WayneCronin's Rating of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Wayne's Review of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

4 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

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

After the amazement of the original Star Wars, I had high hopes for Empire, especially how many fans hold it in high regard. What is it that I don't like about this one? Lots of reasons.

There is no story. The movie revolves around what I would like to call 'Turgid Storytelling'. The movie has a strong start, with a fight on Hoth, then after that we are told that they are gonna regroup with the rebellion, to advance the plot, but NO we are treated to something that goes WAY off plot. Luke, instead of joining again with the rebellion travels to Dagobah (and without telling anyone know where he is, because they MIGHT BE WONDERING what happened to him) to train with Yoda. This wouldn't be to much of a complaint, except the other characters are not even utilized that well. Han, Leia, Chewie and C-3PO fly through space for about 85% of the film without advancing the story (every time you think they are going to actually further the plot in any way, they just keep pulling out the whole "Hyperdrive isn't working" line SO MANY TIMES that it makes you want to break the T.V., and the only reason they say that is just to stall the plot more), Han and Leia are given a romance sub-plot (which is just there to give the characters something to do).


The characters fall flat. To keep characters interesting, you have to be shown there personalities and give them challenges that reflect their personalities on the choices made by them, Empire only does one of these things, give them challenges and not once are we given any kinda of insight or information on the motivation behind any of the characters actions or choices.

The action gets repetitive. Like I said, 85% of the film is Han and Leia flying through space (on an aimless plotline) and thus there is always action in space, but there is NOTHING here that you haven't already seen in the original Star Wars (apart from the walkers at the beginning).

The Soundtrack is equally repetitive. John Williams has made AMAZING Scores in any film he's worked on, but here his music gets old very quickly (especially when the movie uses the exact same music OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN).

The plot twist. The only thing that makes this movie worthwhile and many people hold it in high recognition is the plot twist of Vader being Luke's Father, but even know, it's been parodied and made fun of so many times in Pop-Culture media, that it's lost it's shock value. I bet if it wasn't for that, people would just pass this movie down as 'mediocre'.

The good things are vague, but still there. The acting is top notch, with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher making amazing improvements on their previous performances and the addition of Billy Dee Williams is brilliant, and James Earl Jones is even more threatening as Vader, than he was in the first film. The only insignificance in acting is Mark Hammill, who at times looks like he isn't even bothered being in the movie and parts that just make you cringe i.e. his famous NO!!!!!! The special effects are equally amazing as they where in the original and at times give the film a great intensity, but like I said the action gets repetitive, but the puppetry is great, especially on Yoda.

I'm sure if I divulged deeply into why I do not like this movie, but one thing that just boggles my mind is that people call this one the 'darkest of the original series', may I ask WHY? The original Star Wars had Jawas getting slaughtered, Luke's Aunt and Uncle getting reduced to burnt remains Obi-Wan getting killed by Vader and Darth Vader destroying a planet populated by trillions of people, followed by Obi-Wan's line "I felt as though millions of people cried out in terror and where suddenly silenced", What's darker than that? What, the whole vision in the woods and Luke loosing his hand. I don't know about you, but I was more creeped out at the sight of Luke's slaughtered Aunt and Uncle.