It was the middle story of the original Star Wars trilogy. It not only became the best of the three. But The Empire Strikes Back became the benchmark for sequels in almost all movie franchise to date.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back hits all the emotional buttons. First it seems like the Empire is about be the galactic superpower. Then we have heroes who have unfortunate circumstances come up. From Leia telling Han “I love you” only to have him frozen and taken to Jabba, and Luke finding out Darth Vader is not only related to him but actually he missed a few Father’s Day along his upbringing.
Among the highlights, we meet Yoda and he dives deeper into the force. He begins to train Luke. We also get an Obi-Wan Kenobi force ghost. Not only a paranormal, but one who can interact with the living.
Darth Vader is at his cinema best. Storming the rebel base on Hoth. Tormenting Luke, both through the force and physically. Not to mention he chokes and kills his own officers. Filling the movie with flawed characters made the film more complete.
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Other Star War movies tried too hard to recreate the same vibe and feel as Empire and none of them have not reached that plateau. Director Irvin Kershner, who was also George Lucas’s professor at USC School of Cinematic Arts, used his skill as an emotional turmoil and made a masterpiece.
New characters are introduced in the film. Star Wars favorite Lando Calrissian who lives in “a city in the clouds.” Not only are new characters brought in. But those characters were well developed something in my opinion was missing at times in the Prequel trilogy.
The dark themes of loss, regret and betrayal paints this installment of the beloved movie franchise in a corner that none has come close to. Unless you look outside Star Wars. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was as close to The Empire Strikes Back as anyone has come. Empire still wins
Now director J.J. Abrams will take another swing both Star Wars with Episode IX and at the elusive perfect match to The Empire Strikes Back. All though it seems like it is an uphill battle trying to make a worthy Star Wars film to take it’s place beside the best Star Wars film ever.
What do you think of The Empire Strikes Back? Do you think it’s the best Star Wars film?