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

Article 2939 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-25-2009
Posting Date: 8-31-2009
Directed by Irvin Kershner
Featuring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Country: USA

Luke Skywalker seeks to become a Jedi warrior with the help of an elusive Jedi master called Yoda, while his friends try to elude capture from Darth Vader and the empire.

Now that all three of the prequels to the original Star Wars saga have come out, one debate I often encounter concerns the best order in which to watch the whole series; there are those who advocate watching the prequels first and then watching the original series. I’m not of that group; for me, the revelations flow smoother and more satisfyingly in the original series, and it gives you the option to ignore the prequels in their entirety if you wish. Certainly, the introduction of Yoda as a character in this movie would have seemed overly coy if you already knew who he was and how he looked. This one is often considered the best of the series, and you won’t get a dissenting opinion from me in this regard; the skill with which it deepens, fleshes out and darkens the themes of the original to compensate for the fact that the concept itself is now not quite as fresh as it was in the first movie shows that the original three movies were indeed conceived as a series, albeit one that could have been truncated with the first movie should it have proved not to have been a hit. The acting from the principals shows a marked improvement, which also helps compensate somewhat for the fact that we have no new name stars to add to the mix, and the ones from the original (Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing) have either disappeared from the plot or been reduced to cameos. Of course, certain series fanatics probably like the movie because it introduces Boba Fett the bounty hunter, but I could care less about that; a cool helmet doesn’t make for a compelling character. On a side note, the original movie (STAR WARS) was one of the first movies I covered for this series, and I feel a bit of irony from the fact that it has taken me a longer gap of time before I covered the sequel than it actual took between the releases of the two movies.


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