrest Gump (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham. The Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Hamill ... Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford ... Han Solo
Carrie Fisher ... Princess Leia
Billy Dee Williams ... Lando Calrissian
Anthony Daniels ... C-3PO
David Prowse ... Darth Vader
Peter Mayhew ... Chewbacca
Kenny Baker ... R2-D2
Frank Oz ... Yoda (voice)
Alec Guinness ... Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
Jeremy Bulloch ... Boba Fett
John Hollis ... Lando's Aide
Jack Purvis ... Chief Ugnaught
Des Webb Des Webb ... Snow Creature
Clive Revill ... Emperor (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca face attack by the Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda. Only with the Jedi Master's help will Luke survive when the Dark Side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Star Wars saga continues See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back See more »

Filming Locations:

Banks, Oregon, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,415,804, 21 May 1980, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$290,475,067, 31 December 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$247,916,602
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lucasfilm See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (special edition)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)| Dolby Digital EX (DVD)| DTS-ES (6.1 channels) (blu-ray)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The sound of the Tauntauns was produced by recording the sound of an Asian sea otter named Moda. 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

Opening crawl: "It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy. Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth. The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space..." See more »

Alternate Versions

In the ITV broadcast on Christmas Day 1988, some scenes were cut for time: Luke Skywalker stumbling in the snowstorm, following his escape from the Wampa cave and RD2D estimating Han and Luke's chance of survive and the closing of the shield doors of the Rebel Base doors. The Imperial fleet approaching Hoth. Han and Chewbacca's reactions, after Han tells Luke to be careful and Han telling Leia to not get excited, when experiencing a quake aboard the Millennium Falcon in the cave. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bum Reviews: Thor: The Dark World (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)
Composed by John Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
It's NOT the darkest of the trilogy - it's the most mature
26 October 1999 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

`It avoids having the standard shoot-'em-up ending,' says a friend of mine, `by not having an ending.' I suppose this is what most people think, but all the same the film manages to form a satisfying whole; or at least, a whole that satisfies me. I'm therefore inclined to think it DOES have an ending. Obviously, I can't discuss this without giving things away to those few who don't know what happens. If you're one of those few, then believe me: your ignorance is precious enough to be worth guarding until you see the film. Stop reading now.

After the surprise attack on the rebel base, Luke Skywalker splits with Han, Leia, et al. Han's party gets away first (is it just me, or is the shot of Luke watching the Falcon flying off while he stands stranded on the ground, a poignant one?), but thereafter they face one narrow escape after another, while Luke slinks off quietly and safely to train with Yoda.

The training scenes are many and Yoda talks a great deal of rubbish. But somehow it doesn't matter. The film is ambivalent in its attitude towards Yoda, anyway. Our sympathy clearly lies with the entirely non-spiritual concerns of Han, Leia and the adolescent Luke. The main story concerns the understanding that builds between Han and Leia. In the end they are honest with one another; and if Han's being frozen and shipped back to Tatooine is the price to pay for this, well, it's the price to pay. It was very important NOT to end with the dashing rescue that opens `Return of the Jedi', which would be dramatically beside the point. Instead we end with the promise that the rescue will some day occur. That's enough.

As for Luke: he abandons Yoda to rescue Han and Leia, and achieves NOTHING WHATEVER. This was my favourite touch. All five Jedis - Luke, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Vader, and the Emperor - find that their conflicting instincts are all entirely wrong. The film is really about the temporary triumph of human impulses over the mystical Force. Luke's human idealism is vindicated, but his supernatural powers, just this once, are not.

When George Lucas gave his Star Wars trilogy a fresh coat of varnish in 1997 he felt he had to justify the expense by making needless changes. You'll notice he made precious few changes to episode V. There just wasn't room. He added a few extra shots of the ice monster, which of course weakened that one scene; but even with those changes in place the Special Edition is virtually identical to the original edition. Since Lucas was so keen on making changes wherever he could this is obviously a tribute to the tightness of the story and the direction. It's also a tribute to the perfection of the original special effects, more innovative than the effects in the first Star Wars movie and better than the effects in any subsequent one.


247 of 326 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 1,027 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed