Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Review

In 1977 the world was introduced to a brand new galaxy. It was exciting and groundbreaking and a whole shit ton of fun. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope is one of my favorite films of all time, yet amazingly it isn't even the crown jewel of the franchise, defying the concept that sequels are bound to disappoint after being wowed by the original work.

The Empire Strikes Back is a masterpiece.

The way it manages to make our connections with the characters feel more intimate and yet it also so easily builds upon the groundwork set by the first is spectacular. By the end of the second film we are left shaken by the sight of an injured and vulnerable Luke. Our last image of Han is of him frozen in carbonite, carried away with no guarantees that he will ever awaken, but not before the beautiful and heartbreaking moments when he promises his friend that there will be another time and the words "I know" hit with power and carry so much weight. We see the strength and bravery of Leia as she has to overcome the heartbreak of Han and find a way to trust Lando despite the betrayal. The frozen terrains of Hoth. The desolate and putrid yet intricately designed swamps of Dagobah. The wonder of Bespin, a city in the clouds. The locations featured in this film are so starkly different than the time spent on Tatooine during the first film which really provides a glimpse into the expansive nature of the universe. The Empire Strikes Back brilliantly explores setting, character and developing relationships and all in a perfectly paced two hours with absolutely no excess meat on the bones.

Many have been and will continue to nitpick the Star Wars saga, as if exposing flaws and declaring the films to be inferior will prove to the world that with a developing critical eye they have managed to rise above the nostalgia of a childhood filled with a love for all things that now seem silly. I will gladly hold onto every ounce of passion I feel for these wonderful space operas. 

The entire Star Wars journey is one I am always willing to take, and The Empire Strikes Back is the masterpiece.



  1. That film and Blade Runner are two of my favorites and I can't decide which I like better.

    1. Pretty terrific couple of favorites there Deron. Empire wins that battle for me, but Blade Runner is still in my top 50 or so of all time.

  2. Replies
    1. It's overwhelming, the excitement. I am refusing to read any reviews but I did glance at the general scores it is getting. They are positive, to say the least.