In many ways the new film is a better film than Star Wars, visually more exciting, more artful and meticulous in detail.
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.
Irvin Kershner directed the actors this time around, and without the benefit of Lucas's personal affection they seem stiffer, more clenched.
An extended ricochet from one incendiary set-piece battle to another which still finds time to attend to plot, pace and character.
The total effect is fast and attractive and occasionally amusing. Like a good hot dog, that's something of an achievement in a field where unpalatable junk is the rule.
It is a visual extravaganza from beginning to end, one of the most visionary and inventive of all films.
| Original Score: 4/4
The Empire Strikes Back is a technological triumph, a cornucopia of intergalactic tchotchkes.
The balance between action and mysticism in Empire provides fascinating energy.
A superior motion picture!
In the glory days of science fiction, critics wrote about the 'sense of wonder.' That's what The Empire Strikes Back creates in us
I found myself glancing at my watch almost as often as I did when I was sitting through a truly terrible movie called The Island.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
A dramatic illustration of the continued technical brilliance and leadership of the Lucas production team.
Star Wars made my eyes pop out when I first saw it in 1977!
The most classic in its style, design and narrative.
It balances bloodshed with charm, spectacle with childlike glee. It's a near flawless movie of its kind.
For many Star Wars fans, this second installment is the best of the George Lucas trilogy: a dark, ultimately melancholy, even philosophical episode that has no triumphant happy ending.
The storytelling is the series' best, with a zingy balance of drama, humor, and Deep Thoughts.
| Original Score: A