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



Critic Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.

Movie Info

After the destruction of the Death Star, Imperial forces continue to pursue the Rebels.

Rating: PG (for sci-fi action violence)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 21, 2004
Twentieth Century Fox - Official Site


as Luke Skywalker

as Han Solo

as Princess Leia Organa

as Ben `Obi-Wan' Kenobi

as Darth Vader

as Lando Calrissian

as Chewbacca

as R2-D2

as Darth Vader

as Boba Fett

as Lobot, Lando's Aide

as Chief Ugnaught

as Wampa Snow Creature

as Performing Asst. for...

as The Emperor

as Admiral Piett

as Gen. Veers

as Admiral Ozzel

as Capt. Needa

as Other Imperial Offic...

as Other Imperial Offic...

as Other Imperial Offic...

as Other Imperial Offic...

as Gen. Rieekan

as Wedge (Rogue 3)

as Hobbie, Rogue 4

as Dak, Luke's Gunner

as Janson, Wedge's Gun...

as Maj. Derlin

as Deck Lieutenant

as Head Controller

as Other Rebel Officer

as Other Rebel Officer

as Other Rebel Officer

as Other Rebel Officer

as Revel Officer

as General McQuarrie
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

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Critic Reviews for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

All Critics (81) | Top Critics (21)

Another richly imaginative, engrossing and spectacular motion picture from the redoubtable George Lucas.

Full Review… | June 29, 2015
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The Empire may not top Star Wars, but it certainly makes one look forward to whatever new surprises George Lucas and his band of cinematic wizards can conjure up for us.

Full Review… | June 29, 2015
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

The younger actors are now more confident.

Full Review… | June 29, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A spectacular piece of work that carries the new "Star Wars" tradition forward.

Full Review… | April 30, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

In many ways the new film is a better film than Star Wars, visually more exciting, more artful and meticulous in detail.

Full Review… | August 13, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The Empire Strikes Back is a worthy sequel to Star Wars, equal in both technical mastery and characterization, suffering only from the familiarity with the effects generated in the original and imitated too much by others.

Full Review… | March 4, 2008
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Startling relationships, dark pasts, and high-octane space battles surround this brilliant sequel to the beloved "Star Wars" film, "A New Hope." The first half of this film is more of the same, with a few new characters and a much better screenplay; However, the second half surpasses it's predecessor in every way. Filled with amazing twists and brilliant dialogue, "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" is arguably better than the original, which is almost impossible for me to decide between, because it is part of a saga that doesn't feel distant from the first at all. With great direction, fantastic writing, and visuals, that, for 1980's is spectacular. Fantastic filmmaking all around!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

five stars!!

MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer


A darker, more mature, and more sophisticated Star Wars than the original. That doesn't necessarily make it a better film, as much of the freshness is gone and stripping Empire of its major revelation that is forever engraved in pop culture hurts its overall impact that it had back when it was released. It's still a fantastic movie and continues the Star Wars saga in spectacular fashion. There's some significant improvements to speak of. The special effects are much better, the acting is just a little better, and the scope is bigger and well executed. There's also better action sequences, including a rousing finale between Luke and Darth Vader. Vader's increased role in the film is a welcome highlight as well. He's one of the greatest villains of all time without question. It's not that I think this is a worse film than A New Hope, I just prefer the original slightly. It just has the original magic for me that this one lacks.

Josh Lewis

Super Reviewer

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