Star Wars V: The Empire Stikes Back
Many fans and even critics state the The Empire Strikes Back is the best of the Star Wars films. Now something like that is certainly debatable and subjective but there is no denying the fact that The Empire Strikes Back is an excellent sequel to the 1977 movie Star Wars. The plot is basic but full of action and adventure. It is set three years after the events in Star Wars. Darth Vader survived the detonation of the Death Star and is in pursuit of the rebels Luke Skywalker, Princess Lia and Han Solo. Meanwhile Luke continues his training to become a Jedi Knight from Master Yoda. Han Solo is also being pursued by bounty Hunter Boba Fett. We also meet new characters like Lando Calrissian played by Billy Dee Williams and the story is full of twists and turns and betrayals.
Pros: Middle movies ina trilogy can be difficult. Often these stories will advance the characters and the story line but leave no resolution. However, this movie is not hampered by any of that. Insteads it has great character development. Han and Lia, still have a temultuous relationship yet there is a thaw and they begin to come close together. Luke grows as a Jedi and his self confidence and maturity is evident. The movie does end on big cliff hangers. We discover that Darth Vader is Anakin Skywalker and the father of Luke. Han Solo is betrayed and left frozen in Carbonite. The action and the suspense and sense of adventure are carried over from the last film with enjoyable results. We meet Yoda for the first time and Emperor Palpatine. Yoda was a puppet worked and voiced by Frank Oz a member of Jum Hensons team. He has become an iconic character. The reveal that Darth Vader is Luke’s father is still exciting and memorable after years of seeing the movie. It never grows old.
Cons: I really have no complaints for this movie except that the scenes on the planet Hoth do drag just a little bit. The pacing just seems off to me. As time has gone on and I have grown more accostumed to the pacing of modern films, expecially science-fiction films, the films made back more than 30 years ago do seem a little slower.
An interesting observation I have is that with Luke being Vader’s son all the events in episodes IV and V can seem really contrived. I do not see it that way, I am just echoing arguments I have heard levied at other science-fiction films. For example, in the 2009 Star Trek film when Kirk met Spock Prime in the cave of Delta Vega many fans who hated the movie cried how all contrived it seemed. Yet in Episodes IV and V of Star Wars we have R2D2 and C3PO arrive in the posession of Luke Skywalker and it is his father, Darth Vader, who is chasing after the two droids and the plans they contain. This leads Luke on an adventure that will lead him into direct conflict with Vader. How is this any less contrived? If it is contrived, and to some degree it is, it doesn’t bother me at all. I just point this out to demonstarte the selective opinions of some fans. In many of these adventure type of movies our heroes are going to come together and they way the writers and directors do that is enjoyable to watch even if a bit contrived.
To conclude, The Empire Strikes Back is one of the best of the Star Wars movies and a joy to watch.
Posted on June 4, 2013, in Old Movie Review and tagged Billy Dee Williams, Darth Vader, Frank Oz, George Lucas, Han Solo, Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker, Princess Lia, Star Wars, Yoda. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.