Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back is widely considered to be the best Star Wars movie and I agree with everyone who thinks it is. Just like my other Star Wars reviews, this will contain SPOILERS.  Empire Strikes Back starts off three years after the events of A New Hope. The Rebel Alliance has set up a new base on the planet Hoth. The Empire sends out Probe droids to spy on the Rebels. Luke goes out on his Tauntaun into the snow and is captured by a Wampa and this leads to Han going out to find Luke. When Luke is in the Wampa cave we see him start to dabble with the force for a bit his lightsaber is stuck in the snow and he is trying to pull it to his hand with the force. He succeeds and kills the Wampa and then goes out into the blizzard. While he is out in the snow Obi-Wan's force ghost tells him that he needs to go to Dagobah to train with Yoda.  Han eventually finds Luke frozen. Han uses the lightsaber up until The Force Awakens he was the only none force-sensitive character to use a lightsaber. He cuts open the Tauntaun and places Luke inside so he doesn't freeze to death. Which is really fucking morbid when you think about it especially for something that came out in 1980. Han saves Luke and brings him back to the Rebel base where Luke is healed.    We start to get this feeling that Han Solo and Princess Leia are starting to develop romantic feelings for each other. You see him playing around with her, but she still thinks he is a scoundrel. He is still being his asshole self, but you can tell that there is some sexual tension between the two. I love the relationship between these two and Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher have amazing chemistry. After they are attacked by imperial walkers, Luke decides that he needs to go to Dagobah to be trained by Yoda.    Darth Vader in A New Hope was a cool villain, but we don't know much about who he is. In Empire Strikes Back the best thing that they do is flesh out the character of Darth Vader. This is where he becomes terrifying. He becomes that great villain we all know and a large part of that is the introduction of maybe the most iconic pieces of music composed for a film the imperial march. He invades the Rebel base on Hoth. Leia and Han eventually end up escaping the grasp of the Empire.  Now we come to one of my favorite scenes in the movie and that is the asteroid scene. Han is piloting the Millennium Falcon which is malfunctioning and we have such a thrilling, compelling space battle. They land inside what they think is a cave, but is later reviled to be this worm-like creature.    Another thing about this movie is the introduction of Bounty Hunters or at least it fleshes them out more. We did get some stuff with Bounty Hunters in A New Hope with Jabba the Hut and Greedo. In this, in we, a group of Bounty Hunters that Vader has hired and you get introduced to Boba Fett.  Boba Fett became a popular character and I really don't understand why, sure he looks cool, but he doesn't do much and is killed off early in the next movie.  From here the movie kind of splits in two with the plot. Luke arrives on Dagobah while the others are off in cloud City and meet up with Han's former friend Lando Calrissian.  While Luke is on Dagobah he is looking for Yoda. He is expecting this great warrior and he finds this little green creature who eventually it is revealed that he is Yoda. The scenes with Luke training are great. Yoda doesn't want to train Luke at first, but he eventually agrees to it and you get some incredible and iconic scenes between the two. The scene where Yoda is on Luke's back is arguably one of the most iconic images from Empire Strikes Back.  Yoda has such a great theme his music in this movie is incredible. He has such classic lines especially do or do not there is no try. Also when Luke was trying to lift up the X-wing with the force and he can't do it and he gives up. Yoda closes his eyes and lifts it up. Luke says "I don't believe it" and Yoda says "That is why you failed".    Then we cut to Han and Leia at Cloud City and we get introduced to Lando played excellently by Billy Dee Williams. You see that this guy has kind of got that smugness to him that Han has.  He's clearly interested in Leia the first time he sees her.  They think that Lando is on their side. They are there for protection from the Empire and when they go inside one of the rooms Darth Vader is right there. Lando, it turns out made a deal with the Empire he sells out his friend.  This movie is known for its plot twist and there's one of them. When you see it now it's pretty obvious Vader is going to be right there, but it's still impactful. The fact that Lando sells out his friend for money and protection makes it hard to trust this guy.    Vader captures Han and Leia to use as bait to get Luke to come to Cloud City so he can give Luke to the Emperor. Earlier in the film, we get the first appearance of the Emperor in this trilogy.  I like the special edition change where they have Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor in that scene it just flows better since he is the Emperor in the next film and the prequels.    So Luke senses that his friends are in danger and he leaves his training with Yoda.  Yoda begs him to stay telling him that he is making a bad decision. He promises Yoda he will come back and goes off to Cloud City to face Darth Vader. Before this, we get one of the most emotional scenes in the entire saga and that is when Han Solo is frozen in carbonite, given to Boba Fett and handed off to Jabba the Hut. This is where you get Leia saying "I love you" to Han and Han says "I know'. Which was improvised by Harrison Ford  This is also where Lando kind of has his redeeming moment because he was really tricked into working for the Empire and he realizes that he was played by Vader. He lets Leia and Chewbacca and C-3PO escape. He joins up with them. Then we come to the best part of this movie and my favorite part of the entire saga the confrontation between Luke and Vader. In my opinion the best lightsaber battle in the entire series.  Eventually, it leads to Vader leading Luke to that reactor pit. Vader disarms Luke, cuts off his hand and we get the most iconic scene of all time the biggest plot twist in movie history Where Vader reveals to Luke that he is his father. It still gives me chills when Vader says that even though I have seen it countless times.  Luke is not tempted by Vader, jumps into the pit and is eventually saved by Leia who senses Luke. The movie ends very bleak it leaves you wanting more.    The characters are incredible in this movie you get to see Luke, Han, and Leia better than ever in this one. We learn more about them. Luke becomes more of a hero. Han and Leia establish that relationship. Darth Vader becomes the most badass villain almost in film history. Lando Calrissian is a great new addition to the cast. Luke VS Vader is the best lightsaber scene in the entire series. The asteroid field scene is the best space battle in the entire series. The score is some of the best pieces of music ever composed in a film 5 out of 5 stars for Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

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