Wednesday, January 29, 2020

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

For the Original Trilogy movies you have to take everything I said in the A New Hope piece about the nostalgia,etc. and apply it to the other two as well.

With that said, let's take a look at what is largely considered the best Star Wars movie, Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (ESB from this point forward).

It certainly has a lot going for it, and that was really highlighted for me as I sat and thought about it for this piece.

Think about all the iconic imagery that comes from it in no particular order.

  • The ice planet of Hoth

  • AT-AT walkers

  • Boba Fett (not technically his first appearance, but where most of us saw him first) and Lando Calrissian

  • Han Solo in carbonite

  • Leia, and Han's "I love you"...."I know"

  • [Luke I am your father] reveal (The actual quote isn't that, it's "No, I am your father."

  • Yoda and Degobah

  • Han cutting open the Tauntaun and his legendary quip "I thought they smelled bad on the outside."

  • You absolutely have to mention Emperor Palpatine

There are others of course, but these are just some of the major moments that ESB gives us.

One of the things that works the best in this one is it isn't afraid to leave us on a bit of a downer of an ending.

When I say a "bit of a downer" I mean Han has been captured, Luke finds out that one of the two biggest villains in the galaxy is his father, and that whole deal with his hand.

Just as this is considered one of the best movies in the Star Wars series, it is also considered one of the very best sequels of all time.

When I get to the ranking at the end of all this I can go ahead and tell you that this one is going to be really high on the list. It's just an absolutely tremendous piece of business, and I cannot think of one Star Wars fan that has ever disparaged it.

The Empire Strikes Back is the Empire at its worst, and the Star Wars franchise at its best.