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

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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 and a bounty hunter named Boba Fett all over the galaxy.

Director:

Irvin Kershner

Writers:

Leigh Brackett (screenplay by), Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
207 ( 56)

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With the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, this is the perfect opportunity to recap the epic space opera audiences have enjoyed for over 40 years.

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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)
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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 battle continues... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,910,483, 25 May 1980

Gross USA:

$290,271,960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$547,879,454
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mark Hamill had to bang his head sixteen times on the ceiling of Yoda's hut before director Irvin Kershner was satisfied. See more »

Goofs

When seeing Darth Vader in the dining room in Bespin, when Chewbacca roars at Vader, you can see two holes in Chewie's mouth that let Peter Mayhew breathe through the costume. 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

There are no opening credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film was first released, the scene at the end when the Millenium Falcon is docked to the medical frigate and the camera pans to the medical ward window was different. A running change was made while the film was in theaters because George Lucas thought that there was some confusion as to where the Falcon was in relation to Luke and Leia in the medical ward. The establishing close-up of the Falcon, the pan from it to the frigate window and the launch of the Falcon were all added to the 35mm prints of Empire. See more »


Soundtracks

Original 'Star Wars' Themes and Compositions
(uncredited)
Composed, Arranged and Conducted by John Williams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

All the fun of the original with a much better, darker plot
27 June 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The Rebellion has struck an important blow to the power of the Empire by destroying it's Death Star, however the power of the Dark Side of the Force remains strong and continues to hunt the rebellion. While the Rebellion base on Hoth is under treat, Luke has gone to a distant swamp planet to receive further Jedi training from Master Yoda. However the power of the dark side should not be underestimated and many dark truths are revealed as the threat of the Empire looms large.

Following Star Wars was never going to be easy but this is actually better. Empire retains the same characters and the same sense of fun that the first had – the battle on Hoth is just one of THE moments of the series. However what gets added to that is a much darker strand. The Empire is not beaten by the destruction of one ship – it's power is barely dented in fact. This sees some startling revelations (I won't spoil it in case you've been living under a rock!) but also sees significant blows to the rebellion. In fact the ending of this film could not be more different from the end of Star Wars.

Like the recent episode two this follows two strands – the more pedestrian scenes with Luke and Yoda and the more action based scenes with Han and company. The scenes with Yoda add depth to the film and hint at the truth. Meanwhile the other half is a lot more action orientated and has comedy and good new characters such as Bobba Fett. The two work well together and come together well for a great finale. The addition of a dark strand to the film makes it all the better as it can be enjoyed as a story and not just a fun sci-fi film with good effects.

The characters are better here than the first. The strong characters from the first (Han, C3P0 et al) are all still good here. However we also get a much more interesting version of Luke as he continues his journey into becoming a full Jedi. Yoda is a good addition (despite sounding like Fozzie Bear!) and Darth Vader becomes a lot more than just a good villain – we learn his past, a revelation then, but a thing of common knowledge now.

Overall this is as good as Star Wars at it's heart, but the darker nature of the film makes it much better. Where the first one was a victorious uprising this is, as the title suggests, the time in history where the Empire strikes back against the uprising. All the music, characters and things that make Star Wars Star Wars are here and it's simply one of the best of the series to date.


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